Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heat Up, Cool Down

The beginning of this seventh chapter, "Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul", met me with memories flowing of a time less peaceful and calm. Unfortunately, I can relate to Jennifer Rothschild's description of the time she exploded on her husband. Too many times I could sadly say. "Our reactions reveal the temperature inside our thought closet." Then unfortunately, my thought closet would've been found at a very dangerously high temperature. Of course back then, I had no idea about using my "soul talk to keep the thermostat at a cool and steady temperature." I didn't learn then how to still and quiet my soul.

Most know shalom is Greek for peace. But I never thought of it as Jennifer noted--"a prayer that asks God to secure a person's well being." Well being. My well being. Your well being. We know peace is not a matter of having peaceful, calm, and smooth circumstances. Rather, peace is within us and is only provided by God Himself. True peace is when our lives are chaotic, crazy, stressful, and even 'out of control'.

What a beautiful revelation when Jennifer realized her blindness didn't take away her control but rather exposed that she never really had ultimate control to begin. She hit it on the head with this statement. "So much of the anger in our lives comes from unmet expectations and frustrations that we don't have ultimate control."

Peace...ahhh...what we all want and need. Open hands show trust. Open hands are positioned to receive. To have open hands, we need to trust God. "Our trust in God is inextricably linked to our peace from God. Peace comes when we loosen our grip and let down our guard before our Heavenly Father." You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Relax the grip of your hand. Relax the grip of my hand. I need to relax my grip and trust Him more with His timing, His way, His plan. I trust Him with my life so why do I question His timing or His way in certain areas? Why do I want to say "can ya hurry though God"? If His timing is perfect (which it is), then why would I want 'it' to come earlier and have anything less than perfect?

Ultimate peace comes from acknowledging ultimate control is His.

Know Him, know peace.
No Him, no peace.

Jennifer shares some washouts to the path of peace: negative mind-set, anger over adversity, stubborn defiance.

Our mind-set can be a bridge or a wall.
Bridge: open, progress, movement, travel
Wall: barrier, obstacle, block, end, hindrance, washout

Anger over adversity can cause a washout on our path to peace.
Adversity can cause anger or acceptance.
Acceptance: hope, encouragement, peace
Anger: kills, wearing, defeating, washout

Marcus Aurelius says "How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it." Stop. Ponder that.

Stubborn defiance can cause a washout on our road to peace.
"Absence of peace is not an I can't situation. It's an I won't problem." Defiance, if unwilling to let go of anger, hurts us and causes a block to the peace we desire. Anger is not always known. Anger is not always seen. Anger is not always out loud. It is not just what we consider in actions and words. It can be something we harbor internally from childhood. It can pretty much come from any adversity we face in life when we don't deal with our real feelings. It can dwell so deep into our souls that we may not realize it is there or even how it got there.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? James 4:1

We are never void of sin's temptation. We are also never void of the spark of anger within us. What causes the temptation to turn into sin? What causes the spark of anger to ignite? Our self talk. Soul talk. The contents of our thought closet. It all starts there. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 I don't know about you but I use to always think of this scripture meaning our verbal words to other people. Oh no. It means the quiet ones to our self also...our self talk. We need to readjust our thought closet so our answers to ourselves are gentle and not harsh words that can stir our own anger deep within our well.

Water. Water is so pure. It is good for so many things: gardens, yards, animals, vegetation, clothes, vehicles, bodies, skin...and anger. Anger? Yes, we can throw water onto our anger and calm the flames. Water can extinguish what gasoline will explode to an inferno.

Gasoline: highlights flaws, criticizes, escalates emotions, judges quickly, harsh without mercy
Water: soothes, settles emotions, encourages, cleanses, full of discretion/grace/mercy, no condemnation, can be difficult and corrective bringing wellness

Choose water. Choose a bridge. Choose acceptance. Choose P-E-A-C-E.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Choosing Him for it all,

To see other reflections of Self Talk, Soul Talk visit Lelia.


Pam said...

Thanks for this today Paula... I needed these reminders as I seek to get the peace back in my life that I feel has been slowly draining away over the past weeks again... so frustrating to find that I let the circumstances overwhelm me again... thanks for sharing.

Cheri Bunch said...

So much to think about! Our thought closet.........hmmm. That is really good. I am going to come back and read this again. I needed this today!

Love you lots!

Laura said...

Hello, friend.

This chapter was a rescue to me this week. I needed some good soul-talk. Some water words. Needed THE WORD to wash my thought closet clean.

Feeling a bit more at peace, but it's never a one time thing, is it? Have to keep alert to those gasoline words.

I haven't gotten to post on the study yet, but will after I get home from work.

Sending shalom your way...

CathM said...

Paula. Amen – Amen – Amen! Once again, God has prodded my heart through the wisdom of your words. The link between ‘Trusting God’ and ‘Having His Peace’ is so inextricably connected. As you sum up “Know Him & Know Peace” which gives clear insight that it is in the ‘knowing Him’ that is in the ‘relationship with Him’ that we find that ‘peace which surpasses all understanding’. As I wait for breakthroughs in my life – I thank you for this word of encouragement. I need to rest and trust in my relationship with God! Thank you for your faithful commitment to this blog. And it was lovely to have you drop by my blog space and leave a comment!

grey like snuffie said...

The gasoline words/water words is such an excellent image for me. Right now I'm in a position to watch LOTS of friends in the midst of struggles...maintaining my peace and relationship with Him is so important...that way I know my words spoken will be water.

Toia said...

I love how you define the words and relate it to other words. We can go a long way with the peace of God living on the inside of us. This post is much needed. Thanks for sharing.

Sue said...

Hi Paula,
Wasn't this another awesome chapter? The book is written in such a way, and laced with prayer, so that I have never felt condemnation if I have seen myself in the not so good ways of thinking. God is helping me replace the gasoline thoughts with the water of His peace.

I have been blessed to read what others have said about what they have picked up from the chapters. This was a great post! Thanks!

Paula said...

A great post on a great chapter Paula. I have been challenged, and enlightened, by this chapter as my anger is spurned on by my unmet desires. I'm not 100% sure what the actual problem is, but after reading this chapter, I know now how to deal with it. xo

Stacy said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Paula. I loved this chapter. Each chapter grips a new area of my heart; can hardly wait to see where Jennifer leads next.

Thank you for reinforcing the building of a bridge and wall concept. I have spent a lifetime building walls rather than bridges without ever considering that the building of both required similar, if not the same, amount of effort.

Hope the remainder of your week is filled with smiles and peace.


Anonymous said...

I really loved the whole idea of opening hands and letting go, and receiving from God. Open hands, open bridge, etc.

That really reminded me today of what I need to do today. Not get mad at myself that I am sick when I have tons of stuff to do (like how could I escape it...) and instead of beating myself up and down with it, allowing God's peace to fill me...

Acceptance of the things I can't change and find peace in the midst of them.
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

I had a friend give me a suggestion. If I had a spot to do it in, that was safe and easy to clean up again...
Buy a cheap set of glasses, or plates, or something like that...
Then I could throw them and smash them to my heart's content... and then I could clean up afterwards.... probably better than throwing a good plate or something! :)
Another suggestion he gave me was to get some dowels at the hardware store... 3/4 inch or so, and when I got mad, start swinging them at the metal support post in our basement. If one splintered and broke it wouldn't matter... and I would have the satisfaction of hitting something good and hard! :)

Any of those are good ventings... as long as you are letting God into it my friend said.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for sharing this!
your post spoke right to my heart today!

thank you.

Abba's Girl said...

His peace is such an indescribable gift.

Tina said...

wonderful post I especially liked "know Him, Know peace, No Him, No peace.

So true!

In Him,

Carol said...

Hi Sweet Paula,

What a beautiful post. I loved so much where you talked about releasing your grip, I reread it over and over. Something to think about huh. I know I've struggled with the timing thing, and never looked at it that way.

The gasoline and water as you know were ringing true for me so well. I just loved this chapter.

Thank you for your prayers this morning you and Paula (sharing spot), I read your comments this morning as before I went to work, I felt so lifted up. Thank you so much.

By the way it all turned out well. I'll fill you in via email, and a bit on the blog.

Love you my friend.


Anonymous said...

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