Friday, July 18, 2014

The TRUTH Principle: Practical Tool for Getting Through the Grumpies- Book Giveaway!!

Friday was a bit of a rough day...I felt like I was juggling too much and I felt ineffective at work. My clients problems overwhelmed me, I was lied to and I felt frustrated. 

My husband called and we basically need a new car by MONDAY so we can go on our vacation. My shirt has been too tight all day and I hate my belly. I didn't have time to put make up on this morning, I have a butter stain on my jeans and I HATE stains.

I just feel like WHINING. What is UP with me today? I have a lot of moments like this, sometimes multiple times a day and I really need to GET A GRIP. My focus is so much on myself and I am just feeling stuck.

Gotta get out and MOVE forward in my mind and heart. Praising God for all that I HAVE and all that I AM IN HIM and for the OPPORTUNITY to DO SOMETHING about what is bothering me, one piece at a time. 

But I also think this is MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE. My moods do NOT go away very easily. And then that makes me even MORE grumpy! 

But I learned something REALLY cool a few summers ago from Leslie Vernick. She spoke at a Women's Retreat I went to with my church. At first I can admit that it sounded like just another "Christian formula".  But I have come to LOVE this and it helps me tremendously in my grumpy moments.

It is called the TRUTH principle. In fact, Leslie wrote an entire book on this but she gave out bookmarks to us at the retreat so we could memorize it and begin to apply it in our grumpy moments. 

Here it is...

THE TRUTH PRINCIPLE

The TRUTH Principle is a process to help you grow closer to God.  When you are stuck, afraid, worried or frustrated, these 5 steps can be used as a road map to guide you through your place of trouble and into a place of greater trust in God.  

T = Troubles
R = Response
U = Underlying Idols
T = Truth
H = Heart’s Response   

STEP 1: TROUBLES   
Identify your problem. Write it down. Name it. See your problem in words on paper.
(Personally I have learned to do this in my head. It does not have to be a lengthy process, but if the issue is deep enough, it may need to be.)

STEP 2:  RESPONSE
Self-examination.   Take an inner and personal inventory of yourself.   What are you thinking, feeling in regards to your problem?   How are you behaving? Take a hard look what is going on in yourself and what is your personal response to your problem? Write these down.  See it in black and white.  

STEP 3:  UNDERLYING IDOLS
What is the underlying motivation to your problem?   What is the crux of the matter? What is the REAL, DEEP DOWN issue? (For example:  Do you want to be liked? Do you want praise and acknowledgment? Do you thrive on stress because it makes you feel worthy?  Do you want to be #1, top dog?  Do you want control?) 

THEN:  Ask yourself: What do you want?  (Do you want to be happy?  Stress free? Content? Safe?) Write these down.  Put words to your desires. 

STEP 4:  TRUTH
What is God’s truth for you? Ask:  Am I willing to surrender my desires (from Step 3) to God’s will for me? Ask: Am I willing to trust God? HOW:  Consciously choosing to surrender our hearts and wills to Him. 

STEP 5:  HEART’S RESPONSE
Taking all the work from Steps 1-4 (head) and working to release to God and accept His love for you (heart). As we move from head (our will, our desires) to heart (God’s will for us), God does not take away our desires….rather He transforms them and guides us toward being more aligned with Him. 

These steps are taken from:
THE TRUTH PRINCIPLE    
 By: Leslie Vernick
 WaterBrook Press  


Example from my day: Feeling ineffective at work.
Trouble: The trouble is that I do not feel like I have done my best today at work because my client's difficulties are overwhelming me.

Response: I feel discouraged and down on myself. I say things to myself like, "Geez Liz, you have a Master's Degree in this stuff, you should know the answers."

Underlying idol: My underlying idol is no doubt my pride and need to please. My desire to get it all right and my desire to FIX things.

Truth: God will and has always equipped me to do my job. I don't have to have all the answers but I have to be faithful in going to the One who does and to ask Him to guide me. My self-worth is not in my job but in who I am in Christ.

Response: My heart's response is to feel humility and peace knowing that God knows what my clients need and that He will continue to use me to help them in ways I never expect. My heart feels secure because I recall that my identity has nothing to do with my work performance, but with God's love for me.

ISN'T THIS AN AWESOME TOOL????

So- the fun stuff- I want to challenge you ladies to use the TRUTH principle sometime this week and to share about it on this blog. I will give away Leslie's book to one of you ladies and I am also planning on getting a link to the bookmark so everyone can print it out and keep it with them if interested. 

Love you ladies! Hope this little tool helps you in BIG ways, like it has for me!

Monday, July 14, 2014

No more Walls for this Girl- I am Ready to Build some Bridges


So...connection has always been hard for me. Not sure why-part of it is my introverted nature, part of it is straight up related to my own issues... Maybe it is my sin, maybe it is lessons learned from my past- doesn't matter- what I know is that God is showing me that there is much more for me. You see...there is a part of me that would rather build walls, instead of bridges. I let people in and I know God, my family, my friends love me but there are some tender places I have kept walled in. Walls are tricky- they feel safe, they trick me into thinking that my heart is protected from hurt, that somehow I am insulated against anything painful.
The problem is that these walls don't keep me safe and maybe they protect me from certain types of pain, but not all pain. These walls do something scary to me...
They shrink me down, they empty me out, they make me smaller.

But when I break them down it hurts- straight up- letting myself love and be loved HURTS something major and God and I are working this out because the hurt of being walled in is much more painful!

Now- don't get me wrong- boundaries are good and they are necessary- but for this season of my life- I need to do some demolition.
                                                                                                                                                                        Being on vacation- spending constant time with people always challenges me.

But this year has been different- instead of hiding away and pulling back, I pressed into those walls and I knocked some down. I let myself laugh more, I let myself share more, I let myself forgive more, I let myself RISK. I am pretty excited because I think there is a lot inside of me that God is trying to set free. When I was a little girl I loved a movie called the Secret Garden. It has a detailed plot, but the jist of it is that in the end, this garden that has been locked for years is finally opened up by a little girl who has lost her parents and a crippled boy who lives in the same home as her. And the garden brings them all healing as they tend and grow it into what it was meant to be. The crippled boys father comes out and he reconnects with the boy after years of isolation and also becomes a surrogate father to the little girl. It is beautiful. I think God wants to do that with us-open up our hearts so that he can plant and prune and tend and grow something beautiful that will draw others in and ultimately draw others to Him.

It is time for some of us wall-dwellers to reach out and knock down not only our own walls but those of others who are in hiding. There are so many Moms out there who are walled in with laundry, messy marriages, past hurts, addictions, fears, rejection and we need to come along side them and help them in their own demolition. 
 
The only way is through Him- our Jesus, through His Word which changes us and makes us new and through community- the body of Christ. Love you ladies!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Sweet Breath of Summer


 
Just breathe dear sisters...in and out- that sweet breathe of rest- of grace wrapped up tightly-breathe in that fragrant bouquet of heaven- just breathe it in and breathe out praise and sweet relief.
 
Traveling this week to upstate New York has been giving me a much needed opportunity to breathe...and it truly has been all grace.

Yes it can be tough walking this faith-walk but you gotta check your baggage my sweets. This sweetness of true holy life can only come through putting down the old and breathing in the new. And your soul will delight in the riches of Christ.
 
The sin, the arguing,  the frustration,  the anxiety,  the big ole YUCK- it pollutes, it suffocates and sometimes it straight up chokes- making you want to just give it up. Like- "see ya later life- you suck"-and sometimes it feels like that for a very long time...
 
But...there it is-I promise it is coming- it always does- the wind of holy, sweet, delicious grace- it comes and it feels like that desperate gulp of air when coming to the surface after a long time under the water. We pant and we pant hard while His love fills us and then we rest.
 
And here is the kicker- we can always have this- it is our choice- and we can find it and breathe it in when we capture and frame those sweet grace-wrapped moments and we can inhale them in and what naturally comes out is worship and praise.
 
Here are some of my breaths fresh air this week-simple moments where the fun, the "light", the beauty, the sweetness of relationship, sweet rest of babes, and the joy of family :
 
Breath of fresh air- An old "favorite" being enjoyed by my boy:)

Breath of fresh air-The island- surrounded by water with life abundant.

Breath of fresh air-my sweet babe sleeping- love that peaceful look.
 
Breathe of fresh air- cousins having fun with sugary treats!
 
Breath of fresh air- the love of a Grandma

 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

You are BRAVE! With Giveaway for Brave Storytellers!


Lately I have been thinking non-stop about the concept of "being brave".

Maybe because in many ways it is foreign concept to me- to actually BELIEVE that I am brave-that is empowering and I think that we need to remind each other how brave we truly are.

Bravery is not something I would automatically say is "ME". I tend to shy away from risk-taking, I like to be "in the background"- but you know what?

I think that I am done with all of that! And I mean DONE.

We are BRAVE GIRLS ladies! We are WARRIOR MAMAS and we are DAUGHTERS OF THE KING.

No more hiding. No more sideline living...


You know I am a word nerd so I came up with this for you ladies-
We are:

Bold Women who face
Real battles and
Authentically live and
Victoriously overcome and
Embrace each day IN CHRIST

Each day we are mothering our babies- we are fighting battles for them-

we fight on our knees- we fight with difficult consequences-

we fight with strong silence as we watch them work through battles on their own-

we pick up, we nurture, we answer questions, we teach, we embrace, we kiss boo-boo's, we clean, we pick up, we clean some more-

But mostly-we FEEL, we HURT, we LOVE FIERCELY, we ARE WARRIOR MAMAS. And THIS IN AND OF ITSELF- MAKES US BRAVE! 

And we face hard times- we learn and we grow- we don't let our battles conquer us.

I remember days when I felt that I could not get out of bed- when post-partum depression and sleeplessness suffocated me and I felt like each second was an eternity-I never thought I would make it.

I remember as a college girl struggling with compulsive drinking and destructive relationships thinking that this was all that I had, that this was the best life had to offer.

I remember getting on an airplane to the Phillipines- feeling so unworthy of the title "Missionary"-leaving my newly engaged fiancé behind for five months to live my dream of serving the poor in a third world country.

I remember surviving-growing-learning-smiling-and overcoming.


As a Christian Working Mama- YOU ARE BRAVE.

You make decisions everyday that hurt but you ALWAYS, ALWAYS, know that your role as a Mom is the best gift in the entire world- so you keep going, you learn, you grow and you overcome.

Your story inspires me to be BRAVE. And we need each other's stories to keep going. Thank you for helping me to BE BRAVE!

One of the goals of my blog is to provide CONNECTION and ENCOURAGEMENT so I have a giveaway for a Brave Storyteller who shares just a few statements about why SHE IS BRAVE- similar to what I posted above with the statements that started I remember...
Share some of your "brave moments" and I will pick a winner and send her this beautiful necklace below!!!
Love you ladies!!!