Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why do we fight it??

Over the last month, as I’ve been part of planning for our church’s women’s retreat, I’ve been drawn back again and again to the realization that my soul CRAVES a quiet time with God.  And why not?  In His word, He invites us to this quiet time.

Be still and know that I am God.—-Psalm 46:10

He will take great delight in you.  The quietness of his love will calm you down.   He will sing with joy because of you.”  Zephaniah 3:17b (NIRV, our retreat’s theme verse)

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he (Jesus) said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.“  — Mark 6:31

So what keeps us (okay, what keeps ME) from enjoying this time, from receiving the gift of God singing over me with joy, receiving the experience of His delight?  I still don’t know the whole picture, but I do have a few pieces.  I know first and foremost, that we have an Enemy who knows and fears the consequences of the transformation work this quiet time will have in my spirits, so he distracts me, condemns me as “lazy,” reminds me of “important” things I need to be doing….on and on.  But I don’t have to listen to this.  I think there are other issues to deal with.  Pride.  Fear.  Wanting “my” way more than His.  Not choosing the discipline of going to bed on time so I can awake while the house is still quiet (the most POWERFUL time, I’ve found).  Believing the lie that what I do equals my worth.  Sitting quietly isn’t accomplishing anything visible or measurable, at least at first.  I’ll be chewing on this idea for awhile.  I welcome your thoughts, too, if you want to share! 

 

 

Thoughts and words do matter…

So…this morning I awoke an hour earlier than usual, and three thoughts (truths) presented themselves to me as I lay there.

A man is about as happy as he make up his mind to be. –Abe Lincoln.
As a man thinks within his heart, so he is. –Proverbs 23:7
The power of life and death is in the tongue. –Proverbs 18:21

I knew I had to get up and explore these three thoughts: there was a message in these three nuggets I needed to dig into. So here I am! 🙂

One thing these three thoughts have in common is the truth that I have an enormous influence on my own life, as well as the lives of those around me. Nobody can make me happy but myself. Nobody else is RESPONSIBLE for my happiness. Nobody else can choose the thoughts I dwell on and allow to accept as true about myself and my life circumstances. Again, nobody else is RESPONSIBLE to choose what I believe to be true. Nobody can make me choose what to say and what not to say. And nobody else is RESPONSIBLE for the words I say, to myself and to others. I realize these statements are obvious, but sometimes I need to see the obvious in front of me! 🙂

There’s a wealth of responsibility, freedom, and power in these realizations.  And I want God to help me to use this freedom well and wisely.  After all, He IS the truth.  Why not believe Him?

If I struggle with being happy with my life as it is, it’s worth looking at my life, thoughts and words to see where the discontent comes from. What do I believe about myself, what do I say about myself or my situation, that prevents me from being happy with my life? If I’m feeling powerless, frustrated, or depressed, I need to unravel the reason(s) why. Sometimes I find that I am living out of lies that I internalized as a child, and these lies need to be shredded and replaced with truth (which is where I turn to God, and ask HIM what’s true!!).  Sometimes I realize that I am expecting something from others that they can’t give, in which case I need to let go of my expectations. 

The truth is, I WAS powerless as a child in many ways. I did not have the life experiences or wisdom to know who I really was. I depended on my parents and other influential adults to show me who THEY thought I was. Because I had a strong desire to please my parents, I just about had to obey them with regards to how I spent my days, what time I went to bed, and what they believed to be important (school was HUGE). I internalized much of who they said I was. Some of what I internalized was true, but much of it wasn’t. They were not big on affirmation, being concerned that I would get a “big head.” As a result, much of what I remember and internalized is my mistakes and failures, instead of my successes and accomplishments.

The truth is, that now I am not powerless. I have the life experiences and responsibility as a woman to choose how I view myself, how I treat myself, and others, as well. As I review who I was as a little girl, and consider what I accomplished, I can decide for myself the value and worth of who I was. I also feel the weight of the truth that I have a HUGE influence on the boys entrusted to me for a short time, with my words, and actions.  I’m so thankful that God wants me to be a good mom even more than I do!  I rely on His leading for much of what I say to the boys….everything from facial expressions, tone of voice, to actual words.

So now, when I have an undesirable thought about myself, or my life circumstances, I ask where it came from. I can often trace thoughts about me back to a time when my parents were impatient, or in a hurry, and they said or did something to plant that idea. I can then recognize that the source of that self-view is flawed, and replace it with a kinder, more accurate truth.  Again, I try to seek what God says is true about me—and He has much that is powerful and good to share, when I ask Him. I also realize that I used to speak to myself in ways I would never speak to anyone else. I decided that I deserved to treat myself at least as well as I treated others.  When I’m dissatisfied with something in my life circumstances, I evaluate how accurate my viewpoint is, and what I can do to change it, if anything.  Then I choose to release expectations about the situation I can’t control.

Lots to soak in!