Monday, December 12, 2016

I'll Take Your $10!

There is no hiding the fact I like books.  It is impossible for me to imagine my life without books.  As far back as I can remember, there is a book.  I fondly remember my Papa reading to me, he'd do the voices (all different) and I can still feel myself in the book.  There is no telling how many books I've read (or heard read) in my forty-five years on this earth.  

In fact, recently I was doing a calming exercise and was told to close my eyes and envision "my happy place".  Immediately, I went to the beach, that is what I've always heard is the go-to "happy place".  Meh, not a fan of sand.  So, then I went to a green meadow...mist hovering above tall green grass...oh wait, there's flying bugs.  Bugs are distracting.  For a moment I just...sat.  Eyes closed, wondering where the heck my "happy place" was.

Quickly ditching the beach and meadow, I waited for the Super Brain to kick in.  And oh how it did.

A small room dimly lit by a flickering fire, a single wall sconce and a banker’s lamp on a large wooden desk.  Several overstuffed armchairs strategically placed, each with a small side table.  On every wall, from floor to ceiling, there were bookshelves filled with books neatly arranged.

Along with this vision were feelings of warmth, safety, calmness, and an overwhelming sense of peace.

When I was called back to reality, I found myself not wanting to leave.  “Can’t I just stay for a moment longer?”

Science Fiction and Fantasy are my genre of choice, but I will, and have, read all sorts of books.  Finance is probably my least favorite, but I’ve suffered through a few.  I read no less than five books while I was pregnant the first time, and at least one or two in the later pregnancies.  Of course, then there are the baby books, the toddler books, the adolescent books, the teen books (which are pointless unless the actual TEEN is reading them).  Books about history, picture books, and countless children’s books have lined my shelves.  Mystery, romance (blah), biographies, autobiographies, books about racehorses, and books about cats that are clans and live in a world that is actually just beyond your backyard.  I’ve read stories about the first human clans, Irish folklore, the spice trade, if the movie has a book, I’ve read the book (either before or after, doesn’t matter to me).

*Side note:  One of my favorite movies is Last of the Mohicans; never ever read the book.  Trust me.  It NEVER ties into the movie even remotely, and it’s terribly hard to read.

Poe, Hemmingway, Michener, Shakespeare, Wilder, and even Chaucer (just to say I did…) are some of the more notable authors that have graced my imagination with there beautiful gifts.  There are countless others I find equally fascinating and wonder why everyone doesn’t just love them as much as I do!

My second favorite genre is Self-Help, Learn To, Do-it-Yourself.  Learning is probably my second favorite pastime; though I wasn’t fond of school, go figure.  I have taught myself to knit and crochet, draw (well, sort of); I found the New Me in sixty days, even though it was only supposed to take twenty-one.  The 30-Days to a Clean House is gather dust…literally.  I’ve also learned to live with ADD, actually thrive with ADD.

For the last year and a half or more, my interest in books has pointed inwardly.  It has been less for entertainment, and more for understanding both others and myself.  It has been a wonderful journey, to say the very least.

Most of the books I am reading now have an accompanying spiral notebook that follows them around.  When I first began this journey of exploration, I needed a “hook”.  I like writing, even if it’s notes.  In learning how to harness the Super Brain, I found it needs something it likes to do to make doing what it doesn’t like to do more doable. Writing also helps me remember what I’ve read, could have used that little gem back in school…

Today, as I’m scrolling FaceBook, giving my hand a wrest after my morning time with God, I came across a post from a friend.  “Five Lies of” something?  I now forget.  Oh, I want to know the five lies!!  ~click~  Was an interesting read, I could see some points.  However, when I got to the end, you know, where I’m supposed to find the truth, I was left feeling a little misled.

Admittedly it was a bit annoying that this “article” was really an ad. I could find the “truth” for $10!  Great price for this guy to tell me the truth!  This of course made me laugh, and feel duped.  “Dude, I know the answers, and you ain’t the one that can give them to me and solve my problems!” is exactly what I said, out loud, to my screen.

Yes, I have read several books in the last year and a half.  I’ve written notes on hundreds of pages and gone through no less that twenty pens (the new vamped erasable pen is my FAV!!) all searching for the truth.  And I’m finding it!!

However, the truth isn’t coming from the book, or it’s author.  See, my books, all of them, are Bible based.  I know exactly where the truth comes from.  I know the best author that gives the most sage, sound, and proven-to-work advice.  And the most awesome part is that He already paid the price for me.

The whole $10 truth thing this morning made me realize something:  this is the first time I’ve read self-help books and have actually seen the change in me!  ~Insert light bulb here~ Why is that, you ask?  I will gladly tell you!  For free even!!

The truth about me, the truth about how I can overcome adversity, the truth about how to deal with conflict, the truth about taking care of myself, of loving myself, of accepting myself – there’s not a person on this planet that can give me that truth.  They don’t have that truth.  My truth, my help, comes from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God bless every author that has used his or her gifts from Him to help guide me to Him.  God bless them for doing the research, finding the Scripture, applying the Word to their own lives and sharing their testimony with me.  To God is the glory!

Self-help, 5-Ways to Fix XYZ, The Secret of…sure, these are all great things!  Read as many as you like, matter-o-fact, please read them!!  Life, living, parenting, friendships, loving, marriage, divorce, serving, these are all complicated things!!  To think, “meh, I don’t need help, I’m good” is shortsighted. 

Never settle!  Never stop striving to be better, to do better, to help better, to love better.  If you look at your life and there is a void, I bet there’s a book that can shed some light on your situation!  But know this, if you don’t have God sitting with you while you are reading, that void will remain no matter how many times you read the words.

God wants us to help ourselves in unity with Him!  If He is not first whom you seek, you will always be thirsty and hungry, tired and lonely, searching and not finding.  There is no person on earth that can make you whole.

John 6:63
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.