March 9, 2007

bloggity book club

***Disclaimer: I ended up going on and on with things but I wanted to in order to have a personal record of all I have gotten from this. I'm sorry if my wordiness prevents you from seeing the God-given joy and redemption that can be found in this book. :) ***

The first book chosen for the bloggity book club is Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore. This is my first encounter with Beth Moore, other than her blog which I found through some other bloggers. Boy, she is funny! I was really excited about this book because it deals with pits and bondage and depression. You may ask, "These things bring you excitement?" Well, I struggle with the fog of daily life, a fog caused by pits and bondage and depression. But, ya know, I had NO idea how much these things affected me until I read this book.

I don't know where to begin in sharing the things God has taught me through this book. First, I guess, I'll tell you that Beth Moore is one scripture-lovin' lady. And that's awesome! There were so many meaningful scriptures. I started reading the book with pencil in hand (because I own this book thanks to a really generous friend) and before long, I was underlining ENTIRE passages. After awhile, I just started marking the margin. I have never had a non-fiction book speak to me so clearly. I'd like to give you a few quotes (I'll try to be concise) from the book and how they changed me.

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3
This is the inspiration for the book. When I read that, I knew God had brought me here. While I was typing that, my heart again started beating faster, knowing the calling God has given me. How exciting!

"In the light of God's face shining upon us, we also glimpse reflections of our true selves." (p.18-19)
How many times have I lost sight of God, only to lose sight of myself? Too many to count, let me tell you! When I am lost, HE is the way! Such a simple thing I learned as a child, but somehow I always forget.

In an effort of transparency because I think it could help others, this quote threw me for a loop.
"Every day she must consciously make the choice to believe her godly husband is not going to drop her off somewhere and never come back. Never minimize the choice someone like her makes daily to dig her heels securely in the rock and not slip back in that familiar pit that continually beckons, "Come home! Come home!" (p.24)
In the end, it is all about life's experiences. No matter who you are, there will always be trials. For me, it is my fear of abandonment. I won't bore you with my details of why. And even though this is such a common trial for people, my heart didn't realize others struggled with this too until I read this. My heart said "YES - THAT'S IT" and not feeling alone is the first of many important steps.

Another healing moment...
"...knowing that someone never meant to hurt us can lift us considerably in our ascent from the pit." (p.29)

The bottom line for me...
"Whoever threw you into the pit doesn't have any idea how much it hurt you. I'm not sure they would get it even if you told them in detail upon detail. No, they don't have a clue how much it affected your decisions and relationships. Humbly, but very specifically, forgive them not only for their destructive actions, but also for their ignorance. You have no other choice if you want out of that pit." (p.31)

Shedding light on true forgiveness...
"You will never use your own violition - the force of your will - more dramatically than when you agree with God to start forgiving. Forgiveness is not about feeling. It's about willing. Not stronger force exists." (p.33)

Why God allowed me to be in the pit...
"You have the capacity to be a ten times neater person healed than you would have been just plain well. Your wealth of experience makes you rich." (p.44-45)

"God entrusted that suffering to you because He has faith in you." (p.47)

A word about strongholds...
"Anything that becomes a bigger preoccupation in your mind than the truth and knowledge of God, anything that dwarfs His truth and knowledge in your imagination, is a stronghold." (p.61)
Does blogging or the TV (to say the least) come to mind for anyone? I know I felt the sting of this one.

Another stronghold: "...codependency..." (p.100)

Listening to God...
"If a new relationship or opportunity is causing you to feel trapped or backed into a corner, God could be flagging you that Satan is all over it." (p. 66-67)

The root of the problem for me...
"I had thought of my heart as only sinful. I didn't realize that deeper still, underneath that film of soil, my heart was sick. One of the most important shifts in my belief system began with the realization that I had a messed up "want to". (p. 80-81)

"We think we're too much for God to handle. That the strength of our personal draw into the abyss exceeds the strength for God's draw to pull us out." (p. 132)

And the reason I go back to the pit so often...
"So much of our propensity toward pit-jumping springs from the fact that somewhere down deep inside, we just don't trust God. We think He's like all the others who have cheated or betrayed us." (p.83)

"Nothing is more futile or leaves us more fractured than trusting man to be our god." (p.94)

"Indeed, one of the primary reasons we're so wounded is because the person knew what we were going through and still abandoned us." (p.99)

"Pride is the number one reason why a person who knows better remains reluctant to cry out to God." (p. 127)

"But smooth living invariably, eventually, makes for sloppy spirituality." (p. 147)

The answer...
"Only God can hang with us through the length and depth of our need." (p.96)

"God wants everything you've got...He alone must deliver you...or you will never be free." (p.115)

How God moves...
"I think He usually waits for us to cry out so He can remove all doubt about who came to our rescue." (p.122)

"Things don't just work out. God works them out. Blessed is the one who knows it." (p. 123)

"Your faith will be built by hearing your own voice speak the words of Christ." (p. 133)

Ah-ha moment...
"Confession in its widest sense is our means of baring our hearts and souls before God." (p.126)

"Think about how often you've tried to affirm someone for his strength in a certain tribulation, and he wouldn't take the compliment. He knows the fear he faces in the night, just like we do. He is painfully well acquainted with his own weakness when no one's looking, just like we are. I don't believe many people think themselves strong." (p.189)

Keep hanging on to God...
"When the battle heats up, rest assured that you're worrying your enemy, and he's trying to distract or discredit you." (p. 135)

As you can tell, this was a very personal journey. And the best part is - it isn't over. At the end of the book, there are a week's worth of scripture-based prayers. I intend to do them over and over until I have them memorized. Then, I can use them when I feel that fog a-callin'. I have hope that I can avoid the pit and be free. There is no better solution for me!

10 rays through the fog:

Deb said...

WOW!!! You go Girl!! What a GREAT review! God intrusted that suffering to you because he has faith in you!

Deena said...

What an incredible reminded me of so much that I loved. The story she told about the woman being left on the side of the road as a child made me close the book and bawl like a baby...because I spent years with that hanging over me, feeling that way...and I still struggle with it from time to time. Beth just has a way, doesn't she??

Amy H said...

I have to confess, because I only have a few minutes to blog while my daughter is in the tub, I couldn't read the whole blog. Forgive me! It sounds like a good book though that I will have to put on the to read list!

Thanks for the review!

Susie said...

This was such a great review. Many of us out here have fears, and God's word is clear that we should not. Thank you for your openness with your struggle. I can totally relate. I too loved the book and I loved the quotes and scriptures you highlighted. God bless you!

Robin said...

I don't think your wordiness could possibly keep people from seeing your joy in this book!

Great post!

BooMama said...

Love this post - and love all the specific quotes from the book - some great reminders for me as I read through what you've written.

I'm so glad that God blessed you through the reading of this book...and thanks so much for your honesty and transparency as you shared what you learned with the rest of us.

Blessings to you....

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

I'm so tickled to hear of someone else who writes all over books. I cannot read non-fiction without using a highlighter. Much better absorption rate that way. I loved this: ""...knowing that someone never meant to hurt us can lift us considerably in our ascent from the pit." (p.29)" Hallelujah! Sounds like a fabulous book. Maybe a summer read for me. xoxo

Judith said...

I'm so glad I checked your blog tonight, and please don't worry about wordiness. I needed everyone of them. Thank you so much for doing this.

TaunaLen said...

Just stopping by to 'discuss' the book club book. I enjoyed reading your great review. Here's to heading up and out, hanging on to God's robe!


Darlene said...

Wow! What a great and powerful review. I especially like the quote: Things don't just work out. God works them out. Blessed is the one who knows it." (p. 123)
Love Ya,

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