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Dragons and Dirt: The truth about changing the world - and the courage it requires Kindle Edition
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|Length: 182 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a huge fan of Dalene’s writing and so when she offered me the gift of reading her book for free before it even came out, I jumped at the chance. Her words seldom fail to inspire, encourage and fill with hope. ‘Dragons and Dirt’ is no different.
This book is a collection of words backed up by honest life experience and authenticity. Dalene writes with such poetic finesse and personal engagement, that quite often I suddenly realised this is my story she is speaking about. She understands what I am going through.
Alongside the hope that changing this world is possible, there are dragons. And there is dirt. As the description in the foreword warns, ‘It is not a safe book. And it shouldn’t be. Because if we expect to make a difference in this broken world of ours, we should expect opposition.’
While I [as a forty year old married male with no children] think absolutely everyone will benefit from reading this book, I imagine that it will particularly resonate with women and especially moms. In the most powerful of ways. If I, as a cry-once-every-ten-years rock, was moved to the edge of tears on a number of occasions, I can only imagine that moms of young children will need boxes of tissues handy.
In the first part of the book, Dalene explores a number of Dragons which hiss, bellow and send fire our way. Negative dragons like criticism, misconception and rejection. But also some which are positive things such as pleasure, possessions and prestige. These chapters are so powerful as she invites you into some areas of her pain through stories which capture the heart and exposed nerve endings of each dragon, but also share how she has been able to conquer each one, at least in part. Methinks these dragons will continue to appear, but Dalene has given us some helpful tools to face these and others we might face in our own lives.
Dalene shares stories and thoughts that invite us to draw close, but then she repeatedly leaves us with a call to embrace the necessary change. Like in this example on Forgiveness:
‘And because finding the courage to forgive can change the world. Forgiveness is our most powerful secret weapon for living full and free. Do you dare?’
I did find a lot of it extremely useful and deeply challenging. It is hard to pick a ‘best bit’ to focus a review on, but the section on marriage I found particularly helpful and will need to read again with my wife. Especially this part:
'Life is hard because of dragons and dirt. Maybe that’s why marriage is hard. Because when two become one? You’ve got to beat off your own dragons and another’s. You’ve got two people’s dirt under one roof. But this collision of lives is also what makes marriage such a brilliant idea. Because you’ve got someone to help you face the dragons. Someone to shine a light on your heart and offer goodness and grace of their own.'
It is rare to find a book today as real and rough and honest and truly transformative as ‘Dragons and Dirt.’ My deep desire is that it will be discovered by the tens of thousands of people across the world who will benefit from letting its words pour right through them and give them the hope, strength and tools to not just face another day, but to thrive and dominate it in kingdom ways.
I have been following Dalene as a writer since she started her first blog so many years ago when her son was diagnosed with congenital cataracts. Many of us begged her to write a book and I am delighted to be a reviewer of this work of wisdom and such practical sharing on life as we know it. It is BETTER than I ever dreamed it would be. Her writing is current and very accessible but it is never shallow or clichéd as I experience so much present day Christian writing to be. In my view this book doesn't presume to give the answers, rather to walk us through some of the ways that she has experienced God with her in the highs and lows of what we all can identify with as life.
Dalene pours herself onto every page – her voice is so clear that you feel as though you know her well after just chapter 2. I had to check myself at times as it felt like I had written bits of this except it was written far better than I could have done!
I wept through chapter 2, cringed through the chapter on cockroaches and perhaps it is her realness that strikes me most about this book. There is no pretence at being a saint, despite the clear message that she clings to Jesus always . It is never preachy or sickly sweet. I suppose warts and all would be good cliché to apply to the persona who permeates the pages.
In her chapter “ Pressured” it was easy to identify with the words “ I realize how much of my identity- my deep satisfaction that I was a worthwhile member of society – was fused with what I did.” I imagine that if you are at all like me I measure myself by the success and affirmation received from others – this book showed me how much a dragon that is for me and if there is an overriding thing this book has given me is where to place my hope,my identity and my dragons – this book is about putting God first.
Tea and Zanzibar was another chapter that made my heart leap. Dalene refers to doing the next right thing a few times – I pray that through her sharing more of us can be encouraged to do the next right thing.
I need to say that I am a full generation older than Dalene – in fact I could be her mother, but there is a wisdom and maturity that leaps into the heart of grandmothers, wives, daughters mothers and friends no matter what age we are.