Friday, 19 October 2012

Book Review - Calm My Anxious Heart - by Linda Dillow

Book Review
Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow

I stumbled across this book via my Kindle. I am a self confessed self help book junkie and I am always looking for some wise words to inspire. Written by a lady by the name of Linda Dillow, this book has a very religious flavor so it was a little left of centre for me. I found it to be filled with some wonderful advice on contentment and acceptance. You can replace the word "God" with whatever you feel comfortable with, "universe"or "higher power", regardless of your beliefs, this book is full of relevant wisdom for us all.

Some of my favorite quotes:-

Contentment happens on the Inside

Looking back I realise I did desire to trust God, but sometimes he was very slow. He was moving at what I thought as a snails pace, I unconsciously decided that he needed my help.

It's our "helping God out" that leads to an anxious heart. When we take over and try to control what happens, we take our focus off the One who is control and put our eyes on our circumstances.

As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled. Decisions become clearer and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.

Every woman has circumstances that appear to be prison bars.
Two women looked through prison bars, one saw mud the other saw stars.
Making the choice to look at the stars.

Most of us can categorise our lives in both positive and negative ways. You could write a glowing list of the positive in your life and you could then write a list of sobering negatives. Both lists are true. Which list do you spend most of your time dwelling on?

"Beware of what you dwell on, for that you shall surely become" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must take control of our mind. We are commanded to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" We renew our mind when we take the negative thoughts captive and dwell on the positive.

Ultimately, contentment is more a shift in attitude than a change of circumstances.

You will never really enjoy other people, you will never have stable emotions, you will never lead a life of godly contentment, you will never conquer jealousy and love others as you should until you thank God for making you the way he did.

Although no one else could see you, God saw every detail of the formation of your body. As a weaver intricately embroiders colours together to create a beautiful pattern, God knit together your veins, muscles, nerves, and every curve and indentation that is uniquely yours. What tapestry can begin to equal that human fabric?

Perhaps you too want to be content, yet you hear the voices that say " be successful, be popular, be beautiful, be perfect" Oh my dear friend, stop listening to the voices. Listen to God's voice.

Helen Keller, who was born deaf and blind wrote these thought provoking words:
They took away what should have been my eyes
(But I remembered Milton's Paradise).
They took away what should have been my ears,
(Beethoven came and wiped away my tears).
They took away what should have been my tongue,
(But I had talked with God when I was young).
He would not let them take away my soul -
Possessing that, I still possess the whole.
-Helen Keller

Ironic isn't it? Single women look at married women and wish for a husband. Married women look at their husbands and wish for different ones. Childless women long for children and mothers long for the day when their kids will be in school. It is even possible to be content with your role in the here and now?

Sheryl's question is a good one. When does a woman become an adult? Perhaps when she stops comparing her life to other women's.

....peace of the sort the world can not give comes, not be removal of suffering, but in another way - through acceptance.

What roles do you play? Are you single, married, divorced, widowed? A physical mother, adoptive mother, a spiritual mother? Are you content with the roles God has given you?

If I insist on perfection or nothing I will end up with nothing. I must be willing to forgive. And if you long to be content, so must you. Unless we do, our anxious hearts will not be calmed.

Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere.

"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety". George Muller

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of worry is it's absolute impotence. Worry never changes a single thing except the worrier.

Faith is contemplating my small part of the picture/puzzle without being able to see the finished product.

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