Time for Soul Talk

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven.”—John Milton, as quoted by Jennifer Rothschild.

My mind has done both, dear friends.

This is the focus of our new online Bible study: Self Talk, Soul Talk, by Jennifer Rothschild. Head on over to my sweet friend Lelia’s blog to learn more about how you can participate in this study.

As a clinical psychologist, I have counseled countless people about this very issue.


As Jennifer says in her introduction, “…our self talk, soul talk is powerful. The words we say go straight to the core of our being. They shape the way we think about ourselves. They influence our emotions, our thoughts, and our decisions. They resurface in our conversations with other people. They can spur us on to live meaningful, productive lives, or they can drag us down to lethargy and despair.”

I love how Jennifer makes that connection: the things we say to ourselves bore deep into our souls, shaping our very being.

The way I see myself makes a difference in who I become. Because I am always becoming—the work is not done yet.

Jennifer refers to those thoughts that unwittingly spring forward as coming from a “thought closet”:

“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…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…”

What’s in your thought closet?

This question is worthy of exploration. The Bible tells us to take captive every thought.

Jennifer states, “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!”

Isn’t this where we should all turn to find the truth to speak to our souls?

I am excited to dig into this study. Honestly, I do a lot better than I used to in taking my thoughts captive. As I grow in my relationship with Christ, it becomes easier to see myself as He does.

But there are still many times in my life when this old enemy trips me up. Insecurity, anxiety, fear of man, shame. This peace is most certainly like a river—it ebbs and flows.

I can always use more tools to help get me through a difficult season. I am looking forward to this journey with you, my bloggy friends!

Let’s have some soul talk!


  1. says

    Beautiful Laura! I wish I had the time to invest in this study, as I’ve met Jennifer in person and enjoyed her teaching at Wonderful Weekend for Women.

    She is a true delight!


  2. says


    How beautiful said! I just started the Esther study today and so many things entered my mind as i was listening to it. At the end of today’s lesson, she asked the question why is it so hard being a woman? One scenerio that was said is that we are in the shadow of another woman. This got me to thinking and often the things we say to ourselves about what we think others think of us or we try to measure up to whoever gets us in so much trouble. Instead of talking to the LORD of how I may feel or whatever if I am not careful I repeat this conversation in my mind when I should be talking to the LORD about how I feel or what is going on.

    May the LORD bless you specially today!!

  3. says

    I seem to be in a season where God is having me focus on choices. Good post. I’m looking forward to this study. I hope I survive doing this online when I have the “urge” to talk with others more in depth.

  4. says

    Laura, this is a study that I would love to participate in (but can’t get the book here, so I’ll just read your blog!)

    I have learned that self talk is one of my biggest factors in whether or not I live victoriously. Like you, I have made a lot of improvement…but still it is an intentional battle and to fight well, my “‘thought closet” must be constantly filled with God’s word.

  5. says

    This sounds like a good one for me. A few years ago, I read a Joyce Meyer book, called, The Battlefield of the Mind. It helped a lot, but I have not been in the Word enough lately, so other thoughts sometimes creep back in. That’s interesting about the thought closet.

    I’ve never done an online study. I’m in a once a month one that I keep losing the book for. I’ll check the link out to see what is involved in an online study.

  6. says

    Hey friend, it’s true… we live what we believe… If we tell ourselves what Papa tells us then we live in the truth that sets us free. I am learning to listen to what I am telling myself…

  7. says

    Thank you, Laura, for your encouraging words. My spiritual walk has been one with many twists and turns…years and years of knowing about the Lord and wearing the title of Christian but only beginning to KNOW Jesus in the past couple of years. I found your comment “As I grow in my relationship with Christ, it becomes easier to see myself as He does.” very encouraging. God Blesss! Stacy

  8. says

    I have long wanted to get this book. Just haven’t done it; perhaps because of the pile that currently sits beside. I will enjoy reading yours and others’ thoughts on the book as you venture along.

    Thinking about my “secret closet” of thoughts tonight and how I might replace them with the truth of God’s Word.


  9. says

    The fight of good over evil goes on in all of our minds…we tend to (as women) never forget things either…It is so good to see that these things are not healthy to have dwelling in our minds, physically nor spiritually. I am not doing the study, but I follow others that are I can’t wait to read everyone’s blog posts.

  10. says

    Laura! I am so happy to stop by your blog again, and read your soul-deep thoughts. I had to make a decision not to participate in this study, but I look forward to reading your posts about this self-talk business. You certainly have a way with words, my friend, and I can’t wait to follow along with your thoughts… maybe even take advantage of the cliff’s notes!

    I also want to wish you a Happy New Year! 2009. Yet another year God has chosen to bless his children with… so that we can do His work on this side of heaven.


  11. says

    “Honestly, I do a lot better than I used to in taking my thoughts captive. As I grow in my relationship with Christ, it becomes easier to see myself as He does.” I agree here. Not because I have arrived, but because discipline and obedience pay off and please my Father. He wants me and you- all of us to see ourselves as He does- lies be gone!

  12. says

    Beautiful thoughts Laura! I agree, if I had only started way back when going to the Word for answers of help i’d have saved myself years of waywardness. But the Lord has purpose in that season. So I am thankful to just be where I am now- doing what I should have been all along. Seeking Him to teach me, correct me, and guide me on.

    This bible study is going to be great fun! Glad to have you in it with all of us others.

    Many Blessings,
    Heather of Swallowing A Moose

  13. says

    YEP! I got my blog up and running again, PTL!

    I don’t know what happened it just took a crash after I wrote a post about when I started to discover that Jesus wants a relationship with me. Hmmm…. go figure?

    Anyway, I just got it re-posted!!

    I love your post here!

    I just read a very, very GOOD book, you might injoy (it’s fiction)it’s called: Dogwood by Chris Fabry. maybe, you’d like it!

    In Him, Deanna

  14. says

    Thanks for your kind comments on my post. I too am looking forward to what lies ahead and like you said the closer we get to Him the more we see ourselves the way He does. That is a blessing!

  15. says

    Soul talk, baby, soul talk. I’m much better than I use to be. At least there are some positive/healthy soul talk to try to counteract the negative/unhealthy self talk. A work in progress for sure. None of us will ever arrive to the end of the progress until we reach the glorious gates of Heaven…ahh…to see Jesus. To touch Jesus. To embrace Him. Just imagine…instead of hugging Jesus and pouring our heart out in tears because we finally got to see/touch/embrace Him, there will be no tears. We will embrace/hug Him with great joy.

  16. says

    Many of us are doing some honest ‘thought closet cleaning’ this week.
    I’m so glad we are back to studying again.
    Looking forward, as always, to reading your insights on this book.
    Bless you, Cindy

  17. says

    What a blessing it is to have you along on this journey to soul talk!
    This closet cleaning – I thought it was about clean, evidently not for me yet. I love what you said, “Because I am always becoming—the work is not done yet.”

    Oh and thanks for the sweet words on my good news post regarding my mom. Long road, yes, but God has been so good! And she can walk!!! Hooray and praise God!

  18. says

    Yes, I can relate to peace that ebbs and flows and to right understanding of who I am in Christ that somedays seems so crystal clear and other days seems obscured and cloudy. I’m looking forward to continuing to focus on how to use soul-talk to transform my thinking.

  19. says

    Hi Laura,
    How incredible reading your thoughts about this… especially in your line of work! I bet you do have a great understanding of this. I really love what you shared at my blog as well.
    I kind of figure many people have symptoms of this… especially if they’re really honest. Transparent! I know from now on, I’ll be more aware of it as it happens, and how to take that thought captive!!

  20. says

    Laura, love your post. So excited to be going through another study with you.

    I believe this one will be challenging like the last, but I’m ready for it. I’m ready to fill my mind heart and soul with what God wants me to say and not play my old tape over and over. Time to change the cd and clean out the closet.

    🙂 Carol

    P.S. By the way I read the post of your son and his glasses, he looks totally handsome in those peepers.

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