Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Book Project, #8, Cracking the Communication Code

8. Cracking the Communication Code: The Secret to Speaking Your Mate’s Language by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

No rating — I haven’t read it yet.

Judging from my last post on Love & Respect, you’re probably wondering why I own Eggerichs’ next book. Well, because my parents bought it for me. The difference is that I haven’t heard anyone talk about this one. I haven’t read any reviews. And I haven’t cracked it open to read it yet.

Truth be told, I’m hopeful that I’m going to be delightfully surprised and enriched when I do get to it.

It’s going on my “To Read” list.

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The Book Project, #7, Love & Respect

7. Love & Respect: The love she most desires, the respect he desperately needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Gzzsh, grzh, grz. (That’s me hitting my head against the desk.)

This book comes highly recommended by so many people. I think that’s why I bought it. Or did someone buy it for me? (If that was you and you’re reading this now, please extend a ton of grace for me.) But I could not get past chapter three. I think I tried at least three different times.

They led workshops and classes on this book at our church. Small groups have been formed from this book. Really, there must be something to it. So don’t rule it out based on my opinion. From what I can tell, though, the content in this book could just as easily have been written in a medium-size six-page brochure and covered all the information that’s in the book. Maybe, I could have gotten all the way through it then.

Anyway, it’s still on my shelf. Perhaps I’m waiting for the next person to say, “We’re reading ‘Love & Respect’ in our Small Group so I guess I better order it!” Then I can run up to my library and happily bless them with the book.

1 star.

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The Book Project, #6, Making Love Last Forever

Ohmyword! Book number 6 is one of my all-time most favorite marriage books ever!

Making Love Last Forever by Gary Smalley

Well, and now that I’ve said that, I read it so long ago, I can’t remember all the specific pearls of wisdom that I gleaned from this book. But it was one of the transformational books for our marriage.

LeRoy likes to highlight in books and write in the margins. (Agh! Something I’ve learned to treasure instead of getting frustrated about.) So, when I flipped through this book, I noticed that he read about half way through. I’m thinking that either he read enough from this book that we grew together or the principles were so easy to discuss and practical to implement that I shared as I read and they resonated with him, too.

Just one of the nuggets we mined from this treasure trove of wisdom was the idea of asking your spouse every single day, “How can I honor you and bless you?” LeRoy has been devoted to asking this question ever since, (16 years?), and here’s what happened: my three boys began asking me on a regular basis, “Mom, how can I honor you and bless you?” (Way to be amazing, LeRoy! I so admire what a loving husband you are and an awesome example to our sons!)

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So, 3 stars.

And I highly recommend this book for every married couple and anyone who thinks that maybe they’d like to be married one day.

The Book Project, Book 5

5. Safe Haven Marriage: Building a Relationship You Want to Come Home To by Dr. Archibald D. Hart and Dr. Sharon Hart Morris

No rating — I haven’t read it yet.

Oi. So this is what will happen when I come to a book that I haven’t read yet, but really want to read at some point in the future. I’ll sit here and stare at the book, get a bit overwhelmed momentarily, and then start a “To Read” list, mark it with a bright pink tab and set it back on the shelf.

Moving on.

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The Book Project, Book 4

4. Intimacy: A 100-Day Guide to Lasting Relationships by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D.

3 stars.

I loved this book because a friend recommended it to me at a time when we were trudging through a proverbial season of drought in our marriage. It is the equivalent of hundreds of dollars and many, many hours of professional counseling. It’s also incredibly deep. There were some chapters in this book that probed deeply into my soul, illuminating areas of self-centeredness and self-preservation that needed to be dealt with, repented of, forgiven, and healed.

Two specific things that improved our marriage:

  1. (…and this one has had immeasurable impact) LeRoy began praying with me right before falling asleep. Actually, he prays. Occasionally, I add a few words. And sometimes, I fall asleep before he finishes, so he just prays anyway.
  2. This next one was for me, (because I saw how foolish and immature I was behaving). Weiss writes about Emotional Maturity and places six topics into three very different categories, describing each one in detail: Child, Adolescent, and Adult. The topics are spiritual, social, financial, sexual, feelings, and fun. That was enlightening.  Now, I’ll tell you, I’m not where I’d like to be, but I’m thankful I’m not where I used to be. If you ask God to mature you… He’s faithful to provide the necessary training in order to answer with a resounding Yes! 🙂

No, I don’t necessarily recommend this book. It has a lot in it that takes the two of you being in agreement. I’ve learned over the years that LeRoy and I are usually in different stages of maturing. Sometimes he’s ahead of me in certain areas and sometimes I’m ahead of him in other areas. In light of this, it’s better to work on yourself, pray for your spouse, and lovingly, with discernment, make suggestions along the way. If you’re prone to seeds of resentment or bitterness, there are other books out there that are better than this one. But, if you and your spouse are both introspective over-achievers — with a dose of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) — who are passionate about going deep, doing lots of soul searching, and keeping up on homework for 100 days… you may enjoy this book.

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The Book Project, Book 3

3. Laugh Your Way to A Better Marriage by Mark Gungor

2 Stars

We went through this small group study with… yes, a small group. In fact, if you want to go deep in relationships fairly quickly, move overseas, arrive on Monday, say yes to the gal you meet through a mutual connection on FB who sends you a private message offering to take you to coffee the next day, ask her if she attends church anywhere and tell her your family will join them on Sunday, and then ask if she’s part of a small group, requesting details on when and where and “you don’t mind if we join your group, do you?” [How To Connect With People Quickly, 101. Complimentary course.] One caveat: you have to be authentic and willing to share. Nothing to fear — we’ve encountered the most amazingly gracious people along the way! 🙂

There were a few sessions that lacked depth in my opinion. The best sessions were the ones on purity, especially the one titled “The #1 Key to Incredible Sex.” Also, I deeply appreciated the last session in which Gungor talks about Starting Over… Again and hitting the reset button. Practical advice that sometimes needs to be implemented several times in one day. Ah! The treasure of forgiveness!

I showed the video clip on the difference between men’s brains and women’s brains to my children and it was a lighthearted way to enlighten them… and help them be more gracious and understanding with one another. In fact, just today, my daughter mentioned the “nothing box” as I lamented that I needed some white space. Of course, I have a way of filling all my nothing boxes with something. I would definitely promote this series to teens and college-aged folks! LeRoy and I talked about going through it with the young adults living in our home. Maybe in the next couple of months.

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The Book Project, Book 2

I don’t know where this workbook came from. And while authentic anything appeals to me, a quick flip through the pages of Authentic Marriages Workbook: How to connect with other couples through a marriage accountability group by Jeff & Lora Helton confirms that this one can go in the donate pile.

Discovering this on my shelf revealed something to me about our marriage, though. I realize that somewhere along the way, we’ve grown into an authentic marriage. That on any given day, if asked how my marriage is doing, I’m apt to give an honest answer.

Looking back, there was a time when I would have tried to “justify” our marriage. Meaning, I used to point out all the great aspects of our marriage to try to show others — and myself — that the little disappointments weren’t all that important. But now I see that over time, those have potential of stacking up until they look an awful lot like resentment. It’s far better to lay it bare on the table… before God… myself… and, in the right context of loving friendships who honor the marriage covenant, with others. I’m okay with the messiness of marriage these days because I’m learning that God’s Grace is beautiful in the messy.

Still, I won’t rate this one because I never read it or went through it and I don’t plan to. 😉

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The Book Project, Book 1

Book Project, Book 1

Top shelf. Left to right.

It’s fitting that the topic is marriage since our 22nd anniversary is next month.

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1. “Before You Say ‘I Do’: A marriage preparation manual for couples” by H. Norman Wright & Wes Roberts

2 stars.

Like going through an in – depth, practical boot camp to get ready for marriage. Perfect for those personalities who want to read the entire instruction manual prior to putting all the pieces together. Not so perfect for those who like to jump into a project and don’t mind “a few parts left over” later.

I noticed that there’s an updated version. The one I own was published in January 1997 (which means we were already married for four years when we got this)! The new one came out in August of 2015, a couple of months ago.

The Book Project

This post is copied and pasted from a Facebook post I wrote earlier today:

My daughter and I were having a conversation the other day. She brought up the fact that I’m a book hoarder (my words, not hers… her words were, “Mom, you have a LOT of books.”). She then went on to ask me how many books that I own have I actually read. Hm. Great question. It got me thinking.

So, I’ve decided to start a project. I’m going to go through all my books. Publicly. In some ways, I think it will be fun. At times, I think I’m going to be embarrassed. (What will people think that I have that book — let alone that I read it… and liked it, too?) What are people going to think when they get to know me better?

You know what they say, “If you want to know what a person values, look at their bank statement/checkbook and their calendar.” Well, I invest a ton of money and time in books… I’m opening up the “accounting book and calendar” to show where it’s been invested.

The other part of this project that is motivating me is the value of contribution. I know that it helps authors get the word out about their book when readers review their book publicly. So, it’s a way for me to contribute — especially after spending my life consuming all those delicious words.

Here are the rules for this project:

• I’ll start on the top shelf. Left to right. I have to touch every single book. No skipping.

• Every book gets a rating: 1 – 3 stars. One star: I didn’t love it. (Which will force me to ask why I still have it.) 2 stars: It was good. 3 stars: I loved it. It’s a favorite! (I may or may not recommend it based on a few different factors.)

• Every book gets reviewed on Amazon. Even if it’s only one line (though some books resonated so deeply that I might be tempted to write a book about the book. Smile.)

Just for fun, I counted how many books on parenting I own. 119. (This project might take a while.)

Question for all you tech-savvy, social media specialists… where would you suggest as the best medium for sharing this project? Right here on FB? A specific FB page created just for this project? My blog?

Excited to get started!

*After receiving advice from friends I’ve decided to post pictures and reviews here and on a special Facebook Page, and then link them both to my main Facebook page.