A Word that Is NOT a Part of my Vocabulary

TAlk to yourself the way you would talk to your bffLoser. The word makes me cringe. And not because it denotes the idea of losing something, whether it be the big game or at life in general. No, I hate the word because it attacks my identity. It cuts to the quick of who I am.

Merriam-Webster says that a loser is, “A person who is incompetent or unable to succeed; something doomed to fail or disappoint.” WOW. That’s just sad. Even the dictionary attaches an I.D. tag to this hopeless word.

You can’t separate the word LOSER from a person. And once it’s assigned, that person is doomed to see herself that way as well. Instead of ascribing the act of losing to an event or occurrence, we put the heavy weight of this title on a human being. 

A person who identifies with the LOSER title doesn’t see herself with the ability to overcome the odds. She doesn’t take on tasks that seem daunting because she fears the possibility of failure.

A person who has come to accept herself as a LOSER doesn’t like the idea of trying new things. She plays it safe in all areas of her life because the idea of leaving her comfort zone presents the opportunity to mess up.

But, these LOSER characteristics are first put on us by other people. Because we failed a grade. Or maybe we got up on stage to deliver a speech and we mumbled and stuttered all the way through it. Because our marriage didn’t last. Or we can’t seem to get past this addiction.

Someone else told us this is who we are and we believed them. This is why I hate this word with every fiber of my being. LOSER denotes an unwillingness to try to be anything else. A person who identifies with this hurtful word has no hope. And the Bible says that, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (Proverbs 13:12)

So, I refuse to say it in my house. I refuse to allow my children to say it to eachother or themselves. If I hear it come out of their mouths, a big ol’ mama bear roars that THIS IS NEVER WHO THEY ARE. No matter how many times they fail.

Losing at something is just a lesson in overcoming. It’s an opportunity to do better the next time. It is never supposed to be a name that you get comfortable with. You’re a winner. We all are. 

Ya know why? God made us in His image. That means you were born to win. Quit calling yourself a LOSER, k? Or I just might have to come over there and roar loudly in your direction! 😉

What about you? What’s a word that you absolutely hate? Comment below and let me know.

 

Some of us blogging buddies are committed to writing more weekly on our blogs! We have a variety of topics we’ll be writing about! To check out these awesome chicks and where their writing is taking them, click on their blog links below!

Aimme at mamacentric.com
Abbie at grumblinggrace.com
Emily at emilyfisk.com
Gloryanna at onlyaseason.com 

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The Ingredients for a Balanced Life

century theatreaug 19 20178-00 pm

Honesty is very important to me. It’s probably at the top of my list of “Things that Will Keep Me in Your Life.” Without it, there is no point in engaging in relationship with someone. It’s pretty easy to point out the people in the public arena who are dishonest on purpose. A dishonest public life will earn you a bad reputation. (How many celebrities can you think of that have done this?)

More often than not, though, I am seeing something I like to call Personal Dishonesty (PD). It’s the initial spark that ignites the fiery chain reaction of widespread deceit. In essence, PD is telling ourselves a lie and then believing it to the point of acting on it.


PD trends that seem to plague our world:

I am ugly because my body is not like the model on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. I will starve myself until I look like her.

I am unimportant because my family doesn’t take the time to listen to me when I speak. I will stop speaking up and hide my feelings from everyone.

I am weak because I cry about everything, including Hallmark commercials. I must suffer from depression and need to take medication for the rest of my life.

I am a failure because I can’t find a good job. I will stop looking and just eat doughnuts and watch Netflix on the couch forever.

I am tainted goods because of what happened to me in my past. I will never get married so why even try to take care of my body and dress nicely?


Did you notice that each of these PD moments start with a thought that inevitably ends with a supporting course of action? It’s not hard to see then how our world has become wrought with external deception.Our scale of honesty is off balance due to false perceptions of ourselves.

We can’t even begin to be honest with those around us if we aren’t first honest with the one looking back at us in the mirror. The devil is called the father of lies for a reason, people. If he can get us to believe one little seemingly insignificant lie about ourselves, he can manipulate us into believing that a life of deception is acceptable. After all, it is the norm these days, right? (Again, take a look at Hollywood.)

Allow me to counter the list of common PD trends with some God-breathed truths. First, a necessary disclaimer: *These truths only turn into actions when we BELIEVE them.*


Counter-cultural truths to apply to our swindled souls:

I am beautiful because God says I am a masterpiece, made by His own hands, breathed into existence by His very breath. He saw His creation (you and me!) and He said, “It is good.” (Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1)

I am valuable because God says His thoughts toward me are precious and too many to count! He has put His own words in my mouth so that I can speak life and love everywhere I go without fear of what someone else might think. (Psalm 139:17-18, Isaiah 51:16)

I am strong because God created me in His image and He is all powerful and mighty to save. This means I have power and might. In fact, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of me! (Psalm 147:5, Romans 8:11)

I am victorious because God has given me the ability to endure through hardship and not give up. He says that I am more than a conqueror through the unyielding love of Jesus. (Colossians 1:11, Romans 8:37)

I am made new through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The old days have been redeemed because of God’s amazing grace. He makes my face shine and never looks on me with shame. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Psalm 34:5)


Let’s start a revolution of honest living! Read the verses referenced above. Pray them out loud until your mind, will, and emotions accept the truth for what it really is–

The ONLY thing that can set you free.

Silence the liesby speaking the TRUTH.

Deliver Me From (insert your word here)…

he has already delivered me from my shame. (1)

I struggle with shame. Just being honest here. We all have things from our life that we wish we could do over, right? (Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

It’s a late at night when I’m trying to sleep struggle. Or a dark and rainy day struggle. More recently, it’s a things are at a standstill in my life and I feel like I’ll never make it out of this waiting season kind of battle. It pops up in my mind more often than I’d like it to. It screams obscenities at me to remind me of how human I am. Some days it just won’t let up.

Why can’t I move past my shame? I ask God this question on a regular basis. This morning as I was in prayer, again pleading for relief, God directed me to the word DELIVER.

Deliver (verb)- to set free or liberate; emancipate, release, redeem, rescue

It occurred to me that I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing. I’ve been praying for God to take the memories away, to give me relief or alleviate the pain, but I have not actually recognized a vital truth: He has already delivered me from my shame. I just haven’t taken hold of it. 

You see, I am not dealing with guilt from God’s pointing finger. He’s not mad at me. I’m forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus. (Anyone else as thankful as I am about this?!) In case I ever forget that, I can go here for a reminder: 

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions,

for My own sake,

and remembers your sins no more.” – Isaiah 43:25

No, I am dealing with my own finger crookedly pointing back at me. I am mad at me. I haven’t forgiven myself for my mistakes so, though I AM CLEAN, I sure as heck don’t feel like it. 

Deliverance isn’t just one of those “christian-ese” words that t.v. preachers talk about. It is a very real and tangible truth that we have the opportunity to apply to our life. If only we will reach out and take it. I think, like myself, that many times we are so caught up in getting rid of the uncomfortable-ness of our past, the guilty feelings associated with certain people or places, that we neglect to look up and take hold of the freedom already available to us. 

God says He is our Deliverer. I think of the Israelites that God delivered from their bondage to slavery in Egypt. He radically rescued them from their enemy, yet they forgot this fact as they wandered in the desert. They romanticized their past bondage to the point where they wanted to go back to Egypt instead of enjoy the security of the Promised Land just within their grasp. They had a shame-based mindset that was content to stick with the humiliation that comes with enslaved living because they didn’t FEEL like they were free.

Shame does that. It sneakily creeps up into our thoughts and says,

“Hey, remember when we were best buds that used to get in all kinds of trouble fun together? Let’s do that again. Your present situation isn’t going to get any better anyways. Why not go back to the way things were?”

When we are in the wilderness and the promise of a better life feels so far away, we have a choice to make. We can look back at where we came from and decide that comfort and shame aren’t so bad. Atleast it’s familiar. Or we can look at how far we’ve come and decide that comfort feeds our shame and brings a restlessness for a life of regret. 

I have to choose. My impatient and insecure feelings are valid. But my feelings can’t tell me what to do. That’s how I got mixed up in this shame game in the first place! I have to call on my Deliverer to fill me with an awareness that even though I don’t feel free, I am. 

What about you? Is shame your struggle or is it fear, anxiety, lust, pride, etc… It doesn’t matter how big the struggle is, our God is bigger. Deliverance is available to us all. You just have to believe it! 

Blind Belief: The Only Way to Really See

blind belief-

Do you have to see to believe? This question has been on my mind lately. The world we live in only understands believing in something if there are tangible reasons to back up their beliefs. You know, like evidence or proof.

But what about those things that God has told us in the stillness? What happens when what we see in our daily lives doesn’t line up with what He has whispered to our hearts? It’s at these moments that we have to make a choice:

Am I going to believe beyond what I can see

or doubt because I can’t see? 

In John 20:29 Jesus says, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” 

What are you believing for that has YET to come to pass? What promise are you holding onto despite evidence to the contrary?

For your spouse to prioritize you over his favorite sport even though he just skipped going on a date with you to watch the game?

For you to be well even though your doctor said that you’re going to struggle with this disease forever?

For your children to make good choices despite the bad ones they are making right now?

It’s so easy to lose sight of the rainbow to come when we are living under a rain cloud, isn’t it?

We have to be blind believers. Faith must be our sight. This means that I let my hearing sense take precedence over my seeing sense. That I let God’s voice of truth become the guiding force in my life. EVEN WHEN MY CIRCUMSTANCES DON’T LOOK LIKE THEY’RE EVER GOING TO CHANGE. (Anyone else struggle with this like I do?)

Let’s retrain ourselves to speak what God has said instead of what our physical eyes can see. The more extravagant the promise, the more we should speak it thus reminding our hearts to believe when the circumstances of our lives become unbelievable.

I BELIEVE: that my spouse does love me more than football and He will show me because God blesses those who believe without seeing. I BELIEVE: that I walk in health and wholeness because God blesses those who believe without seeing. I BELIEVE: that My children are choosing to live wisely in an unwise world because God blesses those who believe without seeing. 

Trust me, your YET is on its way.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23 

Sunday Rest #3

 Psalm 119: 30-35
“I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.
Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.”