I devoured "Walking with God" by John Eldredge. As with most of my books, it's highlighted and tagged to pieces. I love making books mine with scrawling notes throughout. This is also what I call a man-book...which means the men I know reading it, like it too. It's an easy read - John Eldredge is transparent and real. I laughed out loud at his description of distracting moments. And cried when they lost their dog.
There are a lot of key points but two of his subjects oh, sort of pierced this old heart.
1. Beware of Agreements (page 57)
Most of us have bouts of oppression/depression, right? He suggests digging into it. Figuring out why you feel cruddy helps get rid of it. The thoughts that take me under, make me feel awful are not of God. When I succumb, I've made an agreement with it (the bad thought) .
My example - I was volunteering last week - not rocket science and no payment for this work. We are volunteers. Someone asked me a question and I didn't know the answer. She, cuttingly, said: "Gosh, don't you have the instructions on this?" No biggie, right?
Well....I immediately went south with these thoughts: "She'll think I'm inadequate and tell everyone I don't know what I'm doing." The second part of my thought Mr. Eldredge calls speculation. I realize that quite often I feel sucker-punched when criticized. I dug...and figured out why. (No need to go there now.)
I am going to stop these thoughts when they hit. I will not agree with them. And speculating is the same as worry. My new tool worked just the other day! John Eldredge's wife, Stasi, has a retreat in spring 2011 in Colorado. You have to enter it through a lottery (guess a whole lot of chicks want to go!). I almost said...."well, it'll be a miracle...blah-blah-blah." Then, bam! I stopped it! :) IF God wants me to go, I shall go! Try it. You'll like nipping speculation and negativity in the bud.
2. Making Room for Joy (page 37)
I love me some joy! "So, why don't I wake with a joyful heart today? Joy was just here. Where did it go?" (page 38). It's all those dern agrements - "...subtle convictions we come to, assent to, give way to, or are raised to assume are true."
One of my favorite Scriptures is "The joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10). And Mr. E. talks about how when he's felt joy, he's felt more alive than any other time in his life. Me too! It give me strength.
I highly recommend reading WWG. Like I said - it's an easy read yet rich in tools for our every day.