This book and study have been a blessing to me, in a transitional time of my life, each chapter, building on the week before, and helping me deal with my thoughts and feelings about walking in faith to find a new church home, and just living daily life. I am going to do what Lelia does, and make the words from the book a different color.
Chapter 7 is titled, "Calm Down: I have Stilled and Quieted my Soul." I didn't write any "wowie zowies" this time, but have plenty of circles, underlines, and stars. The first passage I marked was,
"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 how to still and quiet our souls, to tell our souls to quiet down."
My husband and I are both reactors. He has tennitus, which causes hearing problems, and we have lots of miscommunications. I get hurt and mad at him for getting mad at me, and he gets madder, since I've gotten mad, etc. etc. etc.
"So much of the anger we have in our lives comes from unmet expectations and frustration that we don't have ultimate control."
I haven't gotten angry about the things going on at church, but have been anxious, hurt, and frustrated that people have continued to be in conflict. I have tried to get people to forgive, but they do not listen to me. I am not in control!
"But the real source of anger isn't a tough circumstance or a difficult person; it's the way we choose to think about that person or circumstance."
God is working with me on this, and I actually have experienced peace, knowing God will work things out for the good.
"Some things in this life are simply hard. We don't like them, we don't want them, but we have to deal with them anyway."
"But peace is a quality that can characterize our inner world even when our outer world goes crazy."
"Jesus reveals its source with great clarity: 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives.' (John 14:27)."
"Ask God to help you embrace what you can't avoid, accept what you don't like, and channel your passion into wise responses."
Speaking of not being in control, I have been interrupted a number of times tonight, and my daughter came over just now, so I am going to call this a post. I may add more later. I think the main message of this chapter is, God is our source of peace, and He wants us to respond to things in a calm, Godly way. We can have peaceful thoughts, and not anger, which can start fires in our thought closets.