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Book Review

Book Review: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

What a book! I learned about this book on Instagram. When America Ferrera was hosting a casting call for the main character Julia since it’s being turned into a movie. Of course, when I saw that, I added it to my never-ending list of books I want to read.

I took my daughter to the library the other day. I came across the book in the teens/young adult section as we were walking out, so I checked it out. However, I was already reading two other books at the time. (Do you like reading one or multiple books at a time? Let me know in the comments.)

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Book Cover
Picture taken by author – Heidy De La Cruz

I asked my followers on Instagram if anyone else had read this book. A few people told me it was one of the best books they’ve read. Then someone asked me to give them my opinion because it was on their list to read, and I agree; it is one of the best fiction books I’ve read. Now, I don’t read a lot of fiction books, but after reading this one, I think maybe I should.

This book was well written and engaging; it’s that ‘can’t put it down’ type of book, and I cannot wait to see how they adapt it into a movie. (Although, we all know the books are always better.)

About the Book

The book is about Julia – she’s 15, almost 16, a child of Mexican immigrants, and her older sister recently had a tragic death. She is dealing with grief, the cultural pressure of her parenting wanting her to be the ‘perfect Mexican daughter’ – the role her sister had, and the constant clash between her and her parents, especially her mom.

This book talks about what I feel like the typical Hispanic families go through (the stuff that gets swept under the rug) – sexual abuse, religious pressures, teenage pregnancy, mental health, etc. As I was reading, I knew exactly how Julia felt in the book. It transported me back to when I was a teenager and would always clash with my dad. I felt he never understood or tried to understand me, and I couldn’t talk to him about anything.

Erika highlights the complex relationship between immigrant parents and their children, keeping their culture while raising children in a country that isn’t theirs. The parents want their kids to be a certain way, following traditions from their country, while the kids want more (or different things) than what their parents want. They see how things are different in the United States and want to embrace that. For example, Julia wants to be a writer, but her parents don’t see that as a career or a way to make a living.

Although this book is about a Mexican immigrant family – I found my family within this book. This is a book I highly recommend.

With Love, Heidy

This post was originally published at – Into my Thoughts Newsletter

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Book Review

Book Review: The Empowered Woman

Hey everyone, it’s time for another book review! Just like the last book review, the author will be a guest on my podcast. I’m so excited because not only do I get to share incredible books I’ve read, but I’ll also get to share their immigration story. Authors have been my favorite people to interview because, think about it: not only did they move to a different country, but they also published a book! 

Did you know that only 2% of people who want to write a book actually publish one? Yeah, so immigrant authors are in a different category altogether! 

The Empowered Women: The Ultimate Roadmap to Business Success was written by Marta Spirk. Marta was born in Brazil and expressed interest in the English language and American culture at a young age. She started teaching English when she was just fourteen years old. She started her business shortly after welcoming her triplets in 2016. Marta became passionate about encouraging and empowering women as she navigated this new life of being a mom to triplets and being an entrepreneur. 

This site contains product affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.

The Empowered Woman Book Cover
Picture by author – Heidy De La Cruz

What is The Empowered Woman

Marta starts the book by talking about her upbringing. She’s the youngest of two, and she grew up hearing how her mom didn’t want another child, but after she was born, their families’ lives changed for the better. She also grew up feeling like she always had to prove herself, and her sister was her competition in her mind. 

This book is a guide for women to help them feel empowered and the steps they need to take to achieve their empowerment. There are five steps: 

  1. Notice Yourself
  2. Listen to Yourself
  3. Forgive Yourself
  4. Empower Yourself
  5. Transform Yourself

Notice Yourself

Marta says that success comes from within, so we need to notice ourselves in the first step. In order to do that, we must know ourselves. We all have unique talents that we are born with. We also have different personalities. All this is what helps us stand out from the crowd. And what also helps us be different in our businesses. 

In order for us to know our personalities better, we can take personality tests. Marta suggests The Enneagram.  I’ve written about this before – in my personal development newsletter, “Into My Thoughts,” I shared a post about knowing ourselves and talked about taking different personality tests to learn more about ourselves. 

Knowing our strengths and weaknesses is a powerful tool that we can incorporate into our business. 

Listen to Yourself

In this step, you will dig deeper into self-awareness. And realize that the only person who is stopping you from your goals is yourself. Listening to yourself, tapping into your past, and becoming more self-aware will help with your self-awareness in your business. 

Forgive Yourself

In this step, you will go from self-awareness to self-empowerment. Because you’ve done the self-exploration work and realized your strengths, weaknesses, and challenges, now it’s time to forgive yourself. This is probably the most challenging step because we tend to be the hardest on ourselves. 

I’ve also written about this because I know how hard it is to forgive oneself. I spent years beating myself up over decisions I knew were not correct. For months, I was in this cycle that I couldn’t get out of and wasn’t able to move forward until I finally forgave myself. 

If you are struggling with forgiving yourself, definitely buy this book, but also read my blog post about forgiving yourself for a little encouragement. You can read it here

Empower Yourself

Now, it’s time to empower yourself. In this step, Marta talks about overcoming the victim mindset, understanding our fears, and celebrating ourselves. 

Now, let me ask, when was the last time you celebrated yourself? 

Transform Yourself

In this last step, you’ll realize that transforming yourself will help you and your business and the people around you, too. In this step, Marta shares examples from some of her clients. And the last tip she gives is to continue to invest in your growth! I think this is extremely important for our well-being and personal development.  

Become an Empowered Woman

Follow these steps to become an empowered woman. It may take time, challenges, and work, but it will be worth it! I believe I am in the empowered stage and working on getting to the transformation stage. We are all a work in progress; there is always room for growth! 

With Love, Heidy

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Book Review

Book Review: For Brown Girls

Blue cover of For Brown Girls
Picture of the book: For Brown Girls by Heidy De La Cruz

Hey everyone, today I’m bringing another book review. I cannot remember how I came across this book; maybe it was on Instagram, and since she’s an immigrant, I thought I would love to have her on my podcast. So, I reached out, and I was able to get an interview! 

I cannot wait until the episode is released! But for now, I’ll leave you a review of her book For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez was born in Nicaragua and moved to the United States with her family in elementary school. She is the founder of Latina Rebels. She studied at Vanderbilt University, earning her Master of Divinity. 

The book starts with a letter to brown girls, telling us that we matter, that we are going places our families didn’t go, and ending by stating that we need each other. 

Here are a few things that stood out to me in this book.

This site contains product affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.

Voluntourism

Chapter one is called voluntourism, a term she uses for missionaries. Prisca shares about getting her picture taken by missionaries without her consent and how she feels about that. This reminded me of the book A Just Mission: Laying Down Power and Embracing Mutuality, where Medkes talks about how people go on mission trips and take videos and pictures without consent. In my book review, I expressed how I had always had trouble with that. So, now I’m reading the perspective of someone who actually had that experience. 

Prisca shares why she calls missionaries voluntourism and how the United States intervened in Nicaragua, exploiting its resources. I had always heard about the United States intervening in Latin American countries, but I had yet to look into the history and what exactly they did. I’ll definitely continue to do more research on this.

Colorism

Chapter two is called colorism, and Prisca shares how her mom always told her not to get so much sun. And it reminded me of all the colorism and racist comments I would hear from members of my own family. Colorism is so ingrained in our (Hispanic) culture that the exact phrases are used across Latin America and the Caribbean. 

I, too, would hear phrases like, “Marry lighter so you can better the race,” I’d get comments all the time about straightening my hair so my hair would be “done.” Because wearing your hair curly wasn’t considered nice or done. I’ll have to write about my experience growing up hating my curly hair because of the comments in another post. I would hear comments like a woman is good-looking for being a “morena” or dark-skinned girl. And I always thought, why can’t she just be good-looking? Why does the color of her skin matter? But it’s because we are conditioned to believe that lighter skin looks better.

For Brown Girls

In each chapter, she shares her experience with each topic. When she talks about the church she grew up in and its customs, it reminds me of my husband’s stories about the church he grew up in. I remember reading a page to him and him nodding to everything that was common, from Prisca’s experience to his. And it’s wild to think about how she said she grew up in a nondenominational church, but my husband grew up Seventh-Day Adventist, and many of the traditions, customs, and beliefs were the same. Prisca and my husband had a lot of unlearning to do. 

I recommend this book because it discusses a specific experience in the United States. I genuinely believe not everyone experiences this country the same way. This country offers different people different things, and I think it’s important that we learn about as many experiences as we can. To be empathetic and compassionate, and to understand that our experience isn’t the only one. 

With Love, Heidy

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Book Review

Hispanic Heritage Month – Read These Books to Celebrate

Hispanic Heritage Month Instagram Post in Bright Orange Bright Yellow Bold Patterns Style
Graphic from Canva for Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year from September 15th until October 15th. President Ronald Reagan expanded this from Hispanic Heritage Week, which began in 1968, to 30 days in 1988, according to Hispanicheritagemonth.gov.It became law on August 17, 1988. 

But why from September 15th to October 15th instead of all of September or all of October? September 15th is the independence day for El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Also, Mexico’s and Chile’s independence days are September 16 and September 18. 

A national celebration of history, culture, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors are from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Spain occurs during this month. And this year, I am celebrating by reading books written by Hispanic authors.

Books I’m Reading This Month

Books laying on black table top
Picture by Heidy De La Cruz

This site contains product affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.

How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

This book was published in 1991 and it’s Julia’s debut novel. The book is about four sisters from the Dominican Republic and their coming-of-age story in the United States. It was the first book of its kind during that period – the kind of book that provided a look into the bicultural lives of Hispanic immigrants in the United States. Since the book is loosely based on her own family, it did not sit well with them. Julia’s sisters were angry with her and her mom didn’t speak to her for years, Julia said.

For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter To Women of Color by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez

This book was published in 2021 also Prisca’s debut book. This book is about Prisca’s experiences growing up as an immigrant from Nicaragua in the United States and the challenges she faced. She writes about how powerful forces can affect women similar to her and what readers can do about it. 

I started reading Garcia Girls first and I’ll share a review on here.

List of books I suggest for Hispanic Heritage Month

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

The book is about Julia – she’s 15, almost 16, a child of Mexican immigrants, and her older sister recently had a tragic death. She is dealing with grief, the cultural pressure of her parenting wanting her to be the ‘perfect Mexican daughter’ – the role her sister had, and the constant clash between her and her parents, especially her mom. You can read my full review here

Erika is a daughter of Mexican immigrants and grew up in Ceciro, Illinois.

The Four Agreements and The Circle of Fire by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements is a book about four simple agreements to live by. 

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally. 
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best. 

After reading this book I feel like my life changed, especially with not taking anything personally. I’ve read this book multiple times and always suggest this book!

The Circle of Fire 

This book is about helping us enter into a new and loving relationship with all of creation, ourselves, and others. Don Miguel Ruiz was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He was the youngest of 13 children and both his parents were healers and practitioners of ancient Toltec traditions

An American Immigrant by Johanna Rojas

The book is about Melanie. She is a journalist who writes for Miami Herald and she’s on the brink of losing her job. She is assigned a story that takes her to her mom’s home country, Colombia, a place Melanie has never visited. On this trip, she discovers so much about herself, her culture, and her mom. This book is loosely based on Johanna’s mom’s experience of coming to the United States and her life in Colombia as well as Johanna’s experience growing up as a child of immigrants. You can read my full review here.

Words From The Heart by Heidy De La Cruz

Of course, I’m going to plug in my poetry book in this list! During a dark period of my life, I wrote these poems to best describe and put into words how I was feeling.

Here is one review from a reader: 

Heidy has a true gift: the way she writes is truly heartfelt. I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with self-love. Learning how to accept and love themselves after the heartbreak that destroys their self-identity. – Amari 

What books would you add to this list to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? 

With Love, Heidy

Is a personal development newsletter an interest of yours? With a little bit of poetry? A little of opinion pieces? And some faith-based encouragement? Sign up for my Substack newsletter, “Into My Thoughts.”

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Book Review

Be The Bridge: Book Review

Be the bridge book cover with blue and white background and a hand holding the book
This site contains product affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.

Be The Bridge was on my to-read list for years and I kept seeing it as a resource in 2020 when the racial tension was at an all-time high after George Floyd’s death. And I’m glad I took it on a trip a few weeks ago because it was my airplane read. Usually reading makes me sleepy, which is why I read at night, but on the flight, I read almost 100 pages in 2 hours! (This may not be a lot for you but, for me, it’s a lot). 

Be The Bridge Review

I like to think of myself as an individual who is fully aware of the social and racial issues present in our country. I also am aware of the history of the United States and don’t shy away from the truth. I’m a firm believer that the more we know the better and I enjoy listening and reading from different perspectives, even if I don’t agree with the point of view. Even, though I’ve educated myself (by reading books, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, etc.) about U.S. History, there were a few things that I learned from this book.

The lynching of Mary Turner

Reading about this brutal lynching made my stomach uneasy and I had to re-read it twice to really process what I had read. If you don’t know about Mary Turner, you can read about her here.

Tulsa Massacre

I believe I first heard of the Tulsa Massacre in 2020 – again at the height of racial tension new information (or information not told in school) was being published on social media and in different publications. So, reading about Olivia Hooker in Be The Bridge was new information to me. She passed in 2018 so when the book was being written she was the only survivor of the massacre. Olivia was six years old when everything happened and she remembered.

You might like: Book Review: White Fragility

Reparations

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the FBI arrested 1,291 leaders from the Japanese community in the US. They were moved to government-holding facilities throughout three states. There was no evidence that they had any links to the attack. And in 1942 Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which resulted in 117,000 Japanese Americans being placed into internment camps. This was all new to me, I had no idea about the camps. And then I learned that in 1988 the Civil Liberties Act was passed which authorized $20,000 per person to survivors who had been held in these internment camps. 

I’ve heard of talks of reparations for African Americans because of slavery but there is always pushback, I had no idea that there had been reparations for wrongdoing against an ethical group before. Look at what happens when you read books, you learn things, LOL.

Becoming a Bridge Builder

Tasha started the Be The Bridge organization in 2016 and now there are over 1,000 Be The Bridge groups throughout the United States. The ending of the book gives information on how to get involved or become a bridge builder if that is what your heart is urging you to do. It also includes the story of Jenne Allen, who founded IF:Gathering, and details her involvement in this work.

I highly recommend this book or listening to Be The Bridge Podcast (which would be a DREAM to be a guest on) for more resources on racial reconciliation.

With Love, Heidy

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

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An American Immigrant: Book Review

iPad with cover of book, there is a woman with a white, yellow, blue and dress and the words an american immigrant Johanna Rojas Vann across.
Picture by Heidy De La Cruz

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I don’t think I’ve ever felt so seen in a book. Until I read, An American Immigrant by Johanna Rojas Vann. This book came to my radar because of Jamie Ivey. She has a book club where you sign up for her Patreon account and receive access to the book of the month before it’s release date and there is a meeting with the author. When I saw that for August, the book was, “An American Immigrant,” of course I signed up! 

Johanna’s mom immigrated to the United States from Colombia, through Mexico in the 80s. Johanna was born here, so she is a second-generation American-Colombian. This book is a fiction story based on actual events about her mom’s story growing up in Colombia and immigrating to the United States, with a mix of her own story of growing up in the United States with immigrant parents.

 Although, I’m not Colombian – I can relate to so much in this book! First, I’m a child of immigrants – my parents came in the 90s to live in the United States, from the Dominican Republic. And second, I’m a writer, just like Melanie, the main character of the book. 

The Review

Melanie is a journalist who writes for Miami Herald and she’s on the brink of losing her job. She is assigned a story that took her to her mom’s home country, Colombia, a place Melanie has never visited. On this trip, she discovers so much about herself, her culture, and her mom. 

There were many misconceptions about Colombia Melanie had, which she discovered were not true while on her trip. She was able to visit her grandma who she had not seen in about ten years, and she found her mom’s journal, in which she wrote about her experience crossing the border to get into the United States. 

In one of the journal entries, Melanie’s mom wrote about how a classmate from a different Latin-American country wrote negatively about Colombia because of the drug issues they had in the past. If you aren’t sure who Pablo Escobar is – look him up. She was very upset that her country was seen in such a negative light and it affected all citizens of Colombia because people would think that everyone was associated with Pablo Escobar. And reading that reminded me of the first time I had ever heard anything about Colombia, I was told that it was the drug capital of the world. I was young and didn’t understand what that meant – but it made me reflect on what Melanie’s mom wrote was true, there was a negative taint on Colombia all because of one man. 

The Identity Crisis with Immigrants

Although growing up Melanie did not embrace her Colombian culture and was more embarrassed – she described the struggle children of immigrants go through with identifying with either culture. It’s like we are too Hispanic for Americans and then too American for Hispanics. 

And lastly, I identified with the writer in Melanie. Everything she described about having too many ideas to write and wanting to start writing right away or the whole process of writing an article and not being able to stop when you’re in a flow and afterward waiting for feedback, I could identify with everything because I go through that as well. 

The ending is very beautiful because Melanie finally finds what she needs to write about and it’s similar to my podcast. Immigration stories are important and are a unique part of this country. They aren’t spoken about enough, which is why I started The American Dream in The Eyes of Immigrants podcast, to share these stories, change the narrative, and provide a safe space for immigrants. 

Whether you are an immigrant, a child of immigrants, or not, I believe everyone should read this book! 

Let me know if you do read it and let’s talk about it! 

With Love, Heidy 

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The Importance of Having a Supportive Community

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Recently, I finished reading “Overcoming Underearning – A five-step plan to a richer life” by Barbara Stanny. It was gifted to me by my business coach, and honestly, at first, I didn’t think I was going to read it. First, I had never heard of Barbara Stanny, and second, I wasn’t interested in earning more money; my goal was to get my finances in order (you don’t necessarily need more money to achieve that). However, I’m glad I read this book, and I encourage any woman who has a business or needs to get their finances in order (like me) to read it.

In this book, Barbara provides five steps to a better life, as the title says, and today I want to talk to you about step four, create community.

Barbara says, “Whatever we achieve (or don’t) is significantly affected by our cumulative interactions with everyone we associate with on a regular basis.”

And this statement hit home when I read it. I immediately thought of my spouse, friends, and family members, who have supported all my projects. She says that there are four types of supporters:

  1. True Believers – say, “Go for it.”
  2. Confidantes – say, “I understand.”
  3. Way Showers – say, “You can do it, too; let me show you how.”
  4. Messengers – say, “I can help.”

It’s imperative to have support around you to reach any goal because we cannot do anything alone. I mean, you could, but it will be ten times harder and take ten times longer. You need people around you who will hold you accountable, provide resources, and inspire you.

Photo by Karl Solano on Pexels.com

Think about your support system – do you share your goals with them? Why or why not? Can you share your goals with your friends? What about family members? Are they supportive? Why or why not? Barbara mentions that you are more likely to reach a goal or the next level by sharing your goals with one other person.

What about your spouse? Are they supportive? In the book, she mentioned that after finishing her workshop, some women ended up separating from their spouses because they realized the spouse was holding them back. Now, I’m not saying to get a divorce; I’m saying to re-evaluate who you have around you.

I share my goals with my husband, and I share the steps I am going to take to reach those goals. The kids are with my husband when I have events, meetings, or need to record a podcast episode. When I am struggling or have doubts about anything, I go to my husband for support. He gives me his perspective and sometimes suggestions on how to approach my challenge. If not, he always reminds me to pray.

 My closest friends celebrate my wins like they are theirs, and I do theirs. I try to support them in any way that I can. And you should have people around you like this, who believe in you and your dreams and will encourage and support you to achieve them.

Let me finish by giving you the six principles Barbara says you need to create a powerful community.

  1. Realize no one will do this for you, but you don’t have to do it alone.
  2. Reach out and ask for support.
  3. Hang out with the kind of people you want to be, not who you’ve been.
  4. Recognize the role of the naysayer.
  5. Watch what you talk about.
  6. Respect yourself by taking time for you.

Do you have a supportive community? Reach out if you need someone in your corner; I got you!

With Love, Heidy

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Book Review: What Happened to You?

Book what happened to you there is a women drawn with blue and green colors, this is the cover of the book.
Picture I took of the cover – I removed the library sticker that was covering the word, “What.”

If you want to understand how events or trauma from your childhood affect your current behaviors, I suggest this book! Oprah writes about her upbringing and connects events from her adulthood to her childhood. And Dr. Perry shares his findings from over 30 years of neuroscience research and different stories from clients he’s helped. He breaks down how the brain stores memories and where in the brain they are stored. It’s truly an insightful book.

Few things I learned:

  1. Our viewpoint of the world starts as soon as we are born, believe it or not.
  2. Infants can sense the environment, for example, if there is tension or if they are in a loving home.
  3. Our brain associates trauma with our senses – like touch or smell.
  4. How we were cared for as infants and children affects our brain development, and not only that – but also the timing of when the trauma happened is important and impactful. Since children’s brains develop the fastest before the first two years – that is where the event affects the brain most.
  5. Trauma affects our health (from mental health or physical health).

Few things that stood out to me:

  1. Dr. Perry writes that therapy is more about building new associations and making new, healthier default pathways.
  2. When he talked about implicit bias – he said, “These beliefs and values are stored in the highest, most complex part of your braid – the cortex. But other parts of your brain can make associations – distorted, inaccurate, racist associations.” He explains that a person can have anti-racist beliefs but still have implicit biases that come with racist comments or actions.
  3. His definition of racism is, “In the U.S., racism is the marginalization and oppression of people of color by systems created by white men to privilege white people.” Yup, that is systemic racism, and that does fall into CRT.
  4. The last thing that stood out to me was how Dr. Perry says we can heal as a society. “How can our society move toward a more humane, socially just, creative, and productive future without confronting our collective historical trauma? Both trauma experienced and trauma inflicted. If we truly want to understand ourselves, we need to understand our history – our true history. Because the emotional residue of our past follows us.” – Dr. Bruce Perry.

Overall, this book is about changing the question from “why are you like that” to “what happened to you.” Because our upbringing has a lot to do with who we are.

This book is a great resource, but I still fully believe in therapy and doing the work to heal and better ourselves.

With Love, Heidy

Categories
Blog Book Review

Book Review: The Psychology of Money

Picture taken by author

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

For the past few months, I have shown interest in financial literacy, money management, investing, savings, budgeting, etc. And I searched for articles that recommended books about money, one of the most popular books recommended was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. That was the first book I listened to, and then I listened to Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. One of the articles recommended, “The Richest Engineer” by Abhishek Kumar, and when I went to Barnes and Noble to purchase it wasn’t available; however, I found this gem, “The Psychology of Money” – Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel.

The book is broken down into 20 chapters, and each chapter has a lesson – so as I was taking notes for this book review, I wrote down what I got from each chapter. So, I will write the title of each chapter and the lesson, but I still highly recommend reading it because each person can get something different from the chapter.

Chapter 1 – No One’s Crazy

Lesson – “Your personal experience with money make up maybe 0.0000001% of what’s happened in the world, but maybe 80% of how you think the world works.”

What I got from the chapter – Everyone’s habit with money has to do with their perception of the world. So, depending on how high or low inflation was when you were born will depend on how much you will invest.

Chapter 2 – Luck & Risk

Lesson – “Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems.”

What I got from the chapter – Be careful who you praise and admire. Be careful who you look down upon and wish to avoid becoming. Therefore, focus less on specific individuals and case studies and more on broad patterns.

Chapter 3 – Never Enough

Lesson – “When rich people do crazy things.”

What I got from the chapter – You have to know when enough is enough because you’ll continue to take risks without fear of consequences.

Chapter 4 – Confounding Compounding

Lesson – “$81.5 billion of Warren Buffett’s $84.5 billion net worth came after his 65th birthday. Our minds are not built to handle such absurdities.”

What I got from the chapter – Good investing is about getting good returns that you can stick with and can be repeated for a longer period of time.

Chapter 5 – Getting Wealthy vs. Staying Wealthy

Lesson – “Good Investing is not necessarily about making good decisions. It’s about consistently not screwing up.”

What I got from the chapter – Getting money and keeping money are two different skills.

Chapter 6 – Tails, You Win

Lesson – “You can be wrong half the time and still make a fortune.”

What I got from the chapter – Tails keeps investing, businesses and companies going. You can be wrong half the time and still make a fortune. The failed ideas and inventions are still part of the story but not the part you usually hear.

Chapter 7 – Freedom

Lesson – “Controlling your time is the highest dividend money pays.”

What I got from the chapter – True freedom is control over your time, which is the key to happiness.

Chapter 8 – Man in the Car Paradox

Lesson – “No one is impressed with your possessions as much as you are.”

What I got from the chapter – People admire the fancy car more than the person driving them. If your goal is to be respected and admired by others, be careful how you seek it. Morgan says humility, kindness, and empathy are the way to go.

Chapter 9 – Wealth is What You Don’t See

Lesson – “Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money.”

What I got from the chapter – There are many wealthy people who don’t look rich and many poor people who look rich. Spending money isn’t what’s going to make you wealthy.

Chapter 10 – Save money

Lesson – “The only factor you can control generates one of the only things that matters. How wonderful.”

What I got from the chapter – Getting a return from your savings is better than not getting anything at all. The more money you save, the closer you can get to having control over your time.

Chapter 11 – Reasonable > Rational

Lesson – “Aiming to be mostly reasonable works better than trying to be coldly rational.”

What I got from the chapter – Be reasonable, not rational, with money.

Chapter 12 – Surprise!

Lesson – “History is the study of change, ironically used as a map of the future.”

What I got from the chapter – Surprises are what moves the needle. Things we cannot prepare for, unprecedented things. (For example – the pandemic)

Chapter 13 – Room for Error

Lesson – “The most important part of every plan is planning on your plan, not going according to plan.”

What I got from the chapter – You don’t know what your future expenses will be, save for the gap. Know that every plan will not go according to plan.

Chapter 14 – You’ll Change

Lesson – “Long-term planning is harder than it seems because people’s goals and desires change over time.”

What I got from the chapter – You will change. Your goals and desires will change, which sometimes can make financial planning hard, but compound interest needs time to grow, so try not to take out the money.

Chapter 15 – Nothing’s Free

Lesson – “Everything has a price, but not all prices appeal on labels.”

What I got from the chapter – Everything has a price, and nothing is free, but it depends on how much you’re willing to pay for the price of success, and unfortunately, the price tag isn’t visible right away.

Chapter 16 – You & Me

Lesson – “Beware taking financial cues from people playing a different game than you are.”

What I got from the lesson – Everyone’s financial situation is different than yours, invest for you.

Chapter 17 – The Seduction of Pessimism

Lesson – “Optimism sounds like a sales pitch. Pessimism sounds like someone trying to help you.

What I got from the chapter – Pessimism is easier.

Chapter 18 – When You’ll Believe Anything

Lesson – “Appealing fictions, and why stories are more powerful than statistics.”

What I got from the chapter – It’s easier to believe tales than the truth.

Chapter 19 – All Together Now

Lesson – “What we’ve learned about the psychology of your own money.”

What I got from the chapter – This chapter recap all the lessons.

Chapter 20 – Confessions

Lesson – “The psychology of my own money.”

What I got from the chapter – Do what works for you. Handle your finances in a way that lets you sleep at night. What works for him and his family is maximizing their savings and living below their means, even when their income increased. The best way to do that is not to keep up with the Joneses.

Morgan provides a bonus chapter talking about the history of the US economy and when the gap between the 1% and the working class widened.

Again, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their finances. What financial books have you read that you would recommend? Let me know

With Love, Heidy

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Categories
Blog Book Review

Book Review: A Just Mission – Laying Down Power & Embracing Mutuality

Picture taken by me

A Just Mission is about how churches in The West go out into the world on short-term mission trips but rarely do they have people from the countries they are going to leading these trips. Mekdes Haddis uses her experience as an immigrant; she’s from Ethiopia and came to the US for college and culture to provide solutions to better mission trips. For example, she gives suggested solutions from training and development, mutual benefits instead of one-sided, and inclusivity of indigenous leaders on the missions’ team.

There were a few things that stood out to me in the book. First, in chapter three, she said, “We are not made to objectify one another; we are made for holy community, to equally reflect God’s beauty to one another.” This comes from having her hair touched without permission only because of curiosity. This is something I’ve heard people of color experience all the time. But as Mekdes mentioned, she’s never had the urge to touch straight hair, and hair has a lot of representation in many cultures.


Chapter five is about decolonizing short-term mission trips, and there were a few things in this chapter that stood out to me. First, she and her husband are very intentional about which organizations their money is going to. She writes, “For my husband and me, choosing to support mission organization has been a difficult journey because we know too well how culturally and spiritually unprepared people mischaracterize or demean our people. For the most part, we have shifted our financial support from Western institutions that promised to end poverty to those that invested in indigenous leadership.”

On pages 112 and 113, she includes a few steps to ensure good practices of short-term mission trips, and number six is something I’ve felt was always weird. Mekdes tells us to leave our cameras at home or hire a professional photographer from the community and support a small business. I have always felt strange when teams go on mission trips, take pictures and videos, and post them all over their social media. I understand wanting to show others their work in order to motivate others to get involved as well, but have you stopped to think that maybe they don’t want to be photographed?


I went with my church once to feed the homeless at a local park, and there was a person taking pictures and videos of us praying over people and handing out sandwiches. One of the persons receiving the food told them no pictures, which made me feel a little awkward. What are the intentions behind our actions? Are we doing this from the good of our hearts, or are we doing this to show off our good deed for the day to get an appraisal from others?

Matthew 6:3 (NIV) says, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your hand is doing.”

I hold this verse close to my heart, and I don’t post or boast of it when volunteering for certain things or making donations to charities, but that’s me. Everyone is different.

In chapter eight, she touches on the issue of immigration because a report from Religion News Service shows that 75% of white evangelical Protestant Republicans believe immigrants are invading American society. Mekdes writes, “This is an area where we need to have a clear stance, because it would be hypocritical to send the very same people who don’t want immigrants among them to the homeland of those they despise with the ‘gospel.’” Of course, this stance is close to my heart because of the work I’m doing with providing a platform for immigrants to share their immigration journey in order to change the narrative of immigration to a more compassionate and empathetic way.

Overall, this book has a lot of information and resources to improve how American churches approach mission trips. And I believe anyone who has thought about going on a mission trip, has gone on a mission trip, or attend a church that goes on mission trips should read it.

With Love, Heidy

What are your thoughts on the way American churches approach mission trips? Do you think any improvements need to be made? Why or why not?

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Like this post? Subscribe with your email to receive my free 5 minute journal prompts and weekly newsletters on my upcoming posts! 🙂

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You can get one or all of my journals on Amazon! Links are below! 🙂
My Prayer Journal  Into My Thoughts Journal Gratitude Journal

My poetry book – Words from the Heart available now!