The Lies We Believe (Part 2)

The Lies We Believe (Part 2)

Encouragement From the Authors

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
~Psalm 139:14

Last week I started a post on the lies I easily believe. The first lie I tend to fall for is the idea that I can be ‘good enough’ (or holy and righteous) in my own strength. (For more on that click here) However, there is a flip side, a second lie, that I easily fall for. And that is the lie that I am not good enough. Kinda funny that I would be falling for two lies that are exact opposites, but I do. It was sort of an ‘ah-ha! moment’ for me. And I found great humor in the absurdity in it… but also some sadness.

IMG_20140906_151759265The not good enough lie could be called ‘discouragement.’ And again, comparison and judgment can play a big part in believing this lie*. It’s the lie that we will never be pretty enough, smart enough, fast enough, strong enough, fill-in-the-blank enough. Whether we get the idea from our own ideals, from others in our lives, or even from the media- that lie can slip in and whisper harmful untruths to us. We might actually give up. And that’s what makes this lie so dangerous- so I will say it again: believing this lie, might cause us to give up.

So here is the truth: We were lovingly and uniquely made for a specific purpose that is solely ours. And since we are the only ones God has given that purpose to, we cannot give up. And to “not give up” would mean to persevere.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. ~James 1:12

And another truth: we are all good enough to be loved. We are all good enough to join the family of Christ if we are willing to put our trust in Him. Jesus died on a cross between two criminals. And just like those criminals we have not been perfect, and are not good enough on our own to be considered righteous and holy in God’s eyes. But also like those criminals we have a choice on how we react to God’s love, to Jesus’ sacrifice. We can scoff and doubt, or we can call on Jesus. And when we put our faith in Him, we can stop worrying about being good enough, because we are loved right where we are.

Thus concludes episode one (a two post tale?) of ‘Random Thoughts With Lindsay.’ I know. Thrilling stuff (no, not really). It’s kinda funny where my mind wanders off to at any given moment. I’m usually not too serious, so this post was hard to write. Because I want to expound upon every little thing, and also make a few jokes to keep things light and fluffy. But really, who has time for that? Hopefully I got some wheels turning in your noggin? Not that mine are turning so smoothly these days. My last grocery episode involved a colossal error- I came home with a bag of decaf coffee instead of the full throttle stuff I need. But never one to waste food, I’ve been muddling my way through the fuzzy caffeine-less mornings…**

Thanks for reading!

~Lindsay

May the Lord who loves you, created you, and wants to be your friend bless you with the knowledge that you are someone of great value and worth. May your heart be full of His love and understanding for you, and for the person He created you to be. May your eyes be open to the paths He is opening up before you, and may you be filled with the boldness to go where He calls you. In Jesus name, Amen!

*I talked about comparison last week too. But let me just say again, that comparison is not good. It is placing ourselves above or below others. It is trying to make ourselves into the judge. That’s not our role (thank goodness!), so we can give up that job and find something more in line with our abilities. (Whew!)

**If you see a post with a long line of gibberish towards the end, assume I fell asleep, landed on the keyboard and it somehow posted.

Sept 19 003
What? Are you still reading? Are you wondering about the pictures? If I don’t explain the pictures, I always feel bad. Someone surely is wondering what is going on. Well, not being a professional photographer, or even a professional blogger- I never have what I would call ‘appropriate’ pictures that tie in well with the blog post. So I usually pick a theme and run with it. This weeks’ theme is: Random Septembers. All of these pictures were taken in September, although in three different years. This one I liked the best. I would title it, “My Friend’s Nice Shoes.” See why I am not a professional photographer. I think I got a picture of a turtle, but really it’s just a blurry blob with some nice kicks in the background.
The Lies We Believe (Part 1)

The Lies We Believe (Part 1)

Daily Notes From the Authors

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~Ephesians 1:17

Oct 3 035So School started, and blogging gets lost in the shuffle. I haven’t misplaced a child yet (knock on wood), but neither do I feel overly successful so far this school year. I feel more like a very large and weighed down train slowly chugging out of the station and trying to gain traction so that we can establish our routine and really get moving. But all the while I’m running around (repeatedly checking that 3 little ducklings are in a row behind me), I’m thinking of blog ideas. So prepare yourself for some ‘random thoughts from Lindsay.’ The good news is this was a two-part thought, so it will get us through two weeks together! Woo hoo! (I even sound like a train?)

So, here we go:

It occurred to me recently that there are two big lies that I easily believe.

The first lie is that I am good enough. I’m not being hard on myself when I say this is a lie. And I’m not into self-bashing. We all have good points, we all have less-than-stellar points. But what I’m talking about here is the idea that we can do this ourselves. That in our own strength we can be “good enough” for God. That we can be ‘sinless’ or ‘holy.’ If that is the case, then Jesus’ sacrifice was superfluous. And that would be a lie. The cross is necessary for all of us. Not just the really awful people in the world, but all people. We all make mistakes, we all need forgiveness, we all need Jesus.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all
~Isaiah 53:6

There is more to believing the lie of “I am good enough.” Because I can come to this conclusion by looking around at other people. We might get the idea that we are better than so-and-so. And that person we really look up to, well, we have a lot of similarities with them. So we’re right in the middle of the pack. We’re not so bad. We’re good enough. … Right? The problem with this thinking is that we are comparing, we are judging* others, and we are just trying to blend in with a crowd.

Christ has not called us to ‘blend in with the crowd.’ He has called us to be a holy, set apart people.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people ~Ephesians 1:18

The short of it: We need Jesus, and He is the only one we should be looking to for comparison. He is the one we will never measure up to, but He is also the one who didn’t just reach down to pull us out of the pit. He came down, willing to die for our sake. He came down because of his love. Instead of trusting in our own worth, we can choose to trust in His Love.

Lord, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, so that I can be forgiven and a part of your holy people. I am so sorry for the times I have thought I was able to live this life in my own strength. And I am so thankful for how you continually keep reaching out to help me. When I am tempted to judge my life based on the lives of those around me, help me to remember that I cannot walk a mile in their shoes. Help me instead to have grace and compassion for those around me. Please change and soften my heart to be more like yours. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*There is only one judge. And we are not Him.

Bonus picture. I call this, "What happens when I take my children shopping." Or the shorter version, "Whose children are these?"
Bonus picture! (And yes, all of those are dancing, singing Christmas dolls) I call this, “What happens when I take my children shopping.” Or the shorter version, “Whose children are these?”

 

 

Thank You

Thank You

Inspiration Our Story

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” ~Luke 17:15-19

Saying “Thank you” is a big deal.

I used to teach high school math. I never thought about it before I became a teacher, but the majority of high schoolers (I could possibly even say ‘people’ here?) do not like math. In fact, most loathe math. So being a “fun” teacher was pretty much out from the beginning. Not if I wanted them to actually do hard work and learn something. Now of all the classes I taught, the most difficult was a class for those students who didn’t pass their standardized test. It was the last period of the day, the class period was about 70 minutes long, and all 35 students (none of whom were math enthusiasts to begin with) were forced to be in the class. I had to take attendance the last five minutes of class because a handful of kids would sneak out early if I was not standing at the door baring their escape.*

The term eventually ended, and I sighed with relief when I was no longer their gate keeper at the end of the school day. About a month later, the students had their test retakes. And that was when a miracle happened. There were students in that class that were well behaved, and doing their best- I just didn’t always have much time for them, as I was spending most of my time trying to figure out which student ducked out of the door with their hoodie pulled up over their head. But it was in the middle of a totally normal day when one of those students came wandering back into my room. Surprised, I greeted him, thinking vaguely that he had not given me any headaches and I really appreciated that. But then he said, “I passed the test. I wanted to tell you, because you were the one who helped me. Thank you.”

I think I just stood there and gaped at him. He probably didn’t know that I was trying really hard not to burst into tears. That I wanted to hug him, possibly adopt him. In all my years teaching, I didn’t remember ever having a student thank me for teaching them. I might have gotten a subway gift card once for teacher appreciation day. And there was another time that someone gave me a cheese and cracker tray for Christmas. But nothing like this. No one coming back after the fact and saying, “Thank you, you made a difference.”

And I remember that kid to this day. If I ran into him, I would thank him for making such a big difference in my life. I’m sure he hasn’t got a clue how much his little act of kindness meant to me. When I remember that moment, I think about those ten lepers that Jesus healed. Running off to celebrate, to tell their families, to- what? I don’t know. But only one came back to thank Jesus. One. And he wasn’t even a Jew. He was the one least expected to give thanks.

And I can’t help but think how often I’ve forgotten to throw myself at Jesus’ feet and thank him. I know I am in a rush, and often forget to thank the people I should. I especially forget to thank God (oops). But giving thanks is a big deal. I repeat: Big. Deal. I know it because of how much that one little thank you from one student touched my heart.

The Bible has a lot of verses on giving thanks. Especially giving thanks to the Lord. But, for the sake of keeping this blog short, there is just one thankful verse you really need: 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

So… just checking, but when would it be a good time to give thanks? So (speaking mainly to myself here) let’s practice our thankfulness. Let’s remember to thank God for even the littlest things. And let’s thank the people in our lives too. Who knows what those little words might do in one tired heart?

Lord, THANK YOU! We thank you for all you have done for us. Give us new hearts- thankful hearts. Help us to be thankful people. Help us to remember all that you have already done, and to trust you for our future. Even when things are going poorly, even when our hearts are so full of sadness and hurt- help us to remember the good you have done, and to trust in the good you are doing. Sometimes saying thank you is a sacrifice for us, it is giving up on our ideas of what is best or right. It is trusting that- somehow- your plan is being worked out in this world. It is trusting that you have already won. We trust you, Lord. We thank you, Lord. You are worthy. And as our hearts are transformed by you, help us to reach those around us with your light, and with your good news. Bless us to be your hands and feet. In Jesus strong name, Amen.

~Lindsay

 *And there were a few who would sneak out, even if I was standing right at the door telling them not to go. I had to admire their chutzpah.