Study of The Worn Out Woman Part I
by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray
Prologue: Winter Night
These are the pages where they share some personal stories of women who have been worn out and spiritually empty. Here are some quotes from the book on how the various women felt:
Most days I feel overwhelmed.
I want to run away and start over again.
I've wished my life away.
I hardly ever experience intimate or tender moments with the Lord.
My days are filled with things I don't want to do.
When I read the Bible, it's out of habit rather than desire.
The joy and excitement are gone.
I wake up feeling discouraged.
I've taken on responsibilities that I never wanted.
I feel like I'm missing me. But maybe it's God I'm missing.
At the end of each chapter there's a page called "Something To Try." That's where you reflect on your personal situation as you review questions or suggestions they have for you.
Chapter 1: What's Going On?
"Don't ask me to relax; It's my tension that's holding me together." Author unknown.
Chapter one has you take your own personal inventory of what has you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. There's a check list to determine your stress level. My personal level was marked Severe---get help now! Yippy skippy.
Chapter 2: Telling Your Story
What I appreciate about this book is that it hits some valuable points without probing too deep. This is a brief chapter that has you consider your life as well as what and who has shaped you. You're to consider the obvious like family to the more obscure like teachers, coaches, and old boyfriends. You're to consider events--traumatic or positive, decisions you have made--that have made you who you are. It also has you consider your basic personality and temperament and how that makes it possible for some women to respond to stress so much differently than their friend or family member. No particular personality type is labeled as weaker or anything. It reinforces that God made us all different. "Your basic personality or temperament is part of the way God wove you in your mother's womb."
Chapter 3: Shoulds and Oughts
This is the best chapter so far!!!! I could really relate. It's about expectations we place on ourselves by comparing ourselves to others, people pleasing, and perfectionism. I have an appointment I can't miss, so I hope to get back to this later today. I constantly poison my brain with thoughts of how I'm not as good of a housekeeper as so and so, I'm not as fine of a disciplinarian as that mom, I don't have the mild and glowing personality of that friend, or I don't have the attractive physical appearance of just about anyone I admire. This chapter had words that for once could penetrate my brain and make me reconsider how hard I am on myself. I hope they'll work for you, too! More later!