A Deeper Kind of Calm: Steadfast Faith in the Midst of Adversity

Overview


Through the Psalms, women can learn how to positively handle the disappointments of life, discern the comforting truth found in God’s Word, and be encouraged to deal with the waves of trials, depression, and discouragement.

• Includes a 4-week Bible study Tyndale House Publishers

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A Deeper Kind of Calm: Steadfast Faith in the Midst of Adversity

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Overview


Through the Psalms, women can learn how to positively handle the disappointments of life, discern the comforting truth found in God’s Word, and be encouraged to deal with the waves of trials, depression, and discouragement.

• Includes a 4-week Bible study Tyndale House Publishers

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600060755
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/30/2006
  • Series: Hollywood Nobody Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 570,647
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author


Linda Dillow is the author or coauthor of numerous best-selling books, including Satisfy My Thirsty Soul, Calm My Anxious Heart, Creative Counterpart, Intimate Issues, and Intimacy Ignited. Linda and her husband, Jody, lived in Europe and Asia for seventeen years training Christian leaders with Biblical Education by Extension. Linda now speaks frequently at women’s conferences. The Dillows, who have four grown children and seven grandchildren, live in Monument, Colorado.
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Read an Excerpt

A Deeper Kind of Calm

Steadfast Faith in the Midst of Adversity
By Linda Dillow

NAVPRESS

Copyright © 2006 Linda Dillow
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-60006-075-5


Chapter One

My Valley of Weeping

As I hung up the phone, all I could do was weep. This was the sixth phone call I'd received that week from a distraught woman who had shared with me her heartache, leaving my heart broken as well. Their anguish-filled words echoed in my mind:

"My husband is having an affair with my best friend."

"I just found drugs in my son's room."

"I lost my job-what am I going to do?"

"My breast cancer has returned."

So many hurting women; so many heavy, heavy burdens. I cried out to God: "Is there no end to the pain in this world? O God, give hope to the brokenhearted ... wrap Your arms of comfort around my friends."

But as I lifted each name to the throne of grace, I added my name to the list. If God had given me the opportunity to script my story, I'd have written something like It's a Wonderful Life. I'd be the light-hearted heroine traipsing through town, seeking opportunities to bless others.

Oh, yes, I'd have a wonderful life-and so would everyone else.

The last three years of my life have looked more like scenes from Les Misérables than from It's a Wonderful Life. I have had struggles on every front: my relationships, my ministry, my home, and my health. While I can laugh at some of these incidents now, atthe time I did not find them particularly amusing! See if you don't agree.

Scene 1

My husband, Jody, and I took our Polish houseguests for a Wild West adventure to the Flying W Ranch, where we enjoyed a barbecue and western music. When we returned home, our friends entered the house first. When they walked into the kitchen they yelled, "Linda, come quick! Something is wrong." As I rushed in, I discovered that wrong did not begin to describe the condition of my kitchen. Disaster was a better word.

A mangled screen lay in the sink.

Jagged pieces of the pantry doorframe cluttered the floor.

A kitchen cabinet door covered with splotchy, red marks dangled from one hinge.

Large, bloody-looking prints covered the stovetop, floor, and countertops.

Peanut butter jars littered the counter-all of them empty.

A chunky, brown substance that looked like vomit coated the counter and walls.

A bear had come calling. A very desperate bear. Our house had been closed and locked, except for the window over the kitchen sink, which we'd left open six inches for ventilation. Because the window had a twelve-foot drop-off, we thought our house would be secure, but a ravenous bear would not be dissuaded. Climbing on top of the grill on our deck, he lunged toward the window, heaved his large frame up on the sill, and then smashed through the screen into food heaven. According to neighbors, our ninety-pound dog, Barney, barked incessantly and then stopped abruptly. Apparently the bear had swatted him to silence, leaving a chunk of Barney fur on the floor in the process.

As we cleaned up the mess, we discovered that the blood-like prints on the counters had resulted from the bear breaking a large glass jar of salsa. (Was he a Mexican bear?) The vomitlike muck turned out to be a mixture of baking chocolate and salsa. (A Mexican bear with PMS?) When we finished cleaning up, we went to bed, unaware that our intruder was ready for another try at the Dillow Diner. Once again, he climbed on the grill, lunging for the now-closed window. Hitting it hard, he fell helplessly onto the rocks below. We know this because our houseguests happened to be looking out the window at the time. They are now firmly convinced that the Wild West still exists!

Although our trusty dog needed a pet psychiatrist to recover from the trauma, we were not harmed. The wildlife association said our homeowner's insurance would cover the cost of repairs to our kitchen. Our insurance company said the wildlife association would cover it. They were both wrong. Months later the Dillow bank account coughed up the money.

* * *

My plan: Come home to my wonderful, clean house and relax with our guests.

My portion: Clean up a gruesome salsa mess and live for months with jagged door frames and open cabinets while hassling over "who pays" for bear break-ins.

Scene 2

I could hardly wait. My daughter Robin and granddaughter Sofia were coming to visit us from Finland. It had been months since I'd seen either of them, and I anticipated the fun we'd have. Visions danced in my head of trips to the zoo, the park, and of Sofia and me laughing together. I told Robin to bring something to wear besides jeans. I had made reservations for lunch and then tea at a castle. Afterward we were going shopping!

When Robin and Sofia finally arrived at our home, illness dashed my dreams. Instead of going on shopping trips together, my daughter and I took turns holding and rocking a sick Sofia. Instead of enjoying a leisurely lunch together in a lovely restaurant and tea in a castle, we were dressed in sweats, seated in the kitchen, enticing a feverish toddler with finger foods. This trip was Robin's thirtieth-birthday present. I had plans for fun-instead we had real life.

Then on Saturday Jody casually mentioned that he had passed out while lying on the bed watching TV. When I questioned him further, he said he had passed out several times that week, but he hadn't said anything because he thought "it was no big deal." (After thirty-nine years of marriage, I am no closer to understanding the male species than I was as a bride.)

After convincing this man I love that it WAS a big deal, we drove to the emergency room. The twenty-four-hour EKG they attached to Jody showed that his heart was periodically stopping and his pulse rate was below thirty. While Robin rocked Sofia at home alone, I waited for the surgeon to put a pacemaker in my husband's chest. The surgeon's comment: "This is so serious that I won't let your husband go one night without a pacemaker." Right. No big deal.

* * *

My plan: Tea in a castle and zoo-time with Sofia.

My portion: A husband with flat lines on his EKG, a sick Sofia, and an exhausted daughter.

Scene 3

I had compiled a long list of favorite outdoor activities for the glorious Colorado summer ... hikes up Raspberry Mountain to my waterfall, barbecues on our deck, and worship times in my "rock sanctuary." Oh, it sounded so wonderful. But it was not to be.

That summer Colorado faced its worst drought in 230 years and the largest fire in its history (the Hayman fire). Flames gobbled up more than 110,000 acres of national forest, polluting our crisp mountain air with toxic smoke and covering our back deck in ash.

Every night I watched the news as firefighters from all over the country told about their rigorous efforts to contain the out-of-control blaze. Planes and helicopters buzzed above the smoke, dumping flame-retardant chemicals on the inferno, but it was like trying to douse a bonfire with water from a thimble.

One afternoon as the fire moved closer to our home at the foothills of the Rockies, the dreaded announcement came: "Be ready to evacuate. Unless the winds change, the fire will be here at midnight."

I scurried through the house gathering pictures and almost forty years of treasures we'd collected from around the world as a result of our years as missionaries: pine furniture from Austria, carpets from China, irreplaceable gifts from special friends, and mementos from our children. Valuable files and documents filled our two offices plus thousands of books, each one a treasure. As the truck with our cherished possessions left our driveway, I watched it join a caravan of cars. Many of our neighbors also were transporting their belongings to a safe place.

Throughout the night I begged God to shift the winds and spare our mountain home. God heard-and He answered. The winds shifted. Although we remained on "standby to evacuate," our neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief. A week later we rejoiced as the official news was given: the danger was over; the Hayman fire was contained.

Have I unpacked all the boxes and put everything back in its place? No. You ask, "Linda, how could you let boxes sit around for four months?" One word: migraines. For months I have had a migraine headache almost every day, the latest of the wars I've fought with my hormones. When I have a migraine my vision clouds, my stomach lurches, and my head feels like someone hit it with a two-by-four.

Day after day, I lay in bed with a damp cloth on my forehead. Summer turned into fall. The snap of the first frost shocked Colorado into winter hibernation, turning the life-bearing green leaves to brown. I looked at the gnarled, dead-looking bush outside my window and knew exactly how it must feel.

* * *

My plan: A quiet, restful summer.

My portion: A fire-filled, migraine-filled summer.

Over the last three years my portion has also included two surgeries that were supposed to help my body. One failed miserably; the other caused my hormones to go berserk. My tears have wet the carpet as I've grieved over a conflict with someone close to me. Hardest of all, my wonderful husband and I have walked through difficult waters in our marriage. I had always assumed that as we "grew older" our intimacy would grow sweeter. It has ... but the sweet fragrance has come as the flowers of our love have been tightly pressed.

What has been happening in your life?

Perhaps as you read these scenes from my life, you thought, Linda had it easy. She hasn't begun to feel the pain I've felt! And you are right. But pain is pain, and all pain hurts. I've walked with friends whose marriages have been torn asunder by infidelity, pornography, and deceit. I know homes divided by a yellow emotional line. I've grieved with those who have lost a spouse or a child. I've cried with others who spend twenty-four hours every day in chronic pain, death crouching around the corner. I've ached with friends whose children have been diagnosed as autistic, others whose teenagers have wandered far from their Christian faith and embraced drugs, abortions, and "whatever." I've agonized with precious women who live with the horror of sexual abuse ... evil done to them and to their children. Long is the list of pain: cancer, financial disaster, unemployment, parents with Alzheimer's. What is a bear or a fire in comparison?

Each of us has our own "Valley of Weeping." For some, the valley is shallow. For others, the valley is so deep there seems to be no way out. My own valleys are not anything special ... they are simply what I have experienced. What do we do when pain overtakes the path of delight we had planned?

People react differently to pain. Many women I know "stuff" their pain by denying its existence or by numbing it with pleasure (alcohol, drugs, shopping, romance novels, television, and so on). Others talk incessantly about it in an attempt to exorcise it. None of these responses brings about the true relief we desire, nor do they glorify God.

God has a different answer for pain. His answer is found in the Psalms.

Most people know the Psalms as God's hymnal of praise, but they are also His picture book of pain. In the Psalms we see anguishing pain poured forth with wrenching honesty and vulnerability, and we ask:

Is it possible to go through the Valley of Weeping without falling apart?

Is it possible to have joy in the midst of suffering?

Is it possible to grow in intimacy with the Lord as we travel through the valley?

God and the psalmists say, "Yes," and I say, "Yes."

God has shown me that in my pain He wants to give me a blessing. With the psalmists,

I remember I hide I cling I journey AND my Valley of Weeping becomes a Place of Blessing.

With each page you turn, may God speak to your pain and reveal the blessing He has for you. May He take you to a deeper kind of calm.

The Song of Holy Rememberance

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalm 77

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A Deeper Kind of Calm by Linda Dillow Copyright © 2006 by Linda Dillow. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Preparing for a great study

    Great study

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Typical Women's Devotional

    A Deeper Kind of Calm by Linda Dillow is a four-week women's devotional based on Psalms 77, 46, 63 and 84. Linda goes through each of these Psalms and discovers what carried the psalmists through their "valleys of weeping" and how God can use the emotional/spiritual/physical valleys of your own life for your good. I am generally not a fan of women's devotionals as I find they seem to lack much spiritual depth or weight. This was one of the somewhat better ones that I have read, but I would still classify it as "Christianity Lite". I think this book might be well-suited for newer Christians. I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    A recommend for any one on a journey with God

    This 4-week book & bible study is a perfect read for any woman no matter where she is at in life. Linda Dillow takes us through the Valley of Weeping that all women encounter throughout our lives & how to get through it so we totally rely on God. In the midst of our valley's we tend to stray away from God, & possibly even blaming Him for the pain we are suffering, saying why me? In this book she teaches us how to avoid the straying from God in times of need & to get through it with God.

    She breaks it down into 4 sections; Remembering what God has done, Hideing with God, Clinging to God, & going on a Journey with God, by taking us through various chapters in Psalm. At the end of each read she gives us well-thought out questions that challenge you to dig deep into your heart to answer. Each week she also provided us with a verse or 2 to memorize. Something that is hard for me to do but her book influenced me & I have those verses now engraved in my heart.

    This book has challenged me to continue to do things after I have completed the book. One is to spend 10-20 minutes each morning being still in the Lord & praying. And the second is to compile a list of names of God that is listed throughout the Bible. Overall I would rate this as an easy read & would recommend it to any women to assist them in their walk with God.

    "Suffering is the last thing I consider useful, but as I look back over my life, I see it has been God's most effective tool to grow me up in Him. Why? Because nothing highlights my need for God like a valley of affliction." (99-100)

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2011

    Great Bible Study!

    I was looking forward to this book with great anticipation. My ladies bible study, previous to my joining, had studied Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and could not stop raving about it! A Deeper Kind of Calm is a book about maintaining steadfast faith in the midst of adversity. I very much enjoyed reading the book as well as working through the study questions. It is a wonderful volume for dealing with the hard times in our lives.
    The book is divided into a four week bible study that can be done on your own or with your bible study group. It breaks down into four different chapters from Psalms: remember what God has done (Psalm 77), hide in His presence (Psalm 49), cling to him (Psalm 63) and praise him for all we cannot see (Psalm 84). The concluding chapter wraps up the journey we are on to face the adversities in our lives and move forward. This book helps to learn how to positively handle the disappointments of life and discern the comforting truth found in God's Word.
    Ms. Dillow begins by pointing out that although Psalms is generally thought of as God's hymnal of praise, we also need to remember that it is also a book about pain. She asks three questions:


    Is it possible to go through the Valley of Weeping without falling apart?
    Is it possible to have joy in the midst of suffering?
    Is it possible to grow in intimacy with the Lord as we travel through the valley?

    Ms. Dillow helps us find the answers to these questions in this enlightening bible study.
    You can find a sample chapter here.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2011

    A Deeper Kind of Calm by Linda Dillow - Book Review

    "A Deeper Kind of Calm" by 'Linda Dillow' from NavPress is a beautiful book intending to help one pass through the valley of weeping with Godly comfort. The book essentially deals with the four psalms 77, 46, 63 and 84. It talks about Holy Remembrance, Holy Confidence, Holy Longing and Holy Pilgrimage. Linda connects with readers' hearts and minds through narration of her personal and real life stories. The book is simple yet powerful.

    More importantly, the book also contains four weeks of bible study contents suitable for group study. Women suffering with grief, pain, etc will find advice from this book greatly helpful and pragmatic. Linda enables us to move from the place of despair to a place of peace.

    Linda also spells about the secrets to inherit spiritual blessings in the midst of pain. Anyone walking through the valley of weeping must know that it can become a place of blessing. All it needs is a little perspective from our end. This is possible when we are able to cling to God.

    In this book, Linda analyses and describes about the possibility of going through the valley of weeping without falling apart, possibility of having joy in the midst of suffering and possibility of growing in intimacy with the Lord as one travels through the valley. Finally, she is able to give a concrete answer to the readers.

    I would give this one four out of five stars.

    Please note that I received this book from NavPress Publishers through its book review bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. Also be informed that the opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 2, 2011

    A Perfect Read during Times of Difficulty

    Sometimes when I am in the valley of hardship, it is hard to pick up a book because my attention span is short and my mind is weary. In those times, when extra doses of strength and encouragement are needed, Linda Dallow's book A Deeper Kind of Calm is a perfect read. The Valley of Weeping may involve illness, physical pain, prodigal children, relationship difficulties, and enemy attack (enemies may be a person, or it may be fear, anxiety, despair, or depression). The author draws four Psalms to show four aspects of faith as a survival guide through the valley: remembering, hiding, clinging, and journeying. Through the valley, we journey to the sacred place, experience the blessing of intimacy with God, and grow in character. A key theme I draw from the book is that "the woman of strength dares to dig blessings out of hardships", and she displays how this really works in the nitty-gritty of life. The short sections and poignant illustrations will enable you to focus and draw strength in order to not only keep moving forward, but also to find the sweet blessings buried in the valley. A four-week Bible study at the back of the book pulls you deeper into the Psalms with each of these aspects and assists in applying it to your life. It is an easy read in a hospital waiting room or late at night when sleep won't come. I consider it a must-read-again when I travel through the dark places or want to help a friend through them. I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    Calm through Psalms

    A Deeper Kind of Calm gives practical advice for those going through the trials of life- big or small. Using the Psalms as a starting point she leads readers through 4 'choices' we have when it comes to dealing with overwhelming situations. Remembering, Hiding, Clinging, and Journeying. She also makes it clear that "Learning to see from God's perspective is critical if we are to turn our Valley of Weeping into a Place of Blessing, our sorrow into significance, our failures into faith." This was a quick read that included some great nuggets to tuck away for the trials that will inevitably come. The Bible Study included in the back of the book would be a great way to really solidify the truths spoken in this book into our every day consciousness. One thing that readers should be aware of before purchasing, and Linda states this clearly in the book, this is not a book that deals with the 'why' such trials happen, just how to respond to them. As long as readers understand this, they should greatly appreciate the solid Biblical wisdom this text has to offer.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful encouragement for women

    This book should definitely have a place on every Christian woman's bookshelf, since all of us deal with challenges in life and need a reminder of God's presence and purpose in those tough times. A Deeper Kind of Calm is a simple, short, book, but there is so much encouragement and so many reminders of God's truth in it.

    There are only five chapters- one discussing the "valley of weeping", followed by four chapters, each one discussing a different Psalm (77, 46, 63 and 84) and the message that psalm has for women who are hurting. Through these four psalms, A Deeper Kind of Calm encourages women to remember what God has done, hide in His presence, cling to Him, and praise Him for all we cannot see.

    There is also a four-week Bible Study at the back of the book, which is really handy if you'd like to use this book for a group study and discussion. Whether you're looking for a book for a group Bible study, or just need some encouragement for your life, I highly recommend picking up this little book.

    Disclosure: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2011

    {A deeper Kind of Calm} - my thoughts

    A Deeper Kind of Calm
    Steadfast Faith in the Midst of Adversity
    by Linda Dillow


    Not only did the little things feel 'right' about this book, (the cover was - is - lovely, the text font was easy to read, and the chapters were well arranged,) but the book itself was very, very encouraging.

    After I first read it - about a week ago - I thought that, although it was a good book, I would not be giving it a very enthusiastic review.

    I have to admit, however, that I am doing just that.

    Maybe it - the message of the book - just didn't click at first because I did not really follow the four week bible study plan in the back. I'm not sure.

    Or maybe my first thoughts were just to hasty.

    Either way, however, I have to give this book a very posetive review.

    I kept thinking back to it during the craziest times, and being encouraged and comforted by such and such line.

    The book was a beautiful journey through various Psalms which deeply encouraged me and bolstered my faith.

    Before I go, let me just share this beautiful quote with you:

    "I pray you will be encouraged to hide in your refuge...that fear will be cast away because the Lord Almighty is your personal strength and fortress! No trial that has wrapped itself around your life is too difficult for Him."


    ~~~
    My rating: 10 out of 10 stars.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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