Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Self Talk Soul Talk - Chapter 6

Look Up: Hope In God, My Soul

Life happens, doesn't it?
And the next thing I know, it is Wednesday!
I had the craziest day at work yesterday (sometimes I have time to post on my lunch break) and then I went to my daughter's mid-winter band concert last night.
If any of you noticed the national weather, we had storms and tornadoes in north Dallas (that is where I live) and so my computer was safely turned off while we listened to tornado sirens and sat in the mini hallway under our staircase.
All is well, no damage, but my Bible study thoughts did not get posted.
I have to confess...
the entire week has been sort of like that.
So, this afternoon, I read chapter 6 while on the treadmill at the gym.
If you read the chapter, you will know the irony of that truth. (more later on that)
So, while I am jogging at 5 miles per hour,
I am trying to imagine myself as a table!
As funny as it sounds, I loved the concept.
We have 4 legs on which to stand on, 4 legs that we need to keep in shape and in good, strong condition to accomplish healthy soul talk.
  1. Emotional Leg
  2. Physical Leg
  3. Mental Leg
  4. Spiritual Leg
All of these must be evenly sturdy in order for us to keep from being shaky and imbalanced. We need these four essential supports to keep an even keel.

All of those "legs" are pretty self explanatory, especially if you read the chapter, so I won't define what they mean in this post, but I did find myself pondering a few things that I want to remember and do something with.

I have spent a lot of time in the last couple of years strengthening my emotional leg. I have experienced some pretty major emotional set-backs, for a lack of a different description.
  • My husband's unemployment.
  • Moving across country, leaving all that was familiar.
  • My mom's tragic accident and three 1/2 year recovery. (it still continues)
  • The death of her husband, my very loved "step" father. (that description does not do our relationship justice.)
  • Leaving our oldest son in Virginia while we moved to Texas.
  • The loss of my best friend - to betrayal.
I don't need to go on.
I have worked hard. Moody is an understatement on how those closest to me might have described me during these times.
I found out the hard way how weak I can become without this table leg's support.

When I left Virginia 3 and a half years ago, I was in pretty good physical condition.
I was exercising regularly and eating mostly healthy.
That "downcast" word effected my desire to continue these good habits when I moved away from all that I was familiar with.
Recently, I have recommitted myself to physical health, thus the irony of reading this chapter as I stomped the time away on a treadmill.

My mental leg.
An interesting topic to ponder.
Recently, I realized that there are some things about my thinking that are just plain broken.
I love what Jennifer says when she wrote:
"If you don't fully strengthen your brain, it will wiggle and jiggle itself just to alleviate the dullness and find a channel for all it's energy."
I didn't know I was bored, but I was.
Way too much idle time caused me to over analyze a lot of things. My thinking became very distorted, negative, and judgmental.
My thoughts began to change my words and also my behavior and one day, I looked at myself and thought, "YUCK! Who are you?"
Luckily, I caught myself and have made some of the changes suggested in this chapter.
  • I am taking Spanish lessons next month.
  • I am taking on some difficult projects at work.
  • I read something challenging every day, even if it is a small reading.
  • I listen to a book on CD while I drive to work instead of mindless nothing.
  • And even this blog has served a purpose here.
But my very favorite...
My spiritual leg.
This leg was becoming very weak for a time.
I was not in a place where I was growing. Time was spent with God daily, but I was stuck.
I had allowed the weakness in the other three areas but this one...
I just could not figure out how to make it better.
I tried to fill my longing with religion, relationships, volunteering, but the ache in my heart continued.
When God literally plucked me out of one situation and plopped me down in this one,
I was face to face with Him.
And it was good.
I yearned for Him.
I cried out to Him.
I prayed to Him.
I worshiped Him.
I screamed at Him.
I sat with Him.
I longed for Him.
And He satisfied.
I found hope again.
My perspective widened.
The story of Minda, with no arms or legs, challenges me to think of all the things I do have!
Why do I focus on what I don't have?
And Helen Keller who never saw or heard?
Or even Bruce who was a quadriplegic....he could not kneel.
Who am I to complain?
What if I could say that my greatest hope was to kneel in heaven some day?

I think I will make a list of all the things I would do if I were not afraid.
That is the only thing that hinders me...well, finances will play into it some,
but I can walk.
I can see.
I can hear.
I can think.
I can hope.

"Hope will ground you, anchor you, and make you unshakable.
And by the way, your thought closet always has room for a little more hope and a lot less despair!"
-Jennifer Rothschild

I am looking up!
I hope you are too!

To read more on Self Talk Soul Talk,
visit Lelia's blog
Write From The Heart


grey like snuffie said...

Wasn't it an amazing much good stuff. The four leg thing REALLY is great....although with the sky writing machine still out of commission it is hard to know sometimes WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON. :)

Letters From Midlife said...

I haven't bought this book yet but hope to read it someday or find a cheap used copy! lol!

Your post was just what I needed today to keep things in perspective. Thank you for being so honest in sharing your heart. How sad if everyone only blogged about the mountain top experiences and didn't share the valleys. It shows that we all have areas where we struggle but is also a testiment to God's faithfulness to get us through them.

Carol said...


Sounds like you've had a busy couple of days. So thrilled that you are taking actions on those table legs me too.

This chapter was so wonderful, I had the whole thing it seems marked up. I love the list idea about writing down things you are to afraid to do.

Thanks for being so transparent in what made you downcast, and how you got stuck spiritually. It really spoke to me.

Here's to Looking UP!


Sue said...

Hi Liz,
I have Natalie Grant's I Will Not Be Moved playing, and she was singing that as I read one of your last comments about being strong, I can't remember your exact words. I am up past bed time, but we don't have school tomorrow, so I won't be going to work.

This was a good post for me to read after some whining I just did on my blog. Even though I am feeling down, I still am trusting God, and know He will strengthen me.

Yes, we can keep looking up in hope.