5-Step Plan to Godly Thinking

Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message….

Some days, it feels like a woman’s work is never done.

These words coursed through my mind as I swung left and right around the kitchen tossing dishes into the dishwasher, removing food stains from the floor and shoving ketchup into the open nook in the side fridge door. I exhaled. I’m nearly there – nearly to the moment I fall back and put my feet up.

Trash still lined the counters: a paper towel by the sink, a wrapper by the coffee maker and an old straw that was nearly too grimy to pick up. I surveyed it all. I considered what to grab first and how to do it most efficiently. I had a plan! The kitchen would sparkle.

Yet, somewhere between laying hands on the grimy straw and the half-used paper towel a thought hit me: Why don’t I survey my mind the same way I do my counters?

God says “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8)

Do I think this way? Do you?

The power of thinking is much like the process of cleaning.

We must:

1. Identify the dirty stuff. We must look for anything that does not belong in the temple of God. We must recognize our stuff.

Gossip, negative thinking, complaining, nit-picking, and judgement don’t belong in a shiny bright, glory-filled temple of God. Take notice of them.

2. Decide it must go. Pick up on what doesn’t belong and make a decision to do things differently. Head that very thought towards the trash can. Be done with it!

You do this by telling yourself: This thought is not helping me, but hurting me. When I fill my mind with the what is not good, I miss the goodness of God.

3. Replace what was missing. When we clean, we usually remove stuff from the counters first, so can wipe the whole surface. But, after we’ve cleaned, we replace items. We put back the vase, the coffee maker and the pot.

TIP: Put the P.L.A.N.T. back in location.

Simply, think a good thought as it relates to these letters (see sample below):

Pure: God loves me.

Lovely: God has a sweet moment for me after I’m done with this counter.

Admirable: I feel good I didn’t put this cleaning off until tomorrow.

Noble: The King of Kings sees my work.

True and Right: I have a family that loves me.

Will this process work perfectly every time? No way. What does? We live on earth, after all. Mean thoughts, annoyed words or debilitating self-proclamations still sneak in on occasion, but be encouraged, the more you clean and survey your mind, the more it comes alive to joy and contentment.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

You’re Enough as You Are

imagesThank you Holley Gerth for today’s message…

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14, NIV 

“I am enough because of God.” -Eve, before the fall
“I am not enough.” -Eve, when the serpent tempted her (read Genesis 3)

A cool breeze brushes Eve’s cheek as she walks through the Garden of Eden with her husband and her God. All around her, trees and flowers bloom in brilliant colors. Animals peacefully rest in the shade. She breathes in a deep sigh of contentment. Life is good. She feels no self-consciousness, worry, or fear. Everything is as it should be. She is loved. She is content. She is safe.

The next day she hears an unfamiliar voice as she picks fruit from a group of trees. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). She furrows her brow and turns to reply. No one has ever questioned God before! She says to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:2–3).

Perhaps she expects this explanation to satisfy this snake in the grass. But he continues, “You will not certainly die . . . For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4–5). We know how the rest of the story goes. Eve eats and paradise is lost. But what lie entrapped her heart? What did she believe?

When I read this story, one phrase jumps out at me: You will be like God. In other words, you’re not enough as you are. And with that lie comes a sinister implication: God is holding out on you. Ironically, it’s the same reason the serpent fell. Not content with his identity or position in heaven, he grasped for all of God’s glory and lost everything. But even then he didn’t learn his lesson. He’s still trying to drag God’s daughters down with him.
When I talk with women as an author, counselor, life coach, and friend, I hear the lie Eve believed repeated so often. And I’ve heard it in my own heart as well. The enemy has not changed his tactics much since the beginning of time. That one lie has a variety of versions . . .

You’re not lovable enough.
You’re not good enough.
You’re not beautiful enough.
You’re not smart enough.
You’re not cool enough.
You’re not successful enough.

But all of those expressions have the same message. Somehow, in some way, we must be lacking. Who God has made us and what He has given us are not really adequate. That can seem true because we were once all sinners in need of a Savior. But once we give Jesus our lives, He restores all that was lost in the fall. We live in a post-paradise world, but our identities in God’s eyes are post-cross perfect. We are enough because Jesus is enough in us.

When the enemy tries to convince our hearts that’s not true, what can we say in response? He started his temptation of Eve with, “Did God really say . . . ” I believe we defeat him by answering with “Here’s what God really does say . . .” That’s the tactic Jesus used when the devil tempted Him.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be temptedby the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Mark 4:1–4).

The devil tempted Jesus two more times after that, and our Savior always responded with Scripture. We can follow His example when the enemy tries to ensnare us as well. For example, when we hear the lie, “You are not enough,” we can answer with what God says to us through Scriptures like these:

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life. (2 Peter 1:3)
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

The only weapon that’s part of the armor of God is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The enemy took advantage of Eve, and she acted as if she were defenseless. But we don’t have to do the same.

You are a woman.

You are a warrior.

You wield God’s truth, and it cannot be overcome.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How Do You Measure Your Worth?

“The better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off.” ~Robert Hand

Do you remember the first time you were gripped by fear?  Maybe it was wanting the perfect score on a test?  Maybe it was vying for a promotion and thinking you were not good enough?  Regardless of what the scene was, maybe you felt like if you didn’t do XYZ perfectly, then you were worthless.

For years, I strove to be the best. From wanting to be in the popular crowd in school to wanting to achieve the top spot in my chosen field.  Each time I added something to my list of achievements, I felt a surge of worthiness.  I felt good about myself…. the cycle of tying my worth to my achievements had started.

As I look back on my high school years, from my teen pregnancy on, I felt unworthy. Unworthy of love.  Unworthy of the promotion.  Never measuring up despite the positive accomplishments in my life.  Then the years in my addiction caused more feelings of unworthiness.

When I got clean, I was forced to redefine my idea of self-worth. I realized chasing my worth based on one accomplishment after another was making me miserable. The truth was I was caught in the comparison game. I had to learn I am worthy simply because I exist, and nothing more.

Do you want to overcome the need to base your worth on accomplishments? Here are so tips to help you:

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1. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself be sure they have nothing to do with an achievement.

Silly?  Hard?  Absolutely! The first time I did this, nothing came to mind except my accomplishments.

Slowly, I embraced the fact I love how giving I am. I’m compassionate and sensitive, which I love about myself.  I’m a good listener. The list keeps flowing as I sit and reflect.

Having a hard time? Ask your loved ones or a few close friends to tell you what they love about you. It is a wonderful way to remind you; you are more than what you do.

2. Redefine your idea of success.

How did you feel the last time you perused social media and saw your friends accomplishing seemingly great things in their life. They looked successful, and I felt unsuccessful as a retired social worker with my own business.

So what does a successful life look like to me?  For me, a successful life is spending the day doing things I love. Having loving relationships. It would be making a positive impact, however small, in the life of others.  It isn’t all about the money.

Guess what I realized? My life is already a success. I spend my days working for myself and making a difference in the lives of others.  I have wonderful loving relationships.

When you are gripped with unworthiness, ask yourself what success would look like to you, and you alone. Are there ways you’re already living a successful life, based on your  own definition? The answer might surprise you.

3. Practice unconditional self-love.

Do you know what dogs (or cats) and babies have in common? They don’t have to do a single thing to deserve our love or be worthy of our love. They don’t try to prove themselves to us. We love them unconditionally simply because they exist.  So what if we applied the same principal to ourselves? What if we didn’t have to do anything or prove anything to be worthy of self- love? What if we deserved unconditional love, just like our pets or our children?

Practice extending unconditional love to yourself by forgiving yourself when you’re not perfect, and recognizing you deserve love no matter what you achieve.

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Letting go of perfectionism isn’t easy.  We are a work in progress.  Stifling the need to base our worth on external validation is a continual process. But, with time, we can begin to shed our layers of conditioning that taught us we are not worthy, and see ourselves for the beautifully deserving beings we are.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are you unapologetically you? 

Mondaysedited

WOOHOO!  Yes, it is Monday!  And NO I do not dread Mondays for so many reasons….I have been told that I am WAY to cheery in the morning especially on Mondays.  That is just the way I roll.

I want to ask you a question, and I want you to answer it honestly….

Are you unapologetically you?

Are you truly embracing everything that is about you?

Are you living your authentic life?

I know, tough questions for a Monday morning, right?  These are the questions that I have been asking myself for the last few days.  I want this year to be different.  Isn’t the definition of insanity “doing the same things and expecting different results?

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In direct sales, as with most jobs or business, we tend to have an imagine in our mind of what we “should” be or do.  We think that we “have to” do what Jane did because she was successful so I will be to.  I have been guilty of those same thoughts.  Not so much the comparison game but I think of it more like “keeping up with the Jones”.

What would happen if you let your personality shine in your business?  What would happen if you are not acting/thinking/doing business like someone thinks you should?  Think about it…

If you are in direct sales (especially a party plan business) there are some basics to business that should not be changed – book, sell, recruit.  That doesn’t mean that everything you do is going to necessarily look like what every other consultant is doing in your DS company.  Your parties may not look like someone else’s.  Does it mean that you won’t be successful?

Newsflash

You don’t have to wear certain clothes to be successful. You don’t have to talk a certain way to get people to like you. You don’t have to promote your business according to someone else’s rules.

This is your business. This is you and every wonderfully, lovely, messed up, beautiful part of you. Be yourself and people will come running. Be someone else and people will run away.

I started the New Year knowing that this year would be different.  I have squashed my inner gremlins or at least most of them. I have embraced the things that I am good at (or receive compliments on).  I am not doing things the same as everyone else.  WHY?  Because if it doesn’t feel right, I’m not doing it.

I am being true to who I am even though there are times I don’t know who that is.  I know that I want to be happy.  I want to bring happiness to others.  I want to help others to realized their potential.  I won’t be dressed to the nines because jeans are my friend.  I won’t have the perfect presentation but it will come from the hear.  I will be ME!  The good, the bad and the ugly!

Will you be your authentic self this year?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!