Y’all I have been trying to write this post for weeks now! I keep starting over again because my posts “just aren’t good enough”. I am not an eloquent writer, especially when it comes to writing about my feelings or shortcomings. I can write up a craft tutorial as easily as breathing, but talking about something more personal than choosing a color of yarn has me tongue-tied.
I am a fiercely private person, so much so, that at times I find it hard even letting my husband and family in on my feelings.
The prospect of sitting down to tell all of you how much the book Only Love Today, by Rachel Stanford, has meant to me has been slightly terrifying.
But, I was so excited to be picked as a member of the launch team for Rachel’s newest book, I received an advanced copy of the book Only Love Today, and immediately began devouring it piece by piece.
The layout of the book is different than most books I have read. It is written in small easy to read sections, you can get through in a 5-10 minute break. It comes as no surprise that Rachel is a mother, because we usually only have 5-10 minutes to do anything.
I jumped all over the book, literally flipping through the pages till a title reached out to me, such as “How To Be Your Own Advocate”.
….”Just for a moment, imagine putting your arm around yourself as you would a friend.
Imagine offering yourself an outstretched hand as you would someone in need.
Imagine dusting yourself off as you would a child who’s fallen down.
Imagine taking a moment to encourage yourself as you would a weary colleague.
….Every day you speak up for the ones you love.
Today, why not speak up for yourself?”
Rachel’s words on hope, encouragement, and introspection were like a soothing balm to my heart.
“When faced with personal challenges and life issues, let us remember someone is listening, and the words we choose may be the message that someone has been waiting to hear.”
“No matter what role I play, I can offer hope to others by offering compassion to myself. What message do I want my loved ones to speak to themselves? I will start speaking those messages to myself. I will speak them loud enough to create a ripple of positivity with endless possibilities.”
And reading her thoughts on gratitude help me remember how much I love my crazy, busy life.
“When the needs of my loved ones begin to drain me, I will give thanks for the very important role I play in their lives. Yes, the people I care about can be exhausting and even maddening at times, but I get to love them. I get to hold them. I get to comfort them. And in return, I get to be loved by them.”
I love that I don’t feel rushed to complete a section of the book by a certain date, nor do I feel like a failure for jumping around the book. I feel like I’m reading the book just as it was meant for me. Only Love Today, brings back memories of reading chose your own adventure books as a child. This time, however, I am choosing how to feed my soul.
I know, for myself, this book can be life changing if you allow it to be. I am happy to say I have adapted some of the teachings into my own life. Such as;
- Being softer ~ Softening my tone with my kids helps them feel safer and allows them to tell me what is happening in their lives without worry of being reprimanded. This includes softening the volume of my voice. Yelling comes more naturally to me than speaking in a nice calm voice. It is taking time and I’m not perfect but I am continuing to get better.
- Silencing my inner bully ~ quieting years of negative harmful self talk is a big job. However I am the only one who can make that bully be quite. She still raises her ugly nasty voice from time to time, but it is much easier to tell her she is wrong.
- Embracing the differences ~ kids don’t have to fit into a box. I love how unique my kids are; just because they don’t always act how the school thinks they should, doesn’t mean they are wrong.
I have marked many pages and will continue going back to this book for inspiration and life affirming words, each time life starts to get me down I know I will find words to lift me back up.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a little more love and understanding in their lives.