Inspirational

Why I Wrote Taming the Dragons

Why I Wrote Taming the Dragons
by Brenda Wilbee

I’m excited about the resurrection of my 1992 book Taming the Dragons: Powerful Choices for Women in Conflict and Pain. July 2020, it’s back in print but with some changes:

1) updated,
2) more stories,
3) journaling pages, and 
4) questions designed for self-reflection that can also be used in group discussions. 

Taming the Dragons is a book for women in conflict and pain, but also for anyone going through a rough patch, in transition, or just down on their luck. I name six choices we can all make when up against the dragons in our way, depending on what they are. I partner six women from the Bible with the Wizard of Oz, perhaps the most endearing fairy tale of our day, to illustrate what these choices are and how they work. I then tell ten short stories of women who have made these choices to better their lives and the lives of those around them. But why did I write the book?

To answer that question, I’d like to tell you a story from my childhood.

First Chapter: Taming the Dragons

First Chapter: Taming the Dragons
by Brenda Wilbee
ONCE upon a time … the raging dragon … a hero and a damsel in distress. Remember the old fairy tales? Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty and happily ever after? It was always that way in our bedtime stories. But what about real life? What’s happened to our happily ever after? Daily we live under the dragon’s fire: we can hardly conceive of victory.

TAMING THE DRAGONS: Lucy, Uncle Tom's Cabin

TAMING THE DRAGONS: Lucy, Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Brenda Wilbee
Sometimes we use I Corinthians 10:13 to deny the power of evil, and in doing so we let evil reign. Interpreting the word “temptation” to mean circumstances or events or crushing stress rather than what it does mean—temptation to do wrong—we blind ourselves to people whose burdens really are too heavy to bear. Erroneously assured in our minds that God will not allow too much stress to accumulate in a neighbor’s life, we sit back and allow our neighbor to suffer more than he or she can withstand.

TAMING THE DRAGONS: Mary, 1989

TAMING THE DRAGONS: Mary, 1989
by Brenda Wilbee
“I awoke shortly after midnight, and within minutes I’d been shot in the head.” Mary was asleep in bed with her three-and-a-half-year-old son when an intruder broke into her home through a bathroom window.

Taming the Dragons: Mary, Mother of Jesus

Taming the Dragons: Mary, Mother of Jesus
by Brenda Wilbee

WAS MARY, fiance of Joseph, at the well in Nazareth when the stranger approached? Or was she washing butter, packing it into earthen vessels? What was she doing when a man she’d never seen before said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

I wonder, did the bucket fall from her hand, warm water splash across her hot and dusty feet? Did she drop her bowl? Did it break? Did she hasten to gather the precious butter coated now in dust and dirt? Kneeling, scooping, heart beating fast?

Taming the Dragons: Christine Wilbee

Taming the Dragons: Christine Wilbee
by Brenda Wilbee

MY COUSINS WERE ALMOST HOME, pushing their bikes up the last of the hill. It was a winter evening early in the new year of 1974, and a slight drizzle hurried them along: Patty, thirteen, Christine, eleven. Lights from the kitchen window could be seen through the trees. Suddenly, a car driven by a young man blinded by the setting sun came gunning up over the ridge. Patty ran the half block home screaming. Uncle Stan, the town doctor, was paged. Christine had been in an accident.

Taming the Dragons: He Can't Hurt Me Anymore

Taming the Dragons: He Can't Hurt Me Anymore
by Brenda Wilbee
AS A SINGLE MOTHER, I related to Jacob and his feelings of being cheated. In my first three years, child support had changed thirty-eight times. I lived in constant economic upheaval. There are other ways to be cheated, too. We can be cheated out of recognition, time, honor, even love. In the business world we can be cheated when someone takes credit for something we did. Gossip robs us of our reputation. A busy boss may fail to be appreciative. Employees fudge on their time slips. Beyond the workplace there are even more ways to be cheated. Everyone has horror stories of car mechanics, attorneys, and politicians. And yet God did not allow Laban to harm Jacob. . .

Gift From A Stranger

Gift From A Stranger
by Brenda Wilbee
Who is my neighbor? The girl crying outside. 

To Mend a Broken Heart

To Mend a Broken Heart
by Brenda Wilbee
YEARS AGO, when my daughter was married, I discovered a reservoir of sadness over my own failed marriage. God provided friends to help me cope, and I thought it had gone. But when my middle child Phil married two years later, my sadness, I discovered, was still there...