I woke up feeling a little blue this morning, so I immediately opened my "mood changer" books to get out of this funk: Break Out! by Joel Osteen and Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant. I can't begin to express how much these books have helped me keep the right perspective about the good, bad, and unpredictable moments that we all experience in life. Joel Osteen's book is my favorite of the two and by far my #1 book purchase from Barnes and Noble to date! I began reading it last November during a 6-day (and might I add) long, overdue fast and it's still as uplifting today as it was then. Acts of Faith was a birthday gift from my former manager, which just so happens to be in December. I guess you can say that God was equipping me with some of the tools I would need to get through all of the life changes I have and am still going through in 2014. Hey, they don't call Him an on time God for nothing!
I am a huge fan of Joel Osteen's devotional podcasts, so I was pretty confident that I would enjoy Break Out! just as much. Just like his sermons, his book is very personable, oftentimes making me feel as though I'm literally sitting in Lakewood (his church) in Houston, Texas listening to him preach. However, what I love the most about Break Out! and Joel Osteen's preaching style in general, is his ability to effectively teach you the Word of God; while inspiring you to pursue your dreams and passion. He's a staunch advocate of "God-sized prayers", which simply means taking our limits off God and asking Him to make our biggest dreams a reality. This particular chapter of the book spoke to me a lot because I've been guilty of praying prayers that suggest I don't believe God to be as all-powerful and sovereign as I rightly know that He is. Therefore, I have to frequently remind myself to be open, honest, and bold while praying if I have any hope of prospering as an HR Professional, independent contractor, and freelance writer (even though the only thing I've managed to write freely so far is this blog). Did I mention that I am working towards becoming completely debt-free too? [Insert your gaping mouth here]
Let's just say that at this point in my life, I find myself needing a LOT more prayer, encouragement and motivation to remain sane, which probably explains why I've been reading so many memoirs as of lately. Indulging in the lives, mistakes, and success of real people living in this very real world has become one of my favorite hobbies mostly because (as weird as this may sound) it fuels my ambition to be successful even when the odds are against me. What's great about Break Out! is that it not only fuels my ambition; but has helped me realize just how much God has blessed me throughout the years, months, days, hours, and even at this very minute. As far as I'm concerned, it's a blessing to have this blog where I can safely and openly share my opinions with You about the books I read. You might not think so, but considering the number of people in the world that don't have access to the internet or the thousands of women who are forbidden from getting an education...trust me, it's a blessing!
Acts of Faith is a much different book than Break out!. It's a compilation of daily messages that I prefer to think of as little nuggets of wisdom for each day of the calendar year. Here's a few lines from the much-needed reality check Iyanla gave me this morning:
Listen honey, Oprah didn't give Iyanla her own show for nothing...
We give people too much responsibility when we entrust them with our business. We should only tell our problems to people who can help. We are quick to accuse our friends of betraying us, but do we consider how much we betray ourselves?
Should you Open or Close this book?I recommend OPENING either of these books if you need encouragement.
Would I read another book by this author? Absolutely!
What will I read next? I'm currently reading Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan
What do you do when you're feeling blue?