Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Self-Image {A Book Review}



Self-Image: How to Overcome Inferiority Judgments


I'm a slow learner, but the Lord is teaching me who I am.

I am painfully aware of the fact that I've defined myself by what I do, opinions of others (good and bad), and comparisons. I say painfully, because God is stripping me of some of that defining material to show me just how vested I am in things other than my devotion to Him.

My attitude stinks. And these things I've used to cloak myself in, putting on an "image" instead of putting on Christ (Romans 13:14), it stinks, too.

God is using this little booklet, "Self-Image - How to Overcome Inferiority Judgements," by Lou Priolo, to help me smell better (ha).

You may be thinking, "Oh, great, just what I need, another book to read." Well, think again.

Not only is a ton of powerful truth packed into just thirty-two pages, this is a soul-exposing workbook that helps you to apply the Truth to the lies in your life.

Like the lie of self-image.  Did you ever stop to think that the concept of having a good self-image is not biblical? The Word counsels us to think of others more highly than ourselves. As Lou Priolo states on the first page, "Christians have been inundated with humanistic presuppositions that they believe to be theologically sound." In this booklet, he exposes the truth about self-image.

Unlike other Christian self-help books that leave me loving the message but uncertain of how to apply it to my life, this little gem is just that—a mini manual on applying the Word.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Because we all can use a dose of truth applied to our image!

Linking up with others for:

http://timewarpwife.com/titus-2sday-link-up-party-25/












Monday, May 4, 2015

GRAND SLAM!!!





This is the sixth year that this handsome young man has been playing baseball. He started with Little League t-ball in 2009, and has went up through c-ball, b-ball and is now in a-ball. He has played Pony a few times, and once he played both Pony and Little League concurrently!

For years, we have watched home run balls sail over the fence of the a-ball field, and listened to them announce the home run hitter. This is something Iain has looked forward to for quite a while. His dad and I were equally excited, especially since he's got some power to his swing.

Sunday, Glen had to work, so I took Iain to his 1:30 game by myself. We got there at 12:30 for the team warmup, and I sat in the a-ball pavilion in my comfy fold-out chair, reading a book while waiting for things to begin.

The opposing team wore red, and I was the only parent  (as far as I could tell) sitting in the pavilion for our team. And I was wearing my red hoodie. The other parents for our team seemed to be out in the sun, along the fence. I didn't think much of this, nor of the fact that I wore red, until the game began.

I don't remember the way it played out exactly, but I think the first batter struck out, the second and third ones got base hits, and then the fourth batter struck out but the catcher dropped the ball so he was able to run and made it to first.

Iain came up to bat fifth with the bases loaded.
And the pitcher was throwing fastball strikes.
The kind Iain loves to hit. The kind he hits really well.

He fouled a few over the fence. But he was making contact with the ball.

I started to sweat.

I prayed, clasping my hands tightly because they were shaking, and I asked God for Iain to hit a home run. I think I said something about how now would be a great time, if he's ever going to do it.

And then he connected with that ball so perfectly, so beautifully, and hit it OUT. OF. THE. PARK!!

Yep, a bases loaded home run, better known as a  
GRAND SLAM!!!!!

My celebrating  may have resembled those dancing blow-up things at car dealerships. Needless to say, my daughters would have been embarrassed, if they were there. (At this point it became very obvious that I was not for the guest team, even though I wore red. haha).

We are SOOOOoooo proud of our boy!!!!

(I forgot my camera that day...sheesh...but someone captured him on video, so hopefully I'll be able to edit this and post that later.)




 


Friday, May 1, 2015

Five Minute Friday:: Door


When one door is opened another one (or more) is closed. That is how things usually work. Of course, sometimes it feels like every door is slammed in your face and you are trapped.

I've been there.

Thankfully, I'm in a different place now. But it is still a scary place. God has closed some pretty big doors in my life. And even though I know it's a good and right thing for me to not frantically grab hold of the handles and put my feet up on the walls, struggling to force them back open, that doesn't mean I'm not tempted to do just that.

The door that is opening for me is going to change much in my life. And that flat-out scares me. I don't like surprises. I would rather have things nailed down and spelled out and secure. Consistent. Predictable.

But God likes to shake us up, doesn't He? Especially when our security becomes rooted in something other than Him (even though it may be a Christian thing and look, from the outside, like it's all about Jesus--we know the truth).

So, that's where I'm at right now. Doing like the abominable snowman in the old Rudolph Christmas special, after he fell off the cliff. I'm learning to put one foot in front of the other, one hesitant, tentative, scared step after another, and walk through the open door in front of me.

Only God know what waits for me, but I have His Word that it will be good.



Joining with others who are writing for five minutes today. If you'd like to know more, just click here.

 

http://www.missionalwomen.com/faith-filled-friday-blog-link-up

Friday, April 24, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: Hide

Today is Friday, the day when we freely write for five minutes without worrying about how it is, we just pour out our feelings for five minutes. No worries, no judging, no critiquing. (Inner editors, shush!)

If this sounds fun, click here for more info.


Today's prompt is:


When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they felt shame and they hid.That is what we do when we feel shame. We feel bad, and we spend our lives trying to hide.

Sometimes we hide out in the open, covering ourselves with busyness, trying to look inconspicuous so no one will suspect what is really inside of us.

I have always felt like I'm "bad" or "wrong" and my main concern was to do things right. And not just right, but the way God would want it, the "biblical way."

But I have realized, as I wrote earlier, that I've been blinded to who God is because I haven't been trying to follow truth, or get at truth, or to be right according to scripture. I thought I was. But what I was really doing was trying to achieve this idealized standard of what God wants from me.

I've never really stopped to think about what I was aiming for, I just kept struggling toward some undefined (in my mind) sense of "right," some vague concept of what I felt God expected of me--all the while never, ever feeling like I was even "okay," let alone "good enough."

That is what happens when we strive to hide our hearts from others while we try to appropriate God's love and grace for us. We can't do it, and we end up miserable.

Because we can't hide from Him. He always comes looking for us, pulling us out of the darkness or the busyness. Because we don't have to work, or perform, for God to love us. His love covers everything, even the reasons we hide.



Linking with others:







Thursday, April 23, 2015

He Loves Me {My Epiphany}


It occurred to me today how much I want to be right. Not in a one-up-you or I-have-all- the-answers way; but in the way I do life. I always want things nailed down and to have a list to follow, so I am sure to do "it" right, whatever "it" may be at any given moment.

My husband bought me an acoustic guitar for Christmas and I've been taking lessons. A few weeks ago, my guitar teacher and I were talking about my grip on the neck of the guitar, and how I am fingering the chords. Again, I wanted to be sure I was doing it right.

I said, "I want to make sure I don't do something wrong and have to unlearn it."

He laughed at me.

Then he said, "Well, that's gonna happen. Because that's life, right?"

I chuckled back at him, but what he said pierced my heart. It was the beginning of God getting through to me today.

You see, I have always had this idea that my goal of wanting to "do right" was good, and that I was attempting to do what is right only because I wanted to please God. Because He is worthy. But what I realized today is that I have been trying to "feel" accepted and loved and redeemed and justified by my works.

I have been keenly aware of the power I feel behind the words when I tell someone how God loves them perfectly, completely, and unconditionally accepts them, yet I would still hear a voice in my head telling me "but it doesn't apply to you, because you are not good enough."

All this noise in my head, this rejecting self-talk, was drowning out the truth and clouding my vision of God.

And I realize that my aim has been off.  I've been aiming for my idea of truth, my idea of what is "right," which is directly influenced by my perspective of God. And my perspective has been very, very wrong.

I have wasted a lot of time being trapped in the hamster wheel of perfectionism, struggling not to compare myself to other women, which only left me feeling generally exhausted and discouraged.

But today I had an epiphany. The god in my head whom I am trying to please is not the true God. The great I AM, the One who knitted me together in my mother's womb, who has known me and planned all my days, and who planned from the beginning of time to send the Rescuer to redeem my soul from death, does not require that I put on a show. He does not stand over me with a critical, wagging finger telling me how I messed up. And He does not heave great sighs and wonder when I will "get it right."

He loves me. Oh, how He loves me.

I am cherished and treasured because I am His. And He doesn't look at me as a big mess who needs to get her act together before I'll be okay in His eyes. He doesn't define me by my failures and the mistakes I've made.

He purely, perfectly loves me.

Amazing. Simply amazing.
 




Linking up with others:

#TellHisStory

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let's Be Real {Three Word Wednesday}






I just posted about how it's a paradox that we put on a show in order to connect.

It's hard to be real.

We all want to be known, to have a relationship with someone based on full disclosure and acceptance of who we really are. But we have a hard time doing that.

Because it is hard to be real.

Being real, genuinely letting down your guard, is like the dream where you are standing on a stage, naked, and you can't figure out why you feel so raw and exposed, but you are just standing there looking stupid and everyone is staring at you with that blank, boring-into-your-soul stare. Instead of freaking out, you pull an "Emperor"  move and act like everything is normal. After some nervous chuckles the show goes on and you wing it, all the time feeling that coldness that comes from being exposed and not being in control of the response.

It isn't easy being real.

You can't control how other people will react to your transparency. It can leave you feeling raw and vulnerable. Exposed.

But we are made by God for relationship. If we withdraw, we are not functioning the way God intended.

We need Him.

We need each other.

Community. Support. Fellowship. Relationship.

So let's do the hard thing, the brave thing. Let's be real. And we'll see how God moves in our lives for our good and His glory.

Linking up with others for:





Five Minute Friday :: Real





It's Wednesday and I'm doing last Friday's prompt. But there's no judging here, right? We are just letting it all go down on paper for five minutes, and then encouraging each other.

Click here to see what this is all about, if you'd like to join us.

Last Friday's prompt was:


  It is such a paradox that we put on a show for others in order to connect—and we are made for connection—and the very show we put on sabotages our ability to connect. Even if we are successful, we doubt the realness of the relationship.

 Because, we think, if they knew the real us, they wouldn't love us. They might not even like us.

 And so the whole thing becomes a big circle that traps us and we wonder why we feel so empty. But the truth is freeing, and that is what it really means to be really real—to tell the truth about who we are.

No wonder so many of us feel adrift in this world, coasting around on the parts we play. No wonder we come undone when the act is over and we are left alone with our true selves.

But there is One who knows us better than even we know ourselves. He sees the real us, but it isn't what we see. His perspective is what He created us to be, what He knows we can be, if only we will lay down the roles we play and surrender to His unconditional love.

Maybe that is what being real truly is. Letting go of the act that keeps us stuck and grasping the freedom He offers.


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