Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And Yet Another Blog Review!

Review from Corn Husker Academy
I was excited to get the chance to read this book - it is dealing with such a huge issue - shame. Marilyn approaches this issue from the heart because she dealt with it her whole life, sometimes not even realizing it. She tells her personal story and it is so interesting and gripping that I read through this book in two days. I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing that, because it is meant to really help you dig deep and work through shame issues you might have. But you need to understand that while I can read a non-fiction book in a day or two, I struggle through most non-fiction books. I didn't struggle here at all. Marilyn's writing is wonderfully light and easy to read, while incredibly engaging. Her story will pull you in while the end of the chapters will help you heal. At the end of each chapter she has 3 things to do...

1) How About You? There are a few questions that get you thinking about whether what Marilyn dealt with in that chapter might be something that you need to deal with too.

2) Shame Lifters. Here Marilyn mentions some things you can do to start working through these issues, practical self-help, along with scripture to lift you up.

3) A Prayer. The chapter ends with a prayer that you can pray that helps pour your heart out to your Heavenly Father.

I can't even begin to tell you the list of people that I want to pass this book onto! It is wonderful! Shame Lifters could change the body of Christ one reader at a time by letting them see themselves as God sees them instead of through the eyeglasses of shame that they usually wear.

Another Blog Review from the Wild Card Tour!

Dynamic Uno here:
Wow! Marilyn's story was so open and honest that it was hard to read at times because I wasn't sure I wanted to suffer the pain and heartbreak that she felt throughout her life. I generally keep a "quote book" beside my reading table so that I can jot down little thought s and treasures through the quotes I get from books, but there are whole chapters in Shame Lifter that I would have liked to write down! (Chapter 5 especially!) When I first started reading this book, I didn't really think I would fall into the category of having "shame." After all, I'm a pretty cheerful person. But, when you really listen and hear Marilyn's story, there are many places where I could have inserted my name instead of hers. ("Perfectionism" anyone? Yep--that's caused by shame too.)

What I really enjoyed about this book was the frankness and sincerity of Marilyn's words. This is her story--one that many of us may share or mirror with our own lives. The sad part is that many of us may not recognize that we are filled with shame. (Myself included.) This book will make you more aware of your past hurts, but more importantly, give you ways to move beyond those hurts to be set-free of the shame and doubt in your life!

At the end of each chapter there are focus questions, as well as a section that gives ideas for becoming Shame Lifters. There is also a scriptural-based prayer that deals with the subject matter of the previous chapter. At the end of the book is a beautiful Love Letter called
Father's Love Letter. (I had seen it before and am SO glad it was included in this book because I think many of us need to be reminded every now and again that we really DO MATTER. That God really does love us--even if we don't live up to our own or someone else's standards. There are also lists of behaviors that classify people as shame givers and receivers. (You'll have to read the book to find out the actual definitions for those terms.) And, some beautiful letters that were written by Marilyn. I am actually going to buy several copies of this book for MANY of the women in my life. Even if you are not normally attracted to "this type of book," please read it anyway. I'm certain that there is someone in your life that could use it for themselves. If nothing else, it will help you become more of a Shame Lifter in the lives of people around you.

Let me know what you think! Happy Reading!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Review from the Wild Card Book Tour

Book Review from:

Most likely, you'd never know this unless I told you, especially after browsing here at My Bookshelf--but I prefer non-fiction to fiction.

Told you you'd never know it! I love a good story, one that not only entertains but educates and inspires, free from the 'ick' factor and full of the Spirit.

But a non-fiction book that changes me, that takes me on a real-life journey with someone who's walked the road I'm walking---that really is what I tend to hunt for.

And that's what I found in Marilyn Hontz' book, "Shame Lifter". It was worth having just for the gorgeous cover art alone, but I must tell you--I wouldn't have missed this journey with Marilyn for the world.

In her book, "Shame Lifter", Marilyn truly bares her soul, sharing episodes in her life and thoughts from her mind that may shock some, but most likely will make others think "Oh, praise God, I'm NOT alone!"

Marilyn talks about talking with an accent--an accent of shame. She shares how one moment--a compliment, actually--created a break-through for her. How even the thought of writing a book caused shame based thoughts to race through her mind.

I'm SO glad she didn't listen!!

As one who has lived nearly my entire life battling the voice of shame inside my head and my heart, I drank in Marilyn's book like a thirsty sponge. The power of her message will join the ranks of Beth Moore's "Breaking Free" and books like "The Relief of Imperfection" to help Christian women (and even men) blow aways the clouds of shame in their lives.

Marilyn makes the quick distinction between guilt and shame, and talks about how shame can be used to motivate people to change. This isn't the shame Marilyn sets us free from.

The shame she has been held captive by, and the shame I still battle, is a sense of "why am I even breathing air" kind of shame. An over-the-top sense of unworthiness that keeps one bound and unable to serve God in freedom.

If you've never battled such shame, read Marilyn's book, because I'm certain you know someone who is battling it. You may even be heaping inappropriate shame upon them without knowing it. Let her book set you free.

If you're very familiar with shame and long to crush the tapes that play constantly in your head, allow the voice of God to speak through Marilyn's experiences and to lift up your head as a child of the King. Let her book set you free.

If you are a counselor, you won't find a better book (besides God's Word) to give to others to read. Marilyn is relatable, inspiring, transparent, and informative. She is a kind and wonderful companion who's forged ahead on the path of healing just far enough to guide us along the way.

Also included in Marilyn's book is 'The Father's Love Letter', used with permission from the original authors, along with some other useful additions to the story she shares with us.

Each chapter concludes with questions, shame lifters, and prayers to guide you in your path to healing and deliverance from unhealthy shame. I cannot recommend Marilyn's book to you enough. This is one I will be buying and handing out to others I know who battle with shame.

It's also going to stay on my 'read again' shelf...because I know I'm not done yet. Christ has my victory already won, I know...but I still live with me, and I can be my own worst enemy.

I'm giving "Shame Lifter" the Golden Bookmark for writing excellence and genuine heart, as well as voting it "Best Christian Living/Inspiration Book of 2009". Go out and get your copy TODAY. Don't wait another moment.

You'll be SO glad you did.

Happy Reading!

Review from the Wild Card Book Tour

Book Review from Wendi's Book Cover Blog:

Perfect for :
Personal Use, share with those who are experiencing

** Even if you don't think this is the book for you, I hope you will scroll down and take a peak at the first chapter - it was very eye-opening for me!

In a nutshell: In Shame Lifter, Marilyn has written a very revealing and helpful book about how to discover the things in your life that have created a feeling of shame, which may result in feelings of inadequacy and fear. Not only does she help you to discover things that have contributed to these feelings, she gives you the tools to help understand how to heal from them! This is a great book to read for yourself, as well as to share with others.

Extended Review: I am a perfectionist, and yet I never feel done. My husband would laugh at this statement, as he sees a completely different side of me - the one where I can completely overwhelm myself because I don't think I know what I'm doing, or that there is no way I can do it correctly. As I began to read Shame Lifter, I realized that according to Marilyn's description of a shame-based perspective on life (described in the introduction): I'm always afraid that what I do will not be good enough, that people won't like me, that I will forget to mention something important, etc. While I've always assumed these faults were based on a lack of confidence, the author points out that these are traits of shame. At some point in my life, I must have done something (probably many somethings that added up) that made me feel shame. As I think back, I was never the most popular girl in school, I felt bad if I missed a word during a spelling contest, etc - I think the early years of school can either build you up, or really make you weary.

As I continued to read through the book, I found that I could relate in little ways to a lot of the things that Marilyn was sharing. Then I found inspiration and clarity in the questions at the end of each chapter, and the Shame Lifter activities.

I think that a lot of being able to change is understanding how we became what we are, and then having a goal of what we want to be - and this book is the perfect companion to accomplish this. I really hadn't given much thought to the things that have sculpted me over the years to create the woman that I am today, I am very proud of some things, and have discovered that I will be even happier if I stop ignoring the fact that the fear of rejection or making a mistake was holding me back from fully experiencing life.

Now that I am more aware, I can continue to re-visit some of the chapters that were more relevant to my life and heal by going through the questions and Shame Lifter Activities. I also plan to share this book with some of the people in my life.

Content: Marilyn has written a very good introduction that explains how Shame Lifer came about, and what it is. She then has eleven chapters that focus on different things. Then she has a Father's Love Letter (p. 185) where she has shared many inspirational scriptures, and finally there is an appendix section with some really helpful information.

Format: In each chapter, Marilyn uses an example from her life to illustrate the main points. (She includes pertinent scriptures throughout the book where appropriate.) Each main chapter ends with a series of questions to help you make discoveries of your own, then a few Shame Lifter activities to help you heal, or allow you to help someone else heal. Finally, there is a prayer at the end of each chapter.

Readability: The book was very easy to read and understand.

Overall: A wonderfully helpful book for anyone experiencing fear, shame, guilt, etc, or for someone who wants to help others experiencing shame. The book does help you find the truth and change your fears into hope. I plan to share this book with a lot of people in my life. Hopefully some will find comfort and hope, and others will be inspired to help others by becoming Shame Lifters.