A few months back, a group of my best internet friends and I decided to do a bible study of sorts together, using Jennifer Rothschild's workbook "Me, Myself and Lies: A Thought Closet Make-over."
Unfortunately, lots of new babies and hectic schedules got in the way, and we never quite got off the ground with it.
My workbook found a new home in our kitchen drawer, although I did read the first few chapters and do the exercises. Last night for some reason I got the urge to pull it out and read a bit of it before I went to bed (this is a new ritual I'm trying to start - reading something meaningful before bed instead of drifting off to the television).
One quote from what I have read so far is burned in my memory.
Who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing.
I hope I'm not the only one that was hit pretty hard with that statement. How many of us define ourselves by our struggles? By our insecurities? By our "faults"?
This quote made me realize that the things I worry, stress and agonize over aren't what define me. I'm not my anxiety attacks. I'm not the 5 pounds I still carry around from pregnancy. I'm not the impatience and anger I sometimes have with the boys, or the shame I carry around for reacting that way. I'm not the guilt I feel for taking some time for myself.
Think about it - what are the struggles that you are using to define yourself? Write them down (in pencil).
And now think about who you really are. Write those down. In permanent marker. On top of those words written in pencil.
I am a mother. I am a wife. I am my husband's best friend. I am a creative soul. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a supportive friend. I am a caring and empathetic person. I am a child of God.
Boy do I like the sound of that second list much better.
And that first list? It can be erased. Every bit of it.
Thanks to Jennifer for helping me begin to clear out my thought closet and replace those negative words and thoughts with ones God would approve of.
(If you want to check out this workbook for yourself just click on the photo above!)