The head knowledge

Do you ever find yourself coming across the same topic from numerous sources? Like it keeps coming up over and over and you get to the point that you start thinking that perhaps you should start piecing together?

For me the past few days have seen the same topic coming up. The topic involves self worth, body image, caring for and loving yourself. It’s not a new topic for me but it is something that I’ve never come to a positive conclusion on.

I didn’t lose weight the way I wanted to this week. I was annoyed. I didn’t deserve a tiny gain (and yes I can see that it is a tiny gain, but I still didn’t deserve it!) I was cross that my body doesn’t respond the way that scientifically it should. Calories in minus more calories out should scientifically equal less weight. SCIENCE SUCKS. Well that’s my current opinion! I’ll get over it, well I may get over it!

Going back to the topic of self worth and body image, the question my devotion book (Savor: Shauna Niequiest) posed to me today was:

What would it take for you to live well in your body this season?

My immediate reaction is to think along physical lines; lose weight, lose inches, get nice clothes. I move onto mental thoughts; be more confident, accept where I am, recognise my progress. However, because of the series of repeated messages my brain moved on to the idea of the renewing of my mind.

The devotional email that I had read first thing this morning was all 3 steps for renewing your mind. And so with that fresh in my mind I was prompted to back to look back to the email and I pulled out a few keys words for each of the steps:

Renewing you mind

  1. Recognise negative thoughts – Does this thought help me? Is it true? Does it steal my peace? Does it match with God’s word? – Awareness is the first step to controlling thoughts
  2. Reject negative thoughts – If you’ve decided it’s not really true, don’t allow yourself to entertain it any more. – Take control of what you’re thinking rather than letting it run rampant.
  3. Replace negative thoughtsWe have the authority and power to reject those negative thoughts and shift them to be more positive. 

Tracie Miles: Proverbs 31 Ministries

I think I probably do step one most of the time. I think I probably don’t do step two or step three! I’m an overthinker. I’m a look at the worst case scenario and then let that develop for the next 3 days thinker. I recognise this as part of my personality but I just don’t seem to be able to win. Although to be fair on myself I’m not sure how much I try and there are times when my overthinking is actually a positive part of my personality it’s just that for it to be a positive part it was to be based on step one above in particular IT IS EVEN TRUE?!?!?!

I decided to spend some time thinking about what I know (my head knowledge) of what God thinks about me. I came up with 27 “I am…..” statements.

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I was quite surprised how many I could come up with and to be fair I could probably think of more if I hadn’t filled the page with these ones. 

What I’m beginning to realise is that I have the head knowledge for a transformed heart and for the negative to stop winning, I’m just know sure I have the heart feelings to go with it. As a feeler in personality that’s a big deal! 

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Who goes with you?

IMG_2454Community is a beautiful thing. Real community is there in good times and in bad. They stretch us and encourage us to grow and become better versions of us. They keep us accountable and they hit us with spoons when we do stupid things – normally metaphorically not literally!

I’ve found myself pondering my small group of friends and I found myself feeling sad that I have so few friends in recent days and weeks. I know a lot of people but I’m not sure I have that many friends.

I know this sounds like a sob story and truth be told for much of the time I’ve been pondering my friendships and community I probably have been looking at it as more of a sob story.

However, there’s a but, a big BUT. The friendships that I have, the people who I spend my time with, the people who spend their precious time with me and invest in me are precious and amazing friends.

They are the types of people who I want to help, invest in, build up, encourage but also to challenge to do more, different, less, change and just generally be the best that they can be. I want that because whether verbally or through their actions that what they do for me.

Who goes with you? Who challenges you to be the best person you can be? Who really wants a bunch of yes men around them who pay lip service but not heart service.

Yes my group of friends is small. Yes there are times when I wish I had a bigger pool to pull from (to be less of a burden more than anything) but this group are friends are the perfect group of friends for who I am now and where God would have me go.

I am BEYOND grateful.

Bottom of the pile or worth the effort?

Do you see yourself as worth it?
For years I, without knowing it, did not believe I was worth it. Now by it I mean the effort from myself or from others.
For years I tried to lose weight using weight watchers, tesco diets and slimming world. For years I would lose a bit of weight and then stop and start putting it back on.
For years I put myself at the bottom of the pile thinking that everyone else’s needs were more important and needed to be met before my own.
For years I put myself down and thought negatively about everything I did and everything that was said to me as a compliment.
Then after a life changing moment of heartbreak and the encouragement of a friend I started to realise that I was worth effort. I was valuable and mattered. My feelings didn’t always have to be compromised for the sake of others. My losing weight was important and worth putting effort into because I was worth putting effort into and it mattered to me.
The key phrases from the course Freedom in Christ ;
“I am accepted
I am secure
I am significant”
I began, with a whole lot of help from God, to change a mindset that which had been so deeply instilled in me from so many sources which should have been instilling the complete opposite that I had not spent any of my adult life believing any differently. In conversation that made me feel down and insignificant I would repeat in my head the three phrases above. When a negative thought came into head I would remind myself of those phrases.
I also had prayer and that opened the freedom from negative thoughts using what I now know to be God’s whisper to correct thoughts of maybe even 15 years history. Whispers from God about being worth time, him seeing me as beautiful, wanting the best for me, looking after my heart and building me up those helped to change my mindset!
So having had my mindset changed and having found a way of losing weight which worked for my personality type I started to see progress in something that meant so much to me. I invested time in myself and what I needed to do to stay on track and I was proud and encouraged by those around me.
Do you believe that you are worth the effort? Chances are if you consistently put yourself right at the bottom of giant pile telling yourself you do because you are called to serve others that you don’t recognise your need to made to feel worth it. It’s exhausting to love from a tank that is empty.

Percecption vs reality

There are so many people who put so much effort into making it appear like life is perfect. It’s odd that we seem to think that showing weakness, errors, issues and failures is wrong when actually we all experiences them. The problem with perceptions is in moments of weakness we think we are the only ones who have those moments of we don’t know who to turn to who may have gone through similar.
I remember particularly feeling it when we were experiencing infertility and will always be eternally grateful to the couple we knew who’d been there before us who were open and honest and supported and loved even when our sadness reminded them of the sadness they had experienced. That’s when I tried to be real with people. When most people asked if we had kids I’d respond honestly. Some people were taken aback, others it gave them the chance to see they weren’t alone as they were experiencing the same issues and others it just allowed them to love us.
As a mum I know it’s easy to give off a perception of life being perfect and I know that often we only share the positives but I try to be real and honest. I try to show vulnerability and tough times as well as moments of pride and enjoyment. I’m not there, but I’m working on it!!
Right now my toddler is ill on the sofa on one side of me watching Bing (seriously there’s a rabbit who’s needs a parent – maybe more on that another day!!!!) and a grumpy screaming baby who quite rightly is tired and wants a nap. My dilemma is if I put the baby to bed the toddler loses his hugs that he says he NEEDS!! I shall leave you with my dilemma!!

A someone or a somebody?

It’s so difficult to see yourself as someone who can be a somebody. Someone of use. Someone with a role no one else can play. Someone with influence. I find myself torn between liking the idea that I could be involved in something new and fearing that I am not the person who is meant to do. I mean I’m the one in the background who’s happy to facilitate. To do the dodgy jobs to help something happen – I’ve memories of walking up and down our church (the corridors are LONG) 3 times in the space of 10 minutes to find cups at 8.5 months pregnant – its wasn’t glamorous, it wasn’t practical but it was me and fitted my personality. How is it then, that you step out of the comfort zone which seems so in tune with your personality and be in a deliberate place of influence?!
I suspect I know the answer. Gods grace and purpose can overrid my fear, IF I let Him. Problem is my overthinking and worry that I am not who others see me as. The issue is that my voice will always be louder than the voices of those around me and I’ve learnt, and apparently forgotten, time and time again that when I change my inner voice to recognise the outer voices my fear is swept away.

However, right now, in this moment in time, I’m still not convinced I’m the woman that people see me as! I’m not convinced I am a woman with influence.
I’m open to God’s whisper to contradict me so here’s leaving that one to you God!