The Elephant’s Christmas by Paula Rose Michelson ~ Review

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The Elephant’s Christmas by Paula Rose Michelson

What does an old arthritic bull dog named Muggsy, a perfume representative, a life threatening surgery and subsequent miraculous recovery, a Candy Cane Lane, an elephant, and butterflies all have in common? They are all part of this intriguing memoir penned by author Paula Rose Michelson.

If you are busy with all the seasonal preparations we often get ourselves involved in during the cluster of Holidays in the winter, don’t be overly concerned about reading a lengthy, dry memoir. This one pops with high interest stories, expressed in a variety of ways from short fiction to reminiscences. Some of these stories should be in a Chicken Soup for Christmas, if there is one. And it is only twelve chapters long. Each chapter is easily read in a short time.

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One of the chapters is written from another person’s point of view, nearly a piece of fiction of its own. Still another is actually a work of fiction with a surprising reference to a favorite children’s classic. Overall, I was delighted at the variety of stories in this short book. This is not your typical memoir. It was originally intended for family and close friends. I am happy that she decided to gift this work to us as well.

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My favorite chapter is about Butterfly Grove. I won’t spoil the fun of discovery, but having some experience with the wonder of butterflies with my own family made this chapter special. It gave me those “warm fuzzies” all over again. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Why Did We Blame? by Paula Rose Michelson ~ Review

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Why Did We Blame? Book Two by Paula Rose Michelson

Why Did We Blame? by Paula Rose Michelson is the second book in her series on the Lamb Ministries 7 X 7: Biblical Recovery for Women Suffering from Trauma and Abuse. “Lamb Ministries was born to help women recover from the negative impact of what went before, so that each woman who undertakes this journey can grasp hold of the full blessings of God in Messiah (Christ). Had I not experienced what many of my LAMB Ladies had, God would have gifted this work to someone else.” Each book in this series is about the fallout of abuse; how to deal with the results that stay with us. Book one dealt with anger. This book helps us handle blame, or the continuing of abuse.

The beauty of this series is the key to recovery mentioned in the first book– the 7 X 7 method. It is simple and yet crucial for recovering women to do this work. The second key is journaling. Readers are often encouraged to write our candid ideas down, or to meditate on Scripture and write our thoughts on them. Sometimes there are lists to write down and pray over. The process is easy and short.

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The book is designed to be read like a devotional, a few pages at a time. It is not a book to be read and then placed on the shelf. It helps you progress through your recovery, which could take some time. So I found it a good book to return to, time after time. Book one was the same way.

The author and I have similar backgrounds in that we both had a relative with similar conditions. Our abuse was basically verbal, yet devastating. Verbal abuse is no less difficult to recover from than physical abuse. The scars are invisible, but still there. Additionally, we both found the same solution to our insecurities. So Ms. Michelson has a tremendous capacity for empathy. It’s quite evident in this series.

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I never felt I had “finished” my recovery, so the steps outlined in this book were helpful for me. I have discovered that as a person goes through different stages in their lives, new challenges arise and some of the fallout from abuse raises its ugly head once again. This is a series that can aid in taking that next step. Even if we must do so repeatedly.

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One of the things I like best in this book is how the author shares her own personal experiences and recovery with her readers. I love that. I didn’t feel that “she had it,” and I don’t “have it.” This book implies we’re all traveling this journey together. Do you find yourself caught up in the “blame game?” I have. I think you will find good suggestions to break this cycle. Your friends and family will love the new you when it’s broken.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an ARC copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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How Did We Become Angry? (LAMB Ministries 7X7: Biblical Recovery for Women Suffering from Trauma and Abuse) by Paula Rose Michelson ~Review

How Did We Become Angry LAMB Ministries

How Did We Become Angry? LAMB Ministries by Paula Rose Michelson

From my own observations over the years as a former teacher, as a Mom, as an employee, as a former youth worker, as a person involved in the church music ministry, and especially as a human being, I have noticed how adept people are at hiding their anger inside. We are so adept that we learn to deny any anger exists at all. We often look to outside sources to blame, if there is anything to blame. In my opinion, this behavior leads to all types of failed relationships, including a failed relationship with God! And complications of this internal anger can include loss of jobs, broken marriages, broken families, broken friendships and even poor health. I often wonder, why are we doing this to ourselves? I believe that answer can be found in this wonderful self-help book by Paula Rose Michelson.

One of the reviewers in the preface for How Did We Become Angry by Paula Rose Michelson wrote, “the purpose of Christian counseling is to aid individuals to get unstuck in their life.” I enthusiastically agree with this viewpoint. And this book is one of the best I have read that could help many people get “unstuck”. That’s because I believe many of us are bogged down carrying around a load of anger on our shoulders, even if we don’t realize it. We aren’t healing or budging from this state because we refuse to believe we are carrying around this burden at all. After reading and putting to practice the steps written in this manual, I am convinced this book could be an effective “monkey wrench” to help us dislodge the rust that has settled into our spiritual joints and muscles. I’m talking about the spiritual atrophy that makes us ineffective spouses, friends, parents, church workers, neighbors, employees, co-workers and especially Christ followers. It’s the type of spiritual arthritis that makes us apathetic human beings.

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This author readily admits she herself has needed to deal with unaddressed anger. She grew up experiencing the unreasonable wrath of a mother un-diagnosed with bipolar disorder or as it was called back then, manic depression. I know what that’s like. I lived with a mother like that myself. Here is where I have experienced a kinship to the author since my mother was also one who should have been diagnosed with manic depression. She was completely unpredictable and sometimes out of control of her mood swings and anger. My mother was later diagnosed with what I know is a common side disorder to bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). That translated to mean that she was capable of ranting about nothing for hours on end, laying down blame and guilt everywhere and on anyone, especially her children and spouse, even to the point of holding grudges for decades.  Ms. Michelson has decided to share with her readers the step by step process God used to heal her.

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When you purchase this book, be sure to read the introduction and preface where she tells about the beginning of a ministry God gave to her: LAMB Ministries. She had already had a heart for helping others recover from substance abuse. She then went on to develop this new organization to assist women in or recovering from abusive relationships. She uses the same method as described in this book that God used in healing her own damaged heart. This became her own special ministry. But this technique is readily applicable to everyone, male or female, regardless of one’s background. I am thoroughly grateful to Paula Rose Michelson for generously sharing God’s truth with us in this book.

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What I like most about this book’s contents is the simplicity of the plan. The author makes it clear that part of this plan is forgiveness. It’s important to understand that forgiveness is a process, not a single event. Some parts of this plan will need to be repeated. But because it centers around God’s Word, it works.

 

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