By Angela Howard
Every so often I read a book that’s so incredible I can’t help but become a crazy evangelist for it. If you’ve talked to me over the last month I’ve probably found a way to bring up this book. It wouldn’t be dramatic to say that Peace for Lifetime—Embracing a Life of Hope, Wholeness & Harmony Through Emotional Abundance by Lisa Murray is a true life-changer—for your relationship with God, with yourself and with those you love. I couldn’t possibly address everything covered in the book, but here’s one way it’s brought peace to our family.
Peace to Our Family
Mike and I are right in thick of raising teenagers. We have moments of victory where we feel like we’re on top of the world, and the next second we experience equally frustrating feelings of defeat, wondering if we’re doing anything right at all. This is parenting and this is real life.
Part of our greatest challenge over the past year has been teaching our teens how to understand, identify and process their emotions. Lisa writes, “Emotions don’t just disappear, they simply pile up one on top of another, until they eventually explode or implode.” We knew this was true but needed help with practical relatable ways to teach our kids. Knowing this was key to their development and to their future relationships we didn’t give up, but at times we felt like we were fumbling around in the dark. When I started reading Peace for a Lifetime I knew this was the missing piece to the puzzle.
The Missing Piece to the Puzzle
We needed to develop what Lisa calls, Emotional Abundance, the ability to “…[F]eel our emotions, to reason through our emotions, to understand our emotions, and to effectively manage our emotions so we can appropriately respond to the people and circumstances around us.”
Should be easy, right? Well, maybe not. But it does sound peaceful!
Feel Our Emotions
We had to consider: Does our family leave room for quiet so that we can connect to our emotions and listen for the voice of God?
Solitude allows us to silence the outside world and simply be in the presence of God.—Lisa Murray
Name Our Emotions
We have one teen who tends to exclusively name negative emotions and another who focuses more on positive emotions. The goal was to help them both explore a greater depth of their feelings. We did this by providing them a list of emotions from Lisa’s book as well as an emotional faces chart. I thought there would be huge push back from our request but I couldn’t have been more wrong. They loved it!
Later that same week I watched Ben grab the book off the couch and read it to a friend. He wanted to share what he was learning about naming emotions. They say that you never really learn something until you teach it to someone else. If that’s true we’ve come full circle.
Our family is finding peace in learning to process our emotions more effectively. We’re not perfect but we’re learning and I’m so grateful I opened Lisa’s book and kept reading. It was worth every minute.
Lisa Murray is a License Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in spiritual, emotional, and relational healing as well as a full spectrum of mental health issues. If you’re looking for healing and wholeness in your life than pick up Peace for Lifetime today!
Angela Howard is an author and minister who loves empowering people with authentic encouragement and Biblical perspective for their imperfect lives. Her book: How to Love Your Crazy Family is on amazon and you can connect with her on her blog at noordinarydays.com.
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