Book Review | I’m Happy for you (Sort Of…Not Really) by Kay Wills Wyma

wpid-41bf-bdnj9l._sy344_bo1204203200_.jpg.jpeg

I loved this book!  Kay Wills Wyma has such a way with words.  The topic is one that women everywhere can relate to, and I love the humor she infuses into her stories.  In answering a question that makes most of us squirm, she really points us in the right direction of how to recognize when we are in the business of comparison, but also what it says about us, and how to deal with our insecurities that are motivated by our socially driven culture in America.

One of the stories she shared was about having women over in her home for bible study, and then all of the sudden getting consumed with the idea that her girlfriend Alyssa opened the fridge and found whatever shape the lettuce was in that had been placed in a towel from possibly two weeks prior!  I could not stop laughing.  I’ve had similar moments when I’ve realized there were chicken parts in the garbage and a friend just lifted the lid!

If you’ve not had that type of panic moment in the presence of other women, you may not get the gist of this book, but there are so many other examples she illustrates that I’m sure you’ll connect with.

I highly recommend this book for the pure joy of laughing at the parts of ourselves we wish we didn’t have. But I also recommend reading it to see how she redirects us back to the arms of our Father for comfort and contentment.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher’s Blogging for Books book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




 


Book Review | The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny and Jerry Jenkins

I recently finished reading my first ever sports book!  Though I tend to read novels, thrillers and Christian help books, I wanted to challenge myself to read something outside of my normal scope, and I was pleasantly surprised at this easy read.

The Matheny Manifesto was the name of a letter that Mike Matheny wrote to parents of a group of Little Leaguers that he was coaching in 2008.  He read it out loud to them during a meeting, and though it was met with resistance at first, it proved to be beneficial for all of the children, parents and himself.  It became a code for life that he lived by.

This book is peppered with eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness and humility.  Mike uses stories of baseball greats that he has encountered, or admired over the years and built a framework for life from their examples.  He brought their ideas and lessons learned to each baseball practice and helped to build stronger players as a result.  His own career is also highlighted in the book, along with some mishaps  and disagreements, but both are necessary to show how he dealt with these instances.

 I highly recommend this book to anyone who is seeking how to help raise children in our time, since the truths of this book are still applicable to today.  These truths don’t just apply to baseball.  The mindset learned by these characteristics affect our life choices, how we interact with those in authority and how we perceive disaster.  Mike points to his Christianity in times of trials, and that is always the best direction to go.  If you love baseball, you’re in for an extra treat, as you journey with Mike.  And remember, “Nothing worth doing right is easy.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher’s Blogging for Books book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller

scary close coverDonald Miller is on a search again for deepening human value and connection.  In his newest read, he readily admitted he had issues within himself that were preventing him from connecting with others in a beneficial way.  This book expounds on the journey he took to answer some deep questions about his struggle, and how he came to process his need to just live instead of pleasing everyone.  Through counseling with trusted friends, observing interactions between other friends and their home lives, and a program through Onsite (http://www.onsiteworkshops.com/), he was able to identify some clear reasons with his inability to connect.

One thing he said that really hit me, was “Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either.”  To me, it was pretty clear-cut and profound, but I’m not sure even Donald realized how close to his sharing of the gospel he came!  Donald made a remark that should simply point us to the cross, and then to the saving grace of Jesus and why we extend that same grace to others.

Prior to this revelation, he was unable to receive love from his new fiance, Betsy, and his rejection of her attempts was proof of him wearing a mask that was shown for the purpose of keeping his true self safe.  He couldn’t be vulnerable.  I can’t say why, as that would be a breach of your reason to read the book.  But what I can say is that there is a part of us all that can identify with wearing masks to stay safe in front of people we think have expectations for us.  And instead of outward approval, we just need grace.

This book reads as a philosophical memoir, as Donald shares personal conversations, interactions and revelations.  He admits to some insights coming from his faith and the Bible, but predominantly he comes to conclusions based on books he’s read that describe theories from other men in the same emotional mature state.

It left me wanting to sit down with Donald myself.  I would love to share that while I appreciated his growth stages, and I loved that he was finally able to take off the mask to be exposed for the man he really is, I want to share with him who Jesus really is.  It seems like some of the roadblocks he was encountering could simply be changed by deepening his reading of the Word, and trusting in God instead of feeling like he has to have a plan for everything.  Then again, maybe Donald hasn’t had his light bulb a-ha moment yet.  Maybe he’s wading into the water with this book, which ends on his wedding day, and now, God will be tugging on his heart as he seeks to serve his wife in a godly manner.  Maybe Donald will begin to seek God differently and realize that worldly wisdom, though helpful at times, will always leave us wanting something even deeper than counseling sessions and ninety-day business plans.  Overall, I appreciate his honesty, simple insights, basic truths and his ability to be transparent in his journey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers (http://booklookbloggers.com) book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”