This week has been a bit of a challenge. I was presented with the opportunity to choose life or death in my words, thoughts and actions. Many times! Even though I knew what choice should be made – I struggled to embrace what I knew was right. I really wanted to wallow in self pity, or frustration. I would justify my feeling and convince myself I deserved to feel this way.
You ever feel that way?
When life throws us a curve ball we have a choice as to how we respond. We will always have opportunity to be misunderstood, disappointed, or to be stretched beyond what’s comfortable. Our spouses, kids and friends will not always meet our personal expectations and we will be let down. At some point, we will face the choice to either believe the best or the worst. It’s up to us.
Whatever you expect, you’ll most likely experience so choose wisely!
My husband and I are very close and talk about anything and everything – nothing is off the table in our relationship but this week we had a situation where He did something that had a profound impact on me.
For years he has wanted another tattoo and we have talked about it many times. He’s spent a lot of time thinking it about it, researching meanings, significance and carefully thought about what He wants.
Last Christmas I decided to give him some cash towards this little venture even though it was a stretch on me. I see nothing wrong with tattoos but I don’t prefer them so it was a big step to give money towards this! He finally decided the timing was right and set up a consultation to get started. I have not always been positive in my communication about him getting it and really left him feeling like I did not want to be a part of the process. So, he did not make me a part of the process….deep inside I did want to be and was hoping He would choose not to go through with it.
A word to the wise – when you don’t communicate what you need, it’s not fair to expect others to know what you need!
Even though we had talked about it along the way; size was very vaguely communicated. The day came and it was time. I asked for a picture of the transfer they had just put on His arm. I had no idea this would spin me into a melt down and literally throw my off my reality for a whole week.
I was in the middle of shoe store with my kids when the picture came in I burst into tears, I reacted and my reaction to him wasn’t exactly life giving. I had an expectation that he would respect my wishes (the ones I hadn’t communicated) and in that moment I realized that was not at all his reality. He did what he wanted and definitely not what I wanted.
This tattoo was 5 times the size I was expecting and it broke my heart. The thought that I would have to look at his arm covered in that much “ink” for the rest of our lives was more than my heart or mind could bear and over the next few days I had nothing nice to say. My words and actions reflected my feelings of being totally disappointed in His choice.
In Deuteronomy 30:19 it says, “Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The fist choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose Life! Then you and your children will live!
When we have a thought that is not based on truth it will affect the way we feel, which will affect the way we behave. This create a cycle, that can spin out of control. It is dangerous and will lead to mistreating people around us.
In the moment, I believed that he didn’t value me as his spouse, which of course was not true. He believed I wasn’t a fan and didn’t care to know the details. I’d showed no real interest and he didn’t know that I did actually value being a part of the whole process and the size was important to me.
With this false truth I felt betrayed, excluded and hurt. In return my behavior towards him reflected that. I become very toxic to others and myself. I lost my sense of value and self control.
There is something extra special about this verse in Deuteronomy that has caught my attention.
We as mom’s and wives have an opportunity to set up our family to win by choosing life! We have the opportunity to set the atmosphere in our home, shift negative thinking and to encourage our kids to do the same.
I have been reading a book that is transforming the way I think. In the book, “Switch on Your Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf, she talks about the link between scientific proof and God’s Word. We have the ability to literally shape not only our future but the future or our kids and generations to come, simply by how and what we think right now!
One of the chapters refers to the Law of Entanglement where it states that; relationship is the defining characteristic of everything in space and time. What we say, think and do has a direct impact to those around us. She goes on to say, “We are so entangled that our intentions alter not only our own DNA molecules, but the DNA molecules of others as well.
An ingenuous experiment set up by the HeartMath Foundation determined that genuine positive emotion, as reflected by a measure called ‘heart rate variability’ directed with intentionality toward someone actually changed the way the double-helix DNA strand coil and uncoils. And this goes for both positive and negative emotions and intentions. Other research shows that heartfelt intention will cumulatively alter not only your own destiny but impact the lives of others in this generation and the next three generations at least”
Whoa…..do you get the magnitude of this? We have been empowered to choose life or choose death. How often I find myself uttering grumblings or frustrations at my children or husband. Essentially I have spoke death over their hearts, destiny and future. Lord, Help me to speak life over them, to learn to let the non-essentials go and literally shape their future for greatness!
In Proverbs 4:20-27 we see God’s plan laid out for us to help us choose life and life in His divine health and life. “My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. Don’t let them out of your sight. Never stop thinking about them. These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them. Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. Don’t bend the truth or say things that you know are right. Keep your eyes on the path, and look straight ahead. Make sure you are going the right way, and nothing will make you fall.Don’t go to the right or to the left, and you will stay away from evil.”
I am learning that the choice is in my hands and with the power of the Holy Spirit I have the ability to choose life. Do I like my husbands tattoo….not really. Am I going to choose to speak life over him and not make him feel bad for His choices…..well I am working on that! I keep asking myself will I allow this to keep a wedge between us or will I choose to let it be a non-essential in our relationship. Will I allow my heart to ache everytime I look at his arm or will I choose to not let it phase me? Working on this one too and I know that God will give the strength to choose life not only in this situation but in my relationships with my children, in everyday situations and even in my own thinking!
UPDATE: since writing this, I love his tattoo now, he gets lots of compliments and questions about it and I think he’s pretty hot with it. Also, he has since got another that I was totally a part of the decision making process, size and location.
Let me leave you with this verse in Romans 12:2 “Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God want for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect.
Let’s commit to choose life – to be atmosphere changers with our words. Let’s choose to shape the future and destiny of our families by the words that we speak! With His help – ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
SCRIPTURE TO HELP YOU CHOOSE LIFE:
- John 8:44
- Romans 12:5
- 1 Corinthians 2:11
- Matthew 6:25-33
- Proverbs 3:5-6
This year has been a year of upheaval in my life. The tearing away of things that have been imbedded in my thinking, my behavior and have impacted almost every area of my life. In the midst of what felt like absolute chaos and hopelessness – God has been tugging at my heart and allowing me to see some things I couldn’t see before.
I have a garden area in our backyard where I like to grow vegetables every year and it has been calling my name to clean it up. When I first started this garden several years back I had a vision of a meticulously clean and beautiful garden with a pretty fence around it, laced in white rocks around the boxes and beautiful to look at from every angle.
Each year I purpose to get closer to my vision and each year I get to the point where I give up and let it go to weeds because I get tired of the work it takes to maintain it. Quite frankly, I don’t have the discipline or take the time to make it what I want.
Each year my frustration grows and each new spring I purpose to try again. So here I am – another year waiting to clean up the garden, waiting to gain the courage to go pull the weeds again and truthfully, I am afraid of snakes that could be hiding in the weeds.
I want to give it a fresh start and I want to dream again; that this little space of mine can be as beautiful as I see it in my head!
But when it’s full of weeds and overgrown I feel I can’t see past the what is to see what it can be. All I see is a mess that feels a bit overwhelming to tackle.
In the midst of all the weeds though, one little jalepeno plant is sticking up fighting to stay alive and on it a few thriving jalepenos reminding me that yes life can live here again.
God speaks to me through my garden every year but I know this year is different because God is uncovering some layers in my life that only He can do.
I have been living a life of toxic thinking in my head and heart, like the weeds, it has overgrown and taken over. The moments when I think about dealing with this – I get overwhelmed for a brief moment, then… I see that one sprig of life shining through, reminding me that life and God’s way of thinking can still live amidst chaos and that becomes a lifeline to my heart.
You see, when we have toxic thoughts it affects our feelings which then affects our behavior.
For a very long season I allowed this vicious cycle to take over most aspects of my life. I would begin to confess toxic lies which in turn, I started to believe. I have been in a season where I had way to much on my plate and felt completely trapped. I have heard myself saying things like, “I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown” – I literally felt my life slipping away before my eyes and in the moment saw no way out.
With each day I faced the reality of feeling trapped and I would begin to confess anxiety, fear and I actually started to believe I would die this way.
BUT God, being greater and His unconditional love as my Heavenly Father, reached down and put His hand on my heart and began to pull out the weeds. The blinders began to come off and I started to see past the weeds. I was able focus on the life I could see in the making and look to what is ahead.
I know what God’s truth say about me and slowly I allowed myself to see it from His perspective – not mine. It was as though the darkness in my mind began to lesson and with each day I pressed into Him a little deeper, His light began to expose the darkness and minimize it’s impact on my vision to see clearly.
Learning to get your thoughts under control is one of the greatest battles to win order to live a life of freedom. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 it says, “ We live in this world, but we don’t fight our battles in the same way the world does. The weapons we use are not human ones. Our weapons have power from God and can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments, and we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture every though and make it give up and obey Christ.”
God has given us the tools to uproot toxic thinking in our minds. But if we don’t use them – they’ll be of no use. If I never used one tool in my garden – I would never see it grow or enjoy it’s fruits. We literally have access to Heaven’s plan, His life giving thinking which is ours for the taking…Yep it’s totally our choice.
I am tired of choosing toxic thinking. As God is continuing to do a work in my life in several areas I see the truth of what He has prepared for me. Is it hard? ABSOLUTELY… I have cried many times, feeling like I don’t want to press through – but the reward of staying steady and working towards the kind of thinking that will transform not only my feelings, but my behavior, is what I am choosing. I choose life!
In Proverbs 4:20-22 it says, “Give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Choose life today and ask God to expose areas of toxic thinking.
SCRIPTURE STUDY ON TOXIC THINKING
- Genesis 1:26,
- 1 Corinthians 2:16
- 2 Timothy1:7
- Hebrews 11:1
- Proverbs 23:7
- Deuteronomy 30:9
- Colossians 3:15