I have raved about the Christian Book Expo and what a wonderful time I had. And I did. But isn't it typical that out of all my wonderful experiences, when I got back to my hotel room on Saturday night, all I could think was, "I'm an idiot. I can't believe I did that. What a doofus."
And the irony of it was the book I was holding, on which the autographed ink was barely dry, when I made my self-deprecating statements.
I guess I better explain.
One of the last people I had the complete delight of meeting late Saturday afternoon is Jennifer Rothschild. I heart Jennifer! Our church did her Fingerprints of God Bible Study a few years back, and it was wonderful. Since then I've enjoyed her website & her newsletter, Java with Jennifer. She is a gifted teacher whom I admire so much. And an incredible woman. She continually wows me with her comments about the things she does even though she is blind (including putting on her own make-up and cooking).
So I was thrilled she was signing books late in the day when the already light crowds had trickled down to just a smattering of people. I made my way over to the booth where she sat. And then all rational thought departed my brain as I became a blathering idiot.
As I effused over her telling her how wonderful she was and getting her to sign the book I had brought and another one I had bought for a friend (sorry bloggy friends, I kinda left you in the lurch and it never occurred to me to buy a giveaway! Nope, this one was all about me & Jennifer.), I'm sure she thought I must be a teeny-bopper groupie! I could not seem to make my mouth shut up, focused waaay too much on "I don't see how you _____ since you're blind", and I probably sounded like I'd never met anyone with a physical disability. She was gracious and kind, but after I left, I wanted to crawl in the nearest hole, telling myself "stupid, stupid, stupid."
Oh, the book I took for her to sign? One I obviously need to reread!
Self Talk, Soul Talk addresses what we as women do all too well: talk to ourselves in a demeaning way. As the back cover says,
Jennifer paints a picture of our minds as closets:
I seem to have a secret closet tucked somewhere in the hallways of my mind. A thought closet. And what I had been storing in that closet wasn't good at all: shelves and racks and bins full of hidden thoughts, secret insecurities, lies, illusions, and reminders of former failures. How did they get ther? Why can't I get rid of them?
Without my consent, my mind keeps reaching into the dark corners of that closet to retrieve the troublesome contents I have inadvertently stored away over the years. The boxes have labels like these:
Our soul talk can finally change the contents of our thought closets. . .My faith has led me to the Bible to find what to say to my soul. And speaking the truths I've found in the pages of Scripture has turned my thought closet from a prison into an oasis of freedom! (p. 14-15)
- You're not good enough.
- You're not the wife you could be.
- You're not a good mom.
- You should have done a better job.
And this part really gets me as I think about berating myself in the hotel room:
Are your words gracious and yet based on the authority of Scripture? I am quite sure I would not tolerate someone else speaking to me with the kind of words I have used when speaking to myself. . .If my husband, Phil, ever called me an idiot because I spilled coffee on his newspaper, I would be crushed and explode with indignation. Yet idiot is the word I most frequently called myself when I made a similar blunder. . .The next time you gear up to spout off some choice words to your soul, pause and consider the words of Paul: "Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone" (Colossians 4:6 NLT). "Everyone" includes you. (p. 28-29)
Sigh. Nothing like being Exhibit A for the book you just got autographed!
Each chapter concludes with Questions to Ponder, and Jennifer also has a Self Talk Soul Talk website containing more thoughts from Jennifer and Interviews with Women Who Talk to Themselves, such as Chonda Pierce, Patsy Clairmont, Lisa Welchel, and Kathy Troccoli.
Jennifer has also just released the corresponding Bible Study - Me, Myself, and Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover. Here's a brief intro:
And here she is with her sweet husband, "her" Dr. Phil:
Oh, and talk about double the fun! Lysa TerKeurst just announced last week that Jennifer will be speaking at this year's She Speaks Conference! I'm dying to go!
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