Stop believing everything you think.

I had an ah-ha moment this weekend. Not just like, ‘hmmm…. interesting, but more like, ‘That’s me! I do that and I need to stop it, type of ah-ha moment.

They say good things come in three’s and that’s what happened with this message.

I’m often challenged and inspired by the messages at Life Church and this week was no exception. Here’s a short cliff-notes version of Sunday’s message from Pastor Patrick Herzog:

It’s unhealthy to make decisions based on thoughts and decisions that aren’t based on God’s truth. When we wake up in the morning the loudest voice is our feelings. When that feeling controls you, it takes little or no effort to think or act on your feelings. We need to make an effort to focus on the truth. Things can be up and down, but we have a God that is faithful. What he says or promises is more important than what I’m feeling or seeing. I need to remind myself:

When that feeling comes over you, it takes little or no effort to think or act on them. We need to make an effort to focus on the truth. Things can be up-and-down, but we have a God that is faithful. What he says or promises is more important than what I’m feeling or seeing. I need to remind myself:

‘I will not be controlled by the feelings in my soul, instead I will stand firm in the truth and live in his grace.’

Wait, what? I’m not supposed to believe my feelings? Obviously, I get that this isn’t rocket science. I’ve just never stopped to give it much thought. Like he said, it’s easy and takes little to no effort to simply believe your thoughts and act on them. It takes more effort to make a conscious decision to challenge those thoughts and focus on the truth. It’s a decision, a daily decision and a dedication to live a life of truth.

After sharing this with my husband, he said, “Yes! That’s why whenever I feel down’s I listen to You Say by Lauren Daigle. My thought was… say what? So he pulled the song up and we listened to it. It’s one of those songs that you just relate to. In a world where we are all yearning for more personal engagement, usually feel like we are never getting it right or doing enough, we need to remind ourselves of who we really are. We need to remind ourselves to make an effort to focus on the truth.

Now, if all of that didn’t already speak to me… during a meeting at work today, my colleague told me about a book called No Ego by Cy Wakeman. She started to share with me how this Reality Based Leadership speaker teaches others on becoming great by recapturing the emotional waste and upcycling it into results. Seriously… mind-blown. If you can’t tell, ah-ha moments really excite me. I don’t have moments like this often where something so simple, yet effective just really resonates with me. I couldn’t help myself, I immediately started telling her everything else I’d recently learned/heard about this exact thing. This was leadership based, not christian based, but both had to do with focusing on the truth and not allowing your emotions and temporary thoughts to make big decisions for you.

I get that this may not resonate with everyone that reads this, but if it helps even one of you, it was worth it. I found great peace in this and am committed to making a conscious effort to no longer believe everything I think, but rather to focus on what is real and what is the true. I’ll listen to the song mentioned above. I’ll read books, like Cy Wakemans… and I’ll continue to learn and grow so I too can live and be great.

My road to the lake. I’m always happy here.

Our parental identity.

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Coloring dads face with sidewalk chalk. Why not?

This fathers day I’d like to reflect for a moment on a message that genuinely changed my perspective and approach for parenting.

The overall message spoke about our insecurities as parents:

We are consumed with what others think of us as parents.

So often, as parents, we are so busy rushing our kids to practice, games, and school events just for slight opportunity at an athletic scholarship or so our kids will be ‘happy.’

The message challenged listeners with the following questions:

  • What are we willing to invest in their spiritual life that contributes to their overall happiness into adulthood?
  • Is our approach contributing to a life filled with grace and hope?
  • What drives my belief as a parent?
  • Why have I been given children?
  • How do I make decisions regarding my children?
  • Who and what brings your children fulfillment and purpose?
  • Do you make them look good so you look good?
  • Are you the envy of your community, but in agony in your home?

Instead of constantly defending our insecurities, we instead need to defend our identity as parents with a movable pliable approach.

Instead of making excuses for our children, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Is this really happening? Do I need to change my approach? What can I do? Can this person teach me something so I can become a better parent?

When we parent out of insecurity, we pass that insecurity on to our kids. If we teach our children to live in grace with hope and purpose, we pass that on instead.

Nothing else matters. Not what kind of shoes they have or how many theme parks they’ve visited. They are happy and satisfied when you give them your time and are surrounded by grace and love.

To learn more about this message, visit:  “Whose Kids Are These Anyways?”

My identity as a parent?

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Color my face too, daddy!

This message meant a lot to me as a busy working mom of three little boys. Some might be offended by it. I get it. Parenting is a personal thing and we all want to be great at it. That feeling of being judged as a parent, or even worse the lack of communication where you’re just wondering what someone else is thinking of the oatmeal in your hair or the 3 little boys in your cart chanting songs as you check out in the grocery store. The truth is, we are all doing the best we can.

Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. More difficult than college, more difficult than being married, more challenging that any job I’ve ever had. But I do know that seeking a grace filled life makes my job as a parent 100% more enjoyable and meaningful. I’m not perfect, but I’m also not alone in this world. I have the grace and support I need all around me and together with my husband, I’m teaching my little boys to be compassionate people and who focus on what really matters in life.

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So hears to the dads out there (and moms) who need a little encouragement, a little high-five, a little ‘Go ‘team-parents! You’ve got this.’ You are not alone. If you seek the truth and teach your children to do the same, the insecurities that keep you questioning your identity as a parent and keep you from finding joy in your everyday life will soon fall away.

I don’t know about you, but I love the freedom found in parenting by the standards that we believe are most important and not what our culture or the media tells us should be. I can’t keep up with all of that. I won’t even try to. Instead, I’m going to enjoy our little boys and focus on what really matters.

xoxo

Kerri


1MinnesotaMom@gmail.com

 

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