I’m always looking for inspiring books that can help people get through the tough stuff in life. When I discovered the book, Burden Lifters: Every Woman’s Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life, I knew from the title alone that I had to share it with you.
The author, Michele Howe, offers women of all walks of life a generous supply of buoyant, faith-full, healthy-living guidance for everyday life by utilizing real examples of other women who have triumphed over hardship, hurts, and disappointment. When she offered an excerpt from the book for me to share, I jumped at it!
Check it out below and click here to get your copy.
Uncertainty: Risking Discomfort for the Sake of Another
Excerpt from Burden Lifters By Michele Howe“Some persons do first, think afterward, and then repent forever. “ Thomas Secker
I was afraid. I sat in the circle of women and listened to another woman talk about the difficulties in her marriage and I could hear in her voice that she’d given up hope. I could see through her tears that she was risking a lot being so honest in the group such as ours. Everyone could see how desperate she felt, surely that’s what compelled her to take the chance in being so brutally honest, risking judgment or pity or worse…silence. And at first, that’s just what she got. Silence. No one said a word. Not a single word. And it was deafening.
I sat within four feet of this brokenhearted woman but I could have been miles away for all the good I did her. Then I looked into her eyes, really looked at her and my heart broke right along with hers. My heart started pounding and I knew with all my heart that God wanted me to risk something right then and there. He wanted me to tell her she wasn’t alone. God was prompting me to be honest too. He was urging me to reach toward this woman with the truth that I wasn’t merely “with her” in the same room; I was in the same exact place in my own marriage. Hopeless. Hurt. Defeated. Beaten down. Torn apart.
I would like to say that I had great courage (or at least great eloquence) when I finally spoke up, but the truth isn’t so glamorous (or impressive). All I recall saying was, “You’re not alone in this, I understand. I’m feeling exactly the same way right now.” Others in the room might well say the only helpful remark I made that day after confessing how much I was hurting was the Bible verse and principle I shared with her. But, if I’m really honest…I believe the most important thing I did was simply share the truth. If you saw the look her in eyes after I did…. I’m sure you would agree.
* * *
How would you describe yourself? Are you a careful person, one given to thoughtfully weighing decisions and their repercussions before acting? Or would you consider yourself the free-flying live-by-the-moment carefree (careless) type? There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s simply a matter of degree. Certainly, the individual who notices things…you know, is in tune to the feelings, bents, and likes/dislikes of those around him will act in accordance with what he observes. If he’s careful, that is. There’s nothing more boorish than a person who purposefully decides to offend, right?
On the flip side, there are those who appear to live within a world of their own making. It’s those people who do what they please whenever, wherever, and to whomever they choose. Ick. All of us have been victim to someone’s careless, self-serving decisions. We recognize the harm in it and so does everyone else…except maybe the offender.
But is there such a thing as living too “careful”…too contemplative? Indeed there is. Too much thinking, over-thinking, leads to fearful pausing, inaction, and lack of involvement. So to strike a balance between the two extremes, might we not aim for some middle road? Live with awareness that every choice made in favor of something is also a choice against something else. Given only so much time, energy, and resources, each of us decides how to best live, work, and play.
This fact leads to the next logical conclusion. Every decision we make today will either support, strengthen, or contribute to the building up of those people surrounding us or it will tear them down. Which will it be? If we’re given to living carefully, our lives will be more “full” of strong relationships, better physical health, sounder finances, and overall increased bountiful living. Final word: “take good care,” it is the recipe for a life of fullness.
Takeaway Action Thought: Most often, when I’m feeling afraid to step forward to help someone else, it’s exactly the step I need to take.
About Michele: Michele Howe is a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, FaithfulReader.com, Retailers + Resources, Foreword Magazine, TeenReads.com, KidReads.com, among many others national and international publications. She has published over 1600 reviews/articles and has been featured on numerous radio shows across the country speaking on topics such as parenting and a diverse range of women’s health issues. Her work has been published in MORE, FIRST for Women, Good Housekeeping, SheKnows.com, BettyConfidential, HelloWorld, Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, Midwest Living, Parentlife, Fullfill, Christian Single, Single Parent Family, Focus on the Family, PRISM, and Connections. She also does copywriting and manuscript reviewing for several publishing houses including New Growth Press. Michele is the author of thirteen books for women. Learn more at: http://michelehowe.wordpress.com/
Share your thoughts below. How do you reach out to help others even when it’s hard?