Monday, September 17, 2012

Countering Lies with Truth

Warning:  this is a vulnerable post.

This actually wasn’t meant to be a post.  But the more I looked at it, I thought, perhaps other people out there struggle with some same things I do?  If not, well, I just remain extremely vulnerable.  If so, then I hope you are encouraged.

So here’s part one of the honesty:  I’m overwhelmed.  I think that on the outside, I look like I have it together…I think.  But, I’m overwhelmed.  I have a home school first grader, a preschooler, a spicy, feisty two year old, and an adorable little 6 month old who so badly wants to be mobile.  As soon as my eyelids are forced open to someone’s cries in the morning I am serving my children in some way, shape, or form usually until we lay them down at night.  We’re talking 13-14 hours of someone almost constantly needing me, 7 days a week!

Clarification:  I’m not complaining.  I feel very blessed to be the mother of these children!  I know I’m bias, but I think they’re pretty fabulous and I truly am grateful to hang around them all the time.  However, the endless day to day routine has worn me down.  When I’m worn down, I’m much more susceptible to letting my emotions control me rather than my mind:  danger zone! 

I have caught myself mumbling little words of discouragement to myself this past week, as you can read below.  I decided to be proactive.  I was tearing myself down with my musings and negative thinking.  I sat down and wrote out the things I was struggling with and then wrote down the truth  

What I’m thinking is that we have a very real enemy who wants us to feel like we have the weight of the world to carry.  And he loves to wait until we’re tired and overwhelmed to hit us with these ridiculous lies.  How do we counter these lies that we mindlessly utter to ourselves and start to believe?  With truth.  Though we are tired, worn out, and don’t have a moment to ourselves, we must feed ourselves truth so that we can’t hear the lies.

I decided to be extra vulnerable and share some of the lies I have been listening to and the truths I’ve been using to counter them.  As a mother, I know I am responsible for speaking words of encouragement and nurturing little spirits…close to impossible unless my own spirit is encouraged and nurtured.  Hands down, after meditating on truth, I am refreshed and have my head back on straight!

Without further adieu…
Lie #1:  I am not beautiful, and not worthy of love. 

Truth:  Postpartum weight, ponytail hair, and baby food on my clothes do not dictate my beauty or worth.  I am beautiful, inside and out. 
  • Psalm 139:14:  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
  • 1 Samuel 16:7:  But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
  • Proverbs 31:3:  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
  • 1 Peter 3:3-4:  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
  • 1 Timothy 4:8:  Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.
Lie # 2  I am not a good mother. Explanation:  I’m having a really trying time with my 2 year old.  I have entered and exited toddler years twice already, and though they were hard, they were nothing like we’re experiencing with this little guy.  I’m exasperated.   I feel like we’re constantly…I mean constantly…training this guy and because of that, my other kids are often sacrificing time and attention on behalf of him.

Truth:  I am a good mother because I’m training and addressing the behavior.  He is a gift from God, and God has every day of His life written down for him before He was even born.  Training is constant.  I want the promises of God for his life, so I will do the constant work to see the rewards given to him.
  • Proverbs 23: 13: Do not withhold discipline from a child
  • Deuteronomy 6:5-9 ESV:  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  • Colossians 3:20-24 ESV: Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
  • Proverbs 7:1-3 ESV: My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
  • Exodus 20:12 ESV: Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Lie #3:  I’m inadequate. There isn’t enough time in the day to get done what I want to get done.  Because I do not check off all of the things on my personal to-do list, I have failed today.

Truth:  My to-do list is unimportant.  God has given me grace to do His will.  Walking outside of His to-do list is just a waste of time.
  • Proverbs 19:21:  Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. 
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9:  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
  • Psalm 127:1:  Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
Lie #4:  If I’m not in control, things will not turn out for good.

Truth:  I need to let go of control, and give that to God.  He is the author and perfector of our faith and has caused the world to go in motion.  He can surely handle my marriage, home, and children!
  • Romans 8:28:  And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.
  • Isaiah 59:1:  Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
  • 1 Samuel 2:6-9 NKJV:   "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.  He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. "For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, And He has set the world upon them.  He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. "For by strength no man shall prevail.
  • Psalm 24:1:  The earth is the Lord, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.
Lie #5:  When I’m stressed out, or when I finally get a break, I’m entitled to giving in to food, tv, or time wasting activities because that is what relieves my stress.

Truth:  This does make me feel better…for a few minutes.  However, the negative consequences of these activities far outlive the immediate gratification they bring.  If we want true rest, peace, and joy, that can only be found in intimacy with the Lord.
  • Psalm 107:9:  For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
  • Psalm 62:5: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
  • John 7:38:  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.
  • Philippians 4:7:  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If you are still, thanks!  I know this one was a long one!  I just wanted to be humble and real.  I really struggle from time to time with some of these things, but the good news is that none of us have to!  Take your thoughts captive and make them obedient to God.  Then take your renewed mind and continue to pour into your family-they are eternal investments!

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