Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review of Chapter Three of True Radiance; Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life

True Radiance; Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life
by Lisa Mlandinich

Chapter 3 Fog Bound: Hope and Help for Your Aging Brain 

Chapter Three is an earthy and intensely personal look into the fears we women face as we age. The passionate detail with which Lisa describes her reaction to viewing her aging body in the mirror during what was supposed to be an affirming experience, resonated with me. Our attacks of poor self-esteem seem to hit us at the most inopportune times! Lisa was on the verge of a triumphant moment, in a hotel halfway across the country preparing to speak to a group of catechists in St. Louis about her books and website, and all she could think about was her aging body. I can’t help but wonder if there’s someone sinister trying to undermine our confidence as we strive to give God our best.
God did not abandon Lisa in her moment of crisis. God cares for us, body and soul, in every detail of our lives, not just the sweeping overview. Nothing is more embarrassing to an articulate woman than a sudden memory lapse. She can laugh and call it a senior moment, but it hurts to ask others for their names once again, or endlessly hunt for one’s reading glasses. Who hasn’t been there?! The great part of this most personal and practical chapter, is that God led Lisa to a solution for her memory loss and it’s not a drug. She initiated simple but sacrificial diet modifications and found her old spark come roaring back into a bonfire! Without this we might never have seen this wonderful book.
 It seems that women taking charge of their own health problems as they age is an important part of growing older with grace. We can’t just rely on conventional wisdom. We have to remember the confidence we gained by reading up on pregnancy and childbirth in the childbearing phase of our life. We didn’t just do as we were told, we asked intelligent questions of our obstetricians (mine jokingly nicknamed me “the Professor”!) And our babies benefited as a result. Now it’s time to take care of Momma and hopefully, Grandma. We have a lot to offer our families and the larger society, and Lisa gently reminds us to care for ourselves, even if it means changing some long standing habits and saying “No” to emotional eating and pleasing others who offer us foods we shouldn't be eating. You will find her suggestions practical and helpful, particularly the authentic examples of spiritual practices Lisa uses and describes at the end of the chapter.
Nothing in our lives is out of the realm of God's loving care for us, and this book constantly reminds us to love ourselves into more loving, healthier women who listen at the feet of God on a daily basis.

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