So these books WERE my reading goals for this year. I have probably a gazillion books on my to-read list, but I am a terrible reader. Sure, I don't retain or comprehend the best, but what I really mean is, my attention span and busy schedule make reading pretty difficult. And in this season of my life, I am learning a whole, whole lot about grace ... and maybe a little about simplifying my life. So I've decided to keep these books on my to-read list, but instead of reading all of them by the end of 2016, which was my original goal, I will make them my reading goal for some time before I die. Yep, you heard me right. Before I die. Sounds like the perfect goal to me! And perhaps I can tell you a little about each book I read from here on out just in case it peaks your interest and you wanna read it too. I usually pick pretty good reads. I did read the entire Twilight Saga ... so maybe you'll disagree with me. Hahaha! Silly. Probably a huge waste of time. But those books were pretty entertaining for a single, sappy young woman (yes, I was at the time!). I'm still sappy ... just not single. ;)
Anyways ... here's the book I have finished most recently.
How to Argue so your Spouse will Listen by Sharon Morris May
I started going to counseling last July for myself ... for my issues with self-condemnation. It was the catalyst to start me on an awesome journey of discovering what God's grace truly means. And one area in which I desperately needed to grasp grace was in my marriage. I wanted to please my husband so much, but I beat myself up about every little thing that I didn't do perfectly ... which, as you can imagine, was everything, because I'm not perfect. Ahh! So I started bringing Darrell along with me to counseling, and it has empowered our marriage so much! I thought we had a good marriage before, but now, we have a great marriage that is getting better with time.
Okay, so that's the back story. During some of our counseling sessions, our counseling pastor had us read this book. Honestly, I don't have too much to share about it. I did read the whole thing. I think it's a great book for every married couple. It helps us begin to understand the mechanics of arguing and what causes arguments. For me, figuring out where arguments come from in the first place is what I took away from this book. Chapter Three: Dragons and Vulnerabilities ... The Hidden Meanings that Fuel our Arguments. This chapter throws a lot at readers ... pulling personalities, past experiences and relationships that cause vulnerabilities, and current relationship styles all together to help us understand why arguments happen in the first place. Sharon Morris May calls our past experiences or vulnerabilities our "dragons." She explains that "when experiences in [our] relationships today are similar to the hurtful experiences [we] had over the course of [our] life, they trigger the same hurts, fears, and responses. When a current situation touches or raises [our] old hurts and sets in motion [our] automatic way of reacting to those hurts, [our] 'dragons have been raised'" (pages 44-45). I just know for me and Darrell, remembering that our hurtful responses come from events and feelings in our pasts has really helped us communicate better. You will find plenty of great principles for marriage in this book, but learning about dragons was what impacted me the most.
And by the way, if you and your spouse are not in counseling, even if you think your marriage is great, I would consider it! We have our whole lives to improve and grow and become more like Jesus in our marriages. Take the time to invest in your marriage no matter what the season ... you won't regret it! :)