Tuesday, June 21, 2016
I initially picked Find Your Brave: Courage to Stand Strong When the Waves Crash In by Holly Wagner from a list of books to review because I saw that it used the story of Paul's shipwreck in Acts 27 to talk about the storms of life and how to handle the trials one faces.
Hey, that will be perfect! I thought. I'm reading through the She Reads Truth Acts study this summer and this book will give me deep insight into one passage.
And then life went sideways all around me. As it does. As it always will. And when this book came in the mail today I tried to set it aside, but I felt like I needed to read it so I picked it up after dinner and burned through it in two hours with a pencil tightly gripped in one hand.
It's one of my 'send a copy to all the people I love' books. It jumped on the list immediately when I thought of four people I wanted to pass it on to - well buy it for, I want to keep my marked up copy for myself - as I began texting quotes to friends.
Holly Wagner uses trials and experiences in her own life - breast cancer, financial hardship, marriage etc. - and the lessons she's learned from them to explore the idea of life storms and how to navigate them with spiritual strength and resources.
Wagner is kind, sympathetic and full of Biblical wisdom, but she is far from gentle in her encouragement to move through the storm and get to the shore - or other side. She expects readers to grow and change, and she provides practical, solid, Biblical advice to get readers through.
I like that Find Your Brave can be blazed through - as I did - and then referred to as storms arise, because as Wagner points out, getting through one storm does not mean the horizon is clear of storms for the remainder of one's days, or read and absorbed slowly. I know I did not gain all the knowledge this book has to offer. I will definitely read it again.
Wagner encourages readers to be anchored in faith, to find hope and courage, to be strong and refuse to quit. Every chapter applies to my life and what I am experiencing right now. And as I face a time when I don't know exactly how to proceed reading Find Your Brave gave me insight on how to move forward: basically the opposite of how my emotions were telling me to proceed. Of course.
Find Your Brave offers wisdom, insight, compassion, and strong Biblical references to support every recommendation and encouragement. I wish someone had put this book in my hands after Charlotte died, because it would have encouraged me and helped me to get through. I would have loved to read about how the purpose of getting through a storm is to get to the shore and help others who are hurting. I figured out that was some of the purpose - though not the reason - behind Charlotte's death eventually, but it took time.
About getting to the other side Wagner writes, "There are people on your shore as well, who need the life and presence of God that is in you. They need to find their brave. God is not looking down at you and me in our storms and feeling sorry for us. No! He is looking way down the road He has called us to travel. He sees a whole bunch of people He needs us to touch with His love. After all, we are His hands. So maybe you feel a bit weak and overwhelmed by all you've encountered (we've all been there), or maybe you think the storm has knocked you off course. Nope. You are in His hands. If you open your eyes, you will see lots of people around you - they are waiting for you to get up. You have made it through a tremendous storm, and other women out there need to know how you did it."
I think what I needed the most from this book tonight was the reminder that I am not in control of life - God is. He sees a bigger, better plan for my life than I can fathom. I'm a little bit stuck on the tiny bit of map I can see right now, but He holds the entirety of my life and the world's life expectancy in His hands and He knows exactly what He is doing. I can rest in the knowledge that I am His daughter and He will not fail me.
Find Your Brave is worth a read. It's worth ten reads. I loved this book.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Our favorite toy store on Etsy is extending a gift to you from now until April 23rd:
B loves the organic stacker toy he received for Christmas. I brought it out a few weeks ago, he can't get enough of it. I want to buy him a set of blocks, or maybe a few teethers, or a wooden car ...
Durable toys, excellent customer service, fast shipping. And Little Sapling Toys are gorgeous too!
Good toys to have on hand for baby showers and birthdays. Click HERE and buy for yourself or a friend! Use coupon code ANGEL10 at checkout to receive 10% off!