It has been said that “as a man thinks – so he becomes.” Yes, we are what we think about. One of the hardest things for me after domestic violence and abuse is learning to renew my mind. I had to learn that just because someone said something to me, that did NOT mean that it was true. Abusers are excellent manipulators and agents for the Enemy. They plant lie after lie in your head and after hearing something so many times, I started to believe it.
You know the Negative thoughts:
You are worthless
Nobody would ever want you
The kids and I would be better without you
You are dumb, fat, ugly, and stupid
You never do anything right
You mean nothing to me
Are you really that stupid?
Can you relate?
Only reading the Word of God has helped cast down these lies. I needed a new tape, a new mindset. I needed a new truth.
Praise God – He is able. He is waiting to meet us and get rid of all the lies. Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy – BUT GOD is exceedingly abundantly willing to give us a new life with new thoughts and life more abundantly. Don’t be deceived any longer my friends.
Those words spoken over you from the Enemy I cast down and turn into dust in Jesus Name!
For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man.
The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6AMP
Worry. It has a way of eating up your hope and joy and destroying your peace of mind.
WORRY – to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
Worry is dwelling on our troubles or difficulty. The more we worry the worse things get. Worry can lead to anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Excessive worrying can lead to physical health problems as well – headaches, sleeplessness, poor job performance, and hindered relationships. People may turn to alcohol, drugs, overeating, or other harmful habits to cope. I have even heard it said that worry is a lack of trust – in ourselves, in someone else, or in God.
When we choose to direct our thoughts towards someone else with worry we can bind them to us in fear. This does not help us or them. Most of the “What if” thoughts we have don’t happen. We play out all different scenarios and endings in our heads. “If he does this, I’ll do that” type of thinking is rarely productive. It is debilitating and paralyzing.
There are many actions you can take to relieve your mind from worry.
Prayer – God listens and cares
Counseling – talking helps
Reading a book – helps with changing the atmosphere in your mind
Going for a drive – seeing new things
Listening to positive Music – the words and genre matters
Exercise – going for a walk
Mindfulness – being in the moment
Watching a movie – changing the moment
No wonder God asks us to think about the good things and to be grateful. When we change our thoughts we change our actions. When we choose the good things to think about our feelings change. We begin to believe that good will come out of all things. There is hope my friend. Make a choice – to change your negative thought patterns and replace those old tapes with the Word of God today. It might be the beginning of a new life for you!
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV
I was talking to a few friends yesterday and we were sharing our struggles. Some of us struggle with our bad habits and trying to change. Yes, God is greater and He will change our hearts, but let’s face it – sometimes we just make stupid choices. As with all of this, I will start with myself. I have battled with the bad habit of smoking for over 8 years now. I didn’t smoke as a kid. I didn’t even start until I met my last husband and started going to those ‘wonderful’ 12 step meetings. Yeah. Drink coffee, smoke, and talk about how life sucks. And after that divorce I just kept going.
Now I have tried to quit. I tried the patch and felt like I was having a heart attack. I tried Chantix and almost went crazy again. Now, I have bought the lozenges to try again. I know I am not alone. My sister in Christ and I shared our struggles and agreed to pray for each other. last month I had a respiratory illness and the Dr. gave me an inhaler. And what did I do? Instead of using it as an opportunity to quit, I would go smoke and then use my inhaler. Yeah – stupid.
And then another sister and I were sharing about how those that we love continue to make bad choices about their health. It is so hard to see those you love continue to struggle with self destructive behavior. Especially when you know that God has put an amazing call on their life and great destiny in front of them.
Now I know why Paul started all those letters to the Churches with “Grace unto you…”. Yeah, he knew that we needed more grace. Grace that abounds to love and to live the way Christ wants us to. Grace to change our hearts and our minds. And grace to give to others so we don’t hit them over the head.
Yeah, only grace can fix stupid!
Without the Word of God there will be no change in ourselves or others. The Word is alive and is able to change our hearts and our thoughts – and finally our actions. Help us Lord, to see things from Your point of view. Transform these stubborn minds, in Jesus Name.
Idk about you, but today I am going to open up that Book of Life and eat! And I pray that those we love do the same. Give them a hunger and thirst for your Word Jesus.
The Cheerful Giver
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NKJV)
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
After my post yesterday on the prevalence of Mental Illness in this Nation, I feel compelled to share the only way that I have found to renew my mind. You see, I could relate to that girl.(Here is the post – THE SEMICOLON PROJECT) I have had those self-destructive thoughts in my mind for years. I hated those thoughts. And I know they are NOT from God. God is not out to destroy me, the Enemy is. The Enemy has come to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus has come to give us life and life more abundantly.
I have tried the ‘psychology’ fixes to change my thoughts. I have read almost every self-help book out there. But that did not quiet the thoughts in my head.
The only thing that has renewed my mind and shut up the destructive thoughts is the WORD OF GOD.
Think of your house.
You don’t let any old person in do you?
Just because they come to the door does not mean they get to come in and sit down on your couch and move in right?
The same is true with our thoughts. Just because a thought comes to the door does not mean we have to let it in.
Every thought we get to ‘take captive’ and test.
Is that thought true?
Is that thought what God says about me?
Is that thought out to destroy me?
If it is not true or destructive we can close the door and not let it in our house. Instead we can think on good things. God says we are good. God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God says that He has a plan and He will never leave us or forsake us. God speaks Truth, and those thoughts bouncing around may be LIES. Don’t let them in.
That is how we renew our minds and heal our mental illness, one thought at a time with the Word of God.
Bible Verses on Renewing Your Mind
And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], (Ephesians 4:23 AMP)
For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (2 Corinthians 5:3-5 AMP)
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God,even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2 AMP)
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. (Philippians 4:8 AMP)
Sometimes I dress like a dork. Really. And I forget to look at myself before I leave, lol! I have a conference this Saturday so I thought I would go find something nice to wear. Off I went to our local mall with my head in the clouds. Busy thinking about this and that and the other thing. Until I get there – and look down…ugggh! You can see my one pink sock clashing with my one yellow sock. And my old gym shoes with my fancy leggings. I forgot to put on my boots! Oh man, yeah, here I am Ms Suzy-Q looking at all these really expensive clothes with my clashing socks. I laughed so hard I almost peed myself!
So I did what any songwriter would do, I came home and wrote a song about it. (And no, I haven’t found what to wear yet – there is always tomorrow. Maybe I’ll wear pink and purple socks…)
The Girl with the Dreams
~Copyright 2015 Diana Rasmussen~
She went to the mall after dropping off the kids
Moved hanger after hanger of the latest styles
Who should she be today?
Rifling through racks trying to decide
Where was the girl with the dreams?
Was she the stay at home mom or the busy man’s wife?
What could she pick to bring everything back to life?
Where’s the girl who used to put on satin and fringe?
The girl with the dreams
She looked down at her shoes and her mismatching socks
Realized she left without putting on her boots
as she silently screamed
Can she be found in the clearance racks?
Where was the girl with the dreams?
Was she the stay at home mom or the busy man’s wife?
What could she pick to bring everything back to life?
Where’s the girl who used to put on satin and fringe?
The girl with the dreams
She saw that she wasn’t alone
there were tribes of women
all trying to be found
inbetween the designer gowns
There were stay at home moms and busy man’s wives
Bringing everything they touched back to life
They may be older but they wore satin and fringe
Girls who grew up and were living their dreams
You can’t sit in the sun without feeling it’s warmth
You can’t step in the ocean without getting wet
Believe in the good, despite what you see
Hope, like a seed, sprouts up from the dark
Have faith, things will get better for you yet
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. (Phil 4:6-8 TLB)
Your blog just became a viral sensation. What’s the one post you’d like new readers to see and remember you by? Write that post.
You are more precious than you know. If you are like me than sometimes we let others define us. I look back at old pictures and it amazes me how I changed my appearance based on who I was dating at the time. Hey, there is Diana the prep, Diana the biker, Diana the country chic, Diana the Professional, etc. Can you relate?
I have also accepted so many different labels in my life. Things that just are not true. I went through the 12 step rigamaroe – my name is____ and I’m a ____ and I will be forever. What a pile of garbage. I can’t believe I bought all that stuff at face value. No, I am not a ______ – not now, not then, not ever! God does not say that about me – so it is NOT TRUE! As you can see, I am not a fan of the 12 steps. I have found them to be pits of very unsafe people. You can read about it here:
It is true that our thoughts become our actions. But only if we allow it and take those words into our hearts. Just because someone says something does not mean it’s true. But if you tell an Eagle it is a Chicken – and it chooses to believe that lie, then it will not learn to fly. Tell a girl she is a victim and tell her she will always be that way – then she will attract abuser after abuser. Tell a person they have always been a drunk, are a drunk, and will be forever a drunk – and guess what? They go back to drink. If you tell someone they will be that way forever and they believe it, they will stay that way. How does that help anyone get better?How does that help anyone get better? Hence, my dislike for any ‘program’ that exalts itself above the WORD of God.
YOU ARE MORE PRECIOUS THAN YOU KNOW.
All those labels people tried to get you to wear – let them fall to the ground.
All those things people said about you – they weren’t true – let them fall to the ground.
All those words you said to yourself after believing those lies – let them fall to the ground.
Ok, now for my spunky part. Idk why I do this. I guess I am just not afraid to say what I feel needs to be said. And I have been on both sides of the street, so perhaps I am not ‘indoctrinated’ too badly.
Give grace, love without regret, and live – be happy – it drives them crazy!!
And a bit of advice for all the Finger Pointers, Accusers, Pharisees, and Liars out there:
Demeaning others and calling them names does not motivate people to change.
Telling someone they will ‘always be that way’ – does not motivate people to change.
Shaming someone and calling them their ‘sin’ does not motivate people to change.
Talking about how holy and righteous you are and how others just need to ‘shape up or ship out” does not motivate people to change.
Gossiping about others does not motivate people to change.
Throwing the ‘get right with God or else you’re going to hell’ does not motivate people to change.
God makes me new everyday – I refuse to accept your picture of who you think I am.
Your warped picture of me is not who I am. Those words you called me are bouncing right back to you.
I am a work in progress, and so are my brothers and sisters. I am more than what I do or don’t do. So is the rest of the family. We all have ‘stuff”. And guess what, God already knows about it! And He loves us anyway – stuff and all.
If you don’t have anything positive to say, do us a favor, sit down and be quiet!
I will put my trust in God and the Holy Spirit, my helper, will do the work in me from the inside-out. So put down your stick. It is not helping.
We are God’s chosen and His beloved children – that’s what He said. Who said you get to beat up on God’s kids and call them names?
Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
The Power of Influence
The power of influence lives in your words.
We have the ability to build someone up or tear someone down with our words.
Our words carry power and may live long beyond the moment that they are said.
Other people can either accept or reject our words – regardless if they are true or not.
Sometimes people say words over us that we accept as true when they are false.
We become what we believe.
The words we say over ourselves have the same influence – to build us up, or tear us down.
I have heard it said that the brain takes the shape of what it rests upon. They call this plasticity in psychology. It means you get to choose what you believe and that choice changes the functioning of your brain and the relationships between you and yourself and you and the world. Remember the story of the Eagle who was caught in the hen house? (Read it here: The Eagle and the Chickens)
I had a recent experience that really opened up my eyes to how our words have influence. Sometimes I go listen to live music at the local coffee shops and stuff. Not only here, but other places too. And this time I just listened – to the words of the singers and watched the crowd’s reaction to their songs.
Some songs were just downright depressing. Can I tell you I used to do that? When I first started playing out I did all my ‘dark’ songs. Ugggh. I can’t believe I did that. I think I just wanted to get it out and get on with it. No wonder the crowd was speechless afterwards. Forgive me for being so selfish.
Other songs that the musicians sang were positive and had the crowd smiling and singing along. And I finally got it. It’s not about our songs – it’s about their song – their story. As songwriters we should help them to remember something and then minister to them right there. Music Ministers bringing health and healing and song – now that’s what I want to sing about. I am not going to leave them sitting in the pain. From now on, I will use my words to minister to them and bring light into their darkness. Enough about my darkness, I don’t live there anymore. Be the Light.
I am learning a few cover songs to play out and about now. There is something about getting the audience to laugh and sing a long. It’s like I’m not the only one who ever felt that way or did that thing. And I am changing the ‘tone’ of my songs to a positive outcome. Enough whining and crying – no more tears in my beer!
I think it’s time to write a power anthem girls rock song, lol!
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 AMP)
Do you have an old jacket or an old robe that you keep around? Even though it’s tattered and torn – it’s familiar. You have had it for years. It reminds you of where you have been or perhaps what you have lived through so far. Lots of memories – some good, some bad. Yet we keep it around.
Today I am asking myself why. Why do I cling to that old way of thinking like I hold onto that old pink robe? It doesn’t fit me. It wasn’t even a robe that I picked out. It was for someone else. They didn’t want it. So, why do I? Time to dump it I think.
Time to get rid of that old way of thinking. Take the old robe to the curb and leave it there. VICTORY is already ours. Jesus took care of it. Hey, let’s take off that robe of regret and shame. It didn’t fit us very well anyway. That is not who God says we are.
Sometimes there are authors that just melt my heart. Max Lucado is one of my fav’s. I haven’t read everything He has written, but a few and I love how he brings light to the Word and helps me see things differently. Here are a few of his words…
Today the first thought that came to me was to “Remember the good, let go of the bad.” Not always easy is it? I think anyone who has lived though abuse, or violence, or any type of addiction is used to things going badly, right? In fact, when things go good we are almost uncomfortable right? I have heard it said that sometimes we ‘throw the other shoe’ as we expect bad to happen, so we would rather just get it over with right? Not the most healthy way to live life, I speak from experience.
And the more I talk negative, the more negative I become about life, about myself, and about other people. I don’t want to be one of ‘those’ people that only speaks negative – that no one wants to even be around because they define themselves by their problems and their ailments. It’s like they become their problems.
I read a great post this morning from Apostle Gabriel Cross:
Forgiveness is abandoning the offense and embracing in love, ‘The person.’ Meaning let it go, no longer carrying it or keeping it as a pet. Forgiveness causes reviving and healing in the relationship. If you don’t forgive, unforgiveness results in you becoming loyal to the problem and not to the person, which progresses to playing the ‘blame game.’”
Wow, I know I have been keeping way to many PETS around here. Too many problems, too many old ways of thinking, too many negative feelings and emotions that I have been feeding, coddling, and helping to grow.
The more I feed my problems, the bigger they become.
That’s why I need to renew my mind – with the WORD.
I have to make a conscious choice to ‘remember the good.’ There seems to be a lot of fighting in my head today – that’s ok, I know who wins! These are the things I want to think about today…
Do you see the glass half empty ?
Do you see the glass half full?
Hey, I got a new way to look at this: God says MY CUP IS OVERFLOWING – so there is no “half” about it! That’s the verse I am holding onto this Holiday Season despite the fact our car got totalled this past weekend!
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. (Psalm 23:5 AMP)
I started reading Max Lucado’s new book, “You’ll Get Through This”. In the beginning he is reminding us about the story of Joseph and how he got thrown into the pit. I know that pit. I have been there. The pit of depression, the pit of despair, the pit of betrayal, the pit of abandonment, the pit of poverty, etc. I’ll bet you have been there too. Stuck in a pit and can’t climb out by yourself. Feeling like you are helpless and hopeless.
One of the things Max said about Joseph was:
“What do you have that you cannot lose?” He still had God’s call on his heart.
We forget this on the road to Egypt. Forgotten destinies litter the landscape like carcasses.
We redefine ourselves according to our catastrophes.
“I am the divorcee, the addict, the bankrupt business person, the kid with the disability, or the man with the scar.” We settle for a small destiny: to make money, make friends, make a name, make muscle, or make love with anyone and everyone.
Determine not to make this mistake. Think you have lost it all: You Haven’t.
“God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded (Rom 11:29 MSG). Hear and Heed Yours.
Source: You’ll Get Through This, by Max Lucado, p. 18
And then, more manna for my day. Yesterday I read something on FB that made me stop and think.
“People who are hard on themselves cannot forgive themselves for the mistakes they’ve made in the past. Sadly, they end up punishing themselves, whether they know it or not.
Beloved, release your failings to Jesus today. Receive His gift of no condemnation and stop blaming yourself for the things that have happened in the past. If God has forgiven you, you ought to forgive yourself too!
Receive God’s complete forgiveness! This is the 3rd key of The Power of Right Believing.
Positive or negative expectations about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a persons behavior toward them in a manner that he or she (unknowingly) creates situations in which those expectations are fulfilled. In other words, causing something to happen by believing it will come true. (Source: UrbanDictionary.com)
So, in theory, my punishing myself and beating myself up for all my past mistakes was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was not, nor am I perfect, even though I tried. (ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God). And my bad attitude would keep growing until I forgave myself. I was holding onto this false sense of reality – a false sense of who I thought I was – And I defined myself by my catastrophes.
Hi my name is Diana and I AM a _________. Fill in the blank. Who should I be today? We do tend to be chameleons too in order to hide and please everyone else. Well, I did.
For example, I thought I deserved to be punished, as that is what the ‘Abusers’ said. So even after I left and they weren’t around, I would punish myself. You know, those ‘voices’ in your head – that play even after the person is gone. Look in the mirror and call yourself ugly, fat, dumb, stupid…Old thought patterns and old beliefs – that had clouded my vision and needed to be kicked out. They are not true!
Now I see why God says to renew my mind daily and take every thought captive. I don’t have to act on every thought. I don’t even have to believe every thought.
Now I am not saying I have it all figured out. By no means, but I am pressing forward, forgetting the past and those things – to keep my eyes on the Prize – and go on.
“The main trouble with despair is that it is self-fulfilling. People who fear the worst tend to invite it. Heads that are down can’t scan the horizon for new openings. Bursts of energy do not spring from a spirit of defeat. Ultimately, helplessness leads to hopelessness.” —Norman Cousins
I don’t know if this makes any sense to you, but to me it helped me want to renew my mind with more of God’s Word. God says we are forgiven – I think I’ll accept that today. God already has, all my sins and shortcomings are as far as the East is from the West, so why did I keep holding onto them and reminding Him? And if Despair and Hopelessness are self-fulfilling, I think I will divorce those feelings too!