Insecurity and the Mall Make-up gal!

I use to believe the girls in the fancy boutiques who would tell me “that outfit” looked so good on me. Or the new hairstylist who said, “oh yeah you need to do your hair this way, it frames your face” when inside, I didn’t agree, but I was so insecure that I thought “well they must know better than me”

I actually thought a random person knew better than me about how I felt I looked.

That’s called deep insecurity.

Why would I care what someone else thinks? If I feel pretty, shouldn’t that be all that matters? Oh yeah, people pleasing combined with deep insecurity.

But tonight I had a victory, and I love those little victories between us and the Lord. Our Heavenly Daddy loves seeing His kids get free from all wrong thinking, even if it is one little victory at a time. He sent His son so we would be free!

Tonight I was walking through Macy’s trying to get to the parking lot and out of nowhere a girl confidently asked me, “can I show you something”? Usually I am pretty good at being kind and buzzing right by, but this girl had some solid sales skills and before I knew it she was telling me about my eyebrows and painting something on them. I couldn’t get a word in to tell her I had no money and no intention of buying this product. After she was done, she led me to the mirror and I exclaimed “oh no no no, no girl, I don’t do my eyebrows like that, you are sweet, but no, that is not cute” I couldn’t even pretend, it looked scary.

Now as a recovering people pleaser, that was a victory. Yes believe it or not. As an insecure girl who hated herself for years and hated even more the way she looked (talking about me here) that was a HUGE VICTORY. But even after my horror, the make-up sales ninja said “oh I think it looks great on you” those dreaded words that want to creep in and try to manipulate you. But this time I was like “oh no, honey, that doesn’t look good on me, oh wow, no”

As I continued through the store, I kept passing mirrors and glancing over at my new, extra long, slightly scary eyebrows and smiling that THIS TIME, I won. This time I realized that I knew better than the random person. This time I had enough confidence to know what looks good on me and what doesn’t. This time, I remembered that everything that anyone says to me is for MY CONSIDERATION and I considered that make-up tip a nono. And I knew it was a victory over my past insecure thinking.

I use to listen to what EVERYONE said about me, good, bad or ugly and believe it. And let me tell you, that was exhausting.

It’s exhausting to listen to people’s opinions and try to figure out who is right and who is wrong, I would tend to take in what people said as truth, no matter what they said.  I never knew until about a year ago that everything anyone said, was for me to consider. That honestly changed my world. I got to choose whether I agreed with you or kindly didn’t agree with you.

The love of the Heavenly Father is so real and tangible, it is for us to walk in every moment of the day, the question becomes do we believe about ourselves what our Heavenly Father says about us? Or do we believe what others say about us?

I have an idea, I did this a few years ago and it was really really amazing. I want to challenge you to do it too.

Sit down and write a Love Letter from God to you. I am serious. Share with me if you want too. I will feature some on my facebook page. Or not. You don’t have to share it with anyone if you don’t want too.

But definitely do it.

When I did it, I was pretty new to my relationship with God and I didn’t really know what God said about me, so I went to His Word. It was so fun and exhilarating to search His scriptures with the help of good old google to see just what the Father says about His children, about me!

Thanks Jan (my first mentor) for having me do this, it was awesome and so are you.

Biggest Hugs Everyone,

Let’s conquer insecurity so we are not talked into things we aren’t sure we want in life.

Strengthen yourself in The Lord

As this year comes to an end, another one is about to begin.

AH! 2016, the goals, the plans, the “time away” trips with God for planning and resolutions, praying and reflecting.

My friend Sarah recently told me about how King David in one of his epic stories in the Bible had to strengthen himself in the Lord. And one of the ways he did so, was to reflect on God’s faithfulness in his life.

I think I rediscovered the power of reflection the other night, when my friend Kelly asked me how I ended up in LA. As I started to recount the years before I moved, I was amazed at how retelling the story in it’s entirety was like watching a movie of my own life. At points I was shocked as I noticed God’s faithfulness to keep me going in the direction He had for me despite my often imperfect cooperation and my out right, “Jonah moments”.

Our God was faithful to turn me back around when I went the wrong direction and calm my anxious thoughts when I straight up, freaked out.

He seems to confirm things in amazing ways. He teaches and disciplines like a good Father, and loves us through it all. He gives us a tad bit of the story and then watches us try to make it happen or figure it out and then quietly says “oh dear child I never asked you to figure it out, I asked you to trust Me”

OH FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE. I am thankful that You are gracious Lord and full of mercy because I am sometimes (often) a wandering, controlling soul.

I think it’s fun and EYES wide open crazy to get out your Instagram, go back to the beginning of 2015 and recount the time you have had, the good, bad and ugly, the learning from each season, the little or maybe BIG victories you encountered.

It will encourage you that:

A.     He is with you always, through it all

B.     He is in control even if you think you are

C.     He does it in and through us and has many things to show us along the journey

D.     He ultimately is the One to trust here on this earth, mainly because He really created it.

Let’s reflect, let’s use social media to help us walk down memory lane with Jesus, let’s retell the story of our year, to ourselves, so we can be encouraged for the year ahead.

Emmanuel means God with us! That is the very gift of Christmas.

We love you Jesus, thank you for being with us, we can’t do it without you.

Resting IN Christ

I didn’t think I needed to be there. I almost felt guilty and silly all at the same time. I was at a retreat where the subject was rest.

“Lindsay you have been resting for 8 months, you are hardly the one who needs rest” I heard in my head. It was like I was taking the spot of someone who really needed rest. For instance, my sister who has two children under the age of 3 or my countless other friends who have multiple tiny humans zipping around. Me, rest,? “I think I have that down Lord.”

Until Sarah started to talk about how ‘rest’ was actually about your soul resting IN Christ. Now that, I defiantly needed to hear. Sarah started by asking if anyone knew what the ‘soul’ comprised of, I suddenly blurted out in front of 60 girls, “Mind Will and Emotions” I knew that one.

I have witnessed my mind, will and emotions lead me pretty much all of my life and since  “let go Lindsay, STOP trying to figure things out Lindsay” has been the theme of my year, I knew I was appointed to be right where I was…

Emotions and I go round and round and I usually end up flat out on the kitchen floor.

Emotions 1

Lindsay 0

The mind is a GREAT gift, but when we try to figure things out instead of trusting God, walking closely, listening and trusting Him above ourselves or others, the mind can lead us into places we were never meant to go.

Psalm 118:8 (NIV)

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.

Humans (includes ourselves)

Sarah kept talking about resting in Christ. Resting in the fact that He is God and well we are not, He knows best and well we don’t. Resting in the surrendering of ‘the how’ of the next season and maybe even surrendering the ‘why’ of the last season.

Maybe it’s not up to us, maybe He really is big enough to do it all in and through us, maybe our action is to behold Him, abide in Him, do as we see Him do and say what we hear Him say? Never acting out of guilt or shame, cuz that’s not God.

John 5:19 (NASB)

19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever[a]the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 15:9 (NASB)

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

God is love, Jesus is God. Remain in His love!

1 John 4:8 (NASB)

The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Looking to Him to look like Him.  Letting Him work in and through us as we stay surrendered, as we abide and STOP all the self effort, because usually that self effort is attached to some kind of earning God’s love or quest for identity.

Instead what if we said “I can’t do this Lord, please do it in and through me, I am here, I am willing, I am your vessel, here to hang onto you, because you are the Vine and I am the branch. Fruit will come as I hang onto you, I am yours and you are mine, but without you I have nothing to offer”

“What if my strength was spent hanging onto You Lord, instead of trying to do what only You can do in and through me anyway?”

Psalms 105:4 (NIV)

Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB)

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

Not from ourselves (aka. self-effort) because it will soon run us right into a brick wall, guessing some of you have met that brick wall.

Thank you Sarah Ott Deyton, for resting in Christ and bearing MUCH fruit. You will always be the wikipedia of the Bible to me!

For more on her teaching check out www.SarahOttDeyton.com

 

Feeling Discouraged?

I didn’t know what was wrong. I just kept thinking…

“you are such a loser Lindsay”
“You are just sitting here doing nothing”

These tiny, rather quiet, sneaky thoughts kept telling me that I wasn’t going to be ok, that I was never going to leave my couch, that God didn’t care, and that I better get it together. The problem was that I had no idea what to get together. I was paralyzed by discouragement and had no idea what was wrong. Well until a friend called

“Lindsay, what’s up”
Me trying to put my happiest voice on and simply respond like I always do, with cheer I said:
“Hey friend what is going on?”

After about 7 minutes of normal chat, he stopped and “randomly” said
“Lindsay, are you dealing with discouragement?”

I burst into tears, kind of shocked that I was crying, I realized he must have hit the nail on the head.

He then said: “you don’t have to pretend with me.”

The truth is, I couldn’t name it, (what was wrong) but he could. And that is good, because when it is named, it can be dealt with through prayer. But when we don’t know why we feel a certain way it’s impossible to deal with it because we can’t see clearly.

He then said “I could tell on Sunday”

I thought, that was 5 days ago, how could I have been dealing with discouragement and not have even realized it. I thought I was acting really happy on Sunday, I thought I was happy on Sunday.

I wasn’t “feeling” sad, but I was sad, deep down, I was discouraged, but again didn’t really know.

He then said “self pity is the door way to discouragement which then leads to sadness and sorrow and left unchecked can take us right into depression.

And when he said that, I thought, THAT IS IT, Self Pity. UGHHHHHHHHHHH..

Instead of saying NO to self pity and refusing to agree, I must have agreed with it at some point. AGAIN.

At the end of Hebrews in verses 18 and 19 it talks about “taking hold of the hope that is set before us that in it we may be greatly encouraged”

Encouraged, the opposite of discouraged! Yes.

And then it says “we have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure.”

Hope as in, “no I won’t always be sitting here on my couch, confused, feeling a bit lost in life, wondering will I ever even leave my couch, will I really get married, be healthy, learn to surrender, stop trying to figure things out?”

No “thoughts in my head”, I won’t listen to your lies, I will instead choose, HOPE that Jesus will help me into what He has next” because His word says: “we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”. (Romans 5:2-5)

Hope does not disappoint. I love that.

We must do as the Bible instructs and take every thought captive. “Self pity” or “feeling sorry for ourselves” will just take us to a bad place, it won’t help us, it just won’t even if it feels justified in the moment.

Now what I am not saying is that we should pretend we are ok if we are not, I am all about Christian counseling, prayer counseling. Who am I kidding I love counseling and sozo prayer and codependency classes and breaking free from shame classes, YES get the help you need, but let’s also remember that there is even Hope in the help!

Because the Truth is “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” So let’s hope, hope, hope and hang tightly onto hope no matter what!

The other Truth is that there is a time for everything, Solomon teaches us. So, I believe that there is a time to grieve our pain, losses and suffering in life, but there is also a time to HOPE. For more on TRUE LIVING HOPE check out www.HopeHeals.com a ministry very dear to my heart that embodies this entire idea much better than I can write it.

Getting free from all that entangles

Getting free from all that entangles me!

I guess that’s what I am doing.

If you knew the classes I was taking you would probably laugh, but I feel so led to discover the freedom Jesus died on the cross to give me, especially as I find myself still single.

From my christian codependency class (oh and check this out all videos are free on youtube) to my walking out of shame class. It stings at times, but it causes me to press more and more into Jesus.

As we grow deep in Him, we bear much fruit. John 15

As we grow, we bear.

Growth happens in many different ways, suffering, serving, surrendering. I am not going to pretend I know the recipe, because I don’t. But I do know that our relationship with Him is the most important part of life. As we sit with Him, He will lead us and guide us into what He has for us, to do and to receive.

I do love what a friend said to me years ago, as I unknowingly kept trying to figure out how to pay God back, earn His love, or maybe His favor. She said Lindsay “we are human-beings not human-doings.” I am learning that I can ask God “God what can I do for you” but sometimes my motive is slightly off. It can come from a place of striving, of a guilt ridden need to “look like I am doing something for God to those around me” all the while forsaking my relationship with Him. He quietly whispers “Lindsay, it’s about pleasing Me, not others, even if they don’t understand.”

I guess people pleasing is comfortable for me, I have actually learned to be really good at it.

He is teaching me things that are kind of ugly to be honest, like learning about my tendency to control through manipulation. eeekkkk. Or the fact that shame has had a hold on my life for such a long time, that I thought it was just normal.

I use to agree with the idea that I am not worthy of anything, which is true, He is worthy of it all (oh side note: THIS SONG) But as I get more revelation on the fact that I am worthy because I am in Him and He is in me, it shows me where I have let unworthiness almost control my entire life.

As I spend time with Him, He continues to heal me, to change me, to show me more of who I am in Him.

God’s thoughts are higher than my thoughts (and yours), His thoughts are higher and different than the way we can comprehend sometimes. {Isaiah 55:9}

His will not ours, is the prayer Jesus taught us. But the good news is He knows our desires, He knows how to move us to where He wants us and there is never fear, fear is a liar. It is a spirit the Bible says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

His will for me and His will for you, will probably look a bit different, and that is why it is most important to keep our ear near His face, our eye on His Word and walk step by step with Him. Since He created the universe, He definitely knows best.