Remember | Devotion
There was a part of me that wanted to skip writing a blog post this week as I spent much of it in a bit of a slump. You know, those times when you have little ambition, consume too much media, make poor health choices, and your mind becomes a mess. It's like this cascading effect that continues to decline; a bike on a downhill slope with broken breaks.
One show quickly becomes an entire season or two.
One snack becomes pillaging the entire panty.
Chores go undone: Laundry piles up, the bed remains unmade.
Isolation creeps in, no longer taking initiative to connect.
Exhaustion sets in and yet workouts have ceased.
We have that epiphany moment. That thing that makes us pick ourselves back up, dust off, and continue on. The small choices we begin to make that get ourselves back on track to becoming who we were made to be.
Why does this happen? This roller coaster of a life, these continuous cycles we find ourselves in. Bouncing from one extreme to the other.
We could try and place the blame on other things, the weather, this pandemic, the photographs that sparked emotions of regret, what someone did or said...
But I think it can be boiled down into one thing:
You know we often laugh at the Israelites wandering in the desert. Like how could they turn away from God and fall so many times with all they've seen and with all they've experienced? And yet, don't we do the same thing?
Something sets it off and we let our minds continue in a downward spiral, allowing fear, regret, and confusion to set in.
We Forget God holds our future, that a life surrendered to Him will be the best life one can live. Still we worry about what we should do or be, and are consumed by an unknown future. We forget that His plans are to prosper us.
We forget we are forgiven, that His grace and mercy are new everyday. Instead we are weighed down by regret, and begin to doubt whether God can truly use us. We forget there is no condemnation in Him.
We forget who God is, that He will equip us to do what He calls us to. We let fear pull us away and become distracted with anything, afraid to discover what He's calling us to. We forget His enabling grace.
This is your wake up call today, a call to remember.
I'm going to give you some tools to help you, things that have helped me this past week (and at other times) to get out of the rut and continue on!
Back when I was deep in my struggle with depression and non-suicidal self injury my youth pastor had me put together a list of emergency verses. These were verses that encouraged me, reminded me of who I was, or provided wisdom for when I was struggling. I still have a list today.
Put together your own list of verses. I like to write them down, either on notecards or on a piece of paper that I can stick into my Bible or Bullet Journal. When lies and doubt begin to creep in turn to the Truth you have written and be reminded of who God is and who He says you are.
Not sure where to start? Check out this Pinterest board filled with encouraging and uplifting Scripture.
Affirmations: Speak It
Okay, so this may sound a bit woo woo, but there is power in the words you say both aloud and in your mind. You've got to change your inner dialogue, even if you don't "feel" it yet.
Speak the Word. Combat lies with Truth and speak it into and over your life. Remind yourself who you are in Christ.
I am a child of God.
I am loved and forgiven.
There is no fear in Love.
He has made me a new creation.
I am not too far gone.
If you need to, write these out. Turn your Emergency Verses into statements that you can declare over your life and remember.
There is something powerful about music. It just has a way of changing the atmosphere (for better or worse). Obviously we're talking about godly music here, which has an amazing ability to encourage and remind us who we are and who God is.
Music has the power to affect our attitudes and emotions. The songs remind us that we are not alone in our struggles and that God is still there, even in the storm.
Create a playlist or two that reminds you of who you are in Him and that this too shall pass.
Eat This Not That: The Better Choice
One of my favorite teachers used to have whole stack of those "Eat This Not That" books in his classroom. You might have seen or heard of them. The entire concept of the book series was about making the better choice for your health. For example it might be choosing baked potato chips over regular or one type of soft drink over another.
Now I want you to apply this concept to where you are at right now.
There can be the tendency to try and cut everything cold turkey and make immediate drastic changes. By all means, if you can do that and feel like you need to, great. But I want to offer something to help when you're struggling to get back to where you want to be.
Sometimes it'll be choosing something similar but better, and other times it will doing the same thing, just limiting it.
For example. You're feeling low and are craving chocolate ice cream. Sure you could have an orange instead, and if you can make that choice go right ahead. Instead, let's make this decision easier. Have the ice cream, but instead of taking the whole pint to the living room, scoop out some into a bowl.
You might want to cut out media cold turkey (and by all means do that if you can and feel like you should) but you've gotten into a rut and have been binge watching for days so we're going to focus on modifying and/or limiting the behavior.
Let's say you watched 8 episodes yesterday, maybe today you decide you can only watch 4.
Or you make the rule that you can watch media, just as long as you're not doing it alone.
You could also change the type of media. Watching only if it has an educational/inspirational value.
Or choose to only watch Christian movies/media for a season.
You've gotten lazy in this season. Spending most of the day sitting. You might be tempted to tell yourself you'll do 50 pushups and go for a 5k run everyday (yeah, tell me how that works out for you after a week or two). Instead we're going to make this into such a small task, that we will have no excuse if we don't complete it. Start with 5 pushups a day, maybe right after you get out of bed, and how about a walk around the block (weather permitting) to start.
What we are trying to do here is eliminate burnout. You don't want to make a ton of choices all at once. do them for a couple days then be right back to where you started. So let's make small changes. Day by day, trust me, you'll begin to see a difference.
Note: I absolutely love this topic and concept when it comes to habits and lifestyle changes. More information can be found in James Clear's Atomic Habits book or on his website (check out this article) and Much of this concept comes from James Clear's Atomic Habits and BJ Fogg's Tiny Habits (check out his TEDx talk here)
Whatever season you find yourself in, I'm calling us to remember. Remember the promises of God, remember His faithfulness, remember who you are in Him.
The sun is still shining, even when you can't see it.
This season will pass, it's not over yet.
You are never too far gone, His love is reaching for you today.
He's calling you to remember.
Read though the book of Ephesians, let it remind you who you are in Christ.
Write them down! 😉
Fighting For Me - Riley Clemens
You Define Me - Kim Walker-Smith
Truth About Me - Joel Vaughn
You Know Me Better - Stars Go Dim
When I begin to pull away remind me who I am in You.
Remind me of Your goodness and Your faithfulness
Help me to let go, to come out of hiding.
I will choose to stand on Your Word.
Your words are faithful and true.
I am made new in You today.