Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Anger by Thich Nhat Hahn

Anger was written by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk.  I would say it was a..... good book. Gave good insight and ways to confront anger. (I will get into the good in a second) However, it was a hard book for me to read. Not one that I just had to read.  I am having a hard time putting words into why so try to follow me here. I am not a vegetarian or do a lot of yoga or meditation, so some parts of the book were a little extreme for me.  For example, I am not going to talk to my 5 year old self and invite her to go for a hike with me.  I don't really believe that if a chicken dies angry and then I eat it I will become angry.  So, when I came across a part in the book that was weird for me I called my sister (that sent the book to me) and she would dumb it down a little for me.  There was a lot of good in the book though.  He taught that anger isn't something that just goes away. Everybody feels anger...even monks.  It is what we do with the anger and how we express it that is important.  We shouldn't act on anything when angry, but wait until we calm down to avoid doing or saying something to cause more damage.  If we can view our family and friends as someone who is suffering when they are angry we can help them instead of add to the anger.  Instead of me trying to explain any more here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.
"Many people look for happiness outside of themselves, but true happiness must come from inside of us."

"At the moment you become angry, you tend to believe that your misery has been created by another person. But by looking deeply, you may realize that the seed of anger in you is the main cause of your suffering. Many other people, confronted with the same situation, would not get angry like you."

"When someone is angry, and doesn't know how to handle her anger, she is helpless, she suffers....You realize that what she needs is help not punishment."

"When you understand the suffering of the other person, you are able to transform your desire to punish, and then you want only to help him or her."

"If you cannot accept yourself, if you cannot treat yourself with kindness, you cannot do this for another person."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I know! I know! Yes, I just read this.  Probably the last one on earth. I had heard so many good things about the book, but when it came out I figured I would just watch the movie (like I did with Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games).  But then after I started this blog my sister sent me the book and I was able to read it before I watched the movie. I never really understood it when people would say "the book was so much better than the movie."  And now I get it!  The movie was good, but you just get so much more from the book! More details, more character backgrounds and more storyline.  The Help was written in a way to give you different characters' perspectives of how it was to live in the south in the 1960's. It was a great reminder of how happy I am to have been born when I was.  The idea of living in a time where the color of your skin dictated who you could talk to, where you lived and what bathroom you used breaks my heart. The basic belief you are less of a person because of your skin color is so hard to wrap my brain around and am so thankful I wasn't raised in that generation. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Screamfree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel

By the title of this book I am sure you are thinking I must be one of "those" parents.  My daughter is still young so we haven't quite hit that point, but I have been noticing how I let my emotions be dictated by what kind of day she is having.  I get frustrated, overwhelmed and lose patience and blame her for it.  So that is where this book comes in.  It is more about getting yourself under control no matter how others around you are acting.  Screamfree Parenting is not just for the screamers, but also for those that disconnect from the situation or those who overcompensate.  The author teachers how to calm yourself down while staying connected and not become a reactive parent. 

Growing up my family had a New Year's tradition of writing things we wanted for the next year: goals, school achievements, boys we liked, weight loss, whatever. Then we would seal it up and hide it until the next year.  Not too long ago my dad found one that had been lost so we got to open them and see what we wrote as kids.  I think I was about 10ish.  One of my goals was to quit swearing! Again I was 10 (I blame it on softball). I pretty much have been trying to quit swearing my entire life but have failed.  I always felt like when I got angry swearing helped me release my anger and then I could move on.  Now that my little girl is repeating everything I say I have set the goal again not to cuss.  I have a little "No Swearing Chart" on my fridge and every night I mark down how many times I cussed (out loud) that day.  I started counting in June with a shocking 72. July was much better with 25. I killed it in August with only 12.  And so far 2 for September.  Best part is I can't remember the last time my daughter heard me cuss.  Her new favorite line is "shoot shoot shoot" and I am so glad I didn't say what I really wanted to say or she would have picked right up on that!  Anyways...what I am noticing is that the more I control my cussing the more I control my temper.  I thought the cussing had to happen to get my frustration out but in reality the cussing just fueled the fire. I can see exactly what Hal Edward Runkel is talking about. Focusing and controlling myself makes a happier house.

This doesn't mean Hazel is happy 100% of the time, but I can deal with her bad days better. And this doesn't mean I have perfected controlling myself, but am learning and trying every single day.     

Favorite Quotes from Screamfree Parenting:
"Even if you could control your kids, should you?"
"What every kid wants are parents who can keep their cool, even when things get hot."
"Your goal is not to control. Your goal is to influence."
"With children, past performances is never a guarantee of future results."
"No one is ever ALWAYS something."
"You are your children's biggest influence, and what you think and say about them may shape them more than any other force in the universe."
"You cannot take care of your family unless you first tend to yourself."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ensign - September 2012


I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints aka Mormons.  Every month they publish a magazine called the Ensign with spiritual talks, messages, stories, etc. This month there was a nice message by one of the apostles Elder Quentin L. Cook called Restoring Morality and Religious Freedom.  There are 2 quotes I would like to share that caught my attention.

"You must not be in camouflage as to who you are and what you believe." This of course stuck out to me as a hunter's wife. Most of my closets are filled with camo! So it just makes sense.  Don't hide what I believe!

"There are some who feel that venting their personal anger or deeply held opinions is more important than conducting themselves as Jesus Christ taught. How we disagree is a real measure of who we are and whether we truly follow the Savior. It is appropriate to disagree, but not appropriate to be disagreeable. If we show love and respect even in adverse circumstances, we become more like Christ."  This couldn't have come at a more perfect time in my life.  This is something I sometimes have a hard time with. Mainly when it comes to my family.  I always mean well, but I do tend to give my opinion maybe more than it is needed.  For example, my sister called to update me on her life. It started out as a nice conversation and ended with me lecturing her on some choices.  By the time we hung up I was worried she was going to never talk to me again! So here is my question to you. How do you give your opinion without crossing the line? How do you bring the love of the Savior when sharing something you think is right? Should you give advice or just keep your mouth shut? How do you disagree without being disagreeable?  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson

To say this book was inspiring would be an understatement.  Stephanie Nielson tells her story of getting married, starting a family, living a happy life and then the terrible day that changed everything.  Her and her husband were in a plane crash in Arizona and she was burned over 80% of her body.  She tells of her darkest hours and how she was able to get through it all.  Here are just a few things I learned/was reminded of in this book.

1. Family is Everything. While Stephanie spent months in the hospital her family took care of her and her kids. That is the best part of families. We may not always get along, but I know my family is 100% there for me and I would be there for them. There is no other bond like family!
2. Hold on to your faith. Sometimes in the darkest times it is easy to lose faith and even blame God for the bad. But that is when we need Him the most.
3. We are strong. Do I think I could make it through what Stephanie did...Nope, but we are stronger than we think. This past year has been one of my hardest. There were moments I didn't think I could take much more. I spent a lot of time on me knees praying for strength and God has continued to carry me along.
4. Happily ever after.  The road to get there may be bumpy, painful, scary and hard but it will all be worth it when we make it there.    

Here goes nothing...

I have never been much of a reader or good with writing. So this could end up being the most boring blog ever, but what is the worst that could happen! Now that I am a stay-at-home mom I need something to do while my daughter is napping besides watching TV.  I know there is plenty that I should be doing but I have learned I need to recharge my battery and just have some quiet time too. I also come from a big family but don't live close to home right now, so by blogging what I am reading about it will keep them up to speed with what I am up to.
Not sure what kind of books I was even interested in, I turned to my facebook friends and got a lot of suggestions.  I started in July with a few murder mysteries by Harlan Coben. They were entertaining, but ended up giving me bad dreams...which is easy to do. I also just felt like I was wasting time.  I want to be learning, growing spiritually or working on ways to better myself during my down time. 
So if anybody decides to follow my blog I hope I can share some good books with you. However this blog is not really for reviewing books. It is more about sharing what I am learning.

PS. Did my blog title bring back memories for anybody? California Raisins rap - Books: Check Em Out