Tuesday, February 17, 2009

YES to GOD: ch. 7: Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul

I really love Tuesday's.
Even though I'm computer less at the moment, when I do get the chance to get to your blog and read your thoughts on the chapter it just seems like we're just sitting at one big table at Starbucks just chattin'.
You all are some godly women and I feel so blessed to be your hostess for this study.
I've been going through...Nope, let me rephrase that...
I have put myself through some stuff. Unnecessary stuff as of late.
Lots of changes have been going on in my life.
Some good...some bad.
Some by my own hand...some out of my control.
This study that I'm doing by Debbie Alsdorf called He is My All has been so good for my heart and I've just started week 2 of it. The thing I'm learning is that God really wants my complete heart. He wants relationship from me. I've known that...but Debbie has gotten my attention by focusing on Him not me.

I used to work at a hospital here in town known for the excellent heart care they provide. I can't imagine if I was told by a Cardiologist that my heart was bad and I needed surgery that I would only let him work on part of my heart. I can't see any patient telling the surgeon the way he is going to perform the surgery or what part of the heart he can have access to, but yet I do that with God. I try to hold on to stuff from my past, just in case things don't go right in this area I will have this comfort to fall back on. I'm slowly learning that I just need to get up on the operating table and let God do His thing...His way. He needs to have full access to my heart or Lelia Chealey is going to be the same year after year and Lord knows I or He does not want that.

This last year has been one of the most challenging of my life.

When I think that in only a few months my teenage daughter will give birth to her second child, my heart just aches. But then....she announced on Sunday that my friends' church she has attended the last few weeks is "her church". Hallelujah.

Yesterday I had to go pick up my son from the assistant Principal's office. Suspended for the entire week for poor judgement on his part. I sat in the office looking at this kid exploding with potential and found myself in my heart getting angry with the enemy.

Last night God through His tenderness showed me that He has Aaron by the neck with the small things so that he will think when presented with the bigger temptations.

So I praise Him. In the good and in the bad.
And I know that He is watching over my children even when His holy ears are met with my pathetic prayers asking Him to"help them to have a good day". He intercedes in my kids' lives even when this Mom allows her busy schedule to override serious prayer time over what He has entrusted her with.

I share all this with you because like my friend Jill has said before in previous studies...this chapter went right along with my life. Hand in hand. God used Jennifer's writing to teach me.

Okay...let's get started.

CHAPTER 7: Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul.
Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Our reactions reveal the temperature inside our thought closet. We can use soul talk to keep the thermostat at a cool and steady temperature. We must learn to still and quiet our souls, to tell our souls to calm down.

I loved the honesty of how Jennifer shared how she kicked a hole in the wall from releasing her anger. I've had a few of those moments in my life and just like Jennifer noted: I didn't feel so good afterward. One thing Aaron was worried about yesterday was his Dad's reaction. I was so proud of Gene because the way he responded to Aaron's news just had to have brought pleasure to the One who sits on the throne. After he told Aaron he loved him he went into our bedroom and just was still before the Lord. He allowed his soul to calm down and he isn't even reading our book! It was good for me to observe as my husband sometimes yells first then calms down later.

I really loved the part of this chapter called Loosen the Grip. Jennifer's admission of being a blind control freak was refreshing especially when she included us in her revelation...Blindness didn't take away my control. It simply exposed that I never had ultimate control in the first place! And, my friend, neither do you.


I suppose this author is right because if I had control of the events in my life...
1.) My husband would be completely healed from his back surgery.
2.) My teen daughter would be a virgin.
3.) My son would be in school this week.

Jennifer did an excellent job of pointing out the few things the Creator has allowed to be in our control:
1.) Our attitudes
2.) Responses to circumstances
3.) Our choice to seek God
4.) Our determination to be still before Him
and my favorite...
5.) Our choice to acknowledge that He is God--and we are not!

There was so much in this chapter that I found myself saying more than once...Oh that's good. I don't want to share everything as I hope other readers will hit the points I don't mention, but we also learned about anger and peace. I felt she saved the best for the last when she taught us about water words and gasoline words.
When your anger rises, what you say to yourself will either calm things down or absolutely ignite them. Those internally spoken words you use at such crucial moments will be like water or like gasoline. Water will quench the flames. Gasoline will turn them into an inferno.

I pray that during the difficult seasons my husband and I will choose to speak water words to our souls. To the world we must look like the most mismatched parenting team, but we know that the paths our children have chosen is somewhat out of our control. So instead of telling ourselves we are horrible parents, we have to fill our soul with water...we have to believe what God says in Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

I must do like Jennifer instructs me to do on page 113: guard the door of your thought closet. You cannot allow words that ignite anger and promote discord in the door. They will make your thought closet dangerously hot.

Years ago Gene held a brief position as a bouncer at a bar. This would be in our pre-comin' back to Jesus days. ~smiles~. His job was to stand at the door and not let the riff-raff in. The ones that didn't belong...under aged nervously holding their fake id's and the already drunk and obnoxious. He stood his ground and didn't let the bad even through the door. Just like Gene did, we have to become the bouncers of the door to our thought closet. We have to stand firm and not allow those words that cause nothing but drama and heartache to even cross the threshold of the entrance to our closet.

I long for the day when my teenagers halo's are evident for all to see, but until that day I will guard my thought closet like a dog guards a meat bone.
I will pray my kids up until my being on my knees is more natural to me than standing.
And I will do my best to lie still before God while on the operating table and allow my heart to fall into a surrendered rhythm.
Love you much.
~Many Blessings~
Next week: Ch. 8~Look Back: Forget Not His Benefits, O My Soul.


Paula (SweetPea) said...

I love your analogy about giving the heart doctor specific directions and areas on which to operate. Yeah right. Can you imagine the look on doc's face to come in and say "I'd like 3 centimeters removed from the right ventrical and then insert your knife 2 centimeters to the upper left and cut a 4 centimeter triangle out of that section. okay doc?"

You bring such a wonderful point that we do exactly that with the Almighty of Physicians. We tell Him what He can have and what He can do with that and what we will keep and what we will do. No more, I say! Good riddens...let Him have it all. He's the Great Physician. He knows best. He really does. We just have to convince our mind of what our heart truly knows deep down. We know He knows best but we must convince our mind, it's okay.

I love the points she made about trust and peace...the open hand shows trust and is POSITIONED to receive. I want to selfishly receive whatever God has to offer...anything good...He's more than free to skip all the bad stuff and not allow that. :-)

I guess I somehow missed or didn't highlight in my mind the points on what we have control. My mind may have seen those and intangible and skipped over them thing "oh, that's not control." You know...give me something tangible and good to my future. HA!!

I pointed out the water/gasoline on my blog too. I think my post turned out decent. I admit I had a hard time writing it for some didn't seem to have a punch to ignite other's hearts (in a good way of course...not in an inferno).

I guess I'm all jokes today, huh?

Wonder if I'll still be your first post. Probably not after this ridiculous book.

I love Gene's response to Aaron. I love how you realized God is allowing the small bad stuff to happen to Aaron to prevent the larger bad things. That is REALLY great! How true and how perfect. Give us all the little bad and prevent us from the biggeer bad.

Yay! Double YAY for Alyssa attending church and calling it hers.

Love ya much, sweet one.

Sue said...

Hi Lelia,
You and I both wrote about the first quote from the book, but after that, I kept thinking, oh, I liked that, too, but didn't write about it. When I read what you said about hoping others hit the points you missed, I realized our posts really compliment each other. I loved the things you wrote about, even if I didn't get them in my post.

The reason I started going to church in the early 80s was so my son and daughter could be taught about God, and that something may click with them, and they may come to believe in God, but it hadn't for me.

I ended up receiving the gift of faith, and they both have fallen away. I don't pray for them and my husband to have that faith as often as I used to. I need to be doing that every day.

Things don't happen the way we want them to, and that is hard to bear. I am so thankful for my faith, and that God gives me peace through the hard times, even when I try to take the control back and become anxious.

Thanks for hosting this, and I hope for the best for your family.


Stacy said...

Sweet Lelia.

You have such a gift for words. I loved your analogy to the heart surgeon...what a PERFECT picture! Isn't it amazing how arrogant we, mere humans, can be?!?

I truly believe that mothers must have the most difficult job in the world. I was not able to have children of my own but I have taught 4-6 year olds, in both public and private schools, since I was 16 years old. Year after year, these precious gifts called children, steal my heart. I can only imagine the depth of love that a mother has for her own child. I will stay on my knees for you and your family.

May God continue to guide and guard you.

With Love in Christ, Stacy

grey like snuffie said...

Rejoicing with you in seeing a good response in a tough situation. You guys do have your hands full...I can't even imagine.
This chapter is going to take some time to digest. There is a HUGE work still needed in me so that more words soothe and fewer are gasoline.

hkudla said...

Hi Lelia,
I have been keeping up with our posts, but haven't been doing much other writing. It has been hard... all the words seem drained out of me. But I forced myself to sit down, and this post is what came out!
So there it is, for what it is worth!
Love you and am praying for you!

Liz said...

Parenting sure does provide many opportunities for us to practice our "love them like Jesus" abilities, does it not? I am totally with you here.
Thank you for your honest and challenging post. Once again, I am blessed.

KelliGirl said...

I'm inspired by the light you shine despite the valleys you travel in right now. God is shaping you and preparing you for something big. All of your pain will be used for His glory.

My post today is a bit untraditional. It's an emotional/poetic response to the chapter (really the last couple). I've never written free verse before, but my thoughts just fit this style.

Blessings and prayers,

Lisa Cheney said...

Leila.....HI! wow what a small small world. it's so nice to "meet" you:)

I look forward to browsing through your blog.


Naomi said...

Lelia! Know that I think of you often. I've been blessed by your posts of late... Love you... N x

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Lelia! Girlfriend! So sorry that things at home have been kinda tricky lately. I'll be praying for you, Gene and the kids! Let me know if there's something specific...just go to my email

Love ya bunches!

Dennie said...

Hey Leila,

very inspiring entry! I will surely come back. :-)


Carol said...

Hi Lelia,

I just posted my link. But it's late and I haven't read your post. So I'll see you in the morning.


Tina said...


Thank you so much for your honesty. I loved your section of "if I was in control"
Me too! Things around here would certainly look different! Alas we are not. But Praise Him that he gives us one another to encourage and lift each other up as we travel along. You are a blessing!

In Him,

Carol said...

Hi again Lelia,

First I have to tell you I was so excited to see Debbie Alsdorph books on your blogs. I have seen her speak twice at 2 women's retreats, and she is such a fantastic lady of faith. I'll have to take a look at those studies.

Oh how your heart surgery rung true for me as well. Here God I'll let you work here, but I don't want to touch that part it'll hurt to much.

Also about control, I loved the list. I was full of Gasoline last night and was practically building a bonfire in my closet, and it was all over nothing.

This has been such an amazing book, I find my self pondering it all the time. Thank you for hosting this and sharing so openly with your family situation, and your heart.

Lot's of love,

Paula said...

Hi Lelia! I have posted, at last, and it's an essay. I wasn't meant to be, but it ended up that way. And I want to say thank you, Thank You and THANK YOU for choosing such a powerful book to get my backside into gear. Read my post to see what's got me moving. Luckily it's a child-free weekend here, so I can spend lots of time in the Word finding the peace - the shalom - I need to get myself out of this latest mess. Thank the Lord that He forgives His slow learning children. Love ya, Paula xo