Day 156: Label Maker

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Last night I was talking to my friend… hmmmmm, not sure that I have mentioned her yet so I need to make up her code name… my friend… my friend…well, I’m going to actually put a bit of thought into her name, let’s call her Ananya (Ana for short) because that name means “unique” and/or “energy”… and she is certainly both of those things!!!

Anyway, after quite a lot of conversation we discovered that her covenant needs were less about WHAT she is eating and more about HOW she is thinking! It was a fascinating discussion that was worth bumping my previously half-drafted post back a few days. As Ana talked, we realized that she was constantly filling her mind and soul with horrible, horrible “self-talk” that was destroying her soul and subsequently hurting her body. (You don’t have to be a hippie to know that the mind-body relationship that God has put within us is a complicated and yet extremely powerful thing!)

So, we came up with a plan for her that I think was nothing short of brilliant and entirely going to be a blessing from God. In fact, I think that I’m going to do it for the next five days as well just to see what comes up!

Like most people might need to journal their foods for a few days to come face to face with either how much they are eating (having to force yourself to write down that you ate 5 cupcakes or 3 servings of mashed potatoes or whatever is a great way to realize that you might just be eating more than you realized) but also to face up with what they are eating (like I was completely unaware that I was eating the edges of my son’s peanut butter and honey sandwiches… because I had been eating them for so long I didn’t even realize it)! But since Ana is already a pretty healthy eater, but apparently a pretty UNhealthy self-speaker, she is going to do a variation of that. Ana is going to journal her thoughts all day. Every time she has a negative thought “My belly is a ginormous lump of fat” or “Look at all this cellulite… ugh where did it come from?” or “Even if I do eat this healthy banana I’m still going to get fat” etc… then she is to write it down and then replace that thought with a truth from the Word of God.

Even though there are a lot of good, positive quotes out there that could help, I really encouraged Ana to stick to the Word of God to replace those thoughts… because it will take all the pressure, all the work, all the success or failure off of her. After all, it is God who gives us the ability to succeed!

And I thought this might come in handy (Ana, I was going to email it to you but I figured we could all use it)… I got these verses from a list in the study Me, Myself, and Lies (which is an AWESOME study) and then I transferred them into first-person because they just seem to grab my heart more when I do that… Jennifer Rothchild called them “Truthful Labels” and I thought that was so accurate… God is the one that speaks the truth to us, and I, by all means, want HIM to be the one that labels me (instead of me, the world, and certainly NOT the devil)! He is my true Label Maker!

THE TRUTHFUL LABELS GIVEN TO ME BY GOD

  1. I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
  2. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased my freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave my sins. He has showered his kindness on me, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
  3. God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  4. I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16
  5. In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  6. If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything else? Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen as his own? No one! For God himself has given me right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one! For Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me. Can anything ever separate me from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me. And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
  7. I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  8. Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18
  9. So now there is no condemnation for me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
  10. I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  11. Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5
  12. I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  13. Now, I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18
  14. Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
  15. I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
  16. God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  17. See how very much my Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! 1 Corinthians 6:20
  18. But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that I am God’s child because they don’t know him. I am already God’s child, but he has not yet shown me what I will be like when Christ appears. But I do know that I will be like him, for I will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2
  19. So now I, as a Gentile, am no longer a stranger and foreigner. I am a citizen along with all of God’s holy people. I am a member of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19
  20. I am a chosen person. I am a royal priest, part of a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, I can show others the goodness of God, for he called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9-10
  21. Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  22. I have had that veil removed and can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes me more and more like him as I am changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  23. And since I am his child, I am his heir. In fact, together with Christ I am an heir of God’s glory. But if I am to share his glory, I must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
  24. He no longer calls me a slave, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now I am his friend, since he has told me everything the Father told him. John 15:15
  25. For the Lord my God is living among me. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in me with gladness. With his love, he will calm all my fears. He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
  26. Because of Christ and my faith in him, I can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12

Day 109: A Day At A Time

One of the things that has been the best for me as I go down this journey is this blog. Sure, I fall behind three or four days when life gets crazy (like, this week, when ev.ery.one. in my family, including me, got sick) but being able to come back and refocus my attentions to God has been… well, a God-send!

Even though I read the bible every day sometimes it’s not necessarily a direct connection to my covenant. Sometimes I need to remind myself of how the Word applies to my covenant specifically. And that is how this blog has helped.

But as I talk to more and more of you that are signing up with God to do a covenant of some type, I have realized how a lot of people… for a slew of different reasons… don’t really have thirty minutes to journal or blog or meditate or whatever every day.

So, I have an idea that I got from my friend Alice who is doing a 40-day covenant. It was sort of an accident. We text back and forth scriptures or express how we are doing or a need for prayer. Well, she texted me recently this text (and yes, I even changed her name before doing this screen shot! Haha- does that make me a huge nerd?!?!?!)…

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And her little statement of “Day 5 and Jesus’ love is still enough” sort of made me think. Wow. Just taking thirty seconds every day to write down either how Jesus has worked in your life or a scripture that helped you or a prayer. It could be such a neat way to see what God is doing for you. Or a way to find that verse again really quickly that ministered to you when you wanted to break.

You could get a little week at a glance calendar (my grandmother used to do this) and write in it every day at lunch or at bed or something. Or I’m suuuuuuure there is an app out there for this. Or start a private twitter account that isn’t public.

But I would say that being able to write down every day at least one sentence about the renewal that God has given you… well, it could be the thing you need to keep you going.

It makes me think of this scripture:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:6-8

I mean I’m not saying write your sentence in sharpie on your forehead every morning- haha- but it’s the same concept. We need a daily reminder of God. a daily reminder of how far He has brought us. a daily reminder of His Goodness. His healing. His power.

So, there ya go. A suggestion to you and me: take it one day at a time.

And as for me too, Alice, day 109 and Jesus’ live is still enough!