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Book Review – Boundaries

22 Sep

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

“When to Say Yes

When to Say No

To Take Control of Your Life”

 

bkrvwboundaries

Photo by Nick Tiemeyer on Unsplash

My OH had been suggesting, off and on, that I read this book since we first met. And finally, after some things happened, I decided that I really could benefit from it. It took me a few months to get through – as most books like this do since I tend to read them during breakfast. I feel like I gained so much from this book, as the authors take you step-by-step through why people act the way they do. As well as how to set up boundaries in the different areas of your life – such as family, friends, work and God.  I learned so much in the sections about how we form boundaries in our childhood through what was said and what was not said from those around us.

Here are a few sections that stood out to me :

“Boundaries help us to distinguish our property so that we can take care of it… We need to keep things that will nurture us inside our fences and keep things that will harm us outside. In short, boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. They guard our treasures so that people will not steal them… Sometimes, we have bad on the inside and good on the outside. In these instances, we need to be able to open up our boundaries to let the good in and the bad out. In other words, our fences need gates in them.” Page 31

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Do not try to get to freedom without owning your reactive period and feelings. You do not need to act this out, but you do need to express the feelings. You need to practice and gain assertiveness. You need to get far enough away from abusive people to be able to fence your property against further invasion. And then you need to own the treasures you find in your soul. But do not stay there. Spiritual adulthood has higher goals than “finding yourself” “. Page 96

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“... Because of unexpressed boundaries, the relationships suffered. An important thing to remember about boundaries is that they exist, and they will affect us, whether or not we communicate them... If our boundaries are not communicated and exposed directly, they will be communicated indirectly or through manipulation. The Bible speaks to this issue in many places. Listen to the words of Paul: “therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’ : do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Eph.4:25-26) The biblical mandate is be honest and be in the light.” Page 101

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“Anger tells us that our boundaries have been violated. Much like a nation’s radar defense system, angry feelings serve as an “early warning system”, telling us we are in danger of being injured or controlled.” Page 112

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“The more biblical our boundaries are, the less anger we experience! Individuals with mature boundaries are the least angry people in the world. While those who are just beginning boundary work see their anger increase, this passes as boundaries grow and develop… The old saying ‘don’t get mad. Just get even’ isn’t accurate. It’s far better to say, ‘don’t get mad. Set a limit!” Page 115

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“You can imagine how well not taking ownership over our lives will come across the Lord then: ‘but I had a dysfunctional family.’ ‘But I was lonely.’ ‘But I didn’t have much energy.’ The rationalizing “buts” will have as much impact as excuses of the service in the parable of the talents did. This isn’t to say that we are deeply influenced for better or worse by our backgrounds and our various stressors. We certainly are. But we are ultimately responsible for what we do with our injured, immature souls.” Page 178

~~~

I especially liked the analogy of ‘fences make good neighbors’ – just make sure to ‘have a gate’. Our fences aren’t walls to keep everyone and everything out.

Like I said, these are just a few of the sections that stood out to me as I read this book. I feel like from the day I started reading it, I was recommending it. To my doctor, friends, family etc. This will most likely be a yearly read for me.

I have also read another of their books, Boundaries in Marriage, and it was equally good. I have plans to get it from the library and read it again, since it’s been four years since I read it. (I did a mini-review of it here)

I definitely recommend this book for anyone and everyone! Whether you realize that you need to set better boundaries – with yourself or those around you – or not, I know you’ll learn a lot from it.

~Laura

 

July 2017 Book Review

1 Aug

Hello hello! I read quite a bit this month – which always makes me happy. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book is there?

july2017bkrvw

 

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – While set in a sleepy town in Virginia, the events that take place in Scout Finch’s childhood, rock the residents of the town.

– I hadn’t read this book since high school and since I seem to be on a classic kick this year, I pulled it off the shelf! I feel like opinions on this novel are very divided – either it’s loved or hated. Well. I’m on the loved it side – I do not know why it took over 10 years for me to read it again! I enjoyed  Lee’s descriptions – the sleepy street, the moonlight on the trees, the rabid dog making its way down the street – they were so vivid I could see them. I think everyone should read this book at least once.  (Now I want to read Go Set a Watchman)

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson – A full review of this great trilogy will be coming next month! (I promise. the wait will be worth it.)

Seasons of the Heart series by Janette Oke – Watch for a full review of this in the next few weeks!

When God Doesn’t Fix it by Laura Story

Currently Reading:

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Anathema by Colleen Coble

On my To-Read List:

One Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are by Ann Voskamp

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss – I finally picked up my own copy of this book. I’m excited to read it (I’ve been doing an audio version) and finally finish it!

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

 

Boundaries in Marriage tidbits

6 Aug

i am back! did ya miss me? hehe. i had a great time on my trip – and then turned and re-packed my bag the next day to join my hubby for the week. I decided that seeing him for one day out of about two weeks wasn’t all right with me! 

As I said, I had a wonderful time visiting my friend and her little girl (if you follow me on facebook, you’ve seen a loooot of photos of the little one!). While I was out, I stayed mostly off ‘social media’ as I had planned. I even refrained from approving and replying to comments here on my blog! that part was rather hard, I will admit. But because of being off everything, and traveling, I stopped writing the last week of nanowrimo. I am bummed that i only made it to 5,000 odd words, but I learned a lot and plan on picking up the proverbial pen again soon and getting back into my story! 

I also cut about six inches off my hair a few weeks ago. Yikes. It was fun and something I didn’t plan on doing but while I am glad I did it, I have decided it is too short for me. I love long hair. long – as in halfway (or more) down my back. Part of the reasoning for cutting it though, was that my OH and I are planning on moving to Portland, OR in the near future and I knew it would be easier to manage the transition from dry desert air to humid valley air. 

I am enjoying being a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study – Amberly over at Life with Amberly and Joe started the group. I love love love her blog – marriage is a passion of hers and she shares and spreads that through her blog (and now the marriage study!) I feel that if we were in the same town and were able to meet up over tea (or coffee hehe), i would come away feeling so uplifted and inspired! Check her blog out, I know you will love it.  

We are reading Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Here are some of the notes that I’ve taken through my reading so far. (just to whet your appetite)

Boundary – ownership where one person ends and the other begins.  – — to me, this means that just because you are married, you are still you and they are still them. You know, how in high school, you’d hear about a couple that did everything together and seemed to become as if they were one person instead of ,well, two? yeah. unhealthy, that. 

“Boundaries help us determine who is responsible for what .If we can see that the problem is our problem and that we are responsible for it, then we are in the drivers seat of change.”  — if we are willing to let go of our pride and see that our actions/attitude/whatnot are part of the problem, then we are able to work to fix it. we are not left sitting and waiting and wondering why nothing is changing.

“Responsibility takes action. ” —- ditto to what i said above. 

“Marriage is based on a love relationship deeply rooted in freedom” — i love the last four words ‘deeply rooted in freedom’ . you must feel free in the relationship, free to state your opinion, your wants, your desires. Love exists only where there is freedom.

photo courtesy of unsplash

photo courtesy of unsplash

“The Triangle of boundaries — Freedom – Responsibility – Love” – — each must be free to not react to each other, each must take responsibility of their own problems/issues/stuff and they love the other person no matter what. once again, love exists only where there is freedom.

Some quick examples of boundaries: 

  • Words
  • Truth (Eph. 4:25)
  • Consequences
  • Emotional Distance (Prov. 4:23 -only with a pure heart)
  • Physical Distance (Prov. 27:12)
  • Other People

I hope you have picked up a few things to mull over through these notes. I do have more but don’t want to overwhelm you… =) I am a big note taker (but let me know if you would like more highlights of the book and I’d be glad to share them!) I highly recommend this book and look forward to finishing reading it. 

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