Friday, July 24, 2009

Overwhelmed!?! - By Dee

Why is it that when you are down everything seems to get piled on at once? Does that happen in your life? You may start out your day with that small self doubting whisper but by lunch it is a full-on personal assault! What I am fighting right now is learning how to stop my racing mind!! Are you in the same boat with me? I am my own worst critic. Either I’m too fat, or too loud, or too nice, or too silly, or too soft or too hard, or too whatever!!??!! Why is it so easy to beat ourselves up? Why would you say such ugly hateful things to yourself? Can you see you saying these things to your children, or your spouse? NO of course not then why is it ok to say these things to yourself!

I am really starting to see a trend in my life. Satan knows that I am hardest on myself so it will start with a small something. Just something for him to whisper in my ear about. Then comes the next thing and a third or a forth or a fifth. By the time he is done I am in full on panic mode and ready to run screaming into the hills. I am learning how to quiet my mind. We all know the "rules" we place on ourselves. I’m going to read my bible today for 30 minutes and we try to squeeze it in the 5 minutes before we fall asleep. Well I have been reading, praying and contemplating the time when Jesus was in the desert and Satan threw a whole bunch of those small whispers at Him. Instead of letting them pile up Jesus took care of them one at a time. He fought them off with scripture. So I have been trying to do that. The hard part when I have started this is to recognize when it is Satan. I have taken time to be with my boys while I work part time. It hasn’t been great on our budget. That is one thing that Satan has been whispering in my ear about and I am sure with the economy the way that it is he isn’t just whispering in my ear. So on a pay day I sit down to pay all the bills, this is when the whispering starts. That is when I take 30 seconds to combat this thought.

(Deep Breath in), My Father supplies all of my needs according to his riches and glory.

Matthew 6:25-34
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

And as that thought or attack wanes or passes someone that I have been working with calls me to say they don’t want to work with me anymore. I wish them all the blessings I can and when they call me a name and hang up on me, I begin to laugh because I know this person doesn’t know me and the name they called me is so off base. Then that whispering comes in. "Are you sure they aren’t right about you?" NO! I KNOW THEY ARE NOT RIGHT ABOUT ME!

Psalm 139:13 I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

As that passes Satan throws Alex’s accident in my face. I knew as soon as that came up that it was from him. Why?? Because I wouldn’t let these other things bother me he had to use my rawest emotion right now. Now when he uses Alex it is one of the hardest things for me to fight. I will catch myself balling my hands into fists. When I see this in myself I have to remind myself of what a true friend said to me. God has every right to change my life in anyway he sees fit to bring him greater glory! I know that the Lord has a plan and I so desperately want to follow the plan he has for my life!!! I want to be who he created me to be so I can shine his glory everywhere! So I do my best to ward off the attacks. I am still my own worst critic but I now can see when it is coming from outside, from those small whispers.

It is now starting to bleed over into my marriage too! The whispers that cause those arguments are when my husband doesn’t understand what I am saying or we hear something completely differently than what the other person said. I am starting to be able to see when those whispers are causing problems between my husband and I. So instead of getting overwhelmed try using those little bible verses you remember or turn on some Christian music or listen to an inspirational CD, or radio station (or better yet Sara Scott’s new CD) and allow God to envelope you in a his love. It’s impossible for those whispers to continue when he is sitting there with you, however, that is one of His greatest promises, that He will always be there with you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hold On - By Dee

This can mean two completely different things. One holding on to things; You know, "white knuckling" it. Or holding on, like waiting for something. We are tackling with how we hold on to things we should not. I will give you a personal example. Does anyone remember doing the 40 days of Purpose by Rick Warren? If you did, how many of you thought, "I will get to the end of this book and I will know exactly what to do with my life."? I did!! I will let you know I was very disappointed. God didn’t send me the personal road map of my life with that book! But in one of the lessons Pastor Warren said to look around the room and see if you could pick out the “EGR” in your group. Now if you don’t know or don’t remember the EGR is the person who extra grace is required. As I sat in my small group I looked around and realized that no one else could be the EGR, so it must be ME! I carried the EGR label for over 5 years. I felt so down on myself. I kept beating myself up for being too loud, or too excitable, or being too heavy, or not being who I thought God made me to be. It was when in the women’s ministry I was blessed with a mentor. I told my mentor the story of being an EGR. She looked me dead in the face and said “I think it’s time you let that go!” What do you mean let that go? A pastor pointed out my flaw and I have to accept my flaw don’t I? Don’t I have to learn to be in my little EGR space and not impinge on anyone else’s space as to make them uncomfortable?

As I listen to God speak to my heart I begin to hear His love for me. He began to weave this immense love for me that I had never experienced before. I could hear his words in my head. Why would you let Satan twist three letters to make you feel so unworthy? I created you! I built you to be loud, and excitable. When you start to see who you truly are you will embrace your natural instincts because I put them there.

What have you been holding on to? What did your Mother, Father, Teacher, friend, or Pastor say that you immediately accepted as the truth and in turn labeled yourself? I believe that most people are their own worst critics. Why is it that we continually beat ourselves up?? Why is it so easy to accept the lies Satan throws at us and yet so hard to accept God’s truth. The further away you get from your creator the easier it is to believe everything else. Think about Atheists. They have gotten so far from God that the world’s logic sounds completely logical. Think about some of the cultists that you have seen. Do you remember the Heaven’s day cult?? The people who believed that alien’s were going to come down and save them from the rapture. Now you and I look at this from the outside and say “I can’t believe they would believe in that nonsense!” But we are not much different. Cause we believe the insane things we say about ourselves, right?? I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m an EGR, I’m too loud, I’m too quiet, I’m not worthy! All of these are lies!! You may be heavy but God wouldn’t say that to you. He would say why are you running to food instead of me?!! This is a hard one for me! Why would you say you are ugly? You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

He made you and as the little saying goes “God doesn’t make junk!” Yeah that is easy to say! But how do we take it from a saying to the true way we feel. Well here is what I have been doing:

John 8:32 (New International Version)

32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Lately, when I have been giving myself two hundred lashings I think I deserve, I have to stop my thoughts. Would God truly say that to me?? Is this bringing me closer to him or making me feel guilty, sad, anger, etc? I am not saying guilt, sadness, or anger are bad things but God uses these emotions to have you seek after him.

Are you seeking him?

Philippians 2:13 (New International Version)

13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Remember that God created you for HIS GLORY but you have a specific purpose! You may not know what it is but if you continue to seek him he will reveal it to you. Albeit one step at a time!! And if you are like me that can be painful slow but I have learned the hard way that I would rather have it slow then all at once. Cause I know if I got it all at once I would run away screaming!!