Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Walking on Water Book Review

"Walking on Water When You Feel Like You're Drowning: Finding Hope in Life's Darkest Moments" by Tommy Nelson and Steve Leavitt
Walking on Water When You Feel Like You're Drowning: Finding Hope in Life's Darkest Moments  -     
        By: Tommy Nelson, Steve Leavitt

We have all had times in our lives when we have felt as if we were drowning.  At least, I know I have.  The title of this book interested me and so I chose to review it.  This book offers hope for people who suffer with symptoms from anxiety, obsessions, fear and depression.  The book is divided into three parts:
Part One ~ The Dark Descent, Part Two ~ Questions from the Depths of Despair, and Part Three ~ Keys to Recovery.  Nelson and Leavitt use personal experiences with anxiety disorder, panic attacks and depression to discuss symptoms, causes and how to recover.  They also use examples from counseling sessions with others. 
The authors offer hope and answers for how to overcome these symptoms and truly debilitating conditions.  "Remember this: Anything that feels like the end of the world is not what it appears to be.  Have hope.  God is the God of hope.  He is not a God of fear, worry, and stress.  Grab onto His hope like a lifeline, and cling to it."  They use many passages of scripture to show God's hope and that He is in control and has plans for His people.  One of the things I thought would be helpful for people struggling is the list of Lies and Truths: Lies the world tells us and Biblical Truths, a listing of Scriptures, which can help alleviate our belief in those lies. 
As someone who suffered from anxiety attacks in college, I could relate to those feelings of fear and panic as well as the greatest fear being, when might I have another one?  While I haven't had issues with this for many years, I remembered those feelings of helplesness as I read this book.  I also recognize these issues in other people that are in my life.  "We also know that God desires to use our trials for His glory and for others.  We should be willing to see how our suffering prepares us to minister to others who suffer."  Because of the experiences I have had in my own life, I can use those times to empathize with and help others who need it. 
This book is a good resource for anyone.  People who suffer from anxiety, depression and symptoms of stress will find comfort in the fact that they aren't going through this alone, as well as ways to cope with those symptoms.  If you do not suffer from it, you could still benefit from being able to support and help and understand others who are going through what is a terrible and debilitating time in their lives. 
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Word In Due Season

It's been a discouraging day.  Actually one event this morning set the tone and I've been in a funk since.  The kids and I walked out to get in the car this morning to find that I apparently left it unlocked last night and someone went all through it.  They emptied out the glovebox and went through everything that was in the car.  They didn't take the change and few dollars I had in my ashtray, but they did take my i-pod.  With the discovery that my tunes were gone, the song disappeared from my heart too.  I'm mad at myself for leaving the car unlocked and even madder that someone violated my space and stuff.  It's only stuff and it's only an i-pod, but it didn't belong to them, it belonged to me.  I let that one thing cloud my day and I'm not happy about it because now, not only did they steal my tunes, they stole my joy. 

I took a breath, closed my office door for a minute, pulled out my trusty friend, "Jesus Calling" and read today's Word.  It's as if it were written just for me:
     "People tend to think their circumstances determine the quality of their lives.  So they pour their energy into trying to control those situations.  Thy feel happy when things are going well, and sad or frustrated when things don't turn out as they had hoped.  They rarely question this correlation between circumstances and feelings.  Yet it is possible to be content in any and every situation." 


Then the next part, "Put more energy into trusting Me and enjoying My Presence.  Don't let your well-being depend on your circumstances.  Instead, connect your joy to My precious promises: I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.  I will meet all your needs according to My glorious riches.  Nothing in all creation will be able to separate you from My Love."

A Word of encouragement when I needed it.  Thank you, God for the encouragement and Sarah Young, for being His instrument.

Friday, November 2, 2012

We're Christians So Deal With It

God reveals so much about my own heart through the things my kids say.  I love that they are honest about what is going on in their little heads and hearts and there isn't a filter there yet to try to be politically correct or spiritually righteous. 

This morning Princess was telling me about a girl in her grade that rubs her the wrong way.  "She just thinks she's better than everyone else, Mom.  I want to get along with her, but I just don't want to be around her."  I told Princess that she should pray about it.  "OK but I'm gonna pray that God will make her not act that way."  I chuckled, thinking of the number of times I've prayed for people to act a certain way and the realization that I should be praying for my own attitudes and heart.  I explained to Princess that she needed to pray for this girl, but mostly she needed to pray for her own heart, that God would help her to love this girl like He loves her and that God would change her heart.  "But Mom, that's hard.  I don't want to change, she's the one who is acting that way."  How many times have I thought the same thing and uttered those words to God? 

In the car on the way to school, I asked Princess to pray, as we all take turns praying on the way to school in the mornings.  After we all prayed, Princess said, "I didn't want to pray for her but I did and it better work.  If she doesn't change I'll know my prayers didn't work and I wasted those words on her."  Before I could respond, Prince says, "Look, we're Christians so deal with it." 

That wasn't as eloquent as what I was going to say, but it was to the point.  We are called to pray for others and to love others unconditionally.  I went on the explain that lifting someone up to God is never a waste of words and as many words as Princess uses in a day, I doubt she'll miss those few.  I also told her that she may not see the difference right away, that she needed to keep praying until.  Pray until something happens. 

Princess sighed.  I know she wasn't happy with that answer.  I know the right answer and I'm not always happy with it.  There are people and relationships in my own life that I pray about and I don't want to be the one to have to change.  It seems to me that if they are the problem, they should be the ones to have to make the change.  That's not how God sees it. 

Prince and Princess's memory verse this week is: This I command you to love one another.  John 15:17

And then I came across this verse, 1 John 4:12 "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."