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Sunday, November 27, 2011

One Month to Live - Book Review

"Time once spent cannot be reclaimed.  Once an hour, minute or moment is over, it's gone forever.  However, we can redeem the remaining time we have."

The thing I've really been needing is true down time - time without the computer or making notes on what I can do/get done next.  True down time!  That will only happen if I make the decision to make it happen.  If you feel like you don't have enough time to have some down time - the reality is you can't afford not to. "A regular time of rest and recovery…" is essential according to this book.  

"…we're designed to require rest and to crave beauty."

Lately I've been in a season of my life where I feel like I need to purge so much of what we have in our home.  Most of what we have acquired has been free or very inexpensive.  I think that is one of main reasons why we have so much stuff.  Couple that with us being home educators with 3 kids and that also adds "stuff".  For months (even a couple years) I've felt the need to purge and simply our lives.  It's such a hard thing to do when there's so much we could join in our around us.  Co-ops, troops, art classes, sports, activities, etc…. Yes we're involved in some things but I like to keep it at a bear minimum.  If we add too much in our schedule, we run here and run there.  We end up being late everywhere and aren't able to even give 50% to one of those areas we're involved.  For that reason among others we're trying to simplify even more.  It's those times when we're in our home as a family learning and creating together that we have those special bonding moments.  I'm so thankful for that and pray we can simplify things even more.  This book suggests keeping a journal for a week and seeing what our time wasters are and then either cutting them out or cutting down on the time we do those things.  I already know my main time waster.  Now it's time to put things into action.

Matthew 11:28-29

" A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."  
~ William Shed

When I first read that quote, it really struck me. Kerry and Chris use this analogy to ask us what we are holding on to that we're not willing to trust God with.  They talk about how we cling to monkey bars not willing to let go and let God catch us in the different areas of our lives.  The question for you is, what is your monkey bar moment?  I believe that for most if not all of us, that problem is fear. Oh how Satan uses fear to make us feel trapped.

Another great point in this book is, if we were told we only had one month to live, how would that change things and our perspective?  Would we loosen up and do some more radical things for the Lord?  Would we put down those things that hinder us and our relationships and make the relationships more meaningful?  I believe we all would do those things when faced with the possibility of close death.  The sad thing is, why do we wait so long to take any action?  Why can't we all be living so much more fulfilled lives?  The answer is we can, we choose not to.

Things that stood out that I can do now are these:
1. If I only had a month to live, who would I spend time with and what would I do in order to make sure I had good time with them.

2. Unload on Him; write a letter to God and tell Him how others have deeply hurt me leading to bitterness.  Ask for his help because on my own, I cannot do it.  

3. Diagnose each relationship you have and determine what you need to do to make it healthier.

4. Write down 5 different gifts you know you have, then ask family members to tell you what gifts they think you have.  Compare lists then find a way to use those lists.  Start out by praying to God to see what He'd have you do with them.

5. Try to take time at least once per week being still and alone for an hour.  No books, email, phone calls, etc…  Just stare out the window, take a walk, or sit somewhere quietly.

6. Look for those around me in most need and help them.  

7. Figure out how much time I spend in God's word a week and then figure out how much time I want to spend in it, and do it!  This is the one thing in life that will produce fruit even after I'm gone.

8. Find 5 people (not family or co-workers) that share my convictions and commitment to godly character.  How often do we see each other?  How can I encourage them and get together with them more often?

9. Make a list of 1 to 5 things I desire and be honest with it.  Take them to God and ask what His perspective is regarding them.

Sayings that I really enjoyed in this book.
The only people with whom you should try and get even are those who have helped you.
~John E. Southard

There lives in each of us a hero awaiting the call to action.
~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude.  Don't complain.
~Maya Angelou

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.  We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy.  
~Tim Hansel

Guard the secret theatre of your heart.  See nothing there that you do not want to see happen in reality.
~Roy H. Williams

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.  
~Edmund Burke

My children will not remember the words of wisdom I've passed along over the years, nor will yours remember the good advice you've given.  However, etched in their minds and planted in their hearts is a permanent picture of who you are and how you've lived before them.  
~Dorothy Kelley Patterson

Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start now and make a brand-new ending.
~Carl Bard

For someone who has never really thought about the possibility of possibly leaving this earth in a month…this book is a great eye opener.  I would recommend this to everyone I know.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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