Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words – Book Summary


I must be honest here, this book both challenged me and encouraged me. The aha moments I identified with were tempered by flagrant emotional tension of those stories that left me shocked. The book begins at the title with a badge of courage, “Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words”. To understand the title is to understand the environments these three authors grew from; all of them children of alcoholics.

Read the full book review here: BizCatalyst360 – Transforming Memories
There are no pages bleeding out poor me, feel sorry for me, sympathy-seeking, parent-slamming, passive aggressive, co-dependency. Instead the book is predicated on what it was like to grow up in a family dysfunctional due to alcoholism. The first part of the book by Liz Crocker, Polly Bennell, and Holly Book describes their discovery of writing as a healing mechanism for their souls. Through their practice of writing and seeing its advantages, they agreed that they needed to share this form of therapeutic benefits with others. This book, Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words, is the result.


Transformative powers of light

I’ve always been fascinated by kaleidoscopes. When I was a little girl my grandma had one in the toy box. I still remember it was made out of a cardboard tube with a tin top and hazy plastic bottom. Not much to look at, but out of all the toys in the box, it was my favorite. Back then, I didn’t know how a kaleidoscope worked; I just knew that it transformed gray shadows into magical, designs when I looked toward the light. Kaleidoscope 1

A few years ago, at the annual ArtPrize event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I saw a life-size kaleidoscope. You know what? I was still fascinated. I had the opportunity to talk to the artist about his quest to find the perfect ingredients to craft his object for ArtPrize. Did you know the makeup of a kaleidoscope is from very basic materials? A tube, a few mirrors, some glass and plastic – nothing remarkable. Nothing remarkable. Does this sound familiar? That’s me. That’s us. Don’t we feel like that sometimes?

We feel a little like that tube, all shiny on the outside, but pretty hollow on the inside. Sometimes we’re shattered by the circumstances we’re living with and are exhausted in trying to figure out how to get through the maze. Inside the tube, it’s dark. The remnants of shattered glass are everywhere. There are mirrors, but in this position they reflect nothing. Let’s work on that.

We are like a kaleidoscope in the making. All the ingredients are there; what we need is the Master builder to perform His work in us. Jesus said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Like the kaleidoscope life is a potpourri of events, decisions, activities, and situations. Some of them are exciting, others are bursting with happiness. Don’t we love those times and cement them firmly in our memories? Then there are broken dreams, shattered opportunities and we want to forget they ever happened. Did you know God uses all of that – the good and the sorrowful – to make our lives beautiful and significant? The key is in our positioning. We have to get into the place where the Light of the World enters the dark, hollow tube and reflects off the mirrors of our hearts. All those fragmented pieces of glass, those times when we feel shattered, point them to the light and turn the filter while they fall into a beautiful design. The colors change and illuminate in patterns, each one unique, each one beautiful. Your life is unique and beautiful. All those broken toys, all those shattered plans, give them all to Jesus. He is the Light of the World and will make your life beautiful.

Kaleidoscope 2The kaleidoscope – unremarkable. But when the position is just right, the light comes in, reflects off the mirrors, and the shards of glass illuminate with unique beauty. I agree with David. Psalm 40:8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.

The sun is rising on a new day. I’ve been reading a lot of the book of Philippians, but today, I came across a verse in my bible that has been highlighted and underlined – one life enhancing truism: Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Today I’m thankful for hope through the good and bad, the ups and downs of how life happens. I’m thankful for light in a dark world. Now hand me that Kaleidoscope! enJOY this day!

Windows has installed new updates

I was gone last weekend – no computer, technology limited to my cell phone, and lots of snow –mounds of it, in fact. We were at our cabin in the north where life runs at a slightly slower pace. It was quiet and restful; a rare and coveted occasion, I know. Our cabin is somewhere written into the pages of my ‘thankful list’.  If you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you’ve heard all about ‘the list’. When we go to what I call ‘my haven’ I think of this verse in Isaiah 40:31 “They who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” We don’t set an alarm clock at the cabin and the sun rises before we have to.  I’m an early riser, so I’m up early – stealing those quiet moments to read and reflect.

Back home, I waited until this morning to turn all my technology devices back on. A message “Windows has installed new updates.” flashed on the screen and I had to laugh. “Windows has installed new updates.” After only one day of tranquility, how closely I could identify with that message! When I’m at the cabin, I often use those times to write cards. Because there are reasons to add scripture to the message, I keep a well-marked up and highlighted Bible close by. 2 Corinthians 13:11 instructs us to “… encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” Who doesn’t want the God of love and peace to be with us?

“Windows has installed new updates.” How simple that sounds! In fact if I look at the logs of what was changed in this manmade, inert object, there are sometimes many lines indicating significant changes. This is not unlike the changes God wants to make in my life – and especially the springboard for my life. God tells me not to just overwrite the thoughts and actions that are there, but to totally replace them.  Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? I love technology. Through it we have opportunities that couldn’t have existed 1000 years ago; or in many cases, even 10 years ago.  But the basic issues of life are unaffected by technology. They are heart issues, attitude issues, and technology won’t fix those. If we get the inside right, the outside will take care of itself. We’ve heard over and over again “Change your attitude, change your life.”  Unfortunately it takes time to effect a lasting changed.  Just like we expect technology to change things in an instant, we expect to change our attitude and life in an instant, and when it doesn’t, we wonder why it didn’t happen.

Stick with it.  It’s no mistake that God wrote these words in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Protect your heart and your thoughts while you’re learning to form new attitudes and moving forward with those ‘updates’ in life. A good place to start is here, like David in Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Renew, update, replace, just start.

If I get the inside right, the rest will take care of itself. Right?

“Windows has installed new updates.” With God on our side, we have a fresh spirit installed in us every time we call on Him. Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Amy Grant wonders why do we try so hard.