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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend Book Review

Do you have trouble putting up boundaries in your life?  Are you saying yes to people and secretly hating your inability to tell them no?  Do you feel pressured to have a friendship with someone even though they are using you?  Is there a family member that just causes so much drama in your life but you can't turn away from them because you feel guilty?

I have been in all those situations and am still dealing with a couple of them.  Boundaries was recommended to me by a friend and I'm so glad she told me about it.  It's probably been my most favorite book I've ever read.

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend do a phenomenal job pointing out biblically based answers to these tough questions and how to deal with the energy sucking relationships we have in our life.  They show us how to set up healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, coworkers, and even ourselves.  This book will help define who you are and who you are not and how to take control of your life.

Some of my favorite excerpts from this book are:

The Bible is full of examples of God asking people to "leave behind" the people and lives that are not good for them.  He asked the Israelites to leave Egypt to have a better life, but many of them kept looking back, holding on to what they thought was better.  We tend to hold on to the hope that "someday they will love me" and continue to get someone who is unable to love us to change.  This wish must be mourned and let go so that our hearts can be opened to the new things that God wants for us.

Many people have a problem with determining the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.  They fail to deal with external resistance because they feel that they have to give in to the other person again or they are not being forgiving.  Many people are afraid to forgive because they equate that with letting down their boundaries one more time and giving the other person the power to hurt them again.  The Bible is clear about two principles: (1)We always need to forgive, but (2) we don't always achieve reconciliation.  

We do not open ourselves up to the other party until we have seen that they have truly owned their part of the problem.  So many times Scriptures talks about keeping boundaries with someone until they own what they have done and produces "fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matt. 3:8).  True repentance is much more than saying "I'm sorry"; it is changing direction.  

Leaving SC to come to Maine has really allowed me to refocus on what type of boundaries I want to establish in my life.  I've learned my lesson from "friends" that used me, co-workers that took advantage of my inability to say no to an additional workload, and family members that can't form a healthy relationship because it has to be done their way.  This book showed me how to have an internal focus of confession and repentance, letting go of the guilt, and moving forward and taking a stand (I have actually said no to a person two times in the last month, which is huge step for me).  I'm excited to start establishing healthier friendships, stronger bonds with family members, and be a happier me!

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