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180 Books.........and counting. Words on a page and in my heart.

Each year I have a goal to read more books. I love when an author speaks to my soul. I read a lot of books to help me learn, grow, understand God, myself and others. I read a lot of books for entertainment. I can probably count on both hands the number of movies I've watched this past year. I probably couldn't tell you that I enjoyed very many of them or that I could tell you a title off the top of my head. I was usually getting antsy to get back into a good book. Just ask my husband, he knows that after one show I'm already feeling anxious to leave the theatre and find a quiet corner to devour another book.

Books, they stir up a place inside of me, where that lost little girl who struggled to learn in school and was a slow reader found she has a passion for learning in spite of all of those challenges she faced in school.

Another stirring that happens is when I wish to share what I've discovered from reading some of those books. And this had me thinking about words the other day. So many words, written on page. But I'm really thinking more about all the words I have floating around in my head on the daily. You see, when those words stir me, my soul wants to sing, or to cry. I can barely keep them all inside for the desire to share them with my loved ones, my friends, my clients. I so often think about how I think about others, how people truly move me to love and compassion, and mercy.

What I do not like about words, simply put, they can suck, big time. The words we use so often throughout the day can be damaging and harmful. We've created an entire library of them. I want to shout, hey, you don't have to choose those words, those sentences, those thoughts! STOP! They are harming you.

People don't see the words they speak inside their heads as offerings from a book housed upon a bookshelf, ready to be put back if the book doesn't speak to their soul. Many times what they are reading over and over again, they believe simply as truth. I'm broken, broken, broken and will always be broken. I'll never be able to make lasting changes. If I looked pretty or was smarter I could...... On and on lines from a book that needs to be placed back upon the shelf.

Pick up a new book. One that is filled with goodness and real truth. I believe God has called us good and He speaks to us from a place of healing. He longs for us to be set free. We can find so much strength, love, joy, peace from a great book. His book is one of my favorites.

Decide that the words running across your mind are just words on a page. That you can pause for a moment and decide to put them back upon the shelf. Pick up another story. There are so many amazing books to choose from. So many better stories you can be telling yourself right now. So much more hopeful, insightful, inspiring, heart healing books to be read.

I was talking to a 9 year old boy the other day, I told him I wasn't very good at math. He said, that's ok Ms. Shel, you are great at books. I chuckled to myself as I thought, yes, even though I may be a slow reader I sure do love to read something that brings me freedom and joy and peace. I find that my bookshelf is filled with the topics that inspire me. And when I catch a word or two in my head during the day that does not speak to who I truly am and how God created me, I take that book and put it back upon the shelf and I choose a different story.

You can do that too. If you've been reading the same story for years maybe it's time to put that worn out book back on the shelf. I help my clients see those words, those stories that keep them stuck in a loop and together we discover the books (those thoughts) that inspire the desire to fill the shelf with compassion, inspiration, kindness and love. To create a wonderful library filled with lots and lots of amazing books.

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