Saturday, January 03, 2009

Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight
Karen Scalf Linamen

Blog Tour and Giveaway

Publisher's Take: Every woman longs for change in some area of her life. Unfortunately, fear, fatigue, adversity, heartbreak, past failures, and even the choices of other people get in the way and make lasting change seem out of reach. Having been there herself, Karen Linamen knows exactly how to take readers from where they are to where they want to be.

In Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight, she examines 52 powerful actions readers can apply to any change they long to embrace. Her insights apply to career, finances, personal health and fitness, relationships, faith—in fact, every facet of a woman’s life.

Blending laugh-out-loud humor and sage advice, Linamen shows readers the link between dissatisfaction and transformation, how to remodel habits, the little-known truth about procrastination, how to generate the energy they need to pursue the life they desire, how to benefit from options and resources they never dreamed they had, and much, much more!

Author Bio: Karen Scalf Linamen is a popular speaker and the celebrated author of ten books for women, including Due to Rising Energy Costs the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Turned Off and Just Hand Over the Chocolate and No One Will Get Hurt. She has been featured on more than one hundred radio programs, including FamilyLife Today. Publishers Weekly describes her as “funny, forthright and unforgettable.” Linamen lives with her family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Visit her website at

My Take: To use a line from Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight, reading Karen is like reading a cross between Dr. Laura and Dave Barry. I'm a bit late posting this because: 1. the girls were here and 2. I was dissatisfied with this book about 1/2 way through reading it and wasn't sure if I'd recommend the book or not. I was impatient for some "meat" from the Word to "bring home" several of the author's points. This may be MY personal problem. Karen did not say a THING that I would say is "anti-Christian", this book is a quick read, it's funny, she's inspirational, but personally I would have liked a bit more back up from the Word.

That aside.....reading this book is like sitting down with your best friend at Baker's Street (local coffee shop) and sharing heart to heart over your favorite drink. There are things shared in this book that I will ponder for some time to come.

~I've been motivated to go beyond what I term "jello goals" to making concrete choices and decisions. I'm motivated to work a simple 30 min (or maybe 15 min) a day towards some of my big goals.

~When speaking of procrastination, Karen, states that instead of asking, "WHY" don't I get to it, we need to ask "WHAT" do I feel when I think of doing this? Often a looming task will make one feel inferior, fearful, fat, like a failure....and so we avoid doing whatever brings on those feelings. Karen humorously talks us through to dealing with the WHATS.

~Here is a quote I've been pondering, "If you know how to use it, your discontent can be a doorway, your pain a portal and vision is your key." p 28.

~Karen leaves us with many outstanding illustrations. One that I plan to remember illustrates our feelings when hurt, wronged etc. She told her daughter that her bitter feelings were her own and she could keep them forever and do what she wanted with them. Then she asked her to picture a crystal vase thrown on the ground and broken. Your feelings are the shattered glass. You can clutch them tight - and cut your hands to shred while you experience ever increasing pain, or you can let the shards slip between your fingers. I thought this was an excellent illustration of how we can deal with pain and bitterness (here is one example where I loved the thoughts, but would have appreciated Karen bringing it home with a few passages of Scripture on choices, forgiveness, bitterness etc).

~When you long for change round up a herd of catalysts rather than pacifiers.

~Another interesting quote which integrates with my Charlotte Mason background, "Addictions are acquired by practicing a certain type of behavior often and excessively. Character is acquired by practicing certain types of behavior often and excessively." Attributed to Matthew Kelly, Rhythm of Life p. 55 (Of course, I also am left with the thought that character is really acquired by coming into contact with Jesus Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform me day by day).

~Keep a dream journal. Write down wild, out of the box dreams (ambitions). Occasionally, as you write down wild plans and dreams, ask yourself, "why not?"

~Here is a quote I've already used several times and one that I plan to use as a signature line...."You have built castles in the air.... Now put the foundations under them." Henry David Thoreau

~Between dissatisfaction and transformation is vision.... (Again - where is the role of sanctification, walking out my salvation? Transformation, I believe, may begin with a vision, but I need Him to walk it out.)

There really were quite a few nuggets to ponder in this book. I've struggled with a review because I did like this book....but I also wish it had had a bit "more" to it.

If you'd like a copy of this book please leave a comment. Be sure I can reach you on your blog or leave an email address. I may have two copies to give away, I know I have one. We'll randomly draw a number on Friday.

This is the first book on my 2009 Reading List.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Sounds like fun... count me in :0)


Robin said...

Sounds interesting.

Herd Momma said...

Could be a good addition to my collection. Count me in. If I win just put it with my other book! ::snort::

Debbie said...

Hmmm, not sure if it is fair that I put my name here as I already left a comment on Cindy's blog...can you tell I would like to read this book! :-)

Cynthia said...

I obviously don't need to be in the drawing since I already have the book, but I just wanted to say that I loved your review.... You gave a lot more detail than I did. I never quite know what to do with these things... I'm still finding my way (LOL).

kmjrose said...

This sounds like a book that could be just right for me to read! Great review--thanks for sharing your views on this book.
Karen (in VT)