Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Worn out Woman

For the month of February I completed the book, The Worn out Woman by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray. First thing I want to mention is the layout of this book. Each chapter is individual so that you don't have to read it from front to back, you can skip around and it doesn't take anything away from it's integrity. I found that very useful since there were some things I knew I was struggling with right now so I jumped ahead to read those specific chapters first. The author offers some good insight into what causes this worn out tendency in women and has some real practical suggestions on how to combat it. The main theme was that positive thinking and planning, and a right relationship with the Lord, really go a long way to peace and tranquility. This book is chalk full of inspirational/uplifting quotes, here are some of my favorite:

"I cannot give you the formula for success,
but I can give you the formula for failure....
which is : Try to please everyone."
- Herbert Bayard Swope (pg 41)

"It's never too late to be what you might have been."
- Mary Ann Evans (pg 65)

"Kind words can be
short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless."
- Mother Teresa (pg 103)

"He who cannot forgive another
breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself."
- George Herbert (pg 155)

"Worry is like a rocking chair.
It will give you something to do,
but it won't get you anywhere."
- Author Unknown (pg 167)

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right, if I surrender to His will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen. "
- Reinhold Niebuhr (pg 171)

"From now on I am going to grab the good times with both arms.
I am going to walk outside and feel the sun on my face and
learn to laugh, really laugh again.
Most of all, I'm going to take the love that comes my way
and hold on to it for dear life. Sometimes we don't need
new scenery, just new eyes."
- Dawn Miller (pg 18)

My favorite chapter is where they address adjusting your focus. If we dwell on the negative, we become negative, which leads us down the road to the worn out syndrome. Here are the strategies they list to combat negative thinking:

~Filter your input. What we watch on TV, read on the Internet, listen to on the radio affect the way that we think and feel
~Feel your feelings, but don't depend on them. Feelings are important, but often inaccurate.
~ Put away negative thoughts. Stop dwelling on those thoughts that pop into our heads.
~Meditate on truth and beauty. Memorize positive scripture.
~Limit your complaining. Continually talking about the negatives just reinforces them in your head.
~Cultivate positive friends. Beware of the tendency to feed your misery by spending too much time with miserable people.

It's so easy as a mom of little ones to get worn out because this job requires a lot of sacrifices and very little thanks at times. I found this book to be tremendously encouraging. We definitely hold the key within ourselves (and with the Lord's help) to break out of the worn out cycle. A recommended read indeed.

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