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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Monday, September 29, 2008

All Rain, No Mud by Sharon Larsen

Watching with baited breath as friends of mine struggled this past month with the forces of nature, made me think of a sweet little book on my shelf that has become one of my favorites. All Rain, No Mud: Simple Secrets for Happiness . . . Even on Rainy Days by Sharon Larsen is a classic.

Ok, I know you thought I was going to talk about an emergency preparedness title, didn’t you? J Nope, I’m happy to report that most members of the church whom I have heard from (or about) after the hurricanes had one thing in common. They were prepared. They took the prophet’s advice and heeded the dangers and warnings about the areas they lived in and could feel some measure of peace and security in the midst of a very big life storm.

Today, I’d like to talk about a different kind of emergency preparedness. See, in my opinion there are just times when life is one big, fat, emergency and somebody forgot to hand you one of those blaze orange life vests when you got on this crazy ride. Not all of us will face the same type of rain that my friends did in the hurricane, but there is still plenty of rain. Sometimes it’s just different and we don’t have much warning when it’s going to hit. To weather these kinds of storms requires just as much heed to the prophet. We all could do with a little more spiritual shoring up.

To me, Sharon Larsen is an expert on shoring up for life’s hazards and All Rain, No Mud is a wonderful book of heart-to-heart council and ponderings for many of us. It’s not thick; it’s not elaborate or scholarly. It’s sweet and simple, but it’s also poignant.

All Rain, No Mud gently points out that yes, rain will occur but it can lead to wonderful things. Each chapter takes just a few minutes of time to read, but it can take hours to ponder what the message means to you. Here are a few of the chapter titles and a few of my favorite thoughts from the text.

  • Doing in Love What I Love to Do
  • Reflections on Style and Substance
  • Second Best and Still Okay
  • Slow Growing

“Patience and perspective are inextricably connected. The amount of patience I need depends on whose tower I am viewing life from. . . There are times when I have been consumed with my own broken dreams and ready to quite or retaliate. I have felt unappreciated, hurt, and despitefully used. Then the Spirit whispers to me from yet another tower: ‘How many times have you taken from the Lord and never recognized His gifts? How many times has he carried your sorrows and pain and you have not understood? His love is extended all the day long. He may have to withhold blessings, but never, never His love.’”

And my personal favorite:

“I was visiting a dear friend whose common sense and insight I respect. I [told her how busy I was] and she listened patiently. Then she said, ‘It takes some kind of arrogance to think you can accomplish all those tasks with any kind of effectiveness.’

Arrogance! That word sent me home thinking. What was I doing with my life, and was I simply stroking my ego by taking on all the things I was trying to do? . . . Was my calendar being filled with my ego and insecurities or with honest priorities?”

Ok, maybe it’s just me but I’m terribly guilty of that last one. What my heart says and what my mind decides to do are often two very different things. If I’m honest with myself there are many days I fill my time up with things that are visible to others but don’t really matter toward developing myself into who I really want to be as a daughter of God. Considering the arrogance factor has been a great help to me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Am I trying to be “somebody”, or am I trying to be me?

Is it raining at your house? It’s been raining a lot at my house lately, too. If you could use a dear friend to teach you about walking in the rain, pick up All Rain, No Mud. It will do your muddy heart some good.

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D'ann said...

I really needed this one today! Thanks Alison!

Alison Palmer said...

My pleasure! I really needed that one myself. :)