We are Moana

My Weekly Featured Blog: We are Moana by Through the Stillness Blog

“God will never force us to answer His call. It is out of His love for us that He doesn’t use force. It is hard to wrap our heads around it…I know. He doesn’t calm the waters of life. But He is always there with us. Always.

You see, I am Moana. We all are. We are called, in our own unique way, to restore the heart of the Lava Monsters who have had their hearts stolen by the world. One difference (and there are more) is that we are still on our journeys. Our happy ending is yet to come.”

Through the Stillness

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I must confess, the movie Moana ignited a bit of inspiration. There may have been a few times I pulled out my phone to take notes for this exact moment of sharing my thoughts with you. I’m laughing at myself, but at the same time I must embrace it. I think we can and should find inspiration wherever and however we can.

The day before, the subject of life journeys was planted during a bible study, so it was already somewhat on my mind. We discussed  Mary’s journey to be exact.  Yes, I know Christmas is over…but we are a group of busy moms who get behind from time to time. That is much the norm in the journey of motherhood.  Things never play out exactly as we have set out in our minds. There are more bumps and bruises than we ever thought possible.

Anyway, I enjoy making parallels…

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Women’s Insecurities – Week Two

Last week we talked about being honest with ourselves, and how we are created in God’s image.  We broke down four common women’s insecurities, and I showed you all a few steps on how to be honest with yourself and with God.  This week I will dive deeper into self-rejection, and how it can destroy your life.

Rejection is defined as “the act of not accepting, believing, or considering something” or “the state of being rejected” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rejection).  Rejection can be described as an abandonment, a dismissal, or a brush off.  Rejection comes in many forms.  We can have such a low self-esteem that we put ourselves down due to our insecurities.  Self-rejection will destroy us.  It “paves the landing strip for the rejection of others to arrive and pull on up to the gates of our hearts” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Our low self-esteem may prompt others to convey what we believe about ourselves.  We are opening the flood gates for rejection by our own insecurities.

Another way we can allow rejection into our lives is to let the harsh words and actions of others dictate how we feel about ourselves.  The lie becomes truth when we are already vulnerable to the negativity.  The truth is, “rejection steals the best of who [we are] by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said about [us]” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  We are all guilty of being rejected as well as rejecting others.  We have been a victim to rejection as well as giving out rejection.  We are not innocent here, by no means.  Jealousy and comparing ourselves to others allows room to judge people harshly.  Insecurities bring out the worst in us when we try to better ourselves by putting others down.  As women, we have to stop being so critical of each other and start lifting each other up with encouraging words.

The key problem is that we have a broken identity.  We allow the world, others, and ourselves to tell us who we are rather than allow God to dictate who we are.  “You can’t expect stability from a broken identity” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  We have to get to the root of the problem to find stability in our lives.  The core fears of rejection are abandonment and loss of identity.  We must write down all our insecurities and work them out one-by-one with God.  And, then and only then, we will see our identity as God sees us.  We are all yearning for something that will keep us stable and anchored.  The world’s view and what other’s say about us does not keep us anchored.  Only God can keep us anchored because He “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Here are five simple steps to push past your insecurities and rejections to start living a life with less negativity and with more Godly thinking:

  1. Acknowledge the problem areas and weaknesses and write them down
  2. Pray over one problem area at a time
  3. Begin to write and say prayers daily that are the opposite of how you feel (positive prayers)
  4. Continue the prayers until you believe God’s truth about yourself
  5. Repeat the process for the next problem area

When we stop rejecting ourselves by our insecurities and what people say about us, we give the control back to God.  We allow Him to work in our lives to change our mindsets from negative thoughts to positive thinking.  When we say we are not smart enough or talented enough, we are putting down God’s creation.  God created us in His perfection so let’s start living a life with confidence of who we are.

APPLICATION

Is God good?  YES!
Is God good to me?  YES!
Do I trust God to be God?  YES!
(Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst)

If you can answer these questions with a bold “YES“, then give God control over your emotions and your thoughts.  I encourage you to allow Him to transform your life so you can be whole in Christ.  I will say this again, “rejection will destroy your life.”  Rejection will keep you in the past.  Rejection will never let you move past the hurt and disappointments.  A life filled with rejection promises no hope but only a mentality of “I will never be good enough to _________________________.”  You fill in the blank of what area of your life you feel rejected.  This is no way to live.  A life without hope is not worth living.  It is a life that will always bring you down and tell you you have no worth. Let God tell you who you are and stop listening to the negativity around you.

Women’s Insecurities- Week One

In the next five weeks, we will talk through women’s insecurities, and how to change our view on what or who we think we are.  The world tells us we have to look or act a certain way to fit in.  Sometimes the people around us tell us our flaws on a daily basis and remind us of who we can never be.  Negativity comes in many forms.  The harsh words create insecurities that we try to hide behind a mask.  We become ashamed of who we are because of the world or what others say about us.  In time, we start to believe the lies.  The words become truth, and we change our personality or career paths to feel wanted and loved.

The truth is, God knows all our insecurities as women.  Psalm 139 says that God has searched our hearts and minds, and He know everything about us.  He knows when we are sitting and when we rise.  He knows our every thought.  He even knows what we will say next (vs. 1-6).  He is a God of All-Knowing (Omniscience of God).

Women tend to have common insecurities in physical appearance, sexuality, career, money, education, and life in general.  What and who we believe we are sometimes come from the lies of the world, others, and ourselves.  This week we are talking about being honest with ourselves.  There will be steps on how to remove the mask of lies and be true to who we are created to be.

1) Physical Appearance

  • Physical appearance can be age, weight, body, and hair. Women see models in magazine who have the perfect body and doesn’t ever seem to age.  Let’s be reminded that every photo in a magazine has been photoshopped to have the perfect body image.  On social media we have filters that will perfect our physical appearance to our desire.  We live in a world that says we have to have the perfect body to fit in.  The world and the people around us wants us to conform to their ways.  Let’s face it, their demands are unrealistic and shameful.  In the Bible, it tells us we are made in God’s image.  Our Creator made us in His perfection (Genesis 1:27).  Everything God created is good. (Genesis 1).  God sees us as good!  He is proud of His masterpiece.  Psalm 139:14 declares we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (NIV).  Let’s stop putting ourselves down by our negative thoughts and let’s start loving on ourselves.  One way to start thinking positive is to start a “positive thinking jar.”  Each week write something nice about yourself and place it in the jar.  Every time you have a negative thought cross your mind, open the jar and read a note from yourself.

2) Sexuality

  • As women, we want to be attractive to men.  Much of our confidence is through encouragement and feeling loved by a significant other.  We desire to be wanted and touched.  So many women are single these days.  They feel alone and unloved.  Singleness is not a label.  It does not mean you are not loved.  Married or not, God loves us unconditionally.  We feel His touch by simply being in His presence.  He is our first love.  We are attractive to an All-Mighty God who created us to be in His image.  So the next time you feel unattractive or unloved, remember God is attracted to you.

3)  Education/Career/Money

  • We all want to be successful in our careers.  This is not just a desire in men.  Women want to have an important role in their families.  In today’s world, it is not uncommon for women to work and children in day care.  Many women have Ph.D’s and have big careers.  Back in the day, you would see women as at-home-mom’s only.  There was no option to work on the field as women.  They were responsible for bearing children, keeping the house clean, laundry, and cooking.  Now, please do not misunderstand me.  At-home-mom’s are to be celebrated.  They stay home with the children, with no adult conversations or contacts for over 10 hours a day, so the husband can provide for the family.  It is an honorable position to have so no one should put down a wife and mother staying home with their children.  Whether we decide to get a college education, a career away from home, or be a stay at-home-mom, we are all doing a job that matters.  We are all responsible for someone or something.  I encourage you to be proud of what you do and find joy in all things.

4)  Life In General

  •  So many of us look at our lives as mundane.  We do the same thing every day — work, school, home, children, family, cook, clean, laundry, etc.  We see nothing exciting in our lives.  As women, we allow the negative thoughts to make us feel like a maid or just worth nothing.  We think that  we do the things that no one else wants to do.  There is some truth to that, but not completely true.  We do those things, because we have a family to take care of.  We are made to put others first before ourselves.  We are selfless beings who love catering to others whom we love.  So, how do we spruce up our lives with so much responsibility?  Leave the dishes in the sink overnight and spend time with family and friends.  Make a point to do something fun and affordable several times a month to get out of house.  I encourage you to create a life filled with more adventure and outings with your family.  You can create a life that you always wanted within your means.

APPLICATION

So, what will it take for you to be honest with yourself and starting talking better about yourself?  Will you see a new perspective on your career choice and live with more joy?  Will you see life with excitement and not just a mundane life?

Women tend to believe a lie about themselves, no matter if it came from their own insecurities or the world.  We are sensitive to the negative words that are spoken over us and a lie feels like a truth.  I encourage you to look towards the Word for who you are and not focus on the world’s point of view or someone’s opinion.  As long as we do not believe the lie, it will never become an insecurity in our lives.

Our Past and Future

In 2016, many of us experienced hardship and disappointments as we stepped into 2017 with unfulfilled dreams.  Others experienced joy and celebrations as their dreams came true.  Maybe we had a combination of both: the good and the bad.  We can all step away from 2016 with lessons learned and a stronger faith in God.

As flawed human beings, we tend to get stuck in the past and never seek future endeavors.  We hinder ourselves from moving past the disappointments and unfulfilled dreams to see our future as God sees it.

Last year, 2016, is in our past. Memories were shared, tears were cried, and defining moments were made. In 2017, is for new beginnings. It is a fresh start for relationships, new achievements, and a new you. It is a time to embark on new adventures, create new memories, and to celebrate joyful moments. We need to embrace the new year with a new attitude, a giving spirit, and a joyful heart.

A Christian band, Big Daddy Weave, wrote a song called, “My Story.” We all have stories to tell about 2016. We must understand that our stories from our past makes us who we are today. So many people carry their shame and regret over to the new year. The truth is our stories tell about who Jesus is. We are victorious through Christ. We find freedom through Christ. We have mercy through Christ. Instead of silencing our stories, we need to speak out about who Jesus is in your lives as a testimony. The struggles we experience on a day-t0-day basis can be turned into a Jesus moment.

The lyrics to the song above says that “if I told you my story, you would hear victory over the enemy…you would hear freedom that was won for me…you would hear life overcome the grave.” That is powerful! God will overcome satan, give us freedom from bondage, and give us live again through Him.

In 2017, I challenge you to let go of 2016 and allow God to overwhelm you with His peace. I pray that you forgive yourself for the bad decisions you have made in 2016 and let 2017 be a fresh start for you. Let 2016 be a testimony of God’s grace and mercy in your life. I encourage you to be an overcomer and fight against the bondage and discouragement you faced in 2016. The new year, 2017, brings hope to those who feel hopeless. It brings freedom to those who are heavy burdened. Walk into 2017 with confidence and joy.  Stay focused on Jesus through the good and the bad, and keep your faith no matter what comes your way.