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Earlier, I told you about Rachel Stafford’s first book Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters.
Her new book Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More is just as good.
Excerpts from Hands Free Life
“There are boundary lines within our lives that we cannot see, but they are powerful; they are healing; they are protective; they are life-giving,” Stafford writes. “The boundaries created in the home not only impact how the members of our family treat each other, but also how they treat friends, teachers, coaches, teammates, employers, coworkers, spouses, and even people they disagree with on the Internet.”
Our attempts to control everything rob us of beauty. Stafford reflects, “By micromanaging our lives in small and big ways, I was missing the joy found in carefree living.”
–Leave a legacy.
Our legacy for loved ones is built through tiny choices made over and over again, every day. “Through loving daily practices, we are able to create the kind of permanence that becomes the cornerstone of a life, a GPS for a world in which we are so easily lost,” Stafford shares.
–Embrace connective silence.
Stafford urges readers to resist the urge to fill every minute with noise, excess, and activity when there is a conversation lull by relishing “Connective Silence.” She writes, “Although we’ve been led to believe that our fondest memories are made in the grand occasions of life, in reality, they happen when we pause in the ordinary, mundane moments of a busy day.”
“Although I may fall short and make mistakes today, I can do one thing well: I can listen.” Stafford shows readers that by being fully present in a moment, both the listener and the speaker gain power, perspective, and life-affirming connection.
–Transform from a negative person into a positive one.
Stafford is a recovering critic––especially of herself. She urges readers to embrace the perceived “weaknesses” of others that may prove to be their greatest strengths as she details her own path to grace: “My bruises, the ones made by years of critical torment, are healing too. Because each time I let go of perfect and allow myself to show up ‘as-is,’ the bruises on my spirit fade a little more.”
I don’t agree with everything Rachel Stafford writes, but I wish every young mother could read her discussion about that modern-day problem of needing to continually be connected to an electronic device.
Her chapter “See What Is Good” — the importance of taming that critical nature most of us possess — is an important one. Unfortunately, the person who is negative and critical often doesn’t see that in herself, but considers her “evaluations” necessary for the proper functioning of the home. Does anyone really know his own heart? The heart is deceitful above all things … who can understand it? –Jeremiah 17:9
“Some people constantly complain and find fault. They seldom affirm or talk about positive virtues of other people. They rarely acknowledge the good things happening in the world or in the church or in their family. They are experts at excessive negative talk. The gloom and doom that pours from the mouths of these people fosters a depressing atmosphere in the family.” —Your Family, God’s Way: Developing and Sustaining Relationships in the Home by Wayne A. Mack
Let today be a day of encouragement and affirmation for all of us!