Monday, November 28, 2011

Healing Is A Choice by Stephen Arterburn

It started out so innocent.  Sign up to review books, read a book, write a review.  How much simpler could it be, especially for a book worm like myself?  I had no idea that selecting “Healing Is a Choice” by Stephen Arterburn would have such a drastic impact on my life. 

I was in the middle of the biggest life trial I have been through (and I have survived some doozies).  I was preparing to go out of town for work, anxious to be leaving with so many unanswered questions up in the air when this book arrived in the mail.  I began to read it on the plane and could not stop reading chapter after chapter. 

“Healing Is A Choice” addresses ten decisions we can make to heal and ten lies that keep us from those choices.  While the book does touch on some physical aspects of healing, it is geared much more toward emotional healing.  Mr. Arterburn uses examples from his own life to demonstrate the choices we all make to heal or internalize our pain.  I was unfamiliar with Mr. Arterburn before reading this book, but I have much respect for him for sharing his personal struggles as somewhat of a Christian marriage expert going through a divorce.  His personal story and use of Biblical illustrations make these principles easy to relate to.  I was especially touched by the chapter on healing your future.  The book includes workbook type exercises at the end of each chapter for those who benefit from a deeper consideration of their personal issues.  I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling with hurt, anger or the feeling of powerlessness in their life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 30, 2011

Make It Work

When I moved from the D.C. area to the Atlanta-ish area, my very generous bosses let me start teleworking from home part-time.  While there are many things to love about working from home, it is not all champagne wishes and caviar dreams.  It is occasionally difficult to get down to work while staring at a sink full of dishes.  Instead of yelling a question over the cubicle wall, I shoot off an email and wait. And wait.

The biggest challenge of this lifestyle for me has been finding a work "wardrobe".  It can be hard to put a lot of effort into getting dressed when the only people who see me outside the house in a typical day are my daughter's day care teachers and anyone who cares to peer inside my car in the carpool lane.  On the other hand, I do not want to look like I just roll out of bed and occasionally run a brush through my hair.  (Trust me, there are some people in car pool lane I really wonder about.)  My sister and I love Tim Gunn and his fashion words of wisdom have begun ringing in my head.  Wear things that flatter.  Get rid of anything torn, dirty or unflattering.

I've really begun making an effort and I am telling you, it really improved my self-confidence.  It is so true that if you look good you feel good.  Just putting the extra two minutes in to put in earrings and throw on a necklace or bracelet does a lot.  Some days I even have five minutes to spackle on some concealer and swipe on lipstick!  I have a little extra spring in my step when I feel like I look cute, even trolling the grocery aisles.  If you do one thing tomorrow, take five minutes to put on a sparkly ring, trendy necklace or colorful shoes and make it work!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Girl Scout Daisies, Here We Come!

Yesterday was my daughter's first Girl Scout Daisy meeting.  Technically, it was a parents meeting and the kids ran wild and jumped on a trampoline, but it was still very exciting.  We have been trying for a while to help our older girls find some extracurricular activity that they would enjoy and help them be a little more social.  I was thinking ballet, gymnastics, or karate.  They decided on Girl Scouts.  The Girl Scouts is a fine organization and provides a great experience for many girls.  They also make some outstanding cookies.  However, my first thought was “Please let there not a camping component to this thing”.

I really like the idea of camping under the stars, making s’mores over a fire and telling spooky stories.  I am not so excited about bugs flying around my face, sleeping on the ground, or being terrified I’ll run across ticks/snakes/bears in the woods.  My daughter has said on more than one occasion that she enjoys staying in hotels and ordering room service (and I am pretty sure I know where she inherited that taste).  I also enjoy indoor plumbing and hot showers, neither of which seems readily available in the wilderness. 

The study areas briefly discussed involved touring gardens to learn how plants grow or a service project, but one can never be too careful. If we do end up on a camping trip, I’ll go with a smile and great attitude.  And maybe an inflatable mattress in my backpack. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Netflix Saved My Sanity

From the time I was a small child, I have loved television.  I can watch TV every waking hour of the day and not be bored at all.  Hmm, that may not be something I should brag about.  Anyway, since none of my children go quietly into the night at bedtime, I have missed years of quality entertainment.  Honestly, some of my taste runs toward very non-quality entertainment (“Dance Moms”, anyone?) but I digress.  There were a ton of shows I missed out on until Netflix came into my life.  Now I can catch up on a decade’s worth of shows I missed the first time around. 

Now I can waste hours of my life watching “Psych” (up to season 5, thank you very much), “Samantha Who” and one day may get back to the beginning of “Damages”.  I watched “Cashmere Mafia” this week, but with only seven episodes it just takes a day or two, tops.  I introduced my none year old to the hilarity of the infamous "Cheers" Thanksgiving episode.  Unfortunately, my younger two have discovered a plethora of Barney movies and season one of "ICarly" is available any time they want.  And they want it a lot.  Anyway, having relatively cheap entertainment on demand makes mama happy.  At this rate, I may be able to catch up on every show made in the last decade!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Invade My Personal Space (please)

I really enjoy reading blogs by women (sorry guys) who have great inspiring ideas, or funny home life stories, or can make gorgeous holiday decorations out of an empty paper towel tube and spray paint.  It amazes me to see women who seem to have it all together: their home, their clothes, their life.  If you are looking for a blog like that, should keep looking.

I've been toying with the idea of this blog for a long time.  Heaven knows my husband has heard about it FOREVER.  Then the self-doubt creeps back in.  What would I write about?  What if no one reads it?  What if a bunch of people read it and I feel pressure to be smart and funny all the time?  Then I turned 35.  Birthdays ending in five or zero have a way of making you reflect on your life and what is lacking.  I have a wonderful husband, three fabulous daughters, and almost zero friends.  We moved to a new city after living in the same place for 30+ years and our friendships from that prior life died out.  We then moved again (and again) and it has been a little more difficult to cultivate friends now than I anticipated.  I work from home and pick up two of my girls in the carpool lane.  The only people I see on a regular basis are our day care providers and I'm pretty sure they aren't interested in meeting me for coffee.  I am going to make an effort to meet other school parents or people at our new(ish) church, but it may be a while before I have friends close enough to hear all my weirdness.  This blog is like talking to a friend.  A friend who doesn't answer or ask questions or really care about me, but yeah, like a silent, barely listening friend.  So what if no one ever reads this?  I guess I'll be talking in space.