Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Self talk, soul talk," Chap. 4; Speaking truth to your issues...

On Saturday, before I had read, or even looked at this week’s chapter for our book study, “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” by Jennifer Rothschild, I came across a story in the bible that I have great affinity for. The story of the woman who was bleeding for 12 years.

In the past I have reflected on the length of her suffering, and on the rejection she must have faced from her peers, and the incredible love, joy, and hope she had when she realized she was healed… and so much more.

Saturday, I came across it, looked for it actually to find the longest account of it in the gospels. The verse that stood out to me was the same one that Jennifer pointed out.

“She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.”
Mark 5:26

It made me at the time think of all the pain she was in and the weakness she had. I wrote in my journal,

“I imagine that she was at the end of everything and it took everything she had just to get her hand through the crowd enough to touch the hem of His robe.”

Quiet desperation.
After all those years, that’s where she was living. In quiet desperation.

I wonder how many people around us are living those lives?

I know that I was. I was believing lies that didn’t line up with scripture. I was trying to live a godly life, and failing miserably. I was trying to keep everything together on the outside, so no one could see the mess on the inside.

And then God allowed everything to fall apart, so that every mask I ever had was torn away.
Now that He has been putting me back together, He is pushing me out of the nest a bit more. Since I had felt it was time to end my counseling with Tricia, I really felt pushed out of the nest, and that there was a lot more than I realized that I have to deal with day to day.

I am blessed with an incredible small group, and several close friends that I can go to. I have a large number of people that I can call on to pray for me (many of you who are reading this are some of those!). God set me up with a support network, and a “safety net” to keep me from falling too far if I trip and stumble.

But I have been feeling a bit lost at sea.

I mentioned in my last post, asking for prayer, that I feel that God is really teaching me some things, but at the same time, I am under attack. God is bringing things together, showing me what this life is about, and the suffering that we all face from time to time, but also the joy and victory at the end of it all.

The last thing the enemy wants is for me to have victory and be complete and whole and healthy in Christ. He wants me to believe the lie that I am going backwards, regressing, failing and that I am never going to get out of his grasp and never find freedom from some of the things that hold me back.

Oh has the negative self talk kicked in this week!!!!
Girls, can I tell you, it has been a crazy few weeks!

And this week’s study was just what I needed to hear. I read the chapter yesterday, but was so distracted I could hardly concentrate. All I could feel was the emotional pain I was in. But a few things did register, and as I read back through the chapter a little bit ago, I could see the things that stood out to me, even in the midst of my pain yesterday.

Jennifer said,
“The woman with the hemorrhage lunged forward to touch Jesus, and that is exactly what I did in my mind. In spite of all my dread, my anxieties, and the negative rubble heaped up around me, I wrenched my gaze from my own crowd of problems and focused for a moment completely on God.
And it was enough to bring healing and wellness to my soul.”

Ok, so it wasn’t that easy for me (and probably sounds easier for Jennifer, when we read it, than it was for her in practice). But slowly over the end of the day yesterday, and the beginning hours this morning, I made an effort to give myself some grace. I did the things I needed to, started getting some things done around the house, and accomplishing things made me stop telling myself I was lazy and a loser. Because even if I felt that way, it was a LIE because I was cleaning, and taking care of my daughter and being a good mom. Lazybones and losers don’t do those things.

Then it hit me this morning that more than ever, I needed to take a more active part in this battle I am in. I purposely started focusing on God. Prayed out loud to Him. Prayed through some scripture, and a spiritual warfare prayer. By the end of that, a worship song had come on my computer (that I had playing in the back ground) and I dropped to my knees in my bedroom and just worshiped God for who He is.

Majesty, by Michael W. Smith

“Majesty, Majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am;
Empty handed but alive in your hands.
Majesty, Majesty
Forever I am changed by Your love;
In the presence of Your Majesty.”

As I thought about it later on in the day, I realized I did just what Jennifer had. I forced myself to stop looking at the junk that is weighing me down, and instead focused my gaze on Him. I worshiped, which in and of itself will send the enemy packing.

I also love that Jennifer talked about the role of the Holy Spirit in truth talking to ourselves.

“God’s Spirit is the perfect Counselor. He is safe. He is wise. He is objective. He is absolutely committed to our ultimate good. And we can trust Him never to lead us off course.”

“The Spirit never leads us in ways that oppose Scripture. He won’t; He can’t.”

“God’s Spirit…stamps out ignorance, replacing it with wisdom and discernment light-years beyond our own. He’s a Mentor who teaches and guides with greater understanding that our own. Our minds need mentors… He exposes wrong thinking and enlightens us to the truth.”

Jennifer talked about how her own understanding and thinking ends up leading her the wrong way. She starts to look at something negatively and it really hampers her.

She said,
“I need God’s Spirit to lead me to truth. Leading myself, I don’t always end up at the destination of truth.”

Ever since I stopped counseling with Tricia, I felt bereft. I lost a friend (it still feels that way) but at the same time I felt I lost that objective person, to help counsel and guide me to make the right decisions that were the best for me.

This chapter just refreshed and reminded me that God sent His Spirit to help us… to help me. The Holy Spirit isn’t some after thought, but God’s Spirit, living deep within us, longing to speak wisdom, and give guidance if we will only listen.

Today, I was able to talk to one of my friends, Sandy, about the spiritual attack I have felt I’ve been under. I think, though I didn’t realize it at the time, she picked up on some of my confusion about why this was all happening now. I mean, I know why, but going from head knowledge to really understanding it and trusting God in it, is a bit harder.

She mentioned something that changed my perspective some, and made a difference for me. She said that maybe God was allowing some of this through, to allow me to go through it. To test my faith, refine it, prove it genuine by going through the flames.

It gave me a new perspective. I don’t need to just “sit” here and feel the oppression, and try to deal with the depression and react to it. I can look at this all as a chance to improve my skills. As a test to see how much I have learned this year. This gives me a chance to strengthen my muscles of trust and joy in God. No matter what the circumstances are, is my faith being strengthened enough to really hang on when I have to?

So, in speaking truth to my issues… God is with me. God is more than enough. He has given me His mercy and grace. He has given me His Spirit to guide and counsel me like no one else can. This is the truth. My feelings and immediate emotions may tell me otherwise, from moment to moment, but I will keep speaking truth to my soul, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit leading me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Themes... re-occurring.. again, and again...

Well, here we go again!

God seems to be pulling things together to get my attention.

I don’t know what for, but He has my attention.
He really got it today with back to back things.

Through this past week’s sermon He really caught my attention, making me aware of some of my fears that might hold me back from Him. He showed me that He is truly glorified and shown beautiful when we are in the midst of suffering, and we still choose to praise Him and say out loud and in our hearts, that HE IS ENOUGH. HE IS SUFFICIENT.

So that was the start of me working through some things this week.

All throughout this week, God has been giving me scriptures at just the right time. Just as I needed it, I would remember scripture, or read something that I needed to keep me focused on Jesus and not my fears.

Today I was given some more realizations in two devotionals that I did.

The first one was by Beth Moore. A devotional based on the life of John. She talked about how John was with Jesus in the best and worst situations. From a human point of view. Yet when human reasoning would be screaming to run away, John went into the inner courts to be near Jesus. He stood at the foot of the cross as Jesus died. He clung, even when it made no sense.

My prayer when I was done with that devotional, was that I want to be able to live a life of someone who clings to God even when it doesn’t make sense in the world’s eyes. I want to cling to Jesus. In the best of times, and in the times when all my humanness screams to run away, and stop trusting, because it will never work out.

Clinging to Him.

Then I got the Proverbs 31 devotional for today. The author basically talked about what her 2 biggest fears were. And how she prayed they would never happen. Then she found herself living in the very middle of them.

She said,
“Not only is He near us, He is working things out, growing our faith and our character as we wrestle with our fears and learn to accept His will. While we can’t understand why He allows our fears to materialize, we later realize that we have come to know Him in a whole new way through them. He is our reward for persevering.”

Talk about hitting the nail on the head! Talk about pounding the point home!

OK, God, I get it.

Well, so I don’t really get it yet, but He has my attention for sure.

I don’t know whether He is reminding me of these things now because I have come through so much. He is reminding me that I landed in most of my worst fears, and yet He was there through it all. Maybe He is trying to get me to focus on not the pain from the past, but how He brought me out of it. How I have grown through and because of it.

Maybe He is reminding me of these things because of the struggles I am in now. He wants to remind me to continue to focus on Him despite the enemy’s attacks and lies and fears that are assailing me. Maybe He is bringing these things up to help me persevere through the present trials.

Then He could me trying to teach me things to give me a hand hold for the future. He may be working on teaching me things so that I will be better equipped to deal with the fears and trials down the road.

It probably is a combination of all three.

After today, that pattern is unmistakable. Whatever the reason, if I ever know or not, I don’t suppose it really matters. It doesn’t really matter. Because God is more interested in growing me, and growing you, than giving us the answers our human understanding wants to know.

He wants us to, in all circumstances, praise Him.
He wants us to, in all circumstances, glorify Him.
He wants us to, in all circumstances, honor Him.
He wants us to, in all circumstances, love Him.
He wants us to, in all circumstances…

Cling to HIM.
NO ONE else.
Just HIM.

Here is a short video that our pastor shared at the beginning of last week’s sermon. I pray that it touches you as much as it did me.

Did you catch that?

“God is most glorified in you, when you are the most satisfied in Him, in the midst of loss, not prosperity.”

That’s what I want. In the midst of loss, in the midst of suffering. I want God to be glorified, because I am satisfied in HIM not in anything else… only HIM.

Jesus is planting that desire in my heart. I am fearful that He will have me live it out. But at the same time, if He does, He is still enough. I want to glorify Him with my life. I want to show others around me that no matter what, God is enough.

I want to share my story of what I have come through with others, not to magnify me… but to magnify and glorify and honor God. Because HE brought me out of the darkness and into His wonderful light.

I tell you, there is nothing better than seeing the light of day, than feeling the fresh air on my face, than rejoicing in freedom… except for knowing that it was God who got me there.
No one else. Not my doctors, not my family or friends, not my counselor, not my own strength and perseverance.

God used all those things as tools.
But God was the one who got me there.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Under attack and standing firm...

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I feel like God is telling me that this year is going to be one of learning, growth, and yes, some struggling.

I think there is going to be a lot of struggling and maybe even suffering. It is something that I am not necessarily looking forward to, but there it is. That is part of what comes with being a Christian.

I know that the enemy doesn’t like it when we start focusing on God, and trying to grow closer to Him. I have already found myself under attack in a few different ways.

On Sunday our pastor talked about suffering and fears out of 1 Peter 3:13-17.
“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks you do give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ my be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good that for doing evil.”

Our pastor talked about how, for the most part, we aren’t persecuted for our faith the way the Christians were that Peter was writing to. But the biggest thing that non-believers have a problem with, is why do good people suffer… why does God allow that?

Those are questions we can’t answer. We don’t have the answer, and maybe we never will. But we take each step, day by day, saying “yes” to God, and trusting Him.

It isn’t easy.

Because the verses say not to be frightened. That is difficult, because as we seek to follow God, we get hit with many fears. What will happen if….. ? What if….. ? God, I can’t handle it if….. you fill in the blanks.

This was a hard sermon for me.

I feel like God is calling me to go deeper with Him as He prepares me for something. I don’t know what that something might be. I have no clue. I just know I have the desire to share with others the miracle God has worked in my life and the freedom I have experienced.

One thing I do know. The enemy doesn’t want that news spread.

And he wants to gain me back as his captive.
He has been trying.
Through fear.
A lot of fear.

As I listened to the sermon I heard several things.

“If there is suffering in your life, it may not be because you are doing something wrong, but because you are doing something right.”

“Suffering sets us free from other God’s in our lives.”

“God is the most glorified in you when you are the most satisfied in Him in the midst of significant loss and pain.”

What if you have a huge fear… that you lose a family member, a child or a spouse. And then you find yourself in the midst of the very situation you fear. That fear becomes a reality. You can discover that in the midst of that heartache and pain, the devastation, that God is right there with you, walking with you, and He is sufficient. He is enough.

There were 2 questions that were asked at the end of the sermon.
1. What have you heard today from God?
My answer: “Has God asked me to release something so that I can enjoy Christ to a greater degree as Lord?”
2. In obedience to You as my Master I will….
My answer: “I will continue to follow deeper into You, even if I feel like I am losing some significant relationships in my life.”

My answers, especially to #2 were made with much fear and trembling. I felt like I was going to come unglued. I asked God to speak to me just before the sermon. Well, He did.

I managed to make it to the lobby of the church, and fell apart at I spoke out loud to Cindy a specific instance or two that I was afraid of. The fear of following God in spite of that stuff really was shaking me. I turned my back on the lobby as I started to cry… and fall apart. Cindy gave me a fierce hug with her free arm, and literally was almost holding me up as I collapsed sobbing onto her shoulder.

I was finally able to compose myself and get through the rest of church.

I got home, changed and went to the coffee shop.

Once there, I found a quiet, private corner, turned on some praise music. Then I proceeded to cry on and off all afternoon, begging God not to let my fears come to pass. Over and over, I heard:

“My child, I will be enough, even if it does come to pass. Do you trust me in that?”
“My daughter, some things may be stripped away. Will your heart still choose to bless my name?”

I came to the end of that day, with my head pounding, my eyes sore and puffy, exhausted.
But I came with a decision. One that I guess I had already made, but all the fears associated were now hitting me.

I have to follow God wherever He is leading. I need to say “yes” to Him. I need to get to know Him better. I need to spend more time in His word, talking to Him, listening to Him, sharing my life with Him. I need to become better armed to fight the enemy, and more able to hear his subtle lies.

I think I was under major spiritual attack on Sunday to be so overwhelmed by those fears. I am still concerned, but not as fearful as before. Remember, I am not to be frightened but in my heart set apart Christ as Lord. I need to fear God above anything else and then I will be able to keep all the other fears in their place.

I found myself under attack today. Not with fear, but with blatant, outright, horrible thoughts. Just thoughts that were so obviously planted by the enemy that I was able to immediately turn my back on them.

I talked with Cindy today, and she said that she experienced the same type of thing.

It isn’t just me. It is any of us who are determined to seek God, and make Him our all in all this year, and for all our lives, no matter what situations or sufferings or tribulations we may find ourselves in. We are all going to find that the enemy is going to try to attack us at any and every turn. He is going to attempt to get us to give up and give in. He is going to try to get us to believe lies about ourselves and about God.

So let us all follow Peter’s advice.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety [I would add in fear!!] on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:6-11

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Self talk, soul talk," Chap. 3; Choosing wise words...

Over most of my life, I have found that the enemy has planted in many lies and many false assumptions. I have lived with fear, whether or not I acknowledged it.

Fear and anxiety and depression have been some fruit in my life.

The root? Lies I have been told about myself, that I have kept repeating over and over. Those are the roots of the roots that Jennifer talked about in Chapter 3, Choosing Wise Words, in “Self Talk, Soul Talk.” As Beth Moore has said, the what you rehearse is what you believe… the more you rehearse the problem (or in this case the negative talk and lies) the bigger the problem becomes and the more depressed and fearful of it you become.

The roots for me have run pretty deep, and as Jennifer suggested on page 36, I did need to seek professional help to get through them. Those roots were choking me, and no matter how hard I tried to battle them with truth, even with the help of others praying over me and reinforcing the truth in my life. I needed the help of a professional, Tricia, to walk through my life with me to get at the root of the roots, if that makes sense. I needed to really identify not only the faulty assumptions but what caused them.

Now I am at the point where I can see the lies that I am believing, the faulty assumptions, and slowly I am learning one of the biggest things that Tricia taught me. Or rather, I am learning to use one of the biggest things that Tricia taught me.

I am learning how to use the truth. I am learning to speak truth into every situation. It isn’t easy as this past week or so has attested to.

At the beginning of the year I felt that God was calling me to something new this year. Last year was full of struggle, depression, healing, joy, dancing in the streets moments, back to despair and just plain hard work!

I felt that He was telling me that this year was going to be full of much of the same, but in a different way. This year is going to be hard work. There are going to be the up and down moments, just like last year has had. But God is calling me to something more.

I have mentioned it before; I feel like God is calling me to press into Him more. More than I ever have. This is where my resolutions from the beginning of the year really kick in. Spending time with God, being in His word, memorizing His word, setting aside daily and weekly time with Him. All of those things are going to pull me closer to Him, help me learn more about Him, and help my relationship with Him grow more deeply.

I have gained more freedom this year because I have discovered roots and am working on choking them out. Last year I needed help. This year I need God. I need a deeper relationship with Him. I long for it.

This year, I need God. I have to ask for His wisdom in my life. I need His wisdom and discernment to see what areas are holding me back from more freedom. I need God’s wisdom in my life to see the lies, and to know the truths to replace them with.

Like Jennifer said,
“It is really just as simple as asking for wisdom and trusting that you will receive.”

Trusting God… trusting that I will receive what I ask for. Trusting my Savior to do what He says He will do. Asking for wisdom is a choice. So is trusting that God will answer and give us that wisdom.

I love that Jennifer said,
“He doesn’t just beet minimal requirements. He gives liberally. He turns the bag upside down. He lavishes us with wisdom that will benefit us and those around us.”

I also need to revere God… when I revere Him and treat His as He is due, I also receive wisdom. Because when I put God higher than me, and His truth higher than the things that I am believing, I become more wise. It brings it to a simple choice of putting God first. If I don’t put God first, I end up making other things in my life my gods.

The enemy would love for me to believe the lies. The enemy would love for all of us to be so wrapped up in fear and trembling that we take our eyes off of Jesus. When we start looking at the situations in our lives, no matter how dire they might be, rather than God, we are exalting our circumstances and our own knowledge and perception of truth. And that delights the enemy because we are taking our eyes off of God and neglecting to revere Him. The enemy is succeeding in taking glory and focus away from God.

I sure don’t want to do that! Do you?

“Until you reverence God most highly in your life, until you acknowledge that He is the standard of truth, you will never find true wisdom.”

The other thing I need to do is receive counsel from others. All this last year I had someone specifically for that, my counselor, Tricia. However I also had other people that I found I could go to and get input from, who would pray for me.

This year, I still have many of those people in place.

One very close friend has walked with me through a lot of things. I highly value her insight and input and her prayers. The wonderful thing, she is constantly pointing me back to God, so that I am not putting her on a pedestal. This woman, though she may not see it herself, is a woman who is strong (because Christ’s strength shines through her, even in her brokenness). She is wise and deeply cares about people, intensely desiring to draw them closer to God (and yes she struggles too, with times when the flesh rises up and takes over).

Even in her weakness and failures, her struggles and frustrations, I see God at work in her. I see God’s wisdom in her, and through her. Because she is constantly getting back up and trying again. She may have those times when she just wants to be “done” (just as I have) but she continues on. We are walking a similar path, right alongside each other. It is so comforting to know that I am not alone on this walk that God is taking me.

When I have had struggles even in the beginning of this year she has encouraged me. In many ways, just as this book has talked about, she has spoken truth to me, and then I have been able to walk away from her and remind myself of that truth. I have been able to engage in real soul talk.

When I walk with God, as I am pressing into Him more, as I am drawing nearer to Him and falling further in love with Him, I am gaining wisdom. Reading the bible, God’s truth, His word, gives me words of wisdom. The bible is full of descriptions of who I am as God’s daughter, as part of His creation, as set aside for Him, beloved and precious in His sight. Those are the words of wisdom, the soul talk, that I need to keep my mind engaged in.

Listen to these healing words.

is more valuable that gold.
will refresh you.
will bring healing.
will be pleasant to your soul.
increases the sweetness of your speech.
causes you to inherit honor.
grants you a future and hope.
protects you.
makes you strong.
(paraphrased from pg. 42)

“To get wisdom is to love your own soul.”

We are going to have days where we feel like the enemy is pressing in hard. But the overall battle belongs to the Lord, and He has won the ultimate victory! Now those are words of wisdom that will help heal our souls.

It may be hard right now, but God has won the victory already! Live in that victory!!!!


If you are interested in following along, or reading any of the other posts on this wonderful book, pop over to my friend, Lelia’s site and see what’s going on!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Do not be anxious..." What's that?!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:4-7

This is my new scripture memory verse for the challenge through Beth Moore’s blog. (just click on the button at the top of this post to join!)

Boy, do I need that peace right now.

I feel myself all tied up in knots, anxious about everything. I have been praying, but you know, when the negative self talk comes in there, I am really feeling like crud, and it is hard to speak truth to myself. So, scripture memory here I come!

I am going to keep repeating this scripture and Romans 12:1-2 over and over today. I have to replace these lies in my head with the truth.

I need His peace to guard my heart, and to guard my mind. Because I am feeling the pretty far away from peace right now. I have spent time with God today already, and have been praying and reading through scripture….


I hate to admit it, especially “out here” in blog land… I really just want to run and hide. I don’t want to do today. I don’t want to “do” tomorrow. I am leading worship team, and am feeling very inadequate right now. I want to curl up in my bed, under the covers and go back to sleep and forget about everything.

Hmm, could that be depression raising its ugly head again?

I know that I can come to God with anything and everything that I have and that I am. I thank Him for all the amazing things He has done in my life this year. I have praised Him for drawing me closer to Him. I have invited Him into the emotions I am having right now.


I still want to curl up in bed.

Why does this happen on the weekends? This happened to me last weekend as well. Maybe its hormonal! I don’t know. But I do covet your prayers. Please pray through the verse at the top for me.

Another verse I am clinging to is my anchor verse for the year. Who knew that I would need it so much?

“Oh Lord, be gracious to [me]; [I] long for you. Be [my] strength every morning, [my] salvation in time of distress.”
Isaiah 33:2

I am praying through that, because only by His strength am I going to get through this time of struggle. I am so grateful that He gives me strength. And not just strength in general, but strength every morning. I am so grateful that He is my salvation. Again, not just in general, but in time of distress.

He strengthens me for every day, so that in all things I am more than a conqueror. He is my salvation when I am in distress, like today. He is my refuge and my strong tower.

Oh Lord, I am in distress today. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I would be so anxious about everything and find myself plummeting into a hole. The only thing I can think of is that the enemy is trying to destroy my effectiveness. Especially since I am leading the worship tomorrow at church. Please guard and protect me. Keep me safe from the enemy’s attacks. Thank You that Your faithfulness is so great, Lord. And that You are faithful to ME. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings and cover me with Your feathers. Keep me safely in the palm of Your hand. Thank you that I am the apple of Your eye, and that You watch out for me every day. Help me to sense Your presence with me, and to sense Your Spirit indwelling me. Let Your peace pervade my soul and fill me to overflowing with Your love. Only in Your strength can I stand, Lord. Thank You for Your covering, and thank You that You have already won the battle, and that in You I do have the victory. Help me to claim Your promises for today, and always. Amen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Thoughts... and renewal...

What God has done for me the past few days has been really good.

I want to thank you all who have been and are praying for me. I know I am not out of the woods yet as far as dealing with depression, or learning to cope with stresses now that I am not counseling anymore.

I am in a transition time I guess.

I am transitioning out of counseling, and realizing that I can’t just “hold” on dealing with something until my next appointment, because hopefully there won’t be a next appointment. I need to deal with things here and now, using tools and skills I picked up from Tricia. I need to re-label lies that I have believed with the truth. Also something I started to do with Tricia.

Now I need to do it on my own without her prompting or guidance.

Now I need to listen to God for my prompting and guidance.

Monday and Tuesday, though I was still feeling depressed and not wanting to do much, I did start to feel better.

Then this morning I woke. And as I left in a comment on someone’s blog, I felt like God had been singing over me in the night. I don’t know what song it was, but I woke with a totally different attitude. I got my son off to school today, leaving my husband and daughter still sleeping, and from Peter’s school, went to the local coffee shop. My stamp card was full, so I got a free coffee, and sat down and stole about 45 minutes out of the day to chat with God. I journaled and prayed and just had the chance to refocus.

Then I grabbed my groceries, and got home.

As I went through the day, though I was tired, my whole outlook was different.

I don’t know if it was that I was reconnected with my best friend from junior high and high school, or the coffee and chat with God, but man did it make a difference in my day!

I know that I am going to still have struggles. I know I am going to have to battle negative thoughts. I know that I am going to have to battle lies and struggle with focusing in on the truth, or even hearing the truth from time to time. I know that right now I am in a growing stage.

God has me here right now to learn how to do things on my own with Him, rather than relying on someone else to tell me what to do next. I don’t need someone else to tell me, “OK… do this, now go here… OK, now try this, and now you step here…” etc. What I need is to listen to God and follow His guidance. I need to really listen for Him when I find myself hitting bottom (hopefully before that though) and learn to use His word as my weapon against the enemy and his lies.

No longer do I want to be the door mat for the enemy to walk in and just trash my heart and home. My heart and home belong to Jesus. I don’t want to open the door to anyone but Jesus, and those He has with Him. I want God’s truth to flood through my soul, through my mind, through my heart and continue it’s healing process that was started in the last year or so.

God laid such a good foundation for healing and growth, I don’t want to just let it sit there uncompleted. I want to cooperate in building on that foundation.

It’s hard, because as much as I want to jump ahead into areas that I feel God might be calling me to, I feel like He is telling me to wait.

I think this weekend’s bout with depression was a lot about that. I think it was a reminder that I am not out of the woods yet. I have a lot to learn. I have a lot that I need to work on. I have a lot that I need to continue to put into practice, a lot of skills that are still cumbersome and uncomfortable for me yet, that I need to work into my reflexes.

It was also a reminder that God is in control. He is the one who is going to help me learn these things. He is going to help me work on these things. He is going to help me put into practice the skills I need.

All my trying by myself will not get me very far. Only with God’s help will I get to where He wants me to be, not where I think I should be. There is a big difference there. Because I will never know His thoughts. I just know they are good for me. (Does that make sense?)
I think today taught me that I need to have a more concentrated time with God each day… each morning. More than I do now.

Oh dear.
Yes. Me.

See… my kids get up no later than 8:30 (and yes I know some of you are about to kill me when I say that). But I am a night person. It is midnight right now as I am typing this, though I will probably post date this, so that it publishes late Wednesday night… because my day isn’t over yet for me. I could happily stay up till 2am or so, and sleep in till 9 or 10am and be very happy.

However the earliest my kids have gotten up, and this is usually my daughter, is 6:30am. So that is a rather large window for me to deal with. That means, if I want any time, whatsoever with God that is uninterrupted, I really need to get up no later than 6am.

Not good.
A bummer really.

Because my words seem to come to me better late at night. But maybe if I can switch my clock over, 9pm or 10pm could become my late at night???? Maybe????

All I know is though in my New Year’s resolutions I said that I needed to start the day with God, and have 2 concentrated hours a week with Him…. I think it needs to be more than a brief 15-20 minutes of distracted time in the morning. And I need more concentrated time with Him than just “2″ hours a week.

What that means and how that is going to look, I don’t know. I just know that somehow I need to make it work.

Because, today, having that time to sit and journal, and be out of the house was really good. I was able to keep a train of thought and prayer going in one direction. I was able to have a latte to keep me awake! And I just came away from that time feeling really refreshed.
I want more of that.

Especially when I know that I am going to have more times of depression and anxiety as things, and normal stressors of life come up. I need to be able to cope with them and deal with them in a healthy way, and the only way I can do that is if I am really connected with God.
(and yes, for those keeping track, I did post-date this… only by 17 minutes…. I “published” this post on 1-14-09 at 23:59)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Self talk, soul talk," Chap. 2; Renewing your thought closets...

OK, folks, this week has been tough.

Has anyone else found it as tough as I did?
Oh, I really hope I am not alone!!!

I can only hope and pray that I do better this week than I have done the last few days. With cold (and I mean bitter) weather in our area for the next few days at least, I am going to be dealing with 2 wiggly, confined kids, in a 2 bedroom house, which is small enough to begin with, until you tell us all that we can’t go outside cause it’s too cold!!!!

Talk about negative self talk… the trash that has been running through my head has been pretty bad. And I haven’t even realized it was going on. I just have felt a lot of the “I can’ts,” the depression, the uncontrollable urges to cry. Today, it was the plain, sad, “I’m tired so just put me back to bed,” ever since I got up at 6:30 this morning.

And I did. Go back to bed that is. I got my son up, Dave took him to school, I stayed up with Marina till Dave got home, and then I went back to bed. Literally, I did. I climbed right back in, and didn’t get out until 11:30am. My getting up was under a lot of mental protest. My brain was trying to tell my body that it didn’t really want to get up and that there was nothing I was going to be able to accomplish at all today, anyway.

In the middle of the pain I was in on Sunday, I read our 2nd chapter in our book, “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” by Jennifer Rothschild.

She reminded us again about how powerful our words really are.

She said,
“The writer of Proverbs tells us that the words of the wise are persuasive, that a person’s words can be life-giving water, and that wise speech is rarer than gold and rubies.”


“…some of the most powerful words we utter are words no one else ever hears. The are the words we speak to ourselves.”

We pick these negative words because they are available to us. Our memories have them right there within easy reach. Sometimes they are words that we have been called by others in the past, that pain has sunk very deeply into the core of our memories of who we are.

Jennifer said,
“We’re taking dirty, ill-fitting words and storing them in the sanctity of our minds! We have borrowed unbecoming beliefs from other people and hung them in our thought closets. We have grabbed clumsy considerations and careless characterizations and made them part of our wardrobe even when they didn’t come close to fitting.”

Jennifer urged us to take control of the thoughts we have. We need to match those thoughts we have (and I am speaking specifically right now of the thoughts we have about ourselves) with the truth.

What truth?
The Truth.
Of God’s Word.

I have been labeled by words from my past. Words that I have picked up and accepted as my own from other people. Words that I have called myself as I haven’t lived up to a standard I set for myself. I could list a whole host of them right now.

I have gone through what Jennifer calls my thought closet, all through this past year with my counselor, Tricia. She has helped me identify big words that I called myself. Big lies that I believed about myself. She has helped me to, over and over again, line up my thoughts with the truth of God’s Word, and start to let the truth in, and kick out the lies.

At the beginning of the process, I didn’t even really have the wisdom to recognize the truth. I mean, I did recognize the truth when someone else talked about themselves, but when it applied to me… no way.

I like what Jennifer said about wise words.
“When you talk to yourself, do you choose wise words? Are they words God would put His loving stamp of approval on? Are they like life-giving water, or do they drain away your vitality, leaving you parched, dry, and arid? Words matter. We cannot risk speaking untruths to ourselves because of the strong likelihood that we will believe them.”

Truth. It is live giving.
Jesus is Truth. He is life giving.

When He used words,
He always used them in truth.

Even if He was telling someone a hard truth,
His words were gracious and His words were powerful, they had authority.

When we speak with authority about something, either to someone else, or to ourselves, that authority should never be harsh, or abusive, or condemning, but gracious and gentle… but those gracious and gentle words must never be lacking the power of truth backing them up.

The ultimate question is,
“Do you tell yourself the truth without condemning yourself when you blow it?”

Even when we have to speak some hard truths to ourselves (and I have as I have gone through this year) we shouldn’t be condemning, we should feel built up.

This is where I am learning. I need to learn to counsel myself with the truth, without doing it harshly. I need to learn to build myself up with the truth in my own thoughts and my own talk to myself. I don’t have someone (typically anyway, now that I am done with counseling) to talk to about what I am thinking weekly about myself. I don’t always have someone there to check me and say… “Hey, do you realize what you just said to yourself?” I have to be able to do that myself.

Just like the words others say to us, and the words we say to others have a huge impact on our lives, so too, the words we say to ourselves have enormous impact.

“You see, we all write on the surfaces of our own minds when we speak to ourselves.”

I think I was doing a lot of writing on my own mind this weekend. It took me nearly 3 hours to get to the point on Sunday (in the time I had set aside for me and God) where I was able to start to pray through scripture, and really let it into my mind and heart. Only then was the pain inside, that I had been feeling all weekend, able to start to come out… and moreover, only then was I able to relinquish it all to God. I was finally able to give Him the hurt I was feeling.

I have felt like I was, and still am, under major spiritual attack.

For the last week, almost since we started this study, I feel like I have been taking major steps backwards, rather than holding my own, or getting better.

It has been over a month since my final appointment with Tricia. I know it isn’t going to be easy going on “without” her. Though I know I can always go back if something happens that I am not able to deal with or process through on my own or with the help of a friend.

But since last week, my anxiety is up. By that I mean way up compared to where it was before. Even the last few months of counseling with Tricia, I was down to taking my Clonopin only once a day (rather than twice a day) if that. And all through the month of December I was probably not taking it at all at least 2-3 days a week. I was so thrilled to find that when I did get hit with anxiety, a lot of the time, I was able to employ one or more of the relaxation techniques I was taught, and able to process through and deal with the anxiety without medication.

Not so this past week. No amount of relaxation techniques (or even going to my “safe place” at Beatitudes) was helping me. I have been on Clonopin everyday, twice a day. When it wears off, I can immediately tell. My stomach starts to hurt, and nothing I do seems to help, I start getting snappy with the family, and it all starts to go down hill rapidly.

The negative self talk has heightened even more since I started this book. In my mind, that means to me there is something here the enemy doesn’t want me to learn, grab hold of, or incorporate into my life. What do you think?

Here was the key sentence for me in the whole chapter this week.
“You can’t remove those hurtful thoughts, words, and memories, but by the power of God, you can drain them of their potential control over you.”

Taking captive every thought for Christ, by replacing the lie with the truth, relabeling the old with the new. That is the soul-talk that Jennifer is talking about. It isn’t easy. Especially when I have felt hurt and broken, burdened and weary.

But I know my God, and I know that He can and will work wonders in my life… in our lives… if we surrender to Him. So, I am proceeding to start new tomorrow… with surrendering to Him. I have to. He is the only one who has the power to change lives, to change how I view myself, to continue the healing He started, to help me talk to myself with the gracious and powerful words of truth.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Heather is... needing to renew her mind.

I have a Face Book account.
My status for the day today was, “Heather is.”

Just that.

Then I added, “Tough day… all around… but the kids were especially tough.”

I woke up maybe on the wrong side of the bed. I lay in bed praying that God would make it all go away. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, deal with the kids, nothing.

I wasn’t feeling very lovable, or loving, or patient. I wasn’t feeling at all as if anything has changed in my life. Oh it was a bad day.

I know that what I was feeling wasn’t based on truth. I know that the enemy was probably really trying to bring me down. However, I just couldn’t see it till later in the day…. much later, unfortunately.

And the kids fed off of what I was going through. If they could challenge me on anything they did. They fought with each other, fought with me. Peter screamed at me in the face so many times. Then he realized that I was not going to deal with it. I was able (finally, with some encouragement from my husband who was at work) to stay calm. I just took him into his room, and gave him a “talking to” with something that would get his attention. After 2 times of that, he was done yelling at me. Then he was on to yelling at Marina.

I felt like I was in the middle of a war zone. I think I was. I was so grateful when Dave got home tonight. He got here about 3:30 or so, and as soon as I got our dinner in the oven, I took one look at him and told him I was going to shower and get dressed for the day.
Yup. That kind of day.

It would have been nice to stay in my pj’s all day, if that had been the plan. But it wasn’t in my plans at all. And I just didn’t have much fun with it. It was really too cold for Marina outside today… though Peter would have been fine, but I wasn’t comfortable letting him outside by himself. So I had two squirmy, stir crazy kids, with toys spread all over the living room, feeling that the house was crowding in on us.

That was the outward stuff.

The inward stuff was much worse… and made it that much harder to deal with everything else…
You know, after reading the first chapter of our book, “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” you would think that I would get it. I have been challenged every way I could have been. I really didn’t do so good with soul talk today… it was a lot more self talk, the junk in the closet being dragged out, all my fears and failures…

Boy its amazing how quickly I forget what I have learned, just a day or two later. It is so hard.

I felt today exhausted (not physically) and depressed, irritable, and on the edge of every emotion.

At one point I sat down in the bathroom, and just cried… and cried.

I am currently listening to some Beth Moore on line.

She just said:
“Everything we feel right now is a direct result of what we think.”

Oh my word, how true. It is a good reminder for me. It is the exact same thing that Tricia was teaching me. If I want to feel different about myself and my situation, I need to start thinking differently.

My irrational feelings are based on facts. But those facts may not necessarily be true; the Truth.

Oh, isn’t that the same thing that so many of us need?

All the thoughts I had today:
I’m a bad mom.
I can’t keep my kids from fighting.
I can’t even manage to get dressed.
I can’t keep the house clean.
I am so lazy.
I am so stupid.
I am unlovable.
I am useless.
And there were more, that I can’t even remember.

But it is safe to say that I really didn’t love myself very well today.

It doesn’t matter that God loves me no matter what (well, it does, but you know what I mean), I wasn’t feeling it today. I was just about in tears, sitting at the computer, and was reading a friend’s post, and it just struck me… She said that sometimes (like Leah in Genesis) we feel like a “3 in a world of 10’s.” I felt today that I rated maybe a 3 on a scale of 1-10.
It wasn’t because of a lack of attention by anyone else (like Leah was “ignored” by Jacob and desperately longed for him… until somehow God did something in her). It wasn’t that I felt God was rating me as a 3. I was rating myself as a 3… or less. I was filled with condemning thoughts, and I know that they didn’t originate with God. I know that they were planted, or improved upon by the enemy. He doesn’t want me to realize who I really am in Christ. And as I have learned more about who I am in Christ, he tries to redirect my thoughts. The enemy has tried very hard today to keep me ineffective for Christ.

I was completely incapacitated by lunch time.

It wasn’t until I was in the shower, before supper, that things started to turn around. It wasn’t until I started taking care of myself, by cleaning up, by eating something good for myself, by playing with my daughter on the bed, by snuggling with the kids during a Veggie Tales movie… that was when my attitude started to turn around.

Tricia always told me. Take care of yourself first. When you take care of yourself, by cleaning up, eating well, exercising, accomplishing one thing (even if it is one load of laundry), sleeping well, then slowly your feelings will change. You can’t take care of anyone else, until you have taken care of yourself.

My frame of mind will be all out of sorts until I am able to see myself as worthy of being taken care of. I have to start thinking of myself as worthy of God’s love (through His mercy and grace), and more basically worthy of being taken care of, and that I can take care of myself. Nurturing myself is the first thing I need to focus on.

If I keep my priorities straight…
God first…
Me second…
My husband third…
My kids fourth…
…I am going to find that I will be a lot better off.

I can still feel the weight pressing down on me right now. The depression is still hanging there. But I am listening to some solid biblical teaching, and I have had the chance to listen to some good worship music before that. And though it has nearly moved me to tears a couple of times, I know those are cleansing tears. God is working in my heart to break through the walls and terrible thoughts running through my head today.

I am so thankful that He is willing to transform me by the renewing of my mind.

I was able to start the day somehow with part of my life verse…
(and I paraphrased it…)

I need you today. I need your strength. I can’t do this today Lord, only You can.

My prayer tonight is that He will sing over me and renew me for tomorrow. I am praying that my mind and heart will be protected and guarded by His angels. And that my mind and heart will be transformed by His word and truth.

My heart is still hurting. My mind is still racing. My tears still want to flow.

I may wake up that way tomorrow.

However, I have the whole afternoon tomorrow to spend with God. I have a good stretch of time to rest in His presence and soak in His word, and His love. I know He will renew me and refresh me.

Thank you for allowing me to share my heart in this context. It has been a blessing to have this blog as an outlet. And thank you for your prayers and encouragement. They are appreciated more than you know.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

1 Peter 3, submission and fear...

Note: There are exceptions to the blanket statement of “submitting to your husband.” I am in no way encouraging anyone to stay in an abusive situation, or to condemn someone who got out of a marriage or situation that was unhealthy. I am not wanting to condemn someone who has made mistakes in the past, or are coming out of any other circumstance that I can’t think of right now!

I am speaking directly to myself, in my own situation, and the way this past week’s sermon hit me. I pray that I have not left anyone feeling condemned, put down, or made to think that they have no choice if they are in a bad situation. My struggles are just that, my individual struggles. I am only speaking from my experiences and difficulties.

Please keep that in mind as you continue to read! Love you all…


How do I describe the things that have been happening to me these past few days?
I am not sure if I can. But I will try.

I was very convicted by the sermon this Sunday at church. Our pastor has been working through 1 and 2 Peter. This week, he embarked, with great trepidation, on trying to speak to all of us out of 1 Peter 3… you know the part… wives submit to your husbands…

He said that he would have felt much more comfortable having his wife or another woman speak to the women in the church on this subject of submitting to their husbands. There were things that he didn’t address, which was good I think, because he didn’t want to stir up controversy, but he really wanted to encourage us. (He also spoke to the men with their part of those verses, but that is a completely different topic!!!)

Several of the things that jumped out at me was the reminder that our true beauty comes from a gentle and quiet spirit… from the internal things God is doing in our lives. He said that the passage about our beauty doesn’t come from fine clothes, jewelry, braided hair wasn’t so much about how we were to dress, but more about the reminder that those things are ok, as long as we know, and are convinced that our inward beauty is so much more important.

If we are ugly and contentious, bitter and nagging, criticizing and degrading, it shows through to our outward appearance, in the way we handle ourselves, our expressions, our attitudes, and the words that proceed from our mouths.

He also addressed the biggest thing that causes problems for us, when we are told to submit to our husbands.


It is so hard to submit because in Genesis it talks about how the woman’s desire will be for her husband and he will rule over her (Gen. 3:16).

Truth be told here. How many of us are afraid to submit, because then we will be out of control? The situations we most fear are the ones we try to control the most. We try to control and manipulate our husbands into doing the things we think are right, rather than submitting to them and allowing them to take real leadership in our homes, and the subsequent responsibility and accountability to God that requires.

I know I have.
I know I still do.

I respect my husband. He has a hard job, yet he does it well, and with pride. He loves working as a nurse on the oncology unit at the hospital, even though it is very hard on him when they lose a patient. He connects well with the families and patients. And he typically comes home very tired and drained (he is an introvert which makes the job doubly hard on him, being with people all day).

That’s when the kids and I start in on him, all of us wanting his attention. No wonder he retreats to the computer to get away from “people” for a while… even if the computer is in the same room, he can tune us out.

And I know in those situations there have been times where I have been disrespectful, and not able to support him or give him what he needs.

Our pastor said that we need to understand, and truly empower, encourage and lift up our husbands. That they need us. He also told us that there was no way we can know how to do that unless we ASK them. Yup. Dialogue about it.

He said that we would be daughters of Sarah if we did what was right and didn’t give way to fear.


It can really be our biggest trap. As I said before, we lose that control, in whatever area we think we need it, and we become extremely fearful, and start acting based on that fear. And then find ourselves not submitting, and out from under the will of God and the covering of our husbands.

As we went into our community groups (Sunday school) to discuss the sermon, I started having a panic attack. It was all I could do to sit there next to my friend and listen. I could barely participate.

I could already hear God starting to work on me…
…and I was terrified!

I know the biggest issue for me right now was trusting that God is going to provide for our needs. I mean, I need to feel secure and taken care of. I hate the feeling of flying by the seat of my pants in the area of finances. I feel I am totally alone in that area of our lives, and that there is nothing I can do about it.

God has gotten me to the point where I am able to trust Him in a lot of other areas of my life. So now it is time to work on this one. His provision for me.

I spent some time with God on Monday night, walking through some techniques that my counselor has taught me over the past year. I felt like God clearly… incredibly clearly… spoke to me through scripture.

Scripture dealing with fear.
Scripture dealing with my feelings of helplessness.
Scripture dealing with my feelings of hopelessness.

Scriptures to remind me that He has not given me a spirit of fear.
Scriptures to remind me that He is my strength every morning.
Scriptures to remind me that He is my salvation and hope.

I know that no matter what may come around the corner to surprise me, God knew it already. He took me through that processing the other night because He knew that another curve ball in the area of finances would hit me today, and He prepared me for it.

I am still struggling. But I know that He is in control. I am more at peace about it than I have been in a while.

I know it seems like submitting and my relationship to the finances has nothing to do with my relationship with my husband and submitting to him.

My insecurities in our financial situation, and my fear that God won’t provide, have made me very nagging, up tight. My fears have made me question everything that my husband has spent. I almost compulsively check our banking accounts on line. I have a fear of letting go of the control of the finances. It isn’t so much paying the bills. That Dave likes for me to do, because I enjoy numbers and he doesn’t as much. It is my attitude about it. The constant nagging and questioning and pushing him to do overtime. I am definitely not submitting to him here.

I am being pretty open and honest here because I would covet your prayers. I don’t even know what submitting to my husband in these areas will look like. But I have asked God to show me. I am trying to keep my eyes out for opportunities. It is a real struggle for me because I have a tendency towards controlling things so that I don’t get hurt. I feel like I can’t trust anyone else to take care of me, though I long for it, because they will let me down.

Now it may be true that people will let me down in the area of providing for me… and many others. But God doesn’t. He is my provider. I have to submit to my husband, work on living at peace with him, giving him a safe, peaceful place to come home to after work. I have to learn him better, and do things for him that empower and encourage him. And when he fails me, which will happen, I have to know and believe that God will take care of us both, and our whole family.

I can control me and my reactions, and my part of trusting God and my husband.
I can’t control anything else, situations or people.
I need to stop trying, and allow God to fill in the rest.

Submission. Not a word that has positive connotations in our culture. Not one that has a lot of positive associations in my own head. However, submitting to God hasn’t been as painful as I thought it would be. So learning to submit to my husband in everything, not just the areas I choose to, can only be rewarding, right?

Pray for me as I find myself learning new things, and as God continues to stretch and grow me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Self Talk, Soul Talk," Chap. 1, Not so well with my soul...

Welcome to the first blog book study for the year~ hosted by our dear friend Lelia! I am excited to be studying with the new friends I made in the last study, and looking forward to the new friends that I will make this time!

We are going through the book “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” by Jennifer Rothschild.

Our first chapter talked about how Jennifer came to a point in time where she realized that she woke up in bed with all sorts of negative thoughts running through her head… in essence condemning thoughts.

She wrote:
“As a child, I could not escape the idea that whatever I did just wasn’t good enough. I was a good girl with vast perfectionist tendencies - and painfully self-aware.”
Oh boy, does that sound like me! I didn’t want to be caught doing something wrong. I didn’t want to get bad grades. More because of the defeatist thoughts I would have… the “I should have done better’s” and all that. As she described how all those thoughts continued, I was caught by the thought that it felt like she was describing me.

She wrote:
“You’re not good enough. You’re not the wife you should be. You’re not a good mom. You should have done a better job. It’s all about me. I can’t do it; it’s impossible. I’ll always be this way. Nobody really cares.”

After a while of having those thoughts they become familiar. You don’t even realize they are there. You don’t even remember where they came from, when they started.

How many times have I had some or all of the thoughts that Jennifer listed? But before this last year or so, they were so numerous that I couldn’t control them. It was a constant barrage. And the enemy didn’t lose any opportunity to reinforce those thoughts, with more condemning thoughts of his own.

All these thoughts ran familiar paths. As my friend Cindy has talked about before. The thought patterns and lies from the past cut ruts in the road. The longer they have been there, the deeper the ruts. It takes a long time of thinking new thoughts to cover the old ruts and create new paths… to freedom and hope.

So many times, the condemning thoughts, the negative self talk get triggered by something. If there is something that I feel insecure about, a situation or a task at hand, then the talk immediately starts. I feel insecure because “I am hopeless, I can’t learn anything new, I can’t do it, it is impossible, nothing will ever change, I don’t know what I am doing.”

It doesn’t take long for that self talk to really pull me down.

And as Jennifer said:
“We grow so accustomed to our own self talk that we don’t even recognize its corrosive nature and the damage we’re inflicting on our own souls. It’s just normal for us… our self talk actually begins to shape the life we live…”

She made a distinction between destructive self talk and helpful soul talk.

I know that I want to engage in more and more soul talk, and much less self talk.

I think that this has started to happen this year. I have been starting to concentrate on memorizing scriptures. I never had such a desire for scripture before. I think it is God given. I am going to continue in that path of memorizing this year, and hopefully learn more and more, so that when I find myself in a situation which triggers the self talk, I will recognize it and replace it with soul talk.

When I encounter a situation that fills me with anxiety and fear and insecurity, I can turn to the scripture, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (my paraphrase of 2 Timothy 1:7)

And there are many other scriptures that I now know, that I have been able to start to use in my daily life.

Before this year I would have said that my closets were full of junk that needed to be cleaned out, a lot of damaging self talk in there. Now I would say that I am more neutral ground. I am pretty evenly divided between self talk and soul talk. But it would be VERY easy to revert to the negative thoughts and the lies and the ingrained patterns of my past.

The thoughts in my “thought closet” that Jennifer spoke of are definitely what I clothe myself with. And they are not supplying me with what I need to live the life I desire. Not that I am not starting on that road. Not that I am not already starting to renew my mind. But it needs to increase.

God’s word needs to increase in my mind and the words I say to myself.
The junk that I have been believing for so long needs to be hauled out to the dump!


If you want to read any more posts on our book, “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” by Jennifer Rothschild, pop on over to Lelia’s sight to check out the other blogs linked there.

I will close with my first memory verse for the year, as encouraged by Beth Moore, and referenced by Jennifer at the end of her first chapter.

Romans 12:1-2
“Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolutions after all...

I have realized yet again, we have way too much stuff for this tiny space we live in. We have a 2 bedroom house, with 2 kids and 2 cats. What with our stuff too, and trying to get the kids to fit into one room together… yeah, it gets crowded and hard to find places to put things.

I am just trying to clean up or get rid of the “crud.”

Dave and I don’t have enough dresser/closet space for our clothes. So our things stack up on dresser tops and shelves.

The kids aren’t much better… but at least I keep relatively on top of their room, just because they have 2 beds in there, 2 dressers… and it pretty much takes up all the available space.

But by the time I am done keeping up (or catching up) in their room, I am too tired out to tackle our room! It usually ends up that the things that we don’t know what to do with either land on the kitchen table, or on my dresser. I can only see half my mirror. Not so good!

So, as usually happens, our house feels like it is ripping at the seams after Christmas and I don’t know how or what to do with all the stuff that needs a home! I get overwhelmed.

I am also trying cut down on the “crud” in my personal walk with God.

I feel like I got sloppy at the end of this year. Even though I did well with ending my counseling, I feel like I could really just slip back into my “normal” way of living and thinking. I feel like it would be easy to start to coast.

I know that God is doing something, and asking me to wait. I know that this isn’t “a sit and do nothing” wait, but waiting expectantly. Working towards whatever God is doing
Just like someone who is shot down in enemy territory. I have to be like that person… waiting for pick up, but actively moving towards the extraction point. I have to be working to avoid/fight the enemy, and get through the obstacles and deal with anything that comes my way, or gets in my way at getting closer to that point. In the meantime, the Person working to pull me out, and get me on to a greater mission is moving heaven and earth for me, and is prepared to pull me out when I am in position.

God is doing things that I can’t see. I may find there are things to go through I may not like. I may find many obstacles in my path. But God is working things out to strengthen me and prepare me for what He has in store. He has allowed so many things into my life in the past. I don’t understand it, I don’t like it. It hurt. It has made me angry.


God has used those things to tenderize my heart.
As I have healed, my heart has become softer.

I used to hear stories of people who were hurt and suffered. I felt bad for them. I was sorry in a general sense. But as I healed; as God healed me; I knew deeper in my heart the pain that other women felt. I am able to feel the hurt that I endured (on a conscious level now), and that made me realize more deeply the hurt other women must be in. My heart wants more than saying “I’m sorry” but wants to do something.

As my friend says…
I don’t know what.
I don’t know how.
But I do know Who.

He will coordinate it all. He has control of it all.

He loves us all, and will do everything to heal us and draw us closer to Him and to advance His kingdom.

I want to be a part of it, in a way that I never have before.

So, I am working on trying to do a few more things this year that are going to prepare me.
One of them is I have joined in with Beth Moore through her blog to memorize scripture over this year. It sounds big, but she has made it doable. On the 1st and 15th of the month we are going to comment to a post she puts up, signing in with the scripture we are going to memorize/meditate on for the next 15 days. By the end of it we should have 24 scriptures memorized.

I am also committing to not turning on my computer in the morning until I have spent time with God. Even if it is stolen time in the bathroom, for a few minutes of prayer in the morning, I want to commit my day to Him first. My computer and blog can be very distracting.

I am going to try to take 2 hours each week for concentrated time with God. The problem with that is, if I am at home, I get too distracted. So I have to get away.

I am going to go to Beatitudes, the coffee shop in town.
My favorite hangout.

(I know, it doesn’t seem like a hard thing, but it really is, to really carve that time out.)
The problem is I can’t spend a lot of money there. I don’t have an excuse of going there to prepare for my counseling session. I either need Dave to take the kids for me for a couple of hours a week, or I need to be able to have Peter in school, and head there for a little bit with Marina if Dave isn’t home. I found when I was last there with her, she did a really good job of playing so I could read scripture and journal some. I couldn’t do as much as if I were alone, but it worked.

Memorizing scripture (with some accountability)
Starting the day with God, not my computer.
Getting away with God for a couple of solid hours a week (more if I can get them)
Continuing to do a bible study/book study/blog study.

Hopefully that will keep me in tune with God enough that I will be aware when more “closets” need cleaning out!

I guess I ended up with some New Year’s resolutions after all. I didn’t intend to make them at all, but I think these were ones that God gave to me and wants me to follow through on more completely this year. I started a few of them last year, but not always consistently. So, here I go!

Are there any things that you feel God is impressing on you to continue towards, or start, for this year?

(I don’t like new year’s resolutions, because you usually resolve not to stop them, and invariably you do… but when God presses something into your heart, you tend to take it more seriously than if it is something you thought up!!!)

I know that God has great plans.
I know He is in the job of transforming people.
I know because I have been on the receiving end of some of those things.

I pray that you will find yourself on the receiving end of His great plans, and transforming power this year.