Somewhere More Holy

I order most of my books off of Amazon.  One, it’s the cheapest out there and two if you order over $25 worth of stuff, you get free shipping.  So, last week I went online to order Glenn Beck’s book, “The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life” but I needed another book to get me over $25.

Amazon has a wish list that you can save books you want so when I find one I think I’m interested in, I save it so I’ll have some books to choose from when I’m ready to order.

One book I saved was one mentioned in Sarah Palin’s new book, America by Heart, called Somewhere More Holy by Tony Woodlief.

God knows what I’m struggling with and at this point in my life he also knows exactly what to put in my hands.  It was these two books.

Somewhere More Holy is a book about Tony’s life.  He lost his first child when she was 3 to a brain tumor and he dealt with it by cheating on his wife.  It’s about how he was broken and through God’s grace his marriage was saved and him and his wife are now raising 4 boys.

I can’t imagine ever burying a child (it’s both me and my husband’s worst nightmare).  This book will make you cry and laugh.

At one point last night, Tony tells the story of not wanting to play with his daughter because he was watching a basketball game before he knew she was sick and the guilt and shame he feels over it.  “I was unable to see how the things we love can banish like breath.”  Then, the next page, “she (his daughter) forgave everything, and so does God, and that the only person still keeping accounts is me.” P.48-49

I looked up at my two youngest children who were playing happily on the floor with dolls and cars and started balling.

You see, I tend to think sometimes I’m a bad mother.  I think I don’t spend enough time with them.  I tend to think I could be better.  I tend to think I am scarring my kids for life with all my junk.  I even think I am unworthy of them.

This book will make you feel like you’re not alone, remind you how God does forgive and how much He does love, and make you see how important your family truly is because one day they may be taken from you.

It’s not an easy read but I got up this morning and couldn’t put it down until I finished it.

“I think it’s time to just accept it (the love of his wife), to accept the love of these children and this God I don’t understand.” P.201

I have been moved more in the last five days than I have been in a long time.  Moved to deal with my past. Moved to accept it.  Moved to follow my true north.  Moved to follow God’s.  Moved to be all God has called me to be, to be more like Jesus but to know I will stumble in the process.  And moved to love and to accept love.  And to know all things work together for my good.

I cannot recommend either of these books enough, especially if you think you have more to give to this world and something is hindering your progress.  I guarantee you will learn something.  You may even be moved like I am to see what’s important in this world and what is not and to pray for the will and fortitude to make life changes for the betterment of all.

5 thoughts on “Somewhere More Holy

  1. Like you, I have often felt inadequate as a mom. I see other moms who bake cookies and volunteer at the children’s schools. None of that ever interested me because I was a career-oriented person. However, when my children (now all grown and moms themselves) tell me that they couldn’t have asked for a better mom, I wonder what I did to deserve such praise. I believe we are often much too hard on ourselves. As long as our children know they are loved and that you do give them your time and attention when they need it, that’s what will count. Whenever one of my four children came to me with a question, I always made a conscious effort to answer them immediately. It irritates me when I see a parent in discussion with another adult and, when their child comes to them saying, “mommy…” they are ignored. Especially when the child continues to try to get the mom’s attention and the mom says something like, “Not now, can’t you see I’m talking?” In my opinion, this is not acceptable. The child should immediately be acknowledged and either told mommy will be right there or excuse herself to see what the child wants. Your children are important to you, but they should be made to feel that way, too. So, maybe I didn’t make cookies or sew pretty outfits, but I can truly say I never ignored them.

  2. Hi again. It’s me…here in wonderful gray day Chicago.

    You know Atoz, I’m not known for being brief but I have to be today so please extend grace to me if some of this comes across wrong.

    OK. Some things I’d like to interject in your process here, and please always remember I’m not pontificating. I’m just like you, with my own struggles and issues…just sharing what I’ve learned mostly by a God 2X4 good whack (he had to do it, I’m notorious for oblivious and forgetful)…

    Always remember to distinguish accusation from conviction when something “negative” flows through your head, about yourself OR someone else.

    It’s been my experience, and perhaps others have had other experiences but for me the accusations are usually much more relentless, kind of like a child who says “Are we there yet?” on a trip, first it’s maybe every half hour, then it’s every 15 minutes..:-)….it irritates…and what it says separates or divides relationships and/or it keeps you self focused. Conviction on the other hand, is more a solid…twinge or punch in the gut…and it helps, heals or stops division. And in my experience allows you to repent, fix and move on.

    Satan is good, but he’s not THAT good. I know we can’t live a sinless life, that’s a given, but Satan likes to keep us tied up in knots…with our past..or do’s or our don’ts…what we’re entitled to..what we feel or don’t feel. It’s nuts.

    Bottom line. God created you. There’s no one like you. There’s no one person on earth that can do what you are here to do (whatever THAT is) and chances are, it may very well be something you, with your human eyes, may see as insignificant…or it could be something grand…I have no clue. But I know when I clean toilets, somehow it’s God’s work too.

    It took me FOREVER to learn this, but our God is not a God of…chaos, chatter, noise, grumbling, get the drift. That relentless noise isn’t God. God is clear, direct and simple. Giving God glory isn’t about a parade, he doesn’t care what you show. He cares about the simple heart question. “Do you love me? Will you trust me to do as I ask,no matter what it looks or feels like?”

    Think of submission to a husband and what a ruckus that creates. God never tells us our husbands have to act respectable to RESPECT them, nor does he say your wife has to be loveable for you to love her. Nope. He says, respect your husband. Love your wife. And Satan goes to work creating all kinds of circumstances where your spouse was less than respectful or loving and amplifies feelings of hurt and pointing out negatives and when and if all that fails…what a fool you are or how you deserve what you have. Do you see the muck he (Satan) creates? The internal chatter?

    God says, essentially, there’s no need for confusion of any type. It’s all in the book I left you. It’s right there. Simple you love me enough to CHOOSE me over everything else, even yourself?

    God tells us that we are forgiven when we repent. Sometimes we realize a sin right away, sometimes we don’t for YEARS. It’s great to live a life without regrets but I don’t think anyone really can. Because regrets simply mean, now we know better, we’re maturing in our faith. God knows that.

    When I was in my late teens early twenties I went out with a married man. I can’t fathom that now, really I can’t. Not that I’m so wonderful and righteous, and couldn’t possibly be tempted…absolutely not…(especially if it was Antonio Banderas…,sorry had to throw in some humor)…but simply because I love God more…and I know more.

    I can’t go back and apologize to the man’s wife or his kids, but I repented and prayed for them because even if a wife doesn’t “know” about an affair, it affected their marriage and home regardless. The man wasn’t “there” as he should have been in one way or another.

    So it’s a “regret” per se, and I have tons of others even worse, but God can’t use me if I live there because I’m bogged down. I’m not free. I’m not suggesting cavelier, but I am suggesting child-like is what God wants. If kids walked around burdened with all their mistakes they made growing up..can you imagine their lives? When my son was three years and decided to hit his mother(WHAT HIT YOUR MOTHER!)..he learned not to and moved on. I don’t remember it. It was part of his growing. I don’t remind him of it either. Wouldn’t it make sense that God does the same?

    Granted if at 24 he was still hitting me…different story. But he grew. He changed and I don’t think would ever think of hitting me now.

    Satan wants you Atoz and he wants me and every other Christian. And he’s relentless and he knows our temptations. He knows we know we are less than God, he knows we know we are sinners and he hammers and hammers away at that point. We are worthless or we are awesome. He’ll take whatever extreme he can get that keeps you from the truth of who you are. A CHILD of the only God there is.

    Obviously I need to shut up. It’s 3p and I was only going to write till 2p. I’m not going to re-read this and edit it so I hope it reads ok.

    Much peace,

  3. Wow thanks to Atoz and all that commented, there were things in each of your posts that I needed to hear(or read) Thanks again. I’m at the verge of my life changing and God is speaking to me through you. Your awesome.

  4. I, too, am quite good at feeling “guilty”! My girls are now 12 and 9 years old. I sometimes worry that I didn’t play with them enough, or yelled at them too long or too loud. I sometimes have to remind myself the the prince of this world is very much alive and at work. Making us feel guilty and second-guess ourselves is a big part of his job. I continue to pray that God will direct me…that He will cover any mistakes I’ve made. He’s given us these children for a short while. I pray we remain strong in the job He’s called us to do!

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