Category Archives: Moving Forward

Renew My Thoughts

Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. – Ephesians 4:23NLT

I stand in front of the mirror and face my biggest critic. I see all of her faults. I am reminded of her failures. I struggle as I hear her words grow louder in my head.

  • You are no good.
  • You are ugly
  • Another day, another screw-up.

Ephesians 4:23 tells us to ‘Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” I have to drown out those negative voices with the truth. I must change my thoughts, my attitudes. I need to let the Spirit renew them.

To do so I must find other thoughts to dwell on. Philippians 4:8 guides us in this by telling us to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute.

Both verses show this is not a magic pill or an immediate flip of the switch. It also shows this is something I have control over. Once I accept I do have control over this, I must choose to dwell on what is right and let the Spirit work within me.

I can and am able to take control of my negative self-talk.

One way I have chosen to do this is by using the acronym LIES. I must look at, evaluate, and replace the negativity, the lies that I use against myself and replace them with the truth.

James Allen, in his book “As A Man Thinketh” writes

All that you accomplish or fail to accomplish with your life is the direct result of your thoughts. You are today where your thoughts have brought you;’ you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

Getting to this point of negative self-talk took time to develop and it will take time to move away from it. It will take work and dedication. I will fail along the way, but that won’t be the end of it. I will capture the wrong thinking, discard it, remind myself of the truth, and move forward.

I am a member of a local Toastmasters Club and recently presented a 7-minute speech titled “Don’t Lie To Me”. In it, I explore the LIES that plague me daily and struggle to face them down. You can watch the presentation here.

I am who God says I am. Over the next few months, I am going to explore what this means. Will you join me on the journey?

If you want to follow this series, look for the category “LIES” to more easily find the corresponding posts.

2020 First Journal Prompt

And just like that, it is the year 2020.

Last week on New Year’s Eve I remembered back to that night in 1999. I was the computer department for a medium-sized doctor organization with multiple locations. I stayed up all night checking the servers and ready to run to the offices on a moment’s notice if the world were to come to an end when all the computers changed from 1999 to 2000.

Nothing happened, I didn’t have to run out into the night and I slept in the next day.

It is hard to believe that it was 20 years ago. So much has happened in my life in these 20 years.

Each year I set goals for myself. Some I followed through on; others I tossed aside.

Thinking back on this caused me to address this in a journal prompt.

Statistics show that only about 8% of the New Year Resolutions made are completed. Why? There is no commitment, no buy-in.

I want to encourage you this week to carefully consider:

What are your top goals for 2020?

Why is each one important to you?

What will accomplishing these goals give you?

Take some time this week to establish a goal. Make it a smart goal.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based.

If you would like to talk about these goals one-on-one, send me a message.

Imagine it is now 2021 and you are discussing your accomplishments of the previous year. What will you be celebrating?

Decade-End Journal Prompt

As this year, this decade is coming to a close, I am reminded how far I have come and how I have grown over the past 10 years.

Some steps may be small, but they are steps ahead nonetheless.

I intentionally defied doctor recommendations and fought to quit taking opioid medications even before the big society push to do so. It took over a year, but I did it.

I completed studies at the Professional Christian Coach Institute and obtained my first level of certification, CPLC (Certified Professional Life Coach).

I hosted local workshops on Boundaries using material from Doctors Cloud and Townsend. I also hosted local workshops on Defeating the Lies of Negative Self-Talk with the materials I created.

Journal prompts were posted weekly. I am working on consistency in all areas of online posting.

Other changes were small.

Like making an effort to wear make-up. I don’t usually do more than a foundation so I am like a teenager playing with make-up colors and techniques.

Despite the physical pain, I strive to walk – even a short distance – weekly.

I am working toward a routine of personal time with God.

There is no major life-changing step, yet there is so much to celebrate. Yes, there were failures. I learned from each one and used it as a step toward success.

What are you celebrating as this decade comes to a close? Take a moment to review. Write out your successes, no matter how small. Every step forward is significant.

CELEBRATE IT!!

My Word for 2020 is….

Do you choose a “word of the year”?

I started doing this several years ago.  In 2018 my word was ‘unstoppable’.  It reminded me to keep moving toward my dreams, and that the only one to stop me from pursuing it would be me.  

For 2019 a short phrase was my focus “stay the course”.  I was reminded to keep moving forward on the course God has set me on (Psalm 119:1).  I do not yet know what is at the end of the path, but I know He is with me.

When I look at the year 2020, so many references to vision come to mind.  I argued with myself on the word ‘vision’ because I figure everyone will be using it.

Then I read Romans 12:3 “Be honest in your evaluation of yourself…”  Wow. I have been posting and teaching on stopping the lies of negative self-talk and replacing them with truth. God’s truth.

I am discouraged today, feeling down, telling myself so many lies. Writing this post reminds me I am doing exactly what I teach against.

The word “REFLECTION” came to mind.  I found a picture I use in some of my illustrations of a woman smiling at herself in the mirror.  I added the word REFLECTION at the top and wrote out Romans 12:3.

This is my word for 2020.  REFLECTION.  This year I am reminded to be honest in my evaluation of myself. I will reflect on who God says I am.

It is with this word I will conducting additional “Defeating the Lies of Negative Self-Talk” courses in-person and online.  It is with this word I will begin leading some “Boundaries” courses using material from Doctors Cloud and Townsend.  It is with this word I will be unstoppable, as I stay the course, and reflect honestly on God’s view of me.

I love how I can look back and see the progress God has made in me by reviewing past words.  Each one leads to the next step of my spiritual growth in Him.

What is your word for 2020? Where will it lead you? How can I help you?

Journal Prompt – week 51

I cannot believe it is the middle of December. Today we are experiencing a winter storm here in the Midwest. It truly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

As I have been speaking with different people over the past few weeks about the Christmas season.

It made me consider this week’s journal prompt.

What does Christmas mean to me? I have conflicting emotions right now as several close family and friends are going through difficult times. The joy that the season celebrates is not there for them. Today, Christmas means something different for them.

Thus the journal prompt “What does Christmas mean to me?”

How will you answer the question?

Journal Prompt – Celebrate

This week I will celebrate my achievements of 2019.

Look back over the year. In the midst of the obstacles, you will find stepping stones. Among the trials, you will find successes.

Even if you took 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, you are still one step ahead.

CELEBRATE! What successes, no matter how small, will you celebrate today?

One success for me is this journal prompts. Fifty weeks in a row! I am working on being consistent. Sometimes I had to be a few days late, but I continued. A small success, yet a success. I will celebrate. I will congratulate myself.

What successes will you celebrate?

Weekly Journal Prompt

As the year quickly draws to a close, and you plan ahead for the next ‘New Year Resolution’, take a few moments to look back over this past year.

You have certainly faced many challenges. What did you learn from them? How have you grown?

One of the biggest challenges I faced this year was.....
From it I learned I can....

So often we (it isn’t just me I hope) look at conflict and challenges as penalties and punishment. Sometimes they can easily be described as ‘growing pains’. I know for myself when the challenge is complete, I always learn something from it. I may come away with a few emotional bruises and hurt pride as well as strengthened resolve or knowledge for another time.

How about you? What challenges have you faced this year? What did you learn about yourself in the process?

Journal Week 47

With Thanksgiving approaching, social media is filled with posts of being grateful.

When I stop to truly look at what I have to be grateful for, my heart rejoices. Sometimes, I truly must stop and look for these things. It is so easy some days to just wallow in pity for something that isn’t the way I want it to be. Then I intentionally seek out those things/people/etc for which I am so thankful.

I am most grateful for.........
because.........

It’s like taking off blinders to see the true picture.

I wonder, what are you grateful for today? What about that makes you thankful?

Spend some time in your journal with a heart of praise and remind yourself what you have to be grateful for.

Journal Prompt for week 46

The holidays are here!

For some, that statement brings on excitement and pleasant anticipation.

For others, sadness, anxiety, and turmoil.

What about you? What emotions doe the holidays bring forth in you?

I have mixed emotions. I enjoy decorating, setting up my “Christmas Village” and hooking up the big Christmas bear in my front yard. I love driving around to find homes and neighborhoods decked out with beautiful lights. I can sit for long periods of time near a house where they set up the music to match the lights.

I always enjoy gift giving. However, I dread the obligation of gift-giving. Giving because “I have to” verses giving because “I want to”. The desire to be a People-Pleaser comes to the surface. It creates anxiety and paralyzes me. The fun and joy fade away.

How about you? Write to yourself with this week’s journal. What do you like/dislike about the holiday season?

Being Alone – Journal Prompt Week 45

I like being alone. Sometimes.

I like being around people. Sometimes.

I get a lot of work done when I can focus without interruption. I feel successful when I complete a task. Interruptions to anything I am trying can be beneficial in allowing me time to take a break. At other times the interruption breaks the momentum and I have trouble returning to the project.

For me, there is no ‘one way’ to assign being alone. There are days I crave personal interaction and am energized by the people around me.

I know, I know. I sound wishy/washy, I am. For me there is one specific way for me to interact. I know when I need to be alone and I make it a point to get that alone time. I know when I need to be around people, even if it is simply walking the mall and people watching.

I cannot answer the question with a definitive answer. However, I know that I need both alone time and personal connections.

This prompt really got me thinking. How about you?