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Shannon Walter

"Find Your Brave" by Holly Wagner | Review

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Everyday heroes. They are firefighters, emergency medical technicians, police officers, and the coast guard. What about you? Are you brave? Courageous? Strong under pressure? There's more to being a hero than saving a life or preventing an accident. Everyday heroes walk the mundane life and find their brave to withstand life's storms.



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Photo by Riccardo Chiarini on Unsplash

Newsflash: Life Isn't Easy

The road of life is full of potholes. We've often heard that life is like a roller coaster- it has its ups and downs. No one's life is a journey from mountain top to mountain top. There has to be a valley in between. While traversing through a low time is never fun, it builds great character. At least that's what our parents have always said. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger... or does it.

Finding the Courage to Stand

It takes outstanding courage to rise above life's storms. Storms in the sea of life are just as treacherous as hurricanes in the ocean. Ships sailing in a hurricane are in danger of sinking and being lost at sea. Just as the perils of sea storms, hardships and circumstances in life have the potential to throw you on the rocks. When all hope seems lost, where do you find your courage?

There is hope. For Holly Wagner, navigating life's storms meant holding on to her lifeline- faith. In her bio you can see that she has served God faithfully alongside her husband for over 30 years and written many Christian books including WarriorChicks and Love Works. Surely, a faithful Christian such as her would never have struggles and heartaches, right?

Wrong. In Matthew 5:45, Christ tells the multitude that the Father in Heaven makes the rain fall on the unjust AND the just. That means that everyone struggles. In her book, Find You Brave, Holly goes through the steps it took to find her brave in the darkest hours.

Navigate Life's Storms and Discover a Courage LIke No Other #struggle #struggles #struggleisreal #strugglebus #STRUGGLELIFE #strugglestreet #strugglelifeclothing #struggler #strugglers #struggleplates #strugglegames #struggledoll #strugglenovercome #strugglehard #struggletown #strugglesreal #struggled #strugglebarge #strugglestreetfitness #strugglemusic #struggleprogress #struggletostrength #StruggleBreedsGreatness #strugglesofbeingateen #StruggleLifting #StruggleMadeMe #StruggleStrength #strugglesofbandcamp #strugglenomore #strugglesofart

Shipwrecked But Not Abandoned

Waves crashing, wind howling, and the ship is about to rip apart. That's what the Apostle Paul, Luke, and Aristarchus of Thessalonica faced. The Centurion hadn't headed Paul's warning and set sail for Rome during the stormy season. As the ship was hit with wave after wave, the hull was in danger of falling apart.

Frapping the Hull

Our faith is the ship's hull. As the storms of life beat upon your faith, it begins to weaken. Your once solid faith is showing signs of wear. Cracks begin to form. Chunks are crumbling off. How do you stop the damage?

"Brace Yourself." Holly reminds you to brace yourself. As Paul and his companions were driven by the fierce winds and waves the ship's crew knew that something had to be done or else all would be lost. They had to frap the ship. A sailor had to grab a frapping line, jump off the ship, and swim under to the other side where it would be secured. Jump off during a storm and swim under the ship? That's nuts! Yeah, your right. It sounds crazy, but it was absolutely necessary to brace the ship's hull.

Pulling Yourself Together

In the chapter titled "Brace Yourself", Holly introduces two very important frapping lines for your faith. "Brace 1: Fix Your Mind On The Truth About God." (p.11) World War II fighter pilots put it another way, "Straighten up and fly right". Remind yourself who God is. He is almighty, unchangeable. He is the master of the storm. Winds and waves obey HIS will.

Holly tells us to speak these truths out loud. "But it feels silly." It will at first but Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing God's word. Holly gives you passages and verses that bolster your faith. Speak the truth of God's Word over and through your storms.

#struggle #struggles #struggleisreal #strugglebus #STRUGGLELIFE #strugglestreet #strugglelifeclothing #struggler #strugglers #struggleplates #strugglegames #struggledoll #strugglenovercome #strugglehard #struggletown #strugglesreal #struggled #strugglebarge #strugglestreetfitness #strugglemusic #struggleprogress #struggletostrength #StruggleBreedsGreatness #strugglesofbeingateen #StruggleLifting #StruggleMadeMe #StruggleStrength #strugglesofbandcamp #strugglenomore #strugglesofart

Staying Grounded

All you need is one safe anchor to keep you grounded when the rest of your life spins out of control. ~Katie Kacvinsky
It took four anchors to keep the ship off the rocks. The sailors had successfully frapped the ship and tied the rudder, but that wasn't enough. The waves pushed them to the unknown shore. It was night. Dark. There were no lighthouses to guide them into a safe harbor. So, they threw anchors out the back to slow themselves down. Not just one, but four! It took multiple anchors to stop the ship from crashing upon the rocky shore.

Anchors for Your Soul

Chapter 7 of Find Your Brave is all about life's anchors. What will anchor your soul? Holly gives you four faith anchors to throw out the stern in the midst of a storm. The first anchor struck a deep chord within me. Identity. Who am I? I am the child of the King. Are you? As His child, I have a specific identity that He has given me.
  • not victims, but conquerors-in fact, "more than conquerors" 
  • not losers, but winners
  • not addicts, but overcomers
  • not captives, but free
  • not sinners, but forgiven
  • not random creations or our parents' "accident", but persons placed on earth "for such a time as this"  
(p. 81 of Find Your Brave by Holly Wagner) 
That's quite the identity. As a child of the Living God, the bible says you are all of these things. Not one or two, all! Declare your identity in Jesus the Christ, and give life's battles your declaration of royal independence. I am. This anchor changes your thoughts. Gives you strength to go on even when all seems lost.

Wait a Second... Why Was the Ship Even in the Storm?

Let's pause for a second. Way back in Lasea the Apostle Paul warned both the Centurion and the ship's captain that sailing was dangerous.
And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. ~Acts 27:10

Yet, even with this warning they chose to sail on. They CHOSE. That's the key point because quite often we make our own storms.
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way. ~ C.S. Lewis
Holly Wagner explains how to avoid self-made storms in the chapter, "When You Make Your Own Storm". Storms of entitlement, over indulgence, no accountantability, and bad company build upon the last till that little rain cloud is now a full fledged category 4 hurricane. In three short but profound lessons, Holly describes the process of leaving self-made storms behind.

#struggle #struggles #struggleisreal #strugglebus #STRUGGLELIFE #strugglestreet #strugglelifeclothing #struggler #strugglers #struggleplates #strugglegames #struggledoll #strugglenovercome #strugglehard #struggletown #strugglesreal #struggled #strugglebarge #strugglestreetfitness #strugglemusic #struggleprogress #struggletostrength #StruggleBreedsGreatness #strugglesofbeingateen #StruggleLifting #StruggleMadeMe #StruggleStrength #strugglesofbandcamp #strugglenomore #strugglesofart

Getting Out of the Rain

Get real. Coming to your senses is the first step to a calmer life. Holly uses the parable of the Prodigal's Son as an example. He squandered his fortune and now sat depressed in the pig pen. Hmm, if that's not a devastating self-made storm, I don't know what is. It doesn't end there. That son came to his senses. He realized that his father's servants are better taken care of. He just needed to go home.

God has a life path for each of us. When we rebel and determine to walk our own way, He lets us. He loves us enough to let us learn lessons the hard way sometimes. When the lesson is learned and we humble return home, He welcomes us back- tattered clothes and all. The father ran to hug his son- so will our Heavenly Father.

The Physical Storm

Back to Paul in the midst of the storm. The passengers and crew were tired and hungry. These are very real struggles. Many of life's struggles are physically tangible. Maybe you're trying to lose weight but the urge to cave is too great (did someone say donuts?) , or perhaps just too tired to get up early and exercise everyday (let's be real, when the toddler refuses to sleep morning comes way to fast). What does exercise and diet have to do with overcoming life struggles?

You only get one body and it's up to you to take care of it. When Holly was diagnosed with cancer her world was turned upside-down. It was then she made a very important discovery:
If we are going to do whatever it is that God has asked of us, and get through whatever difficult situation we need to, then we must have those three types of strength: physical, mental, and spiritual. (p. 109 Finding You Brave by Holly Wagner)
Taking care of your health is of the utmost importance. Think of a three-legged stool. If one of the legs is weak, you'll fall when you sit down. You need strong spiritual, physical, and mental legs for support. They work together to support the whole.

My Thoughts on Find Your Brave

If you remember, Maverick and I are going through quite a storm right now. (You can read more about that here: Silent Grief) To say that this book landed in my possession by luck would be a great disservice to God's providence. Reading through this book with an open Bible has helped to strengthen my mind and heart. Holly has graciously reminded me of my position in Christ. 

Having a list of Bible references in the back made following along in your Bible a bit tricky. At first, it was cumbersome to constantly flip back to the reference list while reading, but with the help of a sticky note, checking the list was much easier. 

I really enjoyed the "Questions for Personal Reflection and Group Discussion" section. Towards the back of the book Holly provides thought provoking questions for each chapter. Like this one:
What do you know for certain about who God is right now? What Scriptures are you using to brace your mind so that the truth is more real than the facts of your situation? (p. 167 of Finding Your Brave by Holly Wagner)
These questions help turn head knowledge into practice. Reading and knowing are much different than practicing and believing.

I was given this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


#bookreview #bookreviews #bookreviewer #bookreviewers #bookreviewing #bookreviewblog #bookreviewblogger #christianbook #christianlife

Shannon Walter

About Shannon Walter -

Wife, Mommy, and Writer are three of the hats Shannon wears on a daily basis. Natural and holistic wellness is her passion. Diving into medical studies, reading long-winded books, and refitting them into information that is valuable to everyday life.

10 comments

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Kim LaCoste
Shannon @ TMMW
March 5, 2018 at 5:38 PM delete

Sounds like a great book with some useful lessons and thoughts.

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Tabitha Blue
Shannon @ TMMW
March 8, 2018 at 11:46 AM delete

Sounds like such a good book. I like when you mentioned how are storms can be so very real and tangible, we've gone through our own too and praying for you in yours!

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Shannon Walter
Shannon @ TMMW
March 8, 2018 at 1:24 PM delete

It is a very good book. Thank you for your prayers. My heart and prayers go out to you as well.

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Meg
Shannon @ TMMW
March 8, 2018 at 4:05 PM delete

Sounds like something we ALL could use a reminder of. Life is not meant to be easy...it is meant to change us into something far better than we were when we came to this earth. Thanks for sharing!

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Anonymous
Shannon @ TMMW
March 9, 2018 at 10:33 AM delete

There are times that a person just needs to hear about courage and bravery to help them through their own storm and be able to be brave.

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Lasha
Shannon @ TMMW
March 9, 2018 at 11:23 AM delete

You have such a great perspective. Love this. Thank you for the encouraging words….it really made me think.

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Brandi Michel
Shannon @ TMMW
March 9, 2018 at 12:33 PM delete

I love this post and now I want to read this book! I love your point here, "God has a life path for each of us. When we rebel and determine to walk our own way, He lets us. He loves us enough to let us learn lessons the hard way sometimes." God is so faithful to help us through our fears and even disobedience and lovingly lead us back to our purpose!

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Eevi-Sofia
Shannon @ TMMW
March 9, 2018 at 12:36 PM delete

I like the metaphor of the an anchor to keep us steady when storms come. For me that anchor is my husband, closest friends and my faith in God.

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Sam
Shannon @ TMMW
March 9, 2018 at 2:54 PM delete

Sounds like a great book to read for anyone going through a hard time, thanks for sharing!

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