In our email conversations preparing for this month’s workshop, Eve Austin mentioned the book Boundaries for Your Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies by Allison Cook and Kimberly Miller.
Boundaries for your soul? What does that even mean? On the cover Dr. John Townsend said, “A very helpful, engaging, and practical book on how to create healthy boundaries for our internal world, just as we do in our interpersonal relationships.”
I first checked this book out from the library and then took so many notes, I decided this was a book I wanted to own a physical copy.
The book is divided into three sections. In part one, the authors delve into the soul and the ways that the Holy Spirit is alive and at work in Christians. Their map of the soul? Mind blowing and so helpful!
Part two explains practically how to have boundaries with a five step process. Which might make it sound too simple, “This is just a simple five step process!” After five chapters—one for each step—and many examples, you’ll see that though these steps are not simple, they really will move you towards being the integrated being God created you to be.
But it’s part three that I think you will find especially helpful. Part three is dedicated to “Working with Challenging Emotions” and covers:
—Boundaries with Anger
—Boundaries with Fear and Anxiety
—Boundaries with Sadness
—Boundaries with Envy and Desire
—Boundaries with Guilt and Shame
—Boundaries with Challenging Parts of Others
This should be a “must read” book for all cross-cultural workers. I’m working on a book involving the fruit of the spirit and cross-cultural workers, and this is one of my references. In their explanation of the soul, they explain how we each have three guards that are trying to protect our souls: a manager, an exile, and a firefighter. They go into helpful detail on each and have an illustration that is useful in picturing both your soul and how each tries to “guard” it. Here is a short excerpt from the rough draft of my book:
“While each guard is trying to be helpful, often they get in the way of a particular fruit coming to full maturity in you. Loosely, managers are trying to be faithful, but can be more like meddling relatives. Exiles have confused gentleness with not engaging. And firefighters don’t trust self-control to get the job done, so they run around leaving a path of chaos.”
If you are looking for an area of personal growth that will benefit you, your relationships, and your ministry, watch this month’s workshop about boundaries on the field and read Boundaries for Your Soul.
As the back cover says, “This groundbreaking approach will help you know what to do when you
—understand your guilt, anxiety, sadness, and fear
—welcome God into the troubling parts of your soul, and
—move from doubt and conflict to confidence and peace.
It might sound like a lot to get from a book, but is it really that hard to believe that God can help your soul? No, thank God, it’s not too hard to believe He cares about our souls!
P.S. You can get this month’s workshop here.