Reclaim Your Happy Space – A Review
Stephanie Nickel reviews “Reclaim Your Happy Space” by Rhonda Rhea and Beth Duewel . Do you ever catch yourself falling into the brain-trap of believing that being happy means doing whatever you want, whenever you want? Rhonda and Beth address this brain-trap.
Reclaim Your Happy Space
Authors (and Facebook friends of mine) Rhonda Rhea and Beth Duewel wrote Fix Her Upper—Hope and Laugher through a God-Renovated Life as well as the companion volume, the 90 Day Fix Her Upper Devotional.
The newest addition to the Fix Her Upper series is Reclaim Your Happy Space, which is currently available for preorder from Bold Vision and will soon be available from other retailers as well.
Rhonda & Beth
Rhonda and Beth are two of my most favorite people in the world. I am 100 percent convinced that we would have a blast if we were ever able to get together in person, something I pray the Lord arranges one of these days.
One of the reasons I just love these two are their “annoyingly positive” personalities as they describe it. I’ve had similar things said about myself from time to time.
In writers’ circles there is a lot of talk about the author’s voice. Think of it this way … If you know the author personally and you can hear their voice in your head when you’re reading their book, they’ve truly tapped into their author voice while writing.
I haven’t heard Rhonda and Beth speak enough to actually hear their voice in my head, but I can tell you their writing is positive and upbeat—like they are.
Is Reclaim Your Happy Space Light on Theology?
Some may think that a book called Reclaim Your Happy Space, a book written from an upbeat and humorous perspective, is likely light on the theology. While Rhonda and Beth’s books may not appear on Bible college reading lists, that doesn’t mean they don’t present some deep spiritual truths to be considered and applied to life.
Each chapter ends with a scripture passage in the section called “Fix Our Eyes on Him” and a number of questions for the reader’s consideration. This section is called “Bringing it Home.”
Joy is a Superpower
In chapter one, “Joy is a Superpower,” Beth says this:
God’s supernatural in speech. Not only does He speak to us through prayer, but many Bible verses relate to this process of speech and the needed help of the Holy Spirit. With syllables to speak death or life, tear down or build up, speak sorrow to joy, words are full of power. We can choose. When it comes to God’s transcendental love, joy isn’t always a choice. It isn’t necessarily a “you do this, and you’ll have that” conclusion. Sometimes joy is simply an “and.” That’s why this verse from Acts is one of my favorites, “And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).
Rhonda wrote chapter two and I was tempted to highlight virtually all of it.
Rhonda’s humor strikes a chord with me, statements like these:
… I especially dislike it when I’ve been cleaning the house all day long, and I suddenly realize it’s only been fifteen minutes.
Not that we allowed food in the kids’ rooms or anything [clearing throat], but I do remember having to say to a teen at least once, “Son, you have to clean your room. We’re out of spoons.”
When my three boys were teenagers, they shared a bathroom that they “cleaned” themselves. Three. Teenage. Boys. Every once in a while, I would go in to check on it. I would stare for a few minutes, fighting back hyperventilation. Then I’d think: Yeah, maybe a controlled burn.
While you may be chuckling, you may also be wondering what theological insights she could possibly share in connection with these humorous anecdotes.
Well, Rhonda goes on to share the difference between our perspective on what it means to be happy and the Lord’s perspective.
The word translated as “blessed” in the beatitudes also means “contented, blissful, joyful…’happy.’” And, as you likely know, the beatitudes are referring to circumstances that wouldn’t typically make us happy, not by our definition of happiness at least.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who mourn… Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…”
This kind of happiness does not depend on our circumstances. This kind of happiness requires us to see things from God’s perspective.
Bringing it Home
The “Bringing It Home” section of chapter two poses some challenging questions:
Do you ever catch yourself falling into the brain-trap of believing that being happy means doing whatever you want, whenever you want?
Or thinking it comes through money, fame or power?
What are some concrete things you can do to remind yourself to think God’s way about what true “blessedness” and real joy are all about?
While I only have the introduction and the first four chapters of Reclaim Your Happy Space at this point, I look forward to ordering my copy and digging in.
While I can’t see sitting down with Rhonda and Beth over coffee in the foreseeable future, I do look forward to hearing their voices in the pages of their book—and learning the lessons on biblical happiness the Lord will teach me.
Perhaps you would like to Reclaim Your Happy Space as well.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.
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