What Am I Feeling?

Lately, it has felt like feelings have overtaken our household. Not only from me as I continue to process pieces of this journey called life. But emotions from Sarabeth as she struggles to process things as her 4-year-old mind works through grief in new ways. And it’s hard to always know what you are feeling.

This latest move has been incredibly hard on all of us. While there have been good parts, it has still been painful. It marked the end of another season and the beginning of something new. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t grieve what was left behind.

For a four-year-old, those emotions are so much harder to name than they are for me as a thirty-something-year-old. And honestly, it’s often hard for me as the mom to know the best way to help her navigate. Especially when I ask “what are you feeling?” and the answer is a shoulder shrug or a very tearful “I don’t know!”

So we pulled out the one book we had on feelings and started reading it again. Sarabeth could probably read the book to us at this point, but some of the book wasn’t connecting with her little mind and heart.

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And then, one of the podcasts I was listening to was an interview with Dr. Josh and Christi Straub. They were sharing about the publication of their new book, What Am I Feeling?

What Am I Feeling?

That same day, B&H offered the chance to receive the book and write a review. It was providential timing. Sarabeth was incredibly excited to open a package with a book for her. And I was incredibly excited about the topic of the book.

We immediately settled down on the couch together and began reading the story of Sam and his friends. As you journey with Sam through his day at school, each friend shares about an emotion they feel as a result of the normal experiences of their day.

I loved the way the Straubs encourage the child to name the emotion they are feeling and then go to God to help them with the feeling. The book was not shaming or condemning. Rather it acknowledged that we all feel different emotions through our day and reminded us that we don’t have to react to others based on those feelings. It was honestly a good reminder to me too.

Loved in this house

What am I feeling? has stayed on our coffee table since we opened the package a few weeks ago. We’ve picked it up and read through it several times. Sarabeth has begun to find names for emotions. And it seems like she’s actually better able to label different emotions when she feels a few at the same time.

Though we haven’t found a home for it yet, there’s a fun emotions chart that comes with the book. Sarabeth likes to review the emotions and now often tells me what they feel like in her body when she names those emotions.

What I appreciate most about the Straubs approach to feelings in What am I Feeling? is that it’s opened a conversation. It has reminded us all that our feelings are not in charge of us. And that we can always reach out to God and ask for his help no matter what we’re feeling.

I just asked Sarabeth what she thought about the book and she said, “it’s awesome!” Why is it awesome? “Because it has feelings in it!”

What am I Feeling? has been a helpful and fun way to navigate conversations about those feelings that cause us to feel out of control.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.

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