What do you do when you feel SO ugly..

write about it on the internet?

I mean most people probably don’t, but anyway…..

Before I left for LA, I had this MAJOR self image crises, it was kind of weird. Suddenly I found myself scrambling for new make-up, new hair, a new face care regimen, new anything to make myself look different, I hated the way I looked.

I thought I had gotten over this a few years ago:

-this self hatred thing…

-this looking at myself in the mirror with disgust thing….

-this seeing a picture of myself and thinking “is that me, is that what I look like, what’s wrong with me?” thing…

But, it popped up again the other day without me noticing, all the sudden, I couldn’t stand the sight of myself.

The Bible speaks SO clearly about the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)

your peace, your joy, your thankfulness, your everything.

The Bible says, be sober of mind for the devil is like a roaring lion seeking for who he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

WHAT…….thankfully the Bible also says, He who is in me (and YOU as a believer of Jesus), is stronger than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) And I will praise Jesus for that truth, the thing was this self hatred thing felt real, it felt really really real and it felt like it wasn’t going to go away this time.

I remember coming to the conclusion on one of those “hard birthdays” that this was the youngest I was ever going to be, here on earth, so I should be thankful instead of hateful and mean to myself.

When I was 25 I thought I was so ugly, but 12 years later after seeing a picture of my 25 year old self, my 37 year old self thought, “Gosh, I was kinda pretty, why did I think I was so ugly?”

Then I started to think, “Lindsay when you are 50 you are going to think your 37 year old self was pretty. SO STOP BEING MEAN TO YOURSELF…..”

Back when I was in Atlanta I was over hating the mirror so I took some old lip stick and wrote “How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place OH LORD Almighty.” Psalm 84:1 really big on my mirror. That way every time I wanted to agree with the enemy about how ugly I was, the lip stick scripture would smack me in the face. I would then suddenly realize that I was hating the very dwelling place of the Holy, Living God of the Universe. I think that is kind of wrong. I mean I am not a theologian but doesn’t sound right to me.

Recently I found this little nugget of love in Song of Solomon:

“Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold you are BEAUTIFUL.”  Song of Solomon 4:1

-GOD (the One who created the UNIVERSE)

The One who created the universe says I (and YOU) are beautiful, who are we to disagree with Him? I mean, SERIOUS. 

Y’all, we really need to put aside the “feelings” we have about ourselves and instead replace those ugly thoughts with the truth of who we are, we are beloved and beautiful. 

You are beloved and BEAUTIFUL

Lindsay the random blogger girl is not saying this about you, It’s God!

You are the Apple of His eye! (Zechariah 2:8) 

The Word of God says so…..

So, let’s respond to the enemy like Jesus did, reminding the devil of what GOD says: 

“It is written, I am the dwelling place of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the God MOST High and He calls me lovely, He calls me beautiful”

Every word of God is flawless. (Proverbs 30:5) and Truth is Truth!

 

Doubt, Fear and Love!

When confusion and fear came rushing in, I wasn’t sure what was happening. I held tightly to my Bible even though deep down I was questioning the very existence of God, the very God who delivered me from SO SO much over the past 6 years. (Hello, my name is Lindsay and I am an Israelite)

It was crazy and the reason why I didn’t blog. I had nothing to share with you, I was busy holding onto my faith like it was going to slip out of my very hands.

It sounds dramatic, but to be honest, it kinda WAS, it was very scary. The problem was I wasn’t sure what was going on, I just felt confused and scared. I started to see that fear was overtaking me and I couldn’t reconcile why.

Then, I realized it was just plain old fashion doubt and unbelief!

Pretty simple yet pretty powerful!

When the doubt and unbelief started to sneak in, it eroded my first line of defense, FAITH and my first line of offense, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the very Word of God!

When you doubt, when you put down your shield of faith, like I did, you try to stab around with your sword (the Word of God), but you doubt God is good or God is for you or that God is even real so you doubt His Word is true therefore how could it really help you.

The fear that God wasn’t real led to me to think I had to take control of my life. (which is the lie)

But here is what I learned happens to us when we entertain fear, we also entertain the following:

Insecurity (who is going to help me?)

Inadequacy (I am going to mess this up)

Inferiority (I am not good enough to receive this blessing)

Timidity (I can’t stand up for what I believe)

Worry and Anxiety (what IF _______________)

Sensitivity

Fear of Authority (what if what they are telling me is wrong)

Terror

Trauma

Torment

Nightmares

Panic Attacks

Phobias (of the future, I better secure my future because no one else will)

Nervousness (thinking bad things are going to happen)

Abandonment (no one will remember me)

Procrastination

These things we invite in when we entertain FEAR!

My fear came from my doubt and unbelief that God IS REAL, IN CONTROL and IN LOVE WITH ME!

It all stemmed from there.

So what do we do? How do we cast fear out?

The Bible is clear, Perfect Love, CASTS OUT FEAR. 1 John 4:8

The Bible says:

God IS Love (1 John 4:8)

He is Perfect (Matthew 5:8)

He IS Perfect Love, when we can get past  the lies and false feelings and receive His LOVE truly, we begin to believe that we are the apple of His eye Zechariah 2:8, that His thoughts about us (YOU) out number the very sand of the sea (Psalm 139: 17-18) (which is absurd, do you know how much sand there is?) that’s when we can tell fear to take a hike and instead stand on the TRUTH of God’s Word. He loves US! Love that we cannot comprehend on earth, we can’t even imagine the kind of Love He has for us.

Let’s ask Him! Let’s ask Him about His love for us.

I challenge you to wake up tomorrow (and every morning), and ask Him how He loves you!

Watch and Listen, He is with you and He will show you if you ask!

Lord God, you are God and we are not. Please Lord forgive us for our unbelief, restore in us a faith that comes from You, as You Jesus are the author and perfector of our faith. Lord, you say if we lack wisdom, to come to You and You will give it to us without measure, so Lord, we come to You and ask for your wisdom on what is holding us back from receiving Your love, show us, tells us, bring it to our hearts and minds, let us repent, let us give you our fear. We bind ourselves to You Jesus and Your Word which is living and active. We loose all that was stolen from us in this fight for our faith, restore in us now Lord all that we have been missing in You.

We choose to receive from You now absolute perfect Love, all that You are and all that You want to be in and through us!

In Jesus mighty name, we Pray and Believe that you are who you say you are, Perfect Love that LOVES a flawed person like me, all because of Jesus, He made a way for me to You and I am grateful! 

Thank you Lord! In your name Jesus, we pray!

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(if you like it, “LIKE IT” it helps more people see it!)

a little ‘peace’ of the story!

It was exactly two years ago when I had this thought that Atlanta was not my ending spot. I am not sure I gave it a ton of space in my brain at the time, but it stuck. You know those revelations that are defiantly from God that just don’t leave your head, it was one of those….. I always thought I would move overseas to be a missionary. I knew the power of God’s grace and Jesus on the cross and I wanted to share it with people!

It was maybe a month later that California entered my brain. I had not been to the LA area in about ten years (or so) and had only been there once at this point… to be very frank it was in the middle of my party decade and I was so drunk I have almost no recollection of the entire trip!

Well, until last December!

I ended up back in LA with work and we were going to a Bible study led by Judah Smith in a really nice hotel in Beverly Hills. When we walked into the lobby, I had this little flash back and a thought came to my mind out of no where. “I have been here before, ten years ago partying and now I am back here for a Bible study.” I got completely overwhelmed at the fact that ONLY GOD could do that. Only He could take a party girl, who was literally picked up off the street so drunk and carried back to her hotel (I don’t even remember what happened to me because I was so intoxicated) and turn her life around in such a way that she would return for a BIBLE STUDY.

As we walked into the room with three hundred other attendees, we sat down and I started to look around. I noticed that these people reminded me of myself when I first walked into Buckhead Church kind of wondering about God. As tears kept falling down my cheeks in this hotel ballroom, I couldn’t really control myself. The weird part was, no one else was crying because what Judah was talking about wasn’t sad at all. I think I was crying because I knew where these people were: they were curious, they were hungry, they knew something wasn’t right with life and they wondered if it had anything to do with God. I have been there, that was me just seven years ago. I understood them and they might understand me.  “What if I could play a tiny part in them understanding who Jesus really is?” I thought to myself.

I sent a text to my dear friend Sarah and said “I am really feeling I am supposed to move here. Kinda crazy but I just have more peace than ever. Will you help me pray? Love you! Like whoa” and her very calm and always encouraging response was “Oh Lindsay, I sense that for you too! It’s exciting, yes we will pray”

I prayed. God confirmed. I prayed again. God confirmed again. He confirmed in real tangible ways, and He confirmed in hilarious, ridiculous, impossible random ways. He confirmed and I decided to go!

My eyes are wide open and pointed at Jesus because when I look away from Him, I start to shiver, I start to question, I start to get sad at all I am leaving. But when I look up, when I think back, when I remember who I am going with and all He has done for me, I know this is the right step. I then get excited to watch Him write the story. Putting the Pencil Down is not just a blog name, it seems to have become the very theme of my life!

And for those who are interested in keeping up with the story He is writing, you can check in on a more daily digest of sorts at www.lindsayinLA.com (ps. nothing there yet!)

36 things I learned in my 36th year of life! {Birthday Blog Addition}

As a little tribute to starting my 37th year TODAY, I wanted to write out the 36 things I learned in my 36th year of life hoping they might just help you!

In no real order–

  1. Going to coffee with a guy doesn’t mean you have to marry them! (so don’t freak out like I did)
  2. Embracing how God designed you is one of the most freeing things you will ever do!
  3. Writing out your prayers is powerful because you can go back and read all God has done! Your eyeballs might just bug out of your head when you realize just how faithful He is!
  4. God has purpose in pain!
  5. God really does care about the tiny details of your life!
  6. Replace the lies you believe with TRUTH (in scripture) even if you have white index cards hanging up all over your house!
  7. Staying completely silent for 2 entire days IS strangely AMAZING!! #silentretreat
  8. TRUST that if God wants you somewhere He will make a way!
  9. God can and will love difficult people through you.
  10. Prayer works, I have NO idea how, but it does, so pray even when you don’t “feel” like it, actually especially when you don’t feel like it!
  11. Do what you are good at and ask someone to help you do what you are not good at! It’s ok, none of us are good at everything!
  12. It’s ok to hire a cleaning lady once and a while, SUCH A GIFT! Even if you are single and live in a 600 square foot loft! 🙂 #noshame
  13. Scheduling a “Date with Jesus” by putting it on your calendar once or twice a week is unbelievably healing for your soul!
  14. Christian dating books aren’t as cheesy as I thought.
  15. Keep walking in the direction of your dream, wait on God’s timing and enjoy the journey, He will show you and your eyes might just pop out of your head again!
  16. Following Jesus will take you places you never even thought about, aka the girl who hates cold ending up in Alaska for a week. #funny #kinda
  17. If you ask God to show you your weaknesses, He will!
  18. Do what you love even if you don’t get paid for it!
  19. Just Keep Going! You never know what is right around the corner.
  20. God births vision out of suffering, I have no idea why or how, but He does, watch for it!
  21. Being negative wont’ help you and honestly probably won’t make you any friends.
  22. Rest is OK, actually it’s GOOD!
  23. God knows the future, you really don’t have to figure it out!
  24. Comparison and jealousy hurt the heart of God because He made you and He wants you to be fully YOU and let that person be fully them!
  25. We don’t fight against flesh and blood, but instead evil spirits, so realize there is more at work than meets the earthly eye and the battle is always won on your knees.
  26. God is kind and really is for you!
  27. Fear of man will prove to be a snare and probably slow you down and prove to be a stumbling block in all God has for you!
  28. Don’t rely on anyone except God, love people, spend time with people, enjoy people, celebrate people, but rely fully on GOD, He knows!
  29. God will surprise you, pay attention and always give Him credit!
  30. God is always with us, ALWAYS.
  31. Scripture has power. Read it, even when you don’t fee like it, especially when you don’t feel like it!
  32. Worry doesn’t help anything or anyone! It just doesn’t! So stop wasting your time!
  33. I can rock climb! WHAT WHAT! and I enjoyed it! #whoknew
  34. Going to dinner by yourself can be super enjoyable!
  35. Get your sticky fingers off the plan and watch what God does!

AND!

36. Do what only you can do while you can do it! Enjoy the season of life God has you in! There is always a next, always a desire awaiting to be fulfilled, but “if you have to move an inch to be content you will never be content!” (I just learned that one last night, thanks Anna!)

 

P.E.O.P.L.E. P.L.E.A.S.I.N.G

P.E.O.P.L.E   P.L.E.A.S.I.N.G  is one of those things, those things I continually seem to struggle with, maybe not on the outside, but on the inside…So much so, I have Proverbs 29:25 “Fear of man will prove to be a snare”, written on a little white index card taped on my bathroom mirror.

And it is not only fear of what others think (aka fear of man) that I struggle with, it unfortunately spills into other areas of my life.

I work so hard to get over it and I do for a while, but somehow I let it sneak back in!

My pastor recently suggested I do a word study on the word fear in the Bible. I think she picked up on my constant struggle with fear, fear of all kinds. I AM SO OVER YOU FEAR. I am kicking you to the curb.

It’s fear and people pleasing that seem to hunt me down! I am about to hunt them down and as Jon Acuff says, punch fear in the face.

Fear is a tactic of the enemy to get us to not trust God. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you, God.” AND the second part of  Proverbs 29:25 that I have tapped to my bathroom mirror says, “but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”

Why I forgot to put the second half of the verse on my mirror is beyond me! The entire verse reads, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”

Right there is my answer! TRUST instead of FEAR!

As I was doing my study on fear, I realized almost every scripture I read in the Bible said, fear GOD! I suddenly realized I feared everything else, but God. I know God doesn’t want us to be scared of Him, but rather hold Him with much reverence, KNOWING He is God, as in the God that created the universe! Fearing anything else is saying, I don’t trust that You are God, God! Then of course my prayer life and Bible reading lose their luster because I doubt God and it is this vicious little circle of destruction!

Just what the enemy would love, me to doubt God, His goodness and His love for me (and YOU)!

BUT. God IS LOVE! So let’s just remind the little enemy of THAT fact! God can’t help but love us, because HE IS LOVE!

Oh Lord, forgive me for putting others opinions above yours, how ludicrous!

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6) I might need to write this one on my arm with a sharpie.

God often reminds me that it doesn’t matter what ANYONE thinks of me. This folks, is hard to get through my thick, people-pleasing skull.  BUT with Jesus, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

Thankful it is a journey, don’t let the enemy condemn you! You are doing awesome and God is proud of you!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)