Monday, November 8, 2010

You are super, duper, puper!

I made chili last night.  As we were sitting around the table to eat my son said, "Mom, you are the BEST cook! This chili is super duper puper!"  I said, "Thanks, Sam! It makes my heart so happy to hear that!"  He said, "But I said puper (pooper)!"  "Yes, but it still makes my heart happy."

There is a book called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.  It helps you figure out how you best receive love and how you can best love your mate.  I have never been completely sure about how I best receive love...until last night.  My heart just soared at my son complimenting me.  Then I remembered other times he has told me how much he loves me or my cooking and how I can live on that compliment for days.

Here is how the book describes this love language...

Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important–hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

So, I was thinking about all of this today....Thinking about the class I am teaching on the book by Beth Moore, So Long Insecurity....How does it all fit together?  How can I be a secure person, but still have a need to be affirmed by other people at such a deep level?  Isn't that an insecurity?'s what I've come up with...
Feeling loved when my spouse (or someone else) praises me or tells me they love me is a good thing.
Depending on someone's affirmation to feel good about who I am in this world is not ok.

It's a fine line, isn't it?

It's the part about the insults that really gets me.  Chapman says, "Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten."  That is so true for me.
Someone once said to me..."What you just said brought no value to this conversation."  What I heard was...You are not valuable.
Someone once said to me..."You don't have a clue what you're talking about!"  What I heard was...You're dumb.
So, what do I do with insults?  How do I cope???

Well...I cope by taking the words that are not affirming before the Lord.  I ask God if those words / that message lines up with HIS truth.  If it doesn't then I try so very hard to discard the words.  I work to take every thought captive.  I focus on only thinking on things that are lovely and pure and true.  I need to focus on what HE says about me.

When I'm not getting the words of affirmation that my soul longs for from the relationships in my life then I have to make a choice to go to the Lord and ask Him to remind me who HE says I am.

That is when I am secure...when my heart is full because I know my identity in Christ.  I am secure when HIS voice is louder than any other voice in my life...when HIS affirmation is what I long for.

How about you, what is your love language?  How do you cope when you are not receiving love in that way?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm learning a lot about discipline.

Sadly, I'm learning a lot about what not to do.

I'm learning that discipline is about rest as well as work.  God rested on the 7th day for a reason.  I need to spend time resting every week as well.

This weekend I crashed!  The last two weeks have been a crazy mess of commitments, work and doing more than I should.

This weekend was quiet, quiet from start to finish.  I could literally feel my soul soaking up the slowness...that's a GOOD thing.

I have started writing out what a disciplined life would look like, schedule-wise, for me.  I'm asking myself questions like...How do I really live out my priorities...the things God has called me to do?  What good things do I need to say no to so that I can pour my time, attention and focus into the best things.  I will post it all when I'm done.  I'm working through it all slowly so that it's not just about a schedule, it's about making my life work in a way that I am living out God's best for me.

I believe that discipline is about prayer.  It's about focus.  It's about the Best vs Good.

What are your thoughts?  What does discipline mean to you?  How do you live it out in your life?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

These last two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind for me.  My feet hit the floor and I am running until the kids go to bed at night.

Today I find myself feeling overwhelmed (and yes, that is a HUGE understatement!).  So, I closed my office door, turned off the lights, lit a candle and decided to write on my blog.


I have come to believe over the last month that an enormous part of having self-discipline is exercising self-care.

In other words, I have to care about myself enough to do the things my body needs to be healthy, to do the things my spirit needs to thrive, and to do the things my mind needs to be calm and focused.

As I have been thinking about why I have been so bad at self-care I have come to the conclusion that it has something to do with self-esteem and self-value.  Let me explain...

I told a story in Bible study yesterday.  It was a story about my life.  It was a story that I hadn't thought about for years.  It was the story of how I found out that my dad had died.  It's not a pretty story.  I wasn't there with him.  I didn't get to say goodbye.  It wasn't sweet or peaceful or comforting.  Maybe someday I'll tell on my blog how it all went down, but for now, I'll say I was telling the story to the ladies in my group God spoke a revelation to my heart.  He said, "That's when you believed the lie that said you don't matter."



And then it all came flooding in...that's when I bought into the lie...that's when I let myself believe that I come last.  That's when I believed that other people's time, emotions, money, perspective, you name it is more important.  That's when I began down the dangerous path of not giving credence to what made me healthy.  That's when I believed I didn't matter.

I know...I know...It's twisted...I have a fabulous family.  I have wonderful friends who believe in me and cherish me.  But...But...But...I still believed the lie.  And boy has that lie screwed things up!

Don't get me wrong, I don't let just anybody know I feel this way.  I wear a great mask...and that's a whole other issue for a whole other day!

So, what do I do with all this information????

I'm still working on that.  I know that I matter to God.  I know He adores me.  Now I have to live like I BELIEVE that! I have to see the world through the lense that says...I am a child of God...I will take care of myself so that I can be all that He has called me to be...He wants me to do that!

This journey is not easy.  In fact, self-evaluation is hard.  It is stirring up things in me that I haven't had stirred in a long long time.  But, it is a good journey.  I am thankful for the truth God is speaking to my heart.  Now, it is my job to act on that truth.


What is God speaking to you about today?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sometimes the definition of discipline for me is simply keeping my mouth shut.

There are so many times, especially with the immediate gratification of social media, that I absolutely want to blast someone or share the exact thing that is driving me crazy at that moment on twitter or facebook.  But, for the most part, I use my better judgement, exercise discipline and restrain from giving into the temptation to either be negative or to say too much.

Proverbs 10:19 says:

19 Too much talk leads to sin.
      Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

I pray daily that God would give me His wisdom and show me when to speak and when to stay quiet.

Monday, September 20, 2010

‎"We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons." ~Twelve Pillars

I have been doing a ton of soul searching over the last two weeks.  I vacillate between wanting to understand why I fight discipline and wanting to just forget about the why and get on with it.  The conclusion? They both are important.  I need to know the why so that when the journey feels impossible I can be prepared and understand what I'm facing.  I need to just get on with it because the procrastinating side of myself could stay in the why forever.

So, here is what discipline means to me:
- Delayed gratification
- Choosing what is best for me in the long run, while sacrificing what feels good in the moment
- Becoming exactly who God has truly created me to be
- Knowing my priorities and actually living them out

Here's the bottom line truth.  I can have good intentions all day long about who I intend to be, what I intend to do and how I intend to live my life.  But, until I begin to turn those intentions into actions they mean NOTHING.  I don't want to be the person who always intended to have a good relationship with my family but time got away from me.  I don't want to be the person who intended to be organized and on top of life but always said I'd start tomorrow.  I don't want to be the person who ends up missing out on the BEST life has to offer because something just GOOD or OK came along today.

So, what does this all mean???  It means I'm focusing more on actions and less on intentions.  It means that I am breaking free of settling for GOOD and reaching for God's best.  It means all the little choices I make everyday add up to the big picture of my life.  I know what that picture could I'm going to make my actions line up with my intentions and actually live the picture out!

Monday, September 6, 2010

More Than 140 Characters

It's been nine months since my last blog entry.


I think social media has replaced my need to blog.  But, just recently, I have felt the need to say more than 140 characters on twitter.


Life is very good.

First day of school
Emma and Sam have started school.  

Emma's first day of 3rd grade
Emma is in third grade.  Her teacher's name is Ms. Guillory.  Ms. Guillory smiles a lot and describes her class as dreamy and squishy.  So cute!

Sam's first day of kindergarten
Sam is in kindergarten.  His teacher's name is Mrs. Davis.  She is exactly what every kindergarten teacher should be...pretty...sweet...soft-spoken, yet firm.  She sent me an email telling me how proud I should be that I have a son like Sam. I am.

I am still working at Cross Timbers as one of the counseling pastors.  My hours have gone from 20/week to approximately 25 - 30.

Erik is still working at Cross Timbers as well.  He is soaring.  I am so proud of him.  He is the hardest worker I have ever known.  I love his strength of character and am very thankful for him.


Being a working mom is truly one of the biggest challenges and life changes I've ever encountered.  I'm trying to figure out how to juggle my time and give my all to my family, while still being present for work.  I'm having a hard time learning how to take care of my family's needs while still making time to take care of myself.  I desperately need to know how to push really hard when I need to push hard and relax hard when I need to relax.  If the truth be told, I don't feel like I'm doing any part of life well.

These last few weeks I have had my thoughts set on discipline and what that word means and looks like in my life.  I need to figure out why I struggle against discipline.  What is it about me that wants to rebel against the walls of a structured life?  Why do I feel so suffocated by what is the best thing for me?

In my search for answers I have really pushed into the idea that I need to change at more than a behavior level.  I need to change at a belief and identity level.  Somewhere along the way I have believed a lie about myself or about God that causes me to chose self destruction over health.  I am on a mission to discover the what, when, why and how about what I believe and then to ask God to replace that lie with HIS truth.

So, that is the journey I am on.  

I have decided to blog about it because:

1.  I want some accountability.
2.  Someone out there might be on the same journey and realize they are not alone
3.  Someday I want to look back and see how far I have come.

So, how about you?  Any thoughts on discipline?  Do you live a disciplined life?  If so, where does that come from inside of you?  If not, why not?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Introspective & Self-Criticizing

Do you ever have those days when you are introspective? No, that's not the word.  Do you ever have those days when you are self-critical?  Days when you analyze every aspect of yourself?

I had one of those days today...

Why doesn't that person want to be my friend?
Why am I not loyal enough?
Why do I continually make wrong choices?
Why am I not a better Christian?
Why do I let that one friend hurt my feelings over and over and over again?
Why do I focus on the most unimportant thing instead of my child who is standing right in front of my?
Why does it feel the like everyone around me is living the most amazing, community filled life, while I feel lonely?
What is wrong with me?

Seriously, I hate these days!

And, as I self-inspect (self-criticize) further I realize that every flaw that I have contributes to every question I ask about myself.

But then I remember the verses I read earlier this week out of Matthew 8.  As I inspect further I know that what I want in life is to be the kind of person who has faith like the Roman officer who asks Jesus to heal his servant.  He tells Jesus that he doesn't need to come to his house, but that he knows if Jesus will speak the word it will be done.  And, here's the part I long for...Matthew 8:10 says, "When Jesus heard this He was amazed."

Can you imagine having the kind of heart and faith that Jesus is AMAZED by?????

So, on the days when I am wondering...

When will I feel like I belong here?

I pray that Matthew 8:10 will come to my mind and I will stop self-criticizing and begin to live to try to amaze the ONLY one who's opinion matters in the light of eternity.