Air Your Dirty Laundry

“You will never get over it til you admit it.”

Believe it or not, I sensed the Holy Spirit nudge me recently with this truth. Uh oh. I felt like a kid again, in trouble for something I “should’ve known better” than to do.

But He brought His reassurance & peace with this little truth nugget (or as my husband calls it, “Truth Bomb”! :). He wasn’t condemning me, nor am I you. “For all have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God”, am I right? 

Yet facing the truth about who we are can be a bitter pill to swallow. Many of us prefer to bite it off one chunk at a time… or spread it out among many people so no one person knows everything. But do we know how much freedom there is when we admit the truth to another human, unfiltered & unfettered by their opinion?! We simply have to be honest — About who we are. About what we love. About our past. About our vision for the future. About our weaknesses & worries & secret obsessions :) About our character flaws. Even, maybe, about our secret (not-so-Jesus-ey) thoughts.

Jesus said the truth will set us free. And it does. But we have to be willing to air it. Not only is secret keeping bad for our spiritual walks, but it also increases our stress & has physical repercussions.

This reminds me of a childhood song we used to sing, loosely applied here:

Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Don’t let satan {blow} it out, I’m gonna let it shine…

It’s a funny & light-hearted approach to a serious matter, but I kind of love it. Why? Because its simplicity captures my message today:

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Engaging Our True Enemy

marital discord huffpost.com

So… the enemy has a very sneaky tactic he tries to weave into our relationships. I was just talking with a friend a couple nights ago about this. What is it? My husband calls it “Divide & conquer”.

We fight with others. We bicker. We think angry thoughts. We think we’re winning this war and say, I’ll show him! 

But do we even realize what the real problem is here?

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

~Ephesians 6

We’re fighting the wrong enemy!! Our battles are fleshly… yet God said in His word that we are barking up the wrong tree. No wonder so many couples & families never find resolution to their battles: They’re trying to one-up each other instead of realizing THEY ARE ONE. They need to UNITE, not FIGHT. Oh man, though, what a hard thing to put into practice each day…

The deal is this: Our enemy is smart. He knows how to taunt us into a fight. He pokes our wounds, pushes our buttons, & plays on our fears. When we react emotionally to the misdeeds of our loved ones, coworkers, or neighbors, we’ve already halfway lost the war.

Why? Because it was never about them anyway. It never has been. We have to look beyond the humanity in front of us and engage the spirit realm. We must fight the battle in prayer BEFORE we ever open our mouths. We must also ARREST our thoughts & tongues from thinking & speaking words that would only fuel the fire.

But. It’s SO HARD.

I so KNOW. But we have a choice with each provocation we face: Will we be willing to “lose” a battle so that we can “win” the war {with our true enemy}? Or will we keep getting drawn into arguments with the ones we’re supposed to be working WITH?

This requires getting a handle on our hurts & the “why’s” behind our emotional triggers AHEAD OF TIME. We can’t wait til we’re in the heat of the moment, licking old wounds, to make a wise decision. We need to be proactive with our ‘hot buttons’.

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Our Perfectly Imperfect 2014 ♡

With the close of 2014, it’s good practice to take inventory of the events we just lived through & see how far we’ve come, how we grew, and all we have to be grateful for :)

This past year has been a life-changing one for my husband & I in many ways! We experienced some wonderful blessings, including:

1. Celebrating the holidays/our 3rd anniversary with our parents (Taos, NM).

We rang in the new year in a great new way: with BOTH sets of our parents in Taos, NM. This place holds so many special memories for us, especially because we fell in love & got married there :) Three years later we relived this experience with the very people who were with us that blessed day. It was a wonderful vacation & restful time together!

 

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Scriptures When You’re Afraid…

Thinking Woman - Unsplash . com Sunset Girl

Credit: Unsplash.com, Sunset Girl

When you & I feel afraid of outcomes, situations or people, we must fill our minds with God’s word, not what we see & feel. Our faith has a great reward!

Fear opposes faith, so we must choose to focus on believing our good Father even when we can’t see what He’s up to. God’s got this. He’s turning everything around for our good ~ so there’s nothing to fear!

Here are some great Scriptures to think about & confess when we’re facing fear. Write these down or memorize them for those times when fear seems to surround us, & put on your favorite worship music! [Some Scriptures taken from Above & Beyond Christian Counseling].

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. (Psalm 23:4)

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deut. 31:6)

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)

The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe. (Prov. 29:25)

Elevation Church worship

Jesus You’re Greater! [Guest Post]

Y’all… I am HONORED to have my very own big brother Aaron writing today’s post! He is a gifted writer & very entertaining to be around :) I am so proud to call him my big bro, and I’ve been asking him to write something for my blog for quite some time now (cuz he’s awesome).

I hope this speaks to all of you, especially any gentlemen reading this. Thank you Aaron for writing!


“Sin was strong, but
Jesus You’re stronger
Our shame was great, but
Jesus You’re greater”

~Elevation Worship, “Raised to Life”

This morning I was thinking about an instance in which I was tempted awhile back. I say tempted because that is where it started & ended. My mind began down a path of thoughts that was visualizing what “could have been” had I acted on my temptation.

As soon as I realized the thought pattern my mind was on (about a total of 10 seconds), I began to feel guilt & shame about even feeling/thinking about “what could have been”. I started thinking, “What kind of man / Christian / husband / father etc. would even think of such things? Only a man with evil desires in his heart.” Oh the guilt was coming on me now.

Then I realized something with Great Joy! I realized that my tempter (Satan) & my source of guilt, or if you’d prefer (my accuser), were one & the same. I also realized that I had no reason to feel guilty at all because I had won.

Scoreboard Satan! You lose! You lost when you tempted me, & you lose again because I will not feel guilty about a temptation I had and overcame! I will not feel guilt about having 2nd thoughts now about “what could have been” because I choose now not to dwell on those thoughts, & I’ll choose again to triumph over that sort of temptation, if it arrives in my path again.

I say this with confidence that God has given me through helping me (His imperfect servant) to overcome temptation in the past. “If I must boast, let me boast in the Lord Jesus” for He helps me to overcome.

Even Jesus was tempted, but like the song says: “He was Greater, He was Stronger.” The end of the song just happened to be on repeat as I worked this morning :) & it says…

“Raised to Life | with Christ the Savior | in His name, a new Creation | now our song will rise | adoring Christ the Lord”

Prayer:

Thank You Jesus for not only helping me to overcome my temptation, but also to have the wisdom to recognize both tempter & accuser are both derived from Satan. Thank You God for helping me to feel “Raised to Life” & to feel like a “New Creation” a “Renewed Creation”…. and not a guilt laden person who is frozen by failure & triumph, but rather strengthened by Grace!

[Isn’t my bro awesome? If you have a moment, could you leave him a comment below to let him know you enjoyed his post today? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!]