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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2017
Your soul holds a massive record collection: melodies, rhythms, and bass lines. Memories that ask you to dance and memories that haunt you in a minor key. Lies that become soundtracks to your days while truths play too softly to be heard.
Spoken word poet Amena Browns broken records played messages about how she wasnt worthy to be loved. How to Fix a Broken Record chronicles her journey of healing as shes allowed the music of Gods love to replace the scratchy taunts of her past. From bad dates to marriage lessons at Waffle House, from learning to love her hair to learning to love an unexpected season of life, from discovering the power of saying no and the freedom to say yes, Amena offers keep-it-real stories your soul can relate to.
The hurtful words of others and the failures of your past often determine what record you play the most in your mind. Those painful repetitions can become loud at the most inopportune time, keeping you from speaking up, pursuing your dreams, and growing closer to God.
Recognize the negative messages that play on repeat every day in your mind. Learn how to replace them with the truth that you are a beloved child of God. And discover how to laugh along the way as you find new joy in the beautiful music of your life.
Amena Brown is an author, spoken word poet, speaker, and event host. The author of five spoken word albums and two non-fiction books, Amena performs and speaks at events from coffeehouses to arenas with a mix of poetry, humor, and storytelling. She and her husband, DJ Opdiggy, reside in Atlanta, GA.
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Correcting the Soundtrack in Your HeadMarch 1, 2018Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5After graduating from college, I moved to the biggest city in Maine for my first real job, bringing with me a wardrobe fashioned around college life south of the Mason-Dixon. Clearly, my flimsy sandals would not fit my new life as a ministry professional. However, it soon became apparent that my feet were not going to fit into any of the smooth and snappy dress shoes I admired at the Maine Mall. Navigating life with big feet has been part of my journey of self-acceptance, and a huge aspect of my mental soundtrack that Im still rewriting.
In How to Fix a Broken Record: Thoughts on Vinyl Records, Awkward Relationships, and Learning to Be Myself, Amena Brown shares her own trail of super-sized footsteps from sneakers and flats to styling elegance in her Beyonc stilettos. With footwear as a metaphor for self-acceptance, the spoken-word poet and inspirational author also remembers the freedom of learning to love her own natural hair after years of fighting it. Looking back over her shoulder with humility and gratitude, Amena honors the resiliency and courage of the women who have contributed to her storys formation:
My great-grandmother picked cotton
and worked in a tobacco factory
so my grandmother could work at a hospitalCorrecting the Soundtrack in Your Head
so my mom could become a nurse
so I could become a poet.
A product of the I Kissed Dating Goodbye generation, Amena was astonished to find herself still single at age 30. Now, happily married, she writes with transparency about the disappointment of infertility and her puzzlement with the ways of God, who moves slowly and in ways that are, at times, inscrutable. Her collection of stories documents her progress in working on the broken messages that have colored her thinking (and which are prevalent in Christian circles):
I am learning the painful truth that even when you pray and ask God, even when you quote back to God the applicable Scriptures, even when you walk around the object you are praying for six times and play your trumpet on the seventh, God doesnt always answer the way you want him to. (158)
Remind Your Soul that God is Bigger than You
Solid roots in the Body of Christ and in ones identity as a daughter of God are indispensable in embracing the hard realities that come with a complicated family tree. Amena began laying down healthy grooves in her record by honoring her roots following a DNA test, some hard disclosures, and a commitment to the challenge of painful wondering.
Like a vinyl record, the grooves in the human heart catch and preserve all manner of voices. We spend our lives layering message upon message, and in the process we come to define ourselves by whats been caught in the grooves. It is startling, then, when words and feelings long forgotten (we thought) rise to the surface as a reminder that the healing process must continue. The God who makes all things new can also make broken things whole.
Be Humble and Kind and Say No
As an artist and an entrepreneur, Amena Brown lives in the tension between staying true to her calling and building a business. Taking responsibility for her own choices, she has learned to say no, even if it means less money, less popularity, fewer likes. She has concluded that there is much wisdom in realizing she must constantly lay down the weight of opinion, the chokehold of pride, the race of comparison. It is saying no to my own selfishness, no to trying my best to be god instead of walking with and learning from God how to be who he created me to be. (119)
Brown urges women to surround themselves with a squad of warriors who will lament, pray, rejoice, and speak truth into our lives. Book-mentors and on line friends lend us courage if we read well and choose our influencers carefully.
Theres Healing in the Stillness
It takes discipline to pull away from the continual pressure to do when your soul requires time simply to be. The healing power of sleep, the perspective that comes from pulling away, the peace of a slow listen to the voice of God: this is a humble stance and a product of wisdom.
Amena Brown invites her readers into a thoughtful parsing of our motives behind our lists and all the busy-ness that keeps us spinning. Intent on making something of ourselves, we forget that God is the primary Maker, and it is only He who can fix our broken records. We are made for the music of truth and hope. Healing and a healthy future are found in the groove of grace that God longs to write into your story.
This book was provided by Zondervan through the BookLook Bloggers Program in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Jennifer M5 Stars Out Of 5How to Fix a Broken RecordFebruary 3, 2018Jennifer MQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5How To Fix a Broken Record is one woman's journey of learning to let go of past wounds, to love, to be herself, to say yes to a life that served her, and no to the things that did not. Woven through the deeper themes in the book was a delightful recounting of bad dates, hair snafus, nerdy clothes, social media, music, and stories from The Waffle House.
I enjoyed this book so very much. While the author and I led different lives, there were so many parallel similarities that I often found myself tearing up at her ability to so deeply "get it." This is a book that I think anyone could relate to, particularly those who struggled to fit in, to find ourselves, and to get rid of the old negative voices from our past.
Her writing style is warm, casual, and conversational. I didn't feel like I was reading a book; I felt like I was having coffee and danish with a girlfriend... talking about big things, small things, and everything in between. And laughing. There would definitely be laughing.
Finally, while her faith so clearly guides her, the book never once felt preachy or heavy-handed. Instead, it was honest and sincere. She writes about Jesus in a similar way to the way she writes about her husband... in a way that lets the reader know that she takes the relationship seriously, but not without injecting her natural lightheartedness and humor. One of my favorite lines: "I'm also pretty sure that Jesus would never invite anyone to play Candy Crush Saga."
Lovely, funny, and touching book. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. *I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own."
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