Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Do you talk to yourself??? Hmmm?

Ok, so one of my goals for this year is to get back into blogging a little bit. It's tough for me to find time to blog on a regular basis now that my life is just plain busy, but it's something that refuels me and I often forget that others also appreciate hearing from me regularly.

So, all that to say that I'm going to participate in a study on the book Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild with Lelia. I'll do my absolute best to post each week on what I'm learning from this book and I might even add in a little smidge here or a comment there from the other books on my nightstand right now too (Having a Mary Spirit, The 4:8 Project and Oswald Chamber's book on Prayer).

The first section of Jennifer's book is about the life-changing power of soul talk. It's really weird and funny to admit it, but don't we all talk to ourselves in some way or another?

I talk to myself out loud often and that's when people give me strange looks, but I'm a verbal person and it's how I process my thoughts, so give me a little grace, people! But, the really damaging self talk is usually more silent. The words I repeat over and over to myself about how I'm a failure as a mother when my kids misbehave or I'm such a loser when I trip and fall (both literally and figuratively). I know all about that kind of self-talk, but I never really paid much attention to it. I mean, I say mean things to myself, but I don't think I ever realized how dangerous that habit can be.

Jennifer points out that the writers of the Psalms talked to themselves too - they spoke truth to their souls and encouraged themselves with God's word. I've always thought that Psalm 42 had some great soul-talk in it:

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

I finished reading the chapter and then I started to read Joanna Weaver's book and I had one of those moments when it seems like God's voice booms straight from heaven to my heart. Right in the middle of the chapter I was studying was a description of the wrong ways to talk to our selves. Joanna even used some of the same research as Jennifer did.

I knew right then that this habit of degrading myself had to be turned around and turned into the kind of soul-talk the Psalmist used. Instead of condemning myself when I make mistakes (which is bound to happen...and frequently), I have the choice to speak the Word of God to my soul and encourage myself with Truth. That's the way I would talk with a friend, so why not with myself?


Paula said...

Great to see that you are doing this study too Heather. I thoroughly enjoyed the first chapter, and just know that I am going to enjoy, and benefit immensely from, the rest of the book. When God speaks twice, it's time to listen, and it sounds like He was definitely telling you (and us through you) something! Paula :-)

Cindy said...

Welcome to the study Heather. I know God is going to do some great things in our lives and I am glad to be on this journey with you. I will look forward to getting to know you and hearing your insight on this study.
Bless you, Cindy

Anonymous said...

I like that you mentioned that you would talk to your friends with truth from God's word, and encouragement... so why not do the same with yourself.

Oh so true.

And a very good thought and reminder. Thanks so much! that will be one I will be pondering!
Can't wait to get to know you through this study!
God bless,

Carol said...

So glad to have found your blog, and to have you as part of this study. Looking forward to your insights and getting to know you.

Great way to think of it, I always try to encourage my friends and family with the word, time to do that for myself.


Paula (SweetPea) said...

Good stuff. How amazing that God spoke to you through two books saying the same thing. Jennifer is so right, as are you, that God does not want us degrading ourselves. Though we are not worthy of His love and sacrifice, we are worthy to Him. He wants us to think, act, be like Him and that includes our mind and thoughts. I love the two verses Jennifer provided...the one about he is as he thinks.

Denise said...

I am a "late bloomer" to this study (just posted my blog) but I am looking forward to getting to know everyone. While I am not so much a "speak out loud" person, I definitely, have a million words rushing through my mind. It will be good to make sure what I am hearing is good, pleasing, pure and truthful! Blessings,

Ann Kroeker said...

I wrote a blog post one time about talking to myself in order to remember things (e.g., "Yes you turned the stove off before you left the house." "You're going upstairs to get your watch and keys"). This is to minimize those gasps when I think I've left the curling iron plugged in or enter a room only to forget why I was headed there.

But this is an entirely different and far richer reason to talk to oneself.

I think talking to myself would very quickly roll into talking with the Lord.

And I guess that's a logical progression, also modeled in the psalms.

Interesting concept! Hope you have good truths to remind yourself of, and good, good things to say to Heather Cox, because she sure is neat.

Kathy S. said...

Amen Heather! Glad to have you back! I read about the book the other day. Yep. I need this too.