October 19, 2010

A review: I Quit!

Stop Pretending Everything is Fine and Change your Life- so reads the subtitle of Geri Scazzero's book "I Quit!" Mrs. Scazzero discusses eight topics that the reader should examine, pray about, and then quit appropriately. Using examples from her life and the lives of others, Mrs. Scazzero shows clearly how these behaviors and attitudes effect every area of our life negatively. Then, using scripture and biblical principles, she advises the reader to quit. Quit being afraid of what others think. Quit lying- to others, ourselves, and God. Quit dying to the wrong things. Quit denying anger, sadness, and fear. Quit blaming (and take positive action instead). Quit overfunctioning. Quit faulty thinking. Quit living someone else's life. The sound advice doesn't stop there. Mrs. Scazzero also delves deeply into what behaviors should take the place of these things. In all, the book is a guide to taking the first steps to emotional and spiritual health and freedom.

I like that "I Quit!" acknowledges repeatedly that grace, peace, and freedom come from Christ alone. This is not a "save yourself by your own work" book. Rather, the book addresses the things that we do and think that keep us from being able to accept peace, grace, and freedom personally, in our relationships with our spouse or children, and in our churches. It's far more practical than, "let go and let God," which I also appreciate very much. I did not get the impression of religion or condemnation at all in any part of the book, but I definitely felt convicted and encouraged more than once.

Finally, I'd like to address the actual writing of the book. One can have great things to say, but if they are not said well, the message can quickly be lost in boredom and confusion. This is not the case at all with Geri Scazzero's "I Quit!" "I Quit!" is easy to read and follow, one section leads logically and compellingly into the next, and Mrs. Scazzero strikes an excellent balance between anecdote and practical application. I never felt the pace of the book was lagging or rushing. At the beginning, Mrs. Scazzero suggests that readers might want to skip ahead to chapters that applied to their current situation, but to please return to the earlier chapters so as not to miss anything valuable. I can see where this would work without taking anything away from the book, but I also really enjoyed reading it straight through. "I quit!" was affirming, encouraging, and a pleasure to read.

October 14, 2010

Argh- and expect a review very soon

The UPS delivered my advanced reader copy- but I wasn't home. So they left a note saying they would try again. I never heard from them. I finally tracked down the book. they delivered it to my apartment complex office and didn't let me know. Argh! I'm excited, though, and on my way to pick it up. Expect more soon!

September 21, 2010


I've been absent for a while...not much that I felt was worth saying & most of my pictures end up on facebook. However, I'm excited! I sent a request via Zondervan's blog for an advanced reader copy. If they send me one, I get to read and review a new book here!

February 25, 2010

Better Safe Than Sorry...or not!

I had this conversation on facebook. Someone posted a warning to do this urgent thing or there would be dire consequences. It seemed suspect to me. Snopes.com confirmed it as a hoax. An OLD hoax that keeps getting recycled. I posted the snopes link and the comment, "it's a hoax." The responses that other people posted were effectively, "I did it anyway because even though it's a hoax it's better to be safe than sorry." ARGH! Wait, did you miss that? AAARRRGGGHHH! It's a hoax! It's always been a hoax! Maybe someday it won't be a hoax, but doing that thing NOW won't protect you THEN. It will have expired! You're thinking, "Tana's going off the deep end. Why is this such an issue?" It is an issue, my friends, because it is the attitude of herd animals. All the cows are running THAT way, so I'm going to run THAT way and when we all run off of the cliff, at least I won't go splat alone. I wanted to scream, "Don't do it! It's really a virus disguised as a hoax disguised as a public service! If you do it your transmission will fail within a week, your grandma will get hives, and your cell phone ring tones will all be changed to M.C. Hammer's 'Can't Touch This!'" That's ridiculous, you say? You don't even have to verify that on snopes because it is silly. It's so over the top, it wouldn't even qualify as a hoax. However, the REAL hoax? The one that doesn't do anything but waste a few minutes of your time and your phone usage? Well, better safe than sorry, so I think I'll go ahead and do it. I'll be available for shearing in the spring.

January 20, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

It's been a crazy year for Bryan and I. Yes, all twenty days of it. The company for which he works is expanding rapidly. This is really good for us. After four years of working hard, helping with things that weren't his job, and waiting, promotion appears imminent. You do reap what you sow, but some harvests take longer than others. Before Christmas, we agreed that he should "roll out" for four weeks to help open a new office. We're in the sixth week of that four. The imminent promotion seems like a carrot on a stick, some days- right in front of him, but no matter how fast he moves, he can't get a grip on it. In the mean time, there isn't enough work here. So he has the option of taking the same promotion in a different district here, coming home to do not enough work while he waits for the district he wants, or continuing to roll out until his district is available. The roll out option may well take most of the year. It's a hard choice for us. We want him home. We want the original district because we think he'd be happier there. We want out of debt, and the roll out money could get us there, or almost. I miss my husband, but a (nearly) debt-free horizon includes things like a house, a retirement fund, a college fund... He misses me and the boy, but the provider-voice in his head pushes him to stay away. Tonight, he tells me they may send him to a different office to train new technicians so the current office manager can roll out to still another city. For three or four weeks. With no visit home between cities. I'm looking at pet-friendly hotels.

He surprised me this past weekend with a visit home. We haven't been together since Christmas day. We talked about our possible choices a lot. For now, he's going to keep on rolling out. We'll wait for the better district. We'll be thankful for enough work and higher pay during such a hard economic time. We'll work hard on a long-distance love- we made it work before we were married, with Jesus' grace, we can do it now.

It's been a crazy year, and while financial blessings and promotions may be imminent, normality isn't anywhere to be seen.

January 15, 2010


from Merriam-Webster
Main Entry: 1con·fi·dence
Pronunciation: \ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s, -ˌden(t)s\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century

1 a : a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances b : faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
2 : the quality or state of being certain : certitude
3 a : a relation of trust or intimacy b : reliance on another's discretion c : support especially in a legislative body
4 : a communication made in confidence : secret
synonyms confidence, assurance, self-possession, aplomb mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment. confidence stresses faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance . assurance carries a stronger implication of certainty and may suggest arrogance or lack of objectivity in assessing one's own powers . self-possession implies an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers . aplomb implies a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations .

My husband has been away for five weeks. When we agreed that he should travel for a while, we did it with confidence- our marriage could withstand distance (it has), he would be okay without me to cook and wash his clothes (he has), I could adequately manage our home and son and pets by myself (I have, but I really miss him). It's a pretty big thing to agree to one third of your immediate family to live separately for a time. We're managing, though, and I'm confident that with God's continuing grace we will be fine, and have a delightful reunion in about a week.

I wrote that to give you an example of my confidence. I am not a timid or uncertain person. Why then, did I spend at least twenty anxious minutes composing a very short email this week? Why did I wish it back after I had hit the send button? I'm not going to go into details, but it was a weird thing to send. Thankfully, it was not treated as a weird thing to receive. I got a gracious and friendly response. The oddness was apparently all in my head (or my friend is too nice to call me out).

Another area where I am uncertain and lack aplomb is ministry. The last few years, God has been using various people and situations to show me the gifts He has entrusted to me. I can't figure out what to do with them! It's frustrating. I'm sure (He had to tell me at least ten or twenty times) of this gifting. I can see the value of it. I believe a prophesy that was given to me that the horizon of my promised land as about to broaden significantly. Now if I could just figure out what, if anything, I'm supposed to be doing to help. I'm grateful for any prayers you have to spare for me in this area. I know we all have a LOT to take to the throne right now!

January 5, 2010

So, I didn't....

So, I didn't post soon. I didn't post at all. I thought about killing my blog because I don't write in it. I didn't do that, either. I guess that's apathy. I want to post just a few thoughts, though.

Tara's adorable new baby makes me look at my son and think, "Were you ever that small?" He does not, however, make me want another one. Unless God surprises us again, I think I'm done with that.

Another friend whose very young son just went to meet Jesus in person's loss makes me want to hold onto my boy and never let go. I can't even fathom the grief (but I can come close enough to be terrified). Her faith through the trials that her family has faced dazzles me. I know I can't cling to my own son, so I'm thankful the he's young enough that he doesn't think it strange when I hug him a little more often or say, "I love you," a hundred thousand times a day.

I wonder, could I let go and say goodbye for now with the grace this mother displays?