“I am having bad thoughts and obsessing over things and I need an intervention.”

Psychologist husband looks over a pile of papers on desk and considers me.

He assumes clinical voice.

“I can help, but I need more coffee.”

This is serious stuff.

In the kitchen, I smile as I ready his remedy.

He knows me.

I wait for him to join me in the family room for meaty conversation. He listens. Gives sympathetic ear, good advice, and reassuring hugs.

But still these thoughts swim in my head, surfacing sporadically and leaving me gasping for air.

I try cleaning the thought closet. I put all my pretty thoughts forward.

I try distracting myself—my kitchen floor is very clean.

I even try singing.

But they keep circling the pool of my mind, rearing ugly heads from depths and splashing all around.

I flounder.

Thrash about in the anger.

Float limply in pride.

Drown in self-righteousness.

And I am miserable.

In this week’s chapter of Self Talk, Soul Talk–our online Bible study–Jennifer Rothschild talks about this very thing.

Jennifer reminds us that the Old Testament word for peace comes from the Hebrew word shalom. She says, “This peaceful-sounding word is really a prayer that asks God to secure a person’s well-being. You can still and quiet your soul by speaking shalom to yourself. It’s like inviting wellness to your soul—to your thought closet.”

That is what I had to do: speak peace to my soul.

And it was hard.

I went to Him. Found a quiet place where we could talk. And I tattled on some people.

It wasn’t until I laid my worry at His feet that I felt the thoughts slip away.

Jennifer talks about some of the many opponents of a peaceful mindset: control issues, anger, a negative mindset, and defiance.

Remembering her words helped me walk through these barriers and find peace on the other side. She talked about “gasoline words” and “water words”— words that inflame or words that quench the anger.

I realized I was speaking words in my head that could set a flame worse than the Great Chicago fire.

Jennifer goes on to say, “Your soul needs the water of the Word to wash over your thought closet.”

That was the remedy my soul longed for. When I went to the Word, peace settled in.

Friends, my problem has not gone away. But I rest in His promises.

I will go through this process over and over again.

Healthy soul-talk is not for sissies.

But it’s worth the fight.


  1. says

    Thanks my sister. Reminding me to stay in the WORD. Its only his word that changes me and sutains me.
    My memory verse says,
    11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Ps 86:11.

    That I may walk in his way, know the truth, and have my heart undivided; That is what he is teaching me.

  2. says

    You continue to “encourage me as the Day approaches” my friend. I can relate to every word of your post (except for the Psych. hubby!!… that must be a trip!). That pesky closet of mine is a mess. I need this book!

  3. says

    Hi Laura,
    I am really enjoying this book, and reading what others have to say about what they pick up on. It is true, we can have God’s peace in the midst of situations that are difficult or unfair.

    I still hope your situation improves.


  4. says

    My sweet Laura,

    As usual, I come to you and you lift me up. God has truly blessed you with the ability to interperate His word. I just love saving your blog for the last one of the night – that way I always know I will have sweet dreams.

    I hope that He provides you with the water you need to quench those bad thoughts.

  5. says

    Oh my word…tattling on others…wow. Man, this chapter is going to take some time to work through. God has a HUGE work to do in me in this area of gasoline words. This might be hard to move on next week. I’m SO GRATEFUL that He loves me in the midst of such ugliness. His arms are open wide to us…run to Him and rest.

  6. says

    I love this –

    “I went to Him. Found a quiet place where we could talk. And I tattled on some people.

    It wasn’t until I laid my worry at His feet that I felt the thoughts slip away.”

    I need to do this. I need to sit at His feet and air my worries. I need more water and not gasoline for my spiritual self. As for real self and real self’s car, I need both!

    Seriously, this week’s chapter has hit home with me. I need to CALM DOWN! I need to not let my reactions to things make matters 100 times worse, as is the usual case.

    I will be taking your advice and removing myself from the world tonight and spending time with our Father.

  7. says

    Girlfriend, there is nothing like the washing of the Word.

    I come away refreshed and often thinking to myself, I had no idea that I needed a washing, but am so thankful that He did.

    Love YOU,

  8. says

    “Healthy soul-talk is not for sissies.”

    Amen! It certainly isn’t. How well I know. I am battling so many “gasoline” thoughts right now myself, and somedays there just doesn’t seem to be enough “water” to drown the flames. I’m working on it. Like you….over and over again.

    Thank you for your encouraging words here, Laura.

    Much love,

  9. says

    I love what you said about tattling to God. I think that’s a great way to gain some freedom. God already knows, but for us to somehow voice to Him how we’re feeling…knowing He’s listening…and not judging us –
    it’s a great relief.
    The more I’ve become acquainted with Him the past couple of years, the more I can hear His voice whispering in my ear or in my heart…shalom…..peace.
    He can handle all our issues. How great is our God!!!

    My birthday was so wonderful, Laura. I’m so blessed!

    Love ya,

  10. says

    Amen, It is worth the fight!

    Keep going!

    Strong encouragement for me too. Keep going back to His Word for help… back to Him to discuss what is going on in my head.
    Keep going back to Him when I don’t have the energy to keep going!

    Thank you so much friend. I love your post… especially the beginning, and your very clean kitchen floor! 🙂 You make me laugh… I do the same thing!

    God bless,

  11. says

    “Healthy soul talk is not for sissies.” I love it. No ma’am, it sure ain’t are it?

    Lord, just give us a big dousing of your Water, your Word. Soak us, saturate us, shower us, cleanse us.

    It’s hard to be angry when we go to His Throne and read His Word, huh? Wonder why that is? I just couldn’t tell ya. Hear my jesting do you. There’s power, power, wonder working power…in the blood…
    Love ya, sweet one.

  12. says

    The word ‘Shalom’ to look at or say is peaceful… It’s given me a decorating idea… Maybe something I’ll share in a future post… I need alot of Shalom round here;) Don’t we all… We are NOT sissies! And we have a God who created us for love, and we are His vessels… so “Shalom” all the way!… Thinking beautiful Godly thoughts, and hoping you’re doing the same… Love and blessings. N x

  13. says

    AMEN! vain imagination and rumination is a terrible waste of a mind … mine! *smile* this week i experienced some significant victory in this area as i wrapped myself in psalm 16:8.

  14. says


    You made me chuckle healthy soul talk not for sissies. 🙂 You so special the way you share, and openly tell us that you are westiling through this.

    I pray you find Shalom my friend, and that you put out the fires. I know I’ve been building bonfires my self.

    I don’t want to be a sissie. I want to be a women who walks with the Lord not runs from Him

    Lots of love,

  15. says

    Your words: “Friends, my problem has not gone away. But I rest in His promises.” (Rest WILL come.)
    I will go through this process over and over again. (Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were able to learn all there is from a situation with one time of processing. God knows better than I…God knows better than I…)
    Healthy soul-talk is not for sissies. (AMEN!!)
    But it’s worth the fight. (AMEN! AMEN! I am praying for you and hold on to the fact that you are, through Him, already a CONQUEROR.)

  16. says

    Amen! I’ve had to do this practice over and over again. I see growth and I feel more at peace, but it’s definitely a fight. But like you said, worth it!

    Thanks for sharing your honest heart!

    Love you,


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