When God Doesn’t Fix it

My November book recommendation is “When God Doesn’t Fix it.” By Laura Story. The tagline on her books reads: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths you Can’t Live Without.

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I don’t know if you have heard of her before but she wrote the song, “Blessings”. It is a beautiful song and the chorus goes,

“Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”

She wrote this song in the middle of her struggle. You see her life took an unexpected turn when her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor and after his surgery, he lost his short term memory. In the book, she walks us through her own story; she is very vulnerable and authentic which allows you to truly connect to her. But she does something else in the book that I love, she encourages us in the middle of our own struggles, when our lives have taken unexpected turns.

There are so many great things to share about this book so I will just choose 2 of them. First of all, she ends each chapter with a myth and then the truth! I found these to be very powerful. Here are some my favorites:

“Myth: The strength of my faith is based on how strongly I believe                                                                                       Truth: The strength of my faith is based on the strength of my God!”

“Myth: God can only use my story when there is a happy ending.                                                                                        Truth: God can use my story when I trust Him in the journey!”

“Myth: Contentment begins with understanding why                                                                                                             Truth: Contentment begins with asking How God might use this for His Glory!”

These myths vs. truths were so powerful and really challenged me. I hope they encourage you too!

The second thing that I want to share from the book is how God wants you to share your story, not just the highs but the lows too. We are all comfortable sharing our highlights just look on Facebook and you can see them but it is a lot harder to share our lowlights. Some of you may be struggling with infertility, or maybe you are in the middle of a broken relationship with a friend or a family member, or maybe you have just lost a loved one. You can be struggling financially or have a teenager/ young adult that is making poor choices or just went through a divorce like me. All of us have something in our lives that is difficult. In this book, Laura says, “The reason God wants me to tell my story isn’t because he wants me to be embarrassed talking about my lowlights or bragging about my highlights.   He wants me to tell my story because my story points to Jesus.”   I just love that! This has been such a huge and freeing thing for me when my life took an unexpected turn. My story can still be used by God and so can yours! I love it when Laura says, “God is the hero of my broken story. It is how God used the things that happened to me to draw me closer to him. That’s why he wants you to share your highs and lows too. It can be used to bring others closer to him.” Such amazing truth!

I don’t know where you are right now- whether you are in the middle of the rainstorm or just came out of it or maybe a storm is on the horizon! I highly recommend this book to you. I truly believe that our relationship with God grows in such a beautiful way during our storms and trials in our life. This is what I think her song, “Blessings” is all about. So I want to share her song with you today; it is truly beautiful! Below are the lyrics as well as a link so you can listen to it!

Let me end with a prayer:

God, Thank You that Your blessings can come through raindrops and that Your healing can come through tears! I pray healing and comfort over anyone hurting right now; anyone in the middle of the rain and not sure why they are in this unexpected turn in their life. I pray that they feel your comfort and love right now! I pray that they draw closer to you during this hard time because You are faithful! In Jesus Name, Amen

Love, Jodi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSVqHcdhXQ

“Blessings” Lyrics

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

(Chorus)
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Chorus

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Chorus

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

How We Love Our Kids

I love how God works! I had already chosen my October book recommendation and was looking forward to sharing it with all of you and then I got an email that my favorite women’s author wrote another children’s book. I ordered it and it arrived in the mail yesterday. I read it to my youngest child last night and just loved it; some of our discussions from it reminded me of one of my all time favorite parenting books. So, my October book recommendation has been changed to 1 children’s book and 1 book on parenting.

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Let’s start with the children’s book by Lysa Terkeurst called “Win or Lose I Love You!” It is an adorable story about these animals that compete in these forest games and it shows some of the many attitudes and reactions from kids when they either win or lose. One character whined, one complained, one got angry, one acted with grace and encouraged… It was fun for my son and me to identify which animal we thought we were most like in how we react and then to talk in more details about it. We had a great discussion!

This discussion continued as we talked more about coyote who gets extremely angry when he lost. After coyote gets so angry, he then says something very interesting to me. He says, “I ruined Field day. I‘m the worst animal in the forest.” This is what I found so interesting about his comment- coyote goes “all bad”. I don’t know if you are familiar with this phrase but I know you have seen it in your kids; it is when they start to see themselves as being bad instead of seeing that they made a bad choice. I think many kids go “all bad” when they don’t get their way, make mistakes, or struggle with their negative emotions.  I don’t know if you or your child can relate to this but both my son and I could. There are times when I have made a mistake as a mom and my mind goes “all bad” and I think negative thoughts like I am a horrible mother, I will never be patient with my kids… this negative thinking can go into a downward spiral very fast. My son has done this and he starts saying things like “I am dumb or no one loves me”…. at these times, I encourage both my son or myself to stop and feed some truth into our minds before we get too deep into a negative spiral. Some truth statements we say are, “I am special, my family loves me, God loves me.“ It was so cool that this book opened up so many great discussions; I highly recommend it and hope that you have some great discussions with your kids too!

As I was reading this book, I realized that both kids and adults struggle with dealing with our negative emotions. Emotional awareness is super important; identifying what I am feeling and then learning how to deal with these emotions. Well, this brings me to my second book recommendation; my favorite parenting book called “How We Love our Kids” by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. This book has been life changing to me and I hope it is life changing to you too! Honestly, I can spend hours talking to you about the truths in this book but let me focus on just one thing that I learned from this book: God designed and wired us for connection.   How do we feel this deep connection? When we truly listen, understand, empathize and offer comfort to someone. In this book, they talk about offering comfort to our kids in just 4 steps (MATS):

Mention what emotion you see.

Ask more about how they feel and validate it.

Touch- off your lap, share a hug, cover a hand.

Stay until the emotional need changes or is filled.

This will create a bonding moment! When you read the book, there is a parent toolbox in the back of the book where they talk more about the comfort cycle and how to really implement it! I am hear to tell you that it is truly amazing to be able to have these connecting conversations with your kids.  We want our kids to know that their main source of help and relief comes from people. We need to teach them the importance of receiving comfort relationally when they feel negative emotions like disappointment, anger, sadness, hurt, jealousy… This process does take time but is well worth it!! I will leave you with two final quotes from the book:

1) Self- awareness and the ability to self-reflect are essential to successful adult relationships. We have a simple important saying, “If you don’t know what you feel, you won’t know what you need.”

2) “Our ability to create strong relationships depends on whether we can regulate our emotions. Many experiences of comfort teach us to do just that.”

This book is truly life changing and I HIGHLY recommend it! Please let me know if you decide to get either book; I am always up to talking with you about them!

Love, Jodi