I think I’m going to give this a try.
Matt is giving my just what I want for Christmas this year. New laminate flooring for most of our house. The house we bought 6 years ago came with white wall to wall carpeting. It looked new and I just couldn’t see tearing up newish carpeting to replace it with something more practical when we bought the house. Long story short, 6 years later it’s time. All that to say, I have to pack up everything in the living room and dining room so they can move all the furniture out. I started with the small stuff, pictures off the end table and walls. Then moved to a small bookcase that will not be going back in the living room after the floor is done.
Behind a set of classics I found a letter dated October 1, 1995. It had been opened so I’m sure I’ve read it before. It is from my father. It was in response to a letter I had written that I don’t remember. I won’t go into the details of the letter because they are personal and incredibly healing to my heart but I want to share the second page that was folded with the letter. It is a poem by that great sage Anonymous. Thank you, dad, for this gift of wisdom, twice.
For those of you who listen well and for those who I haven’t listened to nearly as well as I want to….
When I ask you to listen to me
And you start giving me advice
You have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
And you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,
You are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
And you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
You have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I asked was that you listen,
Not talk or do – just hear me,.
And I can do for myself; I’m not helpless;
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do
For myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.
But, when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel,
No matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince
You and get on with understanding what’s
Behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice;
Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps that’s why prayer works sometimes, for some people,
Because God is silent, and He doesn’t give advice or try to fix things.
He just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.
So, please listen and just hear me. And, if you want to talk,
Wait a minute for your turn, and I’ll listen to you.
Live Free of the Burdens All Women Know
By Sheila Walsh
“Burdened. The word alone makes shoulders sink. It slows down our lives. It clouds our vision. It is the result of so many memories, grudges, fears, uncertainty, and stress. It is heavy.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28)
Overworked? Overcommitted? Overtired? Underappreciated? Let go and live free.
Sound impossible? Sheila Walsh thought so – until God proved himself again and again through his Word, his people, and her life.
In Let Go, the bestselling author and speaker walks readers through the journey to freedom in Christ. Along the way, she tackles some of the toughest struggles that weigh women down, answering them with overwhelming truth, promise, and hope.
You can lay down your burdens. You can rest. You can find peace. You can live free. Start here. Let Go. And see what God can do.” (From the back of Let Go.)
I must confess I didn’t like Sheila Walsh when I first heard her speak. It took me about 5 years to like her. Now I really enjoy hearing her speak and reading her latest book. This is not a quick fix in 10 steps kind of book. Sheila does offer guidance but it is not a formula or clear cut pattern. One of the clearest messages she offers it that God is very personal in teaching us to trust, forgive and believe Him. Cindy James has done an amazing job of capturing Sheila for the front cover. This is probably the most personable photo I’ve seen of Sheila. She comes across as strong but vulnerable, tested but peaceful. The contrast of the words Let Go next to clasped hands subtly point the reader to the conflict they will find between the covers. Flipping the book open to the back the photo shows a whole different side. Sheila is lighter, freer, and there is joy in her eyes. These two photos not only bookend this writing but this chapter of Shelia’s journey. I found great wisdom hard learned offered humbly. I found a story of mercy received from above and offered to those she loves. I found someone I would be honored to add to my circle of friends and a book I can wholeheartedly recommend to them.
Inspiring stories and practical insights challenge readers to live a life of everyday greatness.
Best-selling author Stephen Covey and Reader’s Digest have joined forces to produce an extraordinary volume of inspiration, insight, and motivation to live a life of character and contribution. The timeless principles and practical wisdom along with a “Go-Forward Plan” challenge readers to make three important choices every day:
1. The Choice to Act – your energy
2. The Choice of Purpose – your destination
3. The Choice for Principles – the means for attaining your goals
With stories from some of the world’s best known and loved writers and celebrities, such as Maya Angelou, Jack Benny, and Henry David Thoreau, and insights and commentary from Stephen Covey, the Wrap Up and Reflections at the end of each chapter help create a project that can be used for group or personal study.
Predictable, familiar, nice. I have just finished reading “Everyday Greatness” compiled by David Hatch and unless I was reading it for Thomas Nelson I would not have plodded through it. It’s a good reference book to keep on the shelf for short motivational examples or quick reference quotes but other than that it just felt like reading through someone’s file of newspaper feature stories grouped by character trait. The thing that stuck out the most to me was that the chapter on perseverance didn’t start until page 350. I really wanted to be able to recommend this book but in all truthfulness there isn’t anything in it that can’t be easily found for free with a Google search.
On the other hand, The Unseen War by David Kortje is definitely worth the read. Kortje shares part of his journey using Bible passages, movie scenes and solid reference material. None of us grown spiritually in a vacuum and Kortje shows clearly the guidance he has received as he has traveled some dark and lonely roads. At the end his story points toward hope and the glory yet to come. Read it. Travel with him for a while. Your journey will be enriched by crossing paths with David Kortje.