It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that has me underlining and making lots of notes in the margins. I’ll quickly share a couple of past reads that had me zealously taking notes as all the lightbulbs were exploding in my head and then I’ll get to my current read. By the way, I’m only 20 pages into my current read and already needed to share it; pretty sure this won’t be the only post on the book that is wrecking me right now.
There have been a few other books that have lit something deep in my soul and in all honesty, changed the course of my life. According to Amazon–thank you for reminding me of my purchases–I ordered this book November 2013, Field Guide to Now: Notes On Mindfulness And Life In The Present Tense
I must have read this book before I decided it wasn’t presumptuous or a form of vandalism to add my notes to the author’s thoughts because I only have a few dog-eared pages. Or, I took notes in a long lost and most likely thrown away notebook. Either way, this book came along at a time when I needed the lesson or maybe just the reminder–hard to tell when you’re in the middle of the mess–to pay attention to the present moment.
Here are a few favorite quotes taken from the dog-eared pages:
“Today, noticing will matter. In the thick of things each instant will be filled with ache and sweetness, like honey on a waxy comb and the bee sting, both. Today the moment will ask for wonder, for careful consideration, for sacrifice, for joy.”
“What counts is committing to the process, in spite of the possibility that the whole thing might end up a terrible failure, a hodgepodge, a mess. And each time I do this, I realize that if I am brave enough–if I persist for long enough, without logic or doubt or distractions–I can create the first hint of something that is authentic and true.”
“Yet the truth is most of the fears that really stop us from taking the risks that matter in our lives are imagined, flighty things spawned by our inability to be right here, and to feel the way the moment offers abundance.”
“I also found that the word “happy” comes from the same root as “to happen”. In other words, to experience happiness means to participate wholly in whatever is happening right now. This is the secret: Being at the heart of the moment isn’t about being small at all, though many times it comes down to taking note of the smallest things.”
Another book that changed everything for me was Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. As I was thinking of that book one more came to mind, Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear.
The other two books that had a profound effect on my life were The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life and 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: Living the 4:8 Principle both by Tommy Newberry. I’ve written about or mentioned them regularly here at The Littlest Way and have read both of these books multiple times.
The Book That is Wrecking Me Right Now
There is a lot that precedes the story of how this next book came to be recommended but it’s a story meant to be held close. Let’s just say sometimes crying in an antique store to a friend you only see on the soccer fields can have life-changing results.
My friend actually hasn’t read this book, it was recommended to her from a friend; she was just passing on information. As I started reading I texted her and told her to get it…NOW!
Mother and Son: The Respect Effect is the book that is completely and totally wrecking me right now. It’s written by the same author of the Respect Effect books–which I have not read any of. That may change after reading this book though, I mentioned above I’m only 20 pages in and already sharing a post about how this book is changing me.
The first thing that caught my attention, although not underlined because I couldn’t find a pen! “A mother loves to use words and communicate. Research has found that women are expressive and responsive. What better way to commence than to learn a few vocabulary words of respect that energize, motivate, and influence the heart of a boy?”
The first note taken as I was reading was a large arrow point to this quote, “I invite moms to stop and ask, “Why do boys respond to a football coach? Why do boys join the Marines and subject themselves toa drill officer?” Many mothers declare, “I have no idea.” These male leaders are attesting to these boys, “I believe in you. I admire who I believe you to be. But do you see this in yourself? Do you have what it takes to become what I believe you to be?”
The first big, AHA! moment came when the author used Jesus’ Agony in the Garden as an example.
“Do you recall what Jesus said to His disciples who fell asleep in Him in the Garden of Gethsemane? “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41) Jesus expressed disappointment at the disciples falling asleep. He did not sanction or honor their failings. But He honored the disciples for their deeper desire to do what was right. He honored their willing spirit. Jesus did not show disrespect toward their spirit while disapproving of their weak flesh.”
WOW! And then…
“Do not step over a line and condemn his spirit because he failed due to the weakness of his flesh. Imitate how Jesus responded to the disciples. Respectfully confront the inadequate behavior while showing positive regard towards your son’s spirit, no matter what he has done.”
That quote came on the heels of someone telling me, through no fault of their parents at all, but they wished their parents would have believed in them. They wished their parents would have seen they wanted to accomplish everything but couldn’t get past waiting until the last moment.
Their spirit was willing but their flesh was weak.
And next, “”But Emerson, I never speak words of disrespect to my son.” Excellent. But what do you look like to him when you are displeased with him?” Um, OUCH!
Next, “…when upset, a woman can appear disrespectful to men.” Oh boy. I knew this, already probably couldn’t have voiced it in those terms, but I knew this when it comes to my husband. I never, ever even considered it with my son. Such an incredible wake-up call! He ends this page by writing, “Her weapon of choice is verbalized contempt. Though much of this erupts from hurt, frustration, and fatigue because she gives, gives, and gives…Common sense tells us that a contemptuous look never energizes, motivates, or influences a son’s heart. Even secular humanists recognize the importance of unconditional positive regard.”
I want to end this with one last quote, “He cannot control her inner spirit. God made mom free.”
Friends I started sharing quotes from this book before I finished reading it for that very reason; whose inner spirit is tethered to their son’s behavior right now? Who is having a difficult time separating their son’s spirit from the flesh? Who even knew that was a thing???? I highly and strongly recommend this book–so far, as I said above, I’m only 20 pages in but wow upon wow so far!!!