I'm Happy for You (Sort Of....Not Really) -- Book Review

We live in a culture obsessed with comparison.  As parents, we feel the pressure intensely with our children, or in our careers as we see others succeed, or in our homes when we alternate locations for small group gatherings.  We may not even be aware we are suffering from a disorder – Obsessive Comparison Disorder.

How do you know if you suffer from Obsessive Comparison Disorder? 

  • Do you feel delighted when you do something better than someone else?
  • Do you feel like you do not measure up when someone else does something better than you?
  • Do you look on Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram and wish your life was more like that?
  • Do you feel better at someone else’s misfortune?
  • Do you feel burdened by something unfair or unequal?
  • Do you feel embarrassed about something you have that isn’t new or trendy?

 If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will enjoy reading I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really) by Kay Wills Wyma.  We are content when comparison is not involved, and we may be oblivious to what we lack, but once we start measuring against a new standard, we either enter the Land of Discontent or the Land of Superiority. 

Full of anecdotes and illustrations from her life as well as highlights sprinkled throughout the book of others' experiences, Wyma shows how big the problem of comparison is and reminds us that things are not always what they seem. She also gives solutions without sounding preachy, weaving them into her stories by showing what happens when we can accept life’s inequalities, when we can say “I am happy for you” and mean it without comparing, and when we can know each other for who we are and not what we do.  When we can think less about ourselves instead of less of ourselves, then we can begin to overcome the discontentment or superiority that comes from comparing.
I thought this book was delightful, entertaining, and humorous while also exposing the painful layers of my heart that are guilty of comparison in ways I had never considered.  I highly recommend this book to mothers and grandmothers.  To learn more about this book, check out the following:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Coming Clean: A Story of Faith - Book Review

Sometimes it is just hard to face life.  We want to run from hurt or pain.  If we can't run from it, we want to mask it or cover it up.  Some do this chemically – pain pills, alcohol, weed, food, self-medicating with substances that temporarily replace the yucky feelings with good ones.  Others run from it by substituting their focus with something else – hard work, internet surfing, materialism, social media likes/approvals, status, evading the pain by burying it with action.  But when we do these things, we isolate ourselves; and we fail to hear the still small voice.

When I picked up Seth Haines’s book Coming Clean: A Story of Faith, I was not sure if it was the season to read it, but it was next on my list.  I was sitting in the hospital with my husband who was recovering from surgery and just diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.  What interest could I find in a book about an alcoholic Christian, church leader, devoted father and husband on the search of sobriety? 

But what kept me reading was the pain that Seth Haines felt during a time of life when his two-year-old son was hospitalized and might not live. It was also during a time when he realized he had used alcohol as a balm to soothe him where God was not.  Writing in the style of a journal, he chronicled his path to sobriety over a period of several months.  He reached back to pain that stemmed from his childhood with a faith healer that failed him and how that experience had infected him and his faith now.  By facing the pain, digging into it and not covering it up and isolating himself, he found a new faith and a community that gave him strength. 

For me, this was more than a story of struggling with alcoholism and sobriety. It was a peek into another one’s life who struggles with the issues of healing and faith.  I could relate to the unhelpful things that people say and find the grace to forgive them in it.  I understood the desire to isolate oneself and could relate to wanting to cover up pain.  He showed me ways that we tend to run from pain, and how instead, we can let Jesus meet us there. 

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan Publishing in exchange for my honest review.