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Normally when I do book reviews or write about books, I don't usually focus too much on the Preface, but the author, Sarah Coleman, raises some great points here that I definitely didn't want to overlook!
She starts the Preface with saying that we were all born to be amazing and not average. This is so true! This hits hard also because I've been feeling pretty average and unamazing lately. Coleman's take is that our choices and what we do determine whether we become more amazing and how fast we accomplish it. So what is amazing? Or, rather, who is amazing? For Coleman, the Proverbs 31 woman sets the example for the potential that we all have locked inside of us. It's funny because when I was reading this, I instantly had the thought that the Proverbs 31 woman was really an army of women, but, unfortunately, it's just one woman! That's a tough pill to swallow when I'm planted on the couch, fighting with myself to get enough energy just to get up and shower. Oh, and men, don't run away too quickly. Coleman speculates that not only was Bathsheba telling her son the godly qualities to look for in a wife, but she was also telling him of the important qualities he should develop. So don't think you're getting off the hook that easily or that this book is only for the women in your life! With that in mind, let's move to Chapter 1: What Are You Thinking?
Focus Verse: Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of! (Proverbs 31:2, The Message)
There is amazing power in words and what the mind thinks. If you've heard something about yourself for your entire life, then chances are you have internalized that and believe it. It might be something good, like people telling you that you're funny. But, more often than not, it's something negative, like telling you that you can't do this or that. After you hear that for so long, you start thinking it. As Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." With that in mind (ha), it only makes sense that if you change your thoughts, you can change your life. Coleman says that the most powerful person is the one who controls his thoughts. Wouldn't you agree with that?
Our thoughts aren't the only ones that affect us; the way God thinks about us can also make a powerful impact on how we see ourselves. Coleman has great insights about God's perception of us. One of my favorite passages in this chapter comes towards the end:
When Father looks at you...He sees you already in the prosperous future He has planned. So stop looking with eyes of reality. Stop thinking of yourself as you are, and put your past failures behind you. God's reality is the future; see yourself there instead.Coleman ends each chapter with Thoughts To Ponder. I won't write the entire thought here, but one highlight was to stop negative thoughts as soon as you realize what you're doing and think positive instead. I'm going to add to her Thoughts and give you all a challenge: tomorrow, whenever you start to think a negative thought, make a mark somewhere and then immediately start thinking positive thoughts. At the end of the day, look and see how many negative thoughts you've had to fight off. I'm going to do it, and I'll share the results with you. Also, I know a couple of you have told me that you've bought the book and plan to follow along. I would love to hear insights from you! Sarah (it seems so funny to call her Coleman the entire time. Maybe I'll be less formal and stick with Sarah!) is going to stop by as much as she can, so if you have questions or thoughts, please share them here and hopefully she'll get to see them and respond!