We’ve all been there.
Sitting in front of or maybe walking past the mirror, catching a glimpse of yourself through the fingerprints (#momlife), you quickly think or begin the mumble under your breath things like: "You're so ugly." or, "You're so fat." or, "You don't look good in these jeans." Or maybe just something as simple as, "Ew". Have you ever caught the thoughts racing through your mind in those moments? My thoughts have been known to speak to me in ways that I would never allow another human being to speak to me. Often times, they're screaming out all of the things I'd change about myself. Bigger boobs (maybe smaller for some), a tinier butt, more toned arms, instant abs, healthier hair, bluer eyes, poutier lips, prettier looking feet #realtalk, that last one is mine … if you ever see me checking out your feet, now you know why ;)
We’ve all had those moments of feeling like what we own just isn’t enough. Whether it be our bodies or our possessions. We have all diminished what we have to offer in lack while desiring to fulfill the need for something better out of want.
How many times have you talked to yourself today? In your head or out loud?
I bet you’ve already lost count because I know that I have. Our thoughts are constant. They are continual. We are always processing something, whether it’s a conversation we are going over and over in our heads, or if we’re daydreaming about being on a beach instead of in - 0 rainy weather, or even taking note of the cute boyfriend jeans that girl walking past you is wearing while at the same time trying figure out how you can afford to buy them too #ithappens — our minds are always on and always processing something.
I’ve gone through seasons in life where I’m hyper aware of my thoughts and how they are affecting me and I’ve also gone through seasons with the wool over my eyes, believing that my thoughts don't have any power. I recently listened to a podcast where the speaker said,
“What you dwell in, you dwell on.”
And, I’ve been stuck on that sentence ever since. It's on a loop in my mind.
How many times have I let my thoughts, insecurities or bad attitude dictate my mood and responses to situations throughout my days? If I’m constantly being consumed by negative body image thoughts or insecure thoughts that cause worry around what people think of me, if people like me, fear of failing, anxiety in social situations, being misunderstood and/or constantly trying to prove myself to people, etc., I’m robbing myself of not only the freedom found in confidently just being who I am but also the amount of free space in my brain that I’m allowing to be taken up by negative thoughts.
A bold request from me to God going into this next season is that He would baptize my mind.
All of it.
In it’s entirety.
All of my thoughts, all of my perspectives, all of my mindsets , each and every thought that goes in and out of my mind daily - conscious and subconscious. That I would be intentional about what I'm thinking on and what I'm thinking about.
Baptism in itself is an outward expression of an inward change. A decision that we make as adults to love God and serve people for the rest of our lives - likewise, I envision baptizing a mind to be a similar process; an intentional decision to love God and serve people in the thoughts we have and as we process things in our minds. It's an outward expression (my words, actions, responses) of inward change (the love for myself and others as I accept and learn as much as I can around God’s unrelenting love for myself and humanity as a whole).
When we have negative thoughts about ourselves (or others), we've got to know that that's not how God sees us (or them). Therefore, it's not the truth of God over our lives (or theirs).
This bible verse (above) is something I so want to master.
Demolishing thoughts that are negative, not true or not mirroring the heart of God AND taking them prisoner and SUBDUING them into obedience with God's truth over my life. And yours; this bible verse is a promise over your life too.
What powerful language and revelation.
Our thoughts (self-talk), attitudes, self-worth and identities become secure when they are based on the opinion of one and his name is Jesus.
A simple step I'm taking to progress toward gaining deeper revelation from that verse is by writing out declarative bible verses around the house where I've discovered a negative, untrue or spiritually detrimental thought pattern develop.
Here's where it gets real.
The Bathroom Mirror: There is power in the words that we speak. Out loud and inside. To our friends or to ourselves. But, especially when it comes to the words we're speaking over ourselves and into our own lives. When the words I speak to myself while looking in the mirror aren't the positive ones I should be speaking, I look at this verse to help me gain perspective:
Would you tell your friend she's ugly? Or fat? Or "ew"? Or has a full face of zits and looks terrible today? I hope not, ha. I'm trying to get in the habit of talking to myself like I talk to others:
With forethought and positivity.
With a strong slant in hope and grace through Jesus.
When I talk to myself in the tone of love - I change the trajectory of my day and to be honest, my life (the present and future fruit produced). Try it. When you find yourself being caught in a negative thought, correct it.
Give yourself a compliment.
Find something great about yourself every day until you can love your whole self easily.
The more life and God's truth you speak over yourself, the better. You are worth it.
The Fridge and Home Gym: When I was in Grade 6, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food that led me to battle with an eating disorder until well into Grade 11. I hated food and became obsessed with working out. I was admitted to an out-patient program at CHEO that ultimately saved my life and restored my relationship with food/fitness and my body-image/perspective but, I claim that healing every day. Much like being healed from postpartum depression (see blog post here); it's an active part of my life that I acknowledge daily, without giving any power to, and make conscious choices to feed my body with food that will fuel, energize and nourish it. Sometimes the fridge (and the gym and the mirror) can be a trigger point where the enemy whispers lies like, "You are fat", "You don't need food today", "You should work out more", etc. And that is where I put this verse:
When I love my body by nourishing it well, when I work it out with a passion in routine and zest for a healthy and strong body but not over-use, that is bringing glory to God. I am honouring my body, not abusing it.
The Laundry Room: This might seem strange ha - but this is where I battle the most insecurity about being a Wife and Mom.
This is where I'm not enough.
The laundry is in piles and my kids are screaming-hot-messes running around the house half naked because nothing is clean; and there go my thoughts, spiraling downward as I fold miniature sized underwear.
From my kids to my floors to what's for dinner to processing a disagreement with my husband: If you want to see a mid-week breakdown, join me in the laundry room ;) And so, that is where I've put this verse:
"... with nothing to fear, she SMILES ...", how GOOD is God? When my heart and thoughts are resting in Him, there is nothing to fear, but everything to be joyful in.
I can be a worrier, or I can be a warrior (saw that quote on Pinterest this week, brilliant.)
I am choosing to fight for my thought life to come into a strength that I've never experienced before. For my smile to find a new strength that is rooted in a beautiful relationship with Jesus that provides the ultimate comfort to all my worries. Not by my own strength, but His.
Beside The Bed: This is another place in my home where my thoughts can wander or where I seek the comfort or wisdom in my husbands perspective of a situation instead of seeking God's perspective. And that's where I put this verse,
God's perspective is the best perspective.
People can be wise, but God's opinion gives the wisest insight into every situation.
God's perspective gives the wisest corrections through conviction, and the clearest direction amidst the fog.
I want God to renew (baptize) my mind. Every thought. Even the ones that seem to be little.
All thoughts start small.
So, a baptism of the mind.
All of it.
Every thought that goes in and out of my mind daily;
the conscious and the subconscious;
all mindsets .
So, what are you thinking on and about? And, why?
A question I will be asking myself over and over in this next season.
Be brave as you answer that question honestly and see yourself grow like crazy.