Monday, November 23, 2009

Q&A with Jennifer Rothschild

 Q&A with Jennifer Rothschild
Author of Self Talk, Soul Talk

What is soul talk?
Over the years, I have gradually learned what to say when I talk to myself, and that has truly made all the difference in my life. After years of struggling beneath the weight of my own slander and lies, I have learned to speak truth into my soul. It’s what I call soul talk.

How does soul talk work?
Everybody practices self talk, but few of us actually take time to think about the things we say to ourselves. The process is so natural we don’t even notice it. Amazingly, much of our self talk is false. The words we say 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. Soul talk is about replacing the lies you may have been telling yourself with the truth.

What kinds of struggles with self talk have you had personally?
My steady flow of disapproving thoughts and self talk once formed a constant stream. I badgered, nagged, devalued, and said cutting words to myself. At times, all those dark, negative put-downs have felt like a raging river, tossing me mercilessly until I thought I might drown in my own self-condemnation.

What was the physical setback that you faced in your teens?
At the age of 15, I became legally blind due to a disease called retinitis pigmentosa. Even though I received that difficulty with grace and resolve, the extra challenges of the disability and the knowledge that blindness was inevitable brought even more opportunities for me to struggle with negative thoughts and destructive self talk. For me, blindness is a circumstance that opens the door to a host of other bewildering issues. One of the biggest daily realities I face is the stress of not being able to drive, read, or enjoy independence.

What is the paradox of emotions?
If you try to think with your feelings, you’ll fall into all manner of false conclusions. Emotions are supposed to serve and strengthen us. Left to themselves, however, they enslave and deplete us. We need a thought closet well stocked with timeless truth, or we will clothe ourselves with the feelings of the moment.

How important is physical well-being including exercise and healthy eating?
Living a healthy lifestyle is so important to our mental well-being. Never discount the impact of physical wellness on our souls’ wellness. Feelings of despair might really be our bodies’ signal that we need to meet some basic needs. Your body needs adequate rest, healthy food, and moderate exercise.

How important is mental well-being? How can we stimulate this?
Brains like to be challenged. Your mind needs to have something to do, or it will create something to do—something that might not be so constructive. If you don’t fully strengthen your brain, it will wiggle and jiggle itself just to alleviate the dullness and find a channel for all its energy. Spend a few minutes each day reading something that interests and challenges
you. Pick up a journal and record your thoughts and questions. Join a book club or audit a class from your local university. Feed your curiosity and you’ll stimulate an enjoyable, insatiable hunger.

How important is our spiritual well-being?
Hopelessness, fear and depression often grow out of unsatisfied longings. C.S. Lewis said, “If I can find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” We can try to fill the longing with relationships, religion, volunteerism, or just being good. But the deep ache from the bottom of our souls can only be satisfied in a relationship with God.

Is it healthy to remember the past? What memories should we revisit?
The real power of any moment is fully realized when it is remembered. The experience might have been painful or pleasant, but its intensity and meaning grow when we remember and reflect upon it. Remembering is essential to the health of our souls. So we must tell our souls to look back often. Memories store great anthologies of stories that tell us who we are. They become intimate reminders of our personal histories. However, tell your soul to look back only at what is profitable. Profitable memories are those that add to your soul wellness rather than subtract from it.

How destructive can fear become in our lives? What’s the alternative?
We can’t ever side with fear, because fear is never on our side. And we can’t let fear and despair shake and intimidate us. Fear betrays; hope never does. Fear and despair make us quiver; hope makes us unshakable. Rather than giving into fear and despair, we tell our souls to hope. Hope will always be on your side, cheering you on and defending you. Hope anchors us because it provides spiritual grounding. Hope brings stability to every part of our being: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. We speak the language of hope when we tell our souls to look up.

How can we cope with our busy lifestyles? Where can we find time to rest?
Life is busy. The demands are great, and we seem to have no time for rest. So much of our self-talk is directed at revving ourselves up. Excessive revving up, however, only leads to petering out. Daily we must tell ourselves to chill out. Rest isn’t only for our tired bodies. Weary souls need it too—our wills, our minds, and our emotions. The choice to rest is ours.

How can we press on despite fear and failure?
Steady, small actions will slowly reduce the big feeling that is paralyzing you. Just because you have failed at something does not mean you are a failure. If you quit, the world will be lacking what you alone bring to it. If you continue to feed your feelings of failure and defeat, those dark emotions will grow, creeping across your soul like long winter shadows. But if you begin to starve those feelings, they will slowly die.

How can we become less selfish and “others centered”?
It’s our nature to lift ourselves up, to be egocentric. Looking back at my life, I can say for sure that the most miserable times of my life have been when I was the most self-centered, self-aware and self-promoting. When we tell our souls to get the spotlight off our own preoccupations and onto the needs of others, we reopen the potential for joy in our lives. Only selfless, other-centered people are truly happy. They have learned the all-important key. When we lift others up, we grow stronger, healthier and happier.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going to Mexico (in theory at least)

The rest of this week and next week we are studying Mexico as part of our "Trip Around the World".  Because of that, we are going to eat my FAVORITE food for a whole week!!! Being from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I can NEVER get enough Mexican food. Unfortunately finding good Mexican restaurants is a little more difficult. Good thing I LOVE to cook, isn't it???

So, here are the dishes we are planning this week:

Pioneer Woman's Mexican Lasagna
Pioneer Womans's Shrimp Quesadillas
Pintos and cheese
Tres Leches Cake
Hominy Casserole (just for me, no one else likes it)
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Chicken Enchiladas
Mexican Bean Salad (aka Poor Man's Caviar)
Huevos Rancheros
Breakfast Burritos
Bean and cheese burritos
Green Chile Egg Muffins

(and of course plenty of green chile for me!!!)

Thanksgiving Challenge 11/18

Today I am thankful for my children having great groups at church. They both have made new friends and look forward to Wednesday  night all week long.  They have great teachers and great groups.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Challenge 11/17

Today I am thankful for new friends and a mom's night out.  It's my first time going out since moving to OKC.  I had a wonderful time and can't wait for our next one!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Challenge 11/14-16

The fourteenth I was thankful for:  mercy that is new each day!

the fifteenth I was thankful for: such an awesome husband. I am thankful he adores me and tries his best to spoil me. (and he did tonight!) I am thankful for the great father he is and that he is my best friend. I adore him as well!

Today I am thankful that hubby and I sat down and looked at finances today. We might be no better off, but we now know where we are and soon we will get an idea where we are going!

(copied from Facebook where I DO remember to post everyday!) 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving Challenge 11/13

I hate getting my hair cut. It honestly ranks up there with going to the doctor. (I have social anxiety and these are two of the situations I have trouble with!) For the last few years I have had one of two friends cut my hair, but, since they are both in Broken Arrow, I had to find a new person. Going to a new hairdresser is nerve wracking.  I usually spend the whole time on the way praying. Today was no different. I really needed my hair cut, but didn't know where to go, who I should have do it or how I should have it done. I care a lot about my hair for some reason. I don't wear makeup or do my nails most of the time, so my hair and clothes are really what "make" my look.  And no matter how nice my clothes may look, if my hair is awful, I feel like I look awful. 

I have needed a haircut for a few weeks.  Today was finally the day and I had looked and looked online for a good hairstyle. I hadn't really made up my mind as to what I wanted, although I had some ideas. I really need something that is "wash and wear" but has the option to look cute if I want to do more with it.  I printed out some ideas and headed to Supercuts. Of course, I prayed the whole way there.  (I know God knows the number of hairs on my head, so I knew he would want them to look nice too. ;-)

Very soon after getting there, I started to feel better. I had a nice lady sitting next to me (a prison guard just getting off work) who talked to me a few times and the one hairdresser that was there seemed very sweet and I liked her immediately.  After watching her interact with the prison guard, I liked her even more.  When it was my turn, she had time to listen to all my needs, gave me ideas and eventually gave me a great haircut.

Today I am thankful that God answers even the silly prayers that others might consider vain.  And thankful that I found a new hairdresser.   

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Challenge 11/12

Today I got to go to MOPS for the first time. It was such a wonderful time. I am thankful for the fellowship, time away, adult conversation, craft time and just generally wonderful time! I can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Getting to know You........Oklahoma City Version

In the 4 months we have lived in Oklahoma City, I haven't managed to meet anyone. Well, that's an exaggeration...I have met exactly 3 people....1 through another friend, one through a homeschool group and one invited us to her church (where we ended up) through a homeschool group. I haven't managed to see these great women past meeting them, however.  And although we go to a church, it is a big real chance to meet people.  This church does have lifegroups but apparently they don't have one for us, as of yet.  And, although I would like to serve, I haven't found something that works with our schedule and all our different kids.

While talking to Paula one day about this, she suggested I join MOPS.  I had heard of it, but never been part of one or looked into it.  I looked into it and decided it might be just what I need.  I am so excited, tomorrow is my first day going to the Yukon MOPS and I get to meet people in the area! And do a craft! And socialize! It's like preschool for mommies!!! :-)

My kids, on the other hand, have all made friends at church. Brittany and Emily go every Wednesday night to youth group and Konnect.  They love it and it is great to see them making new friends in the area.  

As little luck as I have had in the socialization area, we have had a wonderful time getting to know the area. I love this area.  Not necessarily Yukon, but Oklahoma City area in general. We have discovered and explored more here than we may ever have in Tulsa.  We have two nearby lakes, several nearby parks, the Will Rogers park in OKC that is a GREAT place for pictures, we've been to Norman for the Weather Festival, a great pumpkin patch in Piedmont, Pops gas station/restaurant, a great BBQ place in Norman, explored Bricktown, geocaching in several areas that we normally wouldn't have gone, climbing around a tank in Mustang, to the Czech festival here in Yukon, we belong to THREE nearby libraries, and of, course, a federal prison.  (we don't belong to the federal prison, just to clarify that)

Anyway, I have a huge amount of pics that I haven't uploaded as I haven't had time to blog lately.  I am going to take a moment to post just a few of them now.....

Throwing Rocks at Lake Hefner in late July

a picnic at Hefner the next week
(those little people in the water are the kids and I)

waiting for the Trolley in Bricktown

eating above the baseball field

to the zoo with the Donathans (one of my best friends came down from BA with her family)

visiting the Christmas Carol Train in Bricktown (put on by Disney for their new movie: The Christmas Carol)

playing in the fountains in Bricktown

tank in Mustang

Pops Restaurant/Gas Station.  They have THOUSANDS of flavors of Pop!!!

Shadow making at a nearby park

Hayride at a Pumpkin Farm

Trunk-or-Treat at a local church

Will Rogers Park

The Weather Festival in Norman

so there's a brief tour of the fun we have been up to! We are trying to make sure we get to see and experience most of OKC before we move again! 

Thanksgiving Challenge 11/11

is thankful for this special day....a day to thank the Veterans and my sweet grandmother's birthday. She would have been 102 this year.... I miss her so and can't wait to see her!  

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Challenge 11/10

Today is sort of a rough day....Michael is having a horrible day at work, the kids are screaming and fighting, we are having financial problems, no one feels I am going to be thankful for little giggles.  Little giggles make my day. :-)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thanksgiving Challenge 09

Last year I participated in South Breeze Farm's Thanksgiving challenge. I had forgotten about it until this morning and went looking for it again.  I am going to participate again, even though I am a little late. It is NEVER too late to cultivate thankfulness!

So, here are nine things I am thankful for, to get caught up!

1. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father and that he cares for me, day in and day out.
2. I am thankful for my loving husband who adores me and always tries his best.
3. I am thankful for my husband's job.
4. I am thankful for Brittany and her wonderful, sweet spirit. I am thankful for her heart towards God and others.
5. I am thankful for Emily and her compassion. She is so empathetic and always wanting to help others.
6. I am thankful for Kaedra and her miracle story. I am thankful that she is healthy and such a bundle of energy!
7. I am thankful for Ethan. I am thankful that he, too, is healthy and energetic and full of imagination!
8. I am thankful for my parents. I am where I am, in part, because of them.
9. I am thankful for the church we have been going to and their youth program and kids' program. Our kids are able to make friends and connect with people there. 

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Encouragement for Weary Mothers

I read this great article today. It is very encouraging for weary mothers. Not that I would know any of those!! ;-)

I am working on nurturing my soul right now. Feeding it, stuffing it full to overflowing, so I have something left at the end of every day. 

Bible Reading; encouraging books or blogs; worship and praise music; an inspiring talk with a friend....all these things help nurture me right now. As well as hugs and kisses from the kids, time outdoors, counting my blessings, and writing. 

And praying....always praying.