>I have been debating about whether or not I would blog about this book. I started reading it almost two years ago, and I set it down, not be returned to until this past week. I have a love hate relationship with this book. I majored in English in college, and though I may not write like a writer, I am a snobby reader, and the snobby reader in me really didn’t like this book. It is not written in a way that does the subject matter justice, it just isn’t good. The book is a dialog between two women as they work through their issues of faith together. They both tell their stories throughout the book, and they talk about God. I couldn’t keep the two of them straight, so most of the anecdotal parts were lost on me, and the writing just seemed hokey. So there you have the hate. 🙂 I do have to say though, that maybe I am being too harsh because this is not a genre that I frequent. I really like non fiction, which this is, and I picked this one up because I was looking for a spiritual pick me up. I actually heard about the book on a forum that was discussing “The Shack” which I had suffered through even though it made me miserable. This book was described as being “kind of like The Shack, without all of the sad stuff.” It wasn’t, but the Shack was a novel and this book isn’t, so that is a big difference that I have to consider.
Anyway, I did pick up some interesting ideas from the book, not necessarily new principles in my life, but a new way of arriving at them.
The “apple concept” refers to the idea that like Eve in the garden of Eden, we are susceptible to sin because we are constantly looking for the next best thing and trying to make ourselves more “worthy” of love. Both the love of those around us and of God. The apple is really being fed to us by ourselves, society, our families, our churches. Basically anyone that makes you think you have to do or be more than what you personally feel is best for yourself.
What I am took from this book is the idea that God created us the way that we are, and we should accept ourselves because we are perfect in His eyes, and do our best to be true to ourselves and make the most out of ourselves by following our own hearts, and not worrying about other peoples wishes or expectations. Along with that, don’t blame your problems and shortcomings on others because we all decide how we are going to react to the things that happen to us in our lives, and no one’s life is perfect.
I for one, and many people that I know, tend to assign myself with responsibilities and then spend time feeling put upon because I am giving so much of myself to meet those responsibilities, without considering the fact that it was my choice. This is a major challenge for me, and I identified with the authors of the book in this respect.
The most valuable gem that I picked up was to remember that when my children aren’t meeting my expectations, or I am feeling disappointed in them, I must remember that they are God’s children and my idea of how they should be is not necessarily God’s idea. So when Leila is running around like a little beastling screaming and laughing and playing when I really want some quiet, or she is embarrassing me in public, I will remind myself that that is part of what makes her Leila, and she is just the way she was meant to be (3 year old manners and discipline requirements aside).
One of the neatest things about being a parent, and being around children is the realization that in a lot of ways, kids have it figured out better than the adults. Preschoolers don’t sit around comparing the clothes and hair styles of their friends and wondering if they stick out. They run and play without worrying about getting their pants dirty, or having to go back to school with sweat beads on their faces. They laugh when things are funny, and they don’t bother to when they are not. They shout out their joy and they toss themselves on the floor of Old Navy when you refuse to buy them an Orange Julius for lunch. Kids are awesome, they are pure and they are a reflection of God in front of us everyday. We could all stand to learn a thing or two about how to be ourselves, and how to be true to our creator from the experts.