May 13, 2010

Starting a New Book,..Strong Women Soft Hearts

There is an on-line book discussion going on here That is how I heard about this book,...Strong Women Soft Hearts written by Paula Rinehart. I am checking in here and there at the bloom book club, but I am reading the book on my own. This book has a lot of depth to it, in fact the first several pages reminded me of a Henri Nouwen book. The gist of the book is being a woman who lives with passion, but with a wise heart. This book has already spoken great insights, here is an exert from page 14.


"Some of our wounds, though, are inflicted by others. A husband walks off after 25 yrs of marriage and you are left to pick up the pieces. Or a drunk driver leaves you with months of physical therapy and a stack of bills. Or the s*xual abuse suffered at the age of twelve becomes the reason you stay clear of men. It is easy to build small lives around the pain we encounter, to get lost in one thread of the plot of the story and miss the big theme. We can, unfortunately, build a monument to our woundedness. We can shape an identity around the things we've suffered. But somewhere in this, our hearts become frozen in place and the real life God has given becomes hidden, even to us.

The shrinking of our lives is like living in a beautiful old home, where we are meant to have access to every room and fresh breezes blowing throughout-only our response to the pain of life is to let guilt and fear and shame take up residence there, until we quietly shut the door to room after room of our souls. There's nowhere left to live, except perhaps the front parlor where we receive guests who are never invited in much farther, and with whom we exchange only polite pleasantries. All the while, we wonder how on earth we have come to be so lonely." That is the tragedy of becoming a stranger to your own heart.


I loved those two paragraphs....I wish I would have known in my teens, 20's and early 30's that I was not defined by my circumstances. I think of all those years living in the prison of fear, fear of not being good enough, not being loved, not being who others wanted me to be. For those of us who live our lives as pleasers fear can be a great big rock that hangs over your head. I wish I knew that the fear wasn't real. It was something that was born in my head and held me captive, it was a ploy to keep me living in a tiny little room where there was a beautiful old home just waiting for me. The gift I have been given is to see that my thoughts kept me captive for years....Jesus Christ came to earth to set the captives indeed. Whenever those lies about myself or fear creeps in I just need to compare it to the truth from scripture to see that there is no place for that in my life as a follower of Christ. Living a passionate life with a wise heart is what I strive to do with God's help...every. single. day. A life that is lived well. With God's help each day is a new adventure.

Looking forward to a good read.