Enjoyed, current, and possible next, November 28, 2021

Enjoyed and current read are both in the same series.

Not Until Forever: A Christian Romance (Hope Springs Book 1)

As she focuses on her career, Sophie doesn’t let herself think about what she gave up when she declined Spencer’s proposal five years ago. So when she’s called home to say goodbye to her dying grandmother, she goes out of her way to avoid seeing him. Of course, that means he’s the first person she runs into. Much as she fights against it, being near him stirs up old feelings and makes her question old decisions.

Leaving college to help on the family orchard cost Spencer the woman he loved. But he couldn’t turn his back on his family. Now that Sophie’s back in town, Spencer’s determined to protect his heart. Only he senses something new in Sophie—something that makes him think maybe they could have a second chance. But when his family needs him again, he feels like he’s repeating the past. Only this time, he’s not sure what choice he should make.

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Book one was a pleasurable read and I am looking forward to more enjoyment as I finish Book 5. Those in between these two have been previously read and enjoyed.

Not Until Christmas Morning: A Christian Romance (Hope Springs Book 5)

Leah has always been a fixer. That’s why she decided to foster a troubled teen. And it’s why she’s determined to give him the perfect Christmas. It might also be why she feels compelled to reach out to her grinchy, reclusive neighbor Austin. But she’ll have to be careful that reaching out doesn’t turn into something more—she’s been hurt by crossing the line from friendship to romance once, and she’s not willing to let it happen again.

After losing his leg, his friend, and his faith in Afghanistan, Austin figures he’s about as broken as they come. Hope Springs is simply a stopping point—a place to rehabilitate his leg, get over the burden of his PTSD, and get back into shape to redeploy. He has no desire to get to know anyone while he’s here, least of all the meddlesome—if sweet—woman next door. But when she calls on him to help her make Christmas special for her foster son, something compels him to relent. Soon, his heart belongs to both of them.

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Under consideration for next in line, there are two.

Non fiction – Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition.

Fiction – The Bridge

Final notes on Love Like You`ve Never Been Hurt November 28, 2021

Chapter Six is about Loving-Kindness.

To catch the full impact of the chapter you need to read the book. My notes are never comprehensive, they are short quotes that capture the essence of a thought standing out to me. Something that grabs my heart.

Page 102

If you want to love like you`ve never been hurt, get rid of bitterness and start being kind.

Being kind means treating people with respect, apologizing sincerely, and stop criticizing. Doing this all the time.

Page 162

Forgiveness is important in loving but the other side of it is “I`m sorry.“

If you want to reconcile a relationship, you must be willing to say “I`m sorry.“

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This book has many good things to say to us, they are just not always on topic. That`s why skimming to the end for the sake of the topic seems like a good idea for now.

I`ll share a few of the relevant thoughts outlined on Page 226

Key Principles Designed to Help You Love.

  • Love never fails. Choose love over hurt.
  • It`s never wrong to love people who have messed up.
  • It`s unforgivable to not forgive.
  • We can begin to love others when we love ourselves.
  • We are called to be kind.
  • Instead of fanning the flames of discord become a peacemaker.

And a little more.

Page 228

Offenses are inevitable. No one is exempt.

Some of us look at opposition as a bad thing.

Opposition can cause you to face things and do things you could not have done, had you not had the opposition.

Bottom line.

Never give up.

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That is the end of this book.

As mentioned earlier, many helpful things were shared in this book and it has been a good read even though it strayed off topic a fair bit. It was written by a pastor with real life experiences not a psychologist so that explains why the perspective is different.

I enjoyed this exercise of sharing a non-fiction book with you.

There are still a number of unread books similar to this on my shelf and I`m planning to choose another one to continue on with this experiment.

It gives me the extra incentive needed to get with it and read instead of allowing them to sit and pile up.

My hope is that you will also find these books helpful as you travel on your personal healing journey.

P.S. as I read back over this post I`m reminded of a book I read years ago.

The flavor of this post is all about changes within us. This thought is reminding me of a book called Lord Change Me.

Really, in the end the only person we can change is ourselves. I know it sounds unfair but it is reality. Changes have to come from inside us, external pressures accomplish little most of the time. We cannot force someone else to want to change

Changing ourselves, especially in the areas of forgiving and loving, has a positive effect on the atmosphere of a relationship. Change begets change.

It pays to embrace change for ourselves.

Notes on Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Nov 20, 2021

Continuing on from where we left off last time. A few more relevant quotes.

Self condemnation: page 84

When we let lies overrule love, it affects those around us. We tend to take out our frustrations, lack of self-worth, shame or guilt on those we love. We cannot possibly love like we’ve never been hurt if we do not love ourselves.

another very important quote, same page:

If you struggle with shame, you may have trouble extending grace to others. If you struggle with finding self-worth, you may find it difficult to trust those around you.

Page 88:

We wear all sorts of things that keep us in bondage. Shame. Condemnation. Brokenness. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. Unforgiveness.

We are living in a mental cage. Page 89

Imprisoned with painful memories, with failures from the past, with self-sabotaging thoughts, with fear of an uncertain future.

Page 90:

When you start believing the lies about who you are, you begin to destroy your destiny.

How to change the channel?

That will be tomorrow’s topic.

These quotes are not the whole story, we need to read the book to see the full picture.

Well, I’m reading the book. I’m sure you will find it helpful too.

Bargain books November 19, 2021

Two suggestions today, from BookBub and 1531 Entertainment.

The first one is mystery and the second historical romance.

Collision of Lies 

Three years ago, a collision between a fast-moving freight train and a school bus full of kids led to devastation and grief on an unimaginable scale. But a fresh clue leads San Antonio police detective Amara Alvarez to the unlikely conclusion that one of the children may still be alive. If she’s correct, everything law enforcement believes about the accident is a lie.

With time running out, Amara must convince others–and herself–that despite all evidence to the contrary, the boy lives. And she will do everything in her power to bring him home.

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To Discover Her Heart’s Longing: A Historical Western Romance Book 

Amy Richardson never imagined that staying at the orphanage she called home would put her at such risk. When she realizes that someone from her past isn’t ready to let her go, her future suddenly becomes uncertain. Forced to flee west in hopes of starting over, little does she know that things are about to get even more complicated. Arriving in a new town to meet her husband-to-be, she is shocked to find that he has no idea of her existence…

Will Amy ever find the safety she longs for in this new place?

After his father’s death, Peter McKelvey never intended to get married. So when his mother shows up with Amy as a mail-order bride arranged on his behalf, he is stunned. Seeing Amy’s dismay at his reaction though, he can’t bring himself to turn her away and hires her as a cook on his ranch. Yet as he begins to realize that she could be in very real danger, keeping his distance from Amy may not be possible if he wants to keep her safe…

Will Peter allow himself to care for Amy and even open up his heart to love?

With an unexpected bond between Peter and Amy growing, so do the challenges that face them. As they try to deal with the threats coming their way, Amy is still keeping secrets… Will Peter and Amy manage to trust each other and their budding feelings? Or will they lose everything to ghosts from the past?

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It has been a bit of a mixed up day. In many ways upsetting.

It seems like difficult situations stir things up in a way that we are forced to see elements of our life in a new light.

It’s easy to think I’ve made a lot of progress in my abusive healing journey and it’s a major shock when unexpected triggers happen.

I don’t pretend to be rational when that happens. I know I am a pro at knee jerk reactions.

It’s hard to know for sure what is reflex and what is me standing up for myself.

The trouble is it’s likely some of both.

The beauty of living alone in isolation is the absence of triggers. Social situations are a minefield especially when the interaction is between badly wounded souls. We understand better than most but we also trigger each other.

The desire to walk away is very real.

I’m sure you can guess my choice.

Now I’m thinking through the event trying to see how I can learn from it and do better in the future.

I would say other than that it’s been a good day but I can’t. It hasn’t been the worst day of my life but…

I’m gonna go finish my book. Drown my sorrows.

It’s the weekend, that’s encouraging.

Notes on Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Nov 18, 2021

This experience, reading through this book, has been beneficial.

Right off the hop, we have the first quote and there’s no disputing the truth of it.

Page 71: Forgiveness holds the key to freedom, to healing, to wholeness.

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Page 75: – Forgiveness does not mean you forget what happened.

Page 76: – Forgiveness does not release the offender from consequences.

Page 77: – Forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation.

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Page 79: Forgiveness is a decision. Choose to forgive.

Practical steps to allow forgiveness to happen.

Open your heart. Extend compassion. But most importantly…

Release the person from the prison you put them in inside your heart.

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The final quote is a useful admonition. Bottom of Page 79

Do not run away from forgiveness. Run to forgiveness. It is a great friend. If you choose to forgive, your heart will heal.

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I’ve noticed several common qualities in those of us struggling to forgive.

We build protective walls. Massive protective walls.

We are imprisoned with our words. (I will never, I can’t…)

We imprison our offenders in our hearts. As long as they dwell locked up inside of us we can never forgive.

Letting them out of our prison doesn’t do anything to free them but it surely does something to free us.

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Enjoy the book.

Grasp and enjoy freedom.

Notes on Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Nov 17/21

Installment # 2

I wish I could quote large chunks to help make sense of these quotes. Just know that in context this becomes much clearer. I’m sure your mind can come up with the appropriate scenario and enlargement for each one of them.

Page 35: If you have been hurt by someone — if you been betrayed, abused, abandoned, gossiped about, whatever — there comes a time when you have to pull yourself from the pain of that situation and say, “Enough is enough”

Reliving the memory and hanging on to the pain is counter productive.

Page 37: God wants to heal you from your wounds, but first you have to let Him.

And before you let Him, you have to admit to your brokenness.

Page 71: I have noticed that when people struggle with unforgiveness, it shows. This is an absolute: Hold on to a grievance or hate as if your life depended on it, and I will show you emotional, spiritual and even physical decay.

Research shows people who dwell on an offense regularly tend to have high blood pressure and increased muscle tension.

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You’ve probably noticed the spread between the second and third quotes. Basically the discussion in the in-between pages was focused on forgiveness. I think the final quote sums it all up quite nicely.

As a teen and young adult I was offended when the current doctor offered an opinion that my digestive issues were psychosomatic. I was offended each time. I thought they were telling me it was all in my head. I was imagining things. 

I was relieved years later, when I realized what they were really telling me was that my physical distress was being caused by my emotional anxiety. It was all very real, there just was not a physical reason behind it.

I think most of us are so caught up in our emotional pain that we barely notice what’s happening to our bodies. Sometimes our body has to yell to catch our attention. Sometimes that yelling is a major wake-up call and we are left wishing we had noticed sooner.

Jentezen Franklin is trying to encourage us to pay attention, he is hoping to provide useful tools for needed changes.

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I’m working on paying attention. I hope you are too.

More to follow.

Check out the book for more insights.

Notes from Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Nov 16

There is so much in this book. I’d have to quote the whole thing to share every shred of life giving wisdom. Since that is not possible, I’ll share a few nuggets. You will have to get the book to fill in the blanks.

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Page 16: When we seek to love God, love ourselves and love others, we can learn to love despite what happened in the past. We can mend brokenness that has plagued our families for generations.

Page 17: Many of us fail to realize that what matters most in life is relationships. (not power, fame, riches, social standing, things)

Page 26: To move forward you have to let go of the past. … If you will reach for a new day, God will begin, little by little, to release you from the past. … This means loving so intensely that it overrides all your natural instincts for bitterness and revenge.

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Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt: Hope, Healing and the Power of an Open Heart

I feel like the little bit I’ve shared from this book doesn’t begin to fill the need for explanation.

Love heals is something I’m hearing from many directions these days and I’ve found it to be true.

Love and hate can’t exist in the same body, at least not very well, it’s just not possible. As we work on growing the love portion in us the hate part will diminish and disappear. The best part of it is: the peacefulness of love makes life worth living.

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The discussion in this book is relevant to some of the conversations I’ve been in lately and that is very encouraging.

Enough so that I will be back looking for a few more nuggets to share next time.

Seriously, get the book if your life needs to hear these words, you won’t be sorry.

Wishing you the very best on your journey to wellness.

Current Read “How can I ever really forgive?” November 15, 2021

Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt, now that’s something many of us can relate to. Having been hurt.

This book has been out in the open on a shelf for a number of years. Tonight I decided I need to read one of the many non fiction books I’ve been stock piling the last few years. The name of this one popped into my mind before I could even cross the room.

It’s something, because as I read the first two pages I found a conversation pretty much like the one I’ve been having with a friend recently. Hurt, betrayal, pain, a universal problem.

This book talks about all of that and it includes the author’s personal story of pain. Lending credibility because he has walked this road himself.

Jentezen Franklin is a well known public figure and his story is out there but this time it is his telling.

I learned of him in an interview on a popular podcast. I was impressed and bought his book the first chance I got. In paperback so I could mark it up and take better notes.

I’m looking forward to this read. I think it will answer a lot of questions and probably raise a few more.

Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt: Hope, Healing and the Power of an Open Heart

The human heart was created with a great capacity to love. But along with that comes a great capacity to feel pain. There is no denying that those who love us, who are closest to us, can wound us the most profoundly. That kind of pain can be difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. And it can feel even more impossible to continue loving in the face of it. Yet that is exactly what we are called to do.

Sharing his own story of personal pain, pastor and New York Times bestselling author Jentezen Franklin shows us how to find the strength, courage, and motivation to set aside the hurt, see others as God sees them, and reach out in love. Through biblical and modern-day stories, he discusses different types of relational disappointment and heartache, and answers questions such as Why should I trust again? and How can I ever really forgive?

The walls we build around our hearts to cut us off from pain are the very walls that block us from seeing hope, receiving healing, and feeling love. Here are the tools and inspiration you need to tear down those walls, work through your wounds, repair damaged relationships, and learn to love like you’ve never been hurt.

Resources PTSD related October 31, 2021

An ongoing discussion today prompts the sharing of these resources for those of us with abusive backgrounds. The effects can be far reaching but not beyond help.

I was introduced to these books when I joined a group working with other women like me, and they were invaluable. A public library may even be a good place to find these.

The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today’s Generation

In Codependent No More, Melody Beattie introduced the world to the term codependency. Now a modern classic, this book established Beattie as a pioneer in self-help literature and endeared her to millions of readers who longed for healthier relationships. Twenty-five years later concepts such as self-care and setting boundaries have become entrenched in mainstream culture. Now Beattie has written a followup volume, The New Codependency, which clears up misconceptions about codependency, identifies how codependent behavior has changed, and provides a new generation with a road map to wellness.

The question remains: What is and what is not codependency? Beattie here reminds us that much of codependency is normal behavior. It’s about crossing lines. There are times we do too much, care too much, feel too little, or overly engage. Feeling resentment after giving is not the same as heartfelt generosity. Narcissism and self-love, enabling and nurturing, and controlling and setting boundaries are not interchangeable terms. In The New Codependency, Beattie explores these differences, effectively invoking her own inspiring story and those of others, to empower us to step out of the victim role forever. Codependency, she shows, is not an illness but rather a series of behaviors that once broken down and analyzed can be successfully combated.

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Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

In a crisis, it’s easy to revert to old patterns. Caring for your well-being during the coronavirus pandemic includes maintaining healthy boundaries and saying no to unhealthy relationships.

The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America’s best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent–and you may find yourself in this book–Codependent No More. The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America’s best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

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Along with these two books this next one is important companion book

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Do you feel like your life has spiraled out of control? Have you focused so much on being loving and unselfish that you’ve forgotten your own limits? Do you find yourself taking responsibility for other people’s feelings and problems? In Boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend teach you the ins and outs of setting the boundaries that will transform your daily life.

Boundaries, a New York Times bestseller, will give you the tools you need to learn to say yes and know how to say no. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend are here to share the lessons they’ve learned in their years of practicing psychology and studying the patterns and practices that support clear biblical boundaries.

C-PTSD conversation October 28, 2021

Walls or Boundaries?

This week I have been thinking about walls.

The emotional walls many of us put up to protect ourselves from hurt (emotional) or harm (physical).

The trouble with those walls – they don’t just keep out the bad stuff, they keep out the good stuff too.

Some of us have flimsy walls that go up and down, depending on what life is doing to us in the moment.

Others have walls that have grown in thickness and height enough to compare with Fort Knox. That’s the famous institution where the USA keeps it’s gold bullion. The ultimate in fortress walls.

The thicker and higher, the harder it is to bring them down, never mind let someone in for a moment. A very lonely life.

At this stage for me, I have walls that go up and down. They are mostly down but there are still circumstances where I feel threatened, at risk, distrustful, and the walls go up.

A small percentage of the time they may be warranted but the rest of the time the threat I perceive is not real.

I’ve being trying to find a solution, a way to handle triggers and paranoia in certain circumstances and that led me to thinking about boundaries.

The beauty of boundaries is the height. They can be markings on the road, they can be curbs, guardrails, fences. They are usually something that allows for communication and interaction while still acting as a barrier.

I think changing from walls to boundaries will take some serious consideration. A change in mindset.

I haven’t figured it all out yet. How to establish something appropriate and workable. Since we don’t actually have physical boundaries it has to be something that can be expressed in words. Something I can live with and put into practice.

Mostly I feel uncomfortable in public spaces. It will be a challenge to find ways to make that work. What would it take to make me feel safe.

At this point I have no idea what that would even look like but I’m willing to consider it.

Mainly because walls are not working out all that well for me, wanting to leave isolation behind.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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This is a book I’ve had on my shelf for a very long time. I think I need to read it again. Maybe it will give me some good ideas.

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Boundaries is the book that’s helped over 4 million people learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of their lives.

Does your life feel like it’s out of control? Perhaps you feel like you have to say yes to everyone’s requests. Maybe you find yourself readily taking responsibility for others’ feelings and problems. Or perhaps you focus so much on being loving and unselfish that you’ve forgotten your own limits and limitations. Or maybe it’s all of the above.

In the New York Times bestseller, Boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend help you learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of your life and set healthy, biblical boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, parents, co-workers, and even yourself.

Now updated and expanded for the digital age, this book continues to help millions of people around the world answer these tough questions:

  • Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
  • What are legitimate boundaries?
  • How do I effectively manage my digital life so that it doesn’t control me?
  • What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
  • How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
  • Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
  • How do boundaries relate to mutual submission within marriage?
  • Aren’t boundaries selfish?