Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 comes to a close...

So it's the last day of the year...the funny thing is that while others are looking forward and coming up with resolutions for 2014, I'm stuck thinking about 2013, and it's not good. 

I have a confession to make...

I hold an extreme amount of anger, hurt, and sadness in my heart. 2013 contributed to that quite a bit, but also made me realize just how ugly and dangerous this is. 

I've always been able to deal with my feelings, to process things that happen and cope with whatever was going on. However, I'm not sure if it's just that there has been a concentration of negative experiences with particular people *or* if I'm just becoming aware of the fact that I'm not as good at handling my emotions as I thought I was, but everything came to a head this year. This was the year that I let it all get to me, this was the year when I would think daily about how hurt or angry I was about a particular situation or person. This was the year that anger and sadness clouded my days, polluted an otherwise happy existence.

What happens when you've read so many books your shelf is full, or prayed so many prayers that have gone unanswered, or cried so many tears over all of this that you just can't *anything* anymore? 10 years of suffering, 10 years of hurt and anger and resentment...and I'm still stuck, suffering and begging God to deliver me from this awful, dark hole. Anger has a hold on my heart, and I desperately need to break free. 

What happens when you desperately try to repair a relationship, pouring your heart and soul in to an apology, and the person shoves it all in your face? They don't want to forgive you, they don't want to admit their part in the failing of the relationship. You pray and you pray for God to help you accept this, but He doesn't answer...it's just quiet. The person has a negative opinion of you...they just don't like you and there's nothing you can do to change that. There is no way to repair the relationship because they don't have any desire to have a relationship with you at all. 

To a person like me, a highly emotional, empathic person, this is absolutely devastating. To be told there is nothing I can do, I'm just not liked...for a person to act like they could give a hoot about me, about my desperate efforts to understand what I did to make them so unhappy with me...it's like a death sentence to me. I have allowed myself to fixate on this very fact this year, and I'm so sick and tired of letting this run my life, letting this dictate my mood and feelings. 

This is my attempt to banish my anger and my hurt. I have no idea where to start or how to do this, but 2014 has GOT to be different. I am hopeful that I can leave all the negative in my heart back in 2013 and grow as a person in 2014. I am hopeful that I can recognize when I'm starting to fall in to old habits. 

This is the last time I'm going to speak about this. This is the last time I'm going to let these thoughts or these emotions around these particular situations take up any of my energy or time. I have to move on, and I'm hoping that I can do that successfully this year. Hopefully 2014 will be a year of renewal for me, and although I highly doubt that the situations/people I'm writing about will really ever be resolved, hopefully I can learn to move on and live my life without being consumed by the negativity surrounding them. 2014 is going to be the year I quit focusing on lost causes and start focusing on relationships and activities that enhance my life and that of my family.
Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: Women Living Well

Women Living Well
Courtney Joseph
Rating: Three Stars

I was really excited to review this book for Booksneeze. I follow Courtney's blog and I think she puts out such an amazing example of what it's like to be a Christian wife, following our husband's lead, and embracing our God-given role in marriage, family, and in life. In Women Living Well, Courtney takes the time to tackle issues such as parenting, home life, being a blessing to all those around us, embracing our roles as supporters/helpmates, and coping with living in a digital age. Not only that, Courtney uses several examples from her own life and plenty of Biblical references to further add to the book and ensure that what she is expressing is truly rooted in God's Word. 

For the most part, this book is wonderful. Courtney does a great job of explaining just how essential we are in our loved ones' lives, as well as how important it is to maintain a constant line of communication with God and strive to please Him. However, I do feel that she uses examples from her own life a little too much. Authors frequently use examples from their own lives to really drive home a point they're trying to make, and I get that. Seeing how someone has applied what they're saying in their own life can be very valuable, especially when the reader may not be too sure about what the author is saying. In part of the book there is a sequence of "marriage challenges" that Courtney lists out,  and in one of the challenges she, well, challenges the reader to pray for their husband. She then follows with an example that she uses symbols to remind her to pray for her husband, like when she looks at her wedding ring. Those types of things add to the understanding and that's not what I take issue with in this book, it's other ocassions where it seems like she wants to share her personal experience rather than how maybe God used her experience to work through her...I just felt like the book was *full* of her taking opportunities to talk about herself. I found that highly annoying and more than once had to skim past the part where she talked about herself to get to the point she was trying to make. 

With the exception of that, the book is actually quite good. I did really enjoy the marriage challenges part of the book, and it was nice to finally read something that did align with my core beliefs. It also feels nice to be validated as a submissive wife, a mother who truly believes my most important job *is* my family, and that it's okay to be a "Time Warp Wife". 

All in all, I would recommend this book, more as a "fun" read than an informative read. I give it three stars, and if you would like to read it yourself you can purchase it at Amazon. 

I was provided this book free of charge in return for my honest opinion. Anything written here is my own, personal opinion.