Friday, June 23, 2017

Quietness and Trust

Source: Pinterest.com

This past Wednesday turned into a day where one thing after another (both big and small) went wrong like a snowball effect and made me come a little undone. The day had started out beautifully, but by dinner time I was pacing around, unable to sit or focus, annoyed beyond belief at the the accumulation of stupid stuff that had ruined my day. And worse, I couldn't escape it because where I went, there too was the anger and frustration.

The next day, Thursday morning, I read Isaiah 30 and verse 15 leapt from the page: "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'" Quietness + Trust = Strength, but indeed I would have none of it the day before. How many times has God pointed me to "be still and know" in the past year? To quiet myself and trust in His strength to fight for me, for my day, for my situation, etc. Yet, I continue trying to put my life back together on my own, causing more frustration.

Because Thursday I woke up to a new day, where the problems of yesterday were taken care of in part and the things still there didn't seem like mountains, but the molehills they actually were. Which means my upset of Wednesday accomplished nothing but ruining my mood and my day. If I had slowed, prayed, and trusted, how differently might my day have gone? And how silly to look back and see what upset me. Only one thing of the whole day was worth being upset about and even then, that problem was taken care of in the end.

And so I repent and rest in this truth, urging myself and everyone willing to hear God's call in this verse, to continue learning and living the art of abiding. To be quiet (still) and trust (know) that God's strength will pull us through. But it takes our choosing to stop and challenge the torrent running through our heads with trust in God's strength to be our own. At some point we have to muster the faith to take that trust-powered stand.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Me, Myself, and Lies

Source: Amazon.com
Me, Myself, & Lies (for Young Women), by Jennifer Rothschild
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: April 11, 2017 (for Young Women on May 1, 2017)
Category: Christian, nonfiction
Source: I received this galley from NetGalley in consideration for review.

Sometimes a book's title says it all. Me, Myself, & Lies, by Jennifer Rothschild, speaks to the issue of negative self-talk. Lies we tell ourselves about ourselves - things that are essentially untrue. For example, you are not an idiot for forgetting to bring your grocery list to the store - you are human and humans make mistakes. Seems trivial? Science has proven that repeated actions burn new neural pathways in our brains. So years of accusing yourself or calling yourself names on even the "silly" level definitely sets you up to feel like and live like a failure in the end.

Rothschild references a well known quote I have on a plaque in my classroom. Although she quotes it with a different wording, my plaque reads:


Ultimately, the things we think about ourselves will form who we are. Yes, we may be successful in different areas in life, but your success does not define you. Proverbs even states that "For as he thinks within himself, so he is” (23: 7 NASB). To quote Rothschild directly, "In other words, the way you live is a reflection of the way you think."

Source: NetGalley.com
Rothschild describes our minds as though closets and the thoughts as clothing we can choose to put on and take off. We must choose to take off the negative comments, relabel them with God's truth, and wear the truth instead. For example, you are not an idiot, you are beloved. The edition of this book for young women speaks to specific issues and examples pertaining to teenagers and young adults. Here she provides seven must-have "pieces" needed for your thought closet: daily maintenance, hope, water, memory, chill, perseverance, and heart. Each of the seven pieces is broken down in categories that deal with issues of anger, control, feelings, identity, and many more.

Overall, these books provide step by step guidance in fixing your thought process and guiding your mind onto a better pathway. A great resource for those who have wandered how to apply the well known verse that instructs us to, "take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).