Kristywyatt.com

When You’re Stuck In The Victim’s Mindset

I tend to talk about mindset a lot and there’s a good reason. Mindset can make or break your dreams and goals. It is the difference between joy and bitterness, success and defeat, faith and hopelessness. This particular mindset can take root and be very difficult to fight out of. I’m talking about the victim mindset.

Remaining in a victim mindset is the most destructive thing you can do to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Notice I said “remaining in a victim mindset”. The truth is we have all been victims of something hurtful in our lives. Some have been physically and/or emotionally abused, some sexually assaulted, mistreated, hurt, betrayed, the list can go on forever. We live in a broken world with broken people. We have all been a victim and we have every right to feel what we feel about that situation. However, sometimes we get stuck there and never move on. Sometimes we can’t get over being a victim and we start to see ourselves as a victim in every other relationship and situation.

Why we can’t live in our victim mindset:

  • True, you have every right to feel victimized. You have been deeply hurt. And sometimes we have to spend a little time in the victim mindset to even wrap ourkristywyatt.com heads around it. This is where it gets dangerous. After a while, we either pick ourselves up and rise a stronger person, or we let that familiar mindset take deep root in our lives, allowing bitterness, anger, and distrust to play a leading role in our lives.
  • When we live in the victim mindset, we sabotage ourselves. We become jealous of all the good things others have and take it as a personal attack that we don’t have those things too. Our unhappiness pours out from us no matter how hard we try to hide it. We tend to have negative responses and attitudes about everything, effectively causing our bosses to look elsewhere for advancement, spouses to shut down, and friendships to end. At that point, we feel sorry for ourselves because everything is a mess, not realizing how different it could have been if we’d been in a healthier frame of mind.
  • We see everything as a competition. Your sibling might have a bigger house – you feel envious, your coworker got a promotion – you start to look for their weaknesses and criticize them to others to make yourself seem like a better choice, someone has a talent that you feel you should have, so you come up with a weak excuse not to like them. In this state of mind, we are unable to truly be happy for others.

So what does it take to break out of the victim mindset?

  • First, and foremost, seek God. He is the ultimate healer. You may find that you’rekristywyatt.com mad at Him for “allowing” whatever you went through to happen. That’s okay. Tell Him. Yell at Him if you have to because here’s a little secret: He already knows. So tell Him. Tell Him how much you hurt. Tell Him you need healing. His promises are true. He will not leave you to go through this alone. Only He can reveal how this awful situation will be used for His plan, but trust this: His plan is perfect. He will not leave nor forsake you. He will heal you.
  • Talk to a counselor. There is something about just talking and being real with no filter that is therapeutic. You can’t hold all of the emotions, thoughts, memories in forever. You have to let them out if you’re going to move on. They can also give you helpful emotional/mental exercises and tools to help you on your way to a healthy mindset.
  • Make the decision. Ultimately, you have to want to stop feeling sorry for yourself. I know it’s hard. We get comfortable in our pity party, but that is not a party we need to attend. We have to choose to move on. It can be a long road, but the grass truly is greener on the other side. Imagine a life of joy! You can have that again.

This world is full of heartbreak. We all have a story. But we must remember that with God, all things are possible! All things. If you are residing in a victim state of mind, you may have felt a bit attacked in this post. Please let me assure you this was written with so much love. God’s plan for you is joy, wholeness, and a close relationship with Him. It is possible! You just have to take the first step toward healing – seek God.

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“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” Psalms 30:2

The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalms 34:17-20

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

kristywyatt.com Music

“The Hurt And The Healer” by Mercy Me YouTube

“The Hurt And The Healer” by Mercy Me Spotify

 

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kristywyatt.com FOMO Blog

Why We Struggle With FOMO (And how To Stop)

Everyone likes to feel included. It’s fun hanging out with friends whether you’re going out or just doing nothing together. Having that companionship can be fulfilling. So it’s understandable that when we see our friends hanging out and having fun without us, we get jealous. We begin to stalk our friends on social media. What are they doing? Where are they? And most importantly, why didn’t they invite me? Welcome to FOMO, or “fear of missing out”.

Fear of missing out can plague anyone from kids to adults, though I’ve noticed that if the person has access to social media, FOMO can become a real problem. I’ve seen people stalk their friends to see where they were, and who they were with. People can become so consumed with being left out that it affects, and sometimes ruins friendships.

kristywyatt.comSo, why do we have a fear of missing out? It likely started on the playground. Let’s be honest, girls can be mean. We’ve all been the outcast at one time or another growing up. We watch as our “friends” play, wondering what is “wrong with me?”. Or “why don’t they like me?”. As we grow, – middle school, high school – it gets worse. By the time adulthood comes around, many of us don’t know what a healthy friendship looks like.

I’ve done a little experiment with FOMO. With the few people I’ve interviewed, all with varying degrees of FOMO, this is what I’ve found:

  • People who suffer from FOMO a great deal tend to have low self-esteem. These are people who don’t know what they have to offer. They don’t see themselves clearly. They assume that they aren’t liked, or that they’ve done something wrong –kristywyatt.com FOMO Blog 2 why else would someone not invite them? They dwell on this so much that it can ruin their entire day. They may cry about it. They may yell at their friends about it. They don’t believe they are worthy, so they assume their friends feel the same way.
  • People who suffer from FOMO a great deal may not have healthy friendships. If you are concerned about your friends talking negatively about you in your absence, perhaps you should evaluate those friendships. Chances are you’ve heard those friends say awful things about a mutual friend – a conversation you may have even participated in. But the flip side of that coin, when you are the subject, suddenly it seems so harsh. Allow me to gently say if you’re friends with someone who puts other friends down, they are likely doing it to you too. And somewhere in your heart, you know that – hence the FOMO.
  • It’s human nature. It’s only natural to have FOMO to some degree. Of course, we want to be included. Just keep it in check.

So, how do we get over FOMO?

  • Remember who you are. Who are you? You are a daughter of the one true KING. The creator of the universe loves you! You are fearfully and wonderfully made! There is no reason you should ever doubt your importance or your value. So what if you weren’t invited to some event? You can still do something great and fun!
  • Don’t count on others to have a good time. This is your job, love! If you feel likekristywyatt.com FOMO Blog doing something, call a friend and make it happen.
  • Step away from Facebook. Stop. Just stop. You’re better than that. Be happy that your friends are having fun – we only want what’s best for them, right? Again, make your own fun happen.
  • Assume good intentions. We don’t always know the full story. Perhaps two of your friends had a disagreement, so they got together to work it out. Maybe they hadn’t spent time together in a while and needed some one on one time. This is hard but here it goes, not everything is about us. Yikes. That’s tough, right? Tough, but true. It likely didn’t occur to your friends that your feelings were hurt by not being invited because it wasn’t about you. It may have been something between them.
  • You do it too. Wait, what? That’s right. From the time we were twelve years old and our moms said you can only have five people spend the night for your sleepover, until now when we know we can only fit four other people in our car, we can’t always include everyone. Let me ask you something: when you’re hanging out with just a couple of friends, does it mean you don’t like your other friends? Of course not! And to think their feelings would be hurt for not being included in something you planned would make you feel horrible. Assume they feel the same way you do. They still love you!

When I was younger, FOMO was a big part of my life. Now, I get a kick of seeing my friends’ pictures of their fun without me. I laugh, comment, and “heart” everything. And I genuinely love it! Mostly because I’m chilling in my sweatpants and didn’t have to go anywhere. (My favorite!) But also because I love them and want them to enjoy life with me, and without me. That is what love is – wanting what’s best for them regardless of your role. It also helps to know I have an amazing “tribe”. My girls have my back ALWAYS. They aren’t bad mouthing me, and they want the very best for me. There is great peace in having such amazing friends.kristywyatt.com FOMO Blog 4

FOMO can really be a struggle. I challenge you to dig in deep. Where do you stand with FOMO? How can you improve this? How can letting it go help your relationships with your friends? You’re an amazing woman – own it! You don’t need to be involved in absolutely everything to feel important or valuable. Remember who you are in Christ.

 

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”  Isaiah 49:15-16a

kristywyatt.com Music

“You’re Not Alone” by Meredith Andrews YouTube

“You’re Not Alone” by Meredith Andrews Spotify

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kristywyatt.com-Easter-Blog-Cross

Why Jesus Had To Die And Rise

Kristy Wyatt Easter Blog

My sister, Katie, and me. Easter 1989

Growing up, Easter was a big deal. My mom would dress my sister and me in matching dresses, hats, shoes, and handbags. We’d walk into church like we owned the place, counting down the minutes until the Easter Egg Hunt happened. We’d get home after family gatherings in a sugar-coma and full candy baskets. Yes, Easter was a big deal. Until one day, I understood what Easter really was. Then it was more than a big deal. It was the deal. An actual covenant between God and myself. An event that acknowledges my shortcomings and need for a savior. A savior who came, who died, who rose again for you, for me, for millions.

The story of Jesus is simple, and yet complex. It’s heartbreaking, and yet the absolute best news humanity has ever heard. It’s unbelievable, and yet it’s true.

Why Jesus Had to Die:kristywyatt.com Easter Cross
• Every human being has sinned. The price for sin is death. “Death” being an eternity spent apart from God. We have sinned and there are consequences for that sin. So God sent His son to die the death of a sinner on our behalf.
• But Jesus didn’t live a normal life while he was here. There is only one in the history of humanity who lived a perfect, sinless life – Jesus. He experienced all that we have experienced – grief, heartbreak, disappointment, joy, love – everything. The only difference is, he didn’t sin. He died the death we deserved, so that we may live.

Why Jesus had to Rise: Kristywyatt.com Easter Tomb
• Without rising three days later, Jesus would have just been another good guy who’d died a terrible death for something he believed in. By rising, he defeated the power of the grave. He proved he was, in fact, the son of God, the savior who was promised to us. He had to rise so that we could rise into our new life with Jesus.
• Jesus had to rise because he was meant to live inside of us. Jesus couldn’t stay in the dead in the tomb because there was more work to be done. He rose, proved that he was the way and the light of the world, and then he went to Heaven. And by that, I mean he ascended to Heaven while very much alive. When we accept the gift of salvation, Christ lives inside of us. He becomes a part of us.

If this isn’t a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is! Guys, our savior came! He is risen! We are free from the chains that bound us! This Easter, commit to reading the gospel. You can download a reading plan here! Commit to spending time in prayer. You’re here on earth for a reason – allow God to reveal His plan to you. You are so precious to God that He sent His son to die on your behalf. He desires a relationship with you!
Easter is a time of great joy and celebration. I pray that you celebrate with the amazing family and friends God has placed in your lives. I pray that you send a heartfelt “thank you” up to our faithful God. I pray that you draw closer to our Lord and Savior. I pray that even in difficult times, you’re able to have peace in knowing that He will never forsake you.

Happy Easter from my family to yours!

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For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior. John 3:16-17

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

The angel spoke to the women. “You must not be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said. Come here and see the place where he was lying. Matthew 28:5-6

kristywyatt.com Music

Worship Medley – Reckless Love / Death Was Arrested | Caleb and Kelsey Mashup YouTube

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Jesus Cross Forgiveness Blog Kristy Wyatt

Why You Need To Forgive

I’ve been told that I’m a good “forgiver”. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion, “Why do you still let so-and-so in your life after what they did?”. I used to shrug and say, “everyone makes mistakes, right?” But I really never gave it much thought. I assumed it was a part of my personality. The part of me that hates confrontation and will do anything – including forgive – to keep the peace. But these last few months, I’ve had to really test forgiveness. I’ve had the opportunity to forgive someone in my life, and forgive myself. In this process, I really dug deep into what forgiveness is and how it’s done.

To understand forgiveness, we must first seek the source – God.

Forgiveness Jesus BlogGod is the ultimate forgiver. I once heard someone say, “If Jesus had to die for your sins, then it’s not really forgiveness.” I can understand the misinterpretation of why Jesus had to die on the cross, and rise again. You see, forgiveness and consequences are not mutually exclusive. You can have the hardship of consequences while reaping the grace of forgiveness. In other words, while God forgave me for my sins, the consequences had to happen. There was still a price for my wrongdoing, just like when your teenager slacks off at school. You will forgive them, but they’re still going to lose video game privileges. That’s forgiveness with consequences.

God sent His one son to this earth to live a sinless life only to die the death of a sinner. Take that in for a moment. God loved us so much that he didn’t want us to suffer for an eternity for our sins. He gave the consequences to Jesus and the forgiveness to us. If God can forgive us for the horrible things we’ve done – and we’ve all done horrible things – who are we to deny forgiveness? Are we so holy that we are above God? Is our judgement higher than His? If the creator of this earth, of us, can look at an adulterer, a liar, a murderer, a bully, an abuser – the list can go on forever – with love and forgiveness, why on earth do we think we have the right to do any different? Perhaps we need to humble ourselves.

Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. Forgiveness is just that – forgiveness. It is not staying in a bad situation. You can forgive someone and still choose to let them go from your life. That would be part of the consequences they would experience.

Some might say that some people don’t deserve forgiveness. You’ll often hear someone who is upset say, “I’ll never forgive you for this.” But we must remember that withholding forgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person. It hurts us.

3 Ways Withholding Forgiveness Hurts Us:

Forgiveness Blog

  1. Holding on to hurt and anger is like a poison that slowly spreads throughout your body. You develop bitterness. It can change your whole outlook on life. It can make you physically ill, or cause you to sabotage important relationships. It could mean the difference between living a happy life, or a miserable life. When you truly forgive, you let that go. You don’t free the person who wronged you. You free yourself.
  2. When you’re unforgiving, you’re missing out on something God wanted you to learn. In this imperfect world, we have pain. It’s inevitable. Someone will do something to offend you and/or hurt you. When this happens, you can let that sit on your heart and weigh you down, or you can choose to forgive. Ask God what He wants you to learn from this experience. There is a lesson in everything. We’re just usually too consumed with our feelings to see what that lesson is.
  3. Withholding forgiveness will separate you from God. Let’s take a moment to reflect over our lives. We could all fill a notebook (or a few notebooks) with a list of our sins. We’ve hurt people; we’ve hurt God. We’ve been unfaithful and often times we try to justify it instead of repenting. Still, God forgives. His love is perfect and faithful regardless of our impure hearts. So imagine what it must feel like to God to forgive us absolutely everything, to send His son to die for our sins, only for us to withhold forgiveness to someone else, or even ourselves?

So, how do we forgive someone who has hurt us?Forgiveness Blog Kristy Wyatt

  1. Take a little time. There is nothing wrong with wanting a little space. Often times our hearts have to catch up with our brains. Give yourself a moment to catch your breath.
  2. Withhold your words. Hurtful words tend to fly when we’re hurting. You know that annoying saying “two wrongs don’t make a right”? Well, it’s true. If you handle tough situations with grace, you will only have to deal with forgiving the other person rather than forgiving them and yourself for the way you reacted.
  3. It’s likely you’ll have to forgive something over and over again. Sure last week you felt like you had a brand new start with someone. You’d forgiven them – all was well. But today, someone brought up the one thing that cut you deep, and the pain is fresh. Suddenly you’re back in the moment it all happened. You have to choose to forgive again. And again.
  4. Pray pray pray! God is a pro at forgiveness. So we should constantly be asking for His help with this. It’s His desire for us to live healthy, happy lives. Forgiveness is a part of that plan. Spend time with God in His word and in prayer. Open your heart. He will speak to you. He will help you through it.

With this being the week of Easter, it’s important for us to remember how much we need forgiveness in our lives. It’s as important to give forgiveness as it is to receive it. Offering grace where it isn’t deserved is the best way to show love for someone.

*Below is a link to a video. Please take a few minutes to watch it. Love and blessings you you all! xoxo

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Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

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PLEASE watch this video! It will change the way you look at forgiveness.

“Forgiveness” by, Matthew West (Forgiveness Story)

Thank you for sharing!

Mean Girls and Friendship

We’ve all experienced interactions with “mean girls”. And if I’m being completely honest with you, I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I’ve been the mean girl, and I’ve been the mean girl’s target. Thankfully, I wasn’t a mean girl for long – my conscience couldn’t handle it. But just because I outgrew that behavior doesn’t mean everyone else has, or will.

cristian-newman-141895-unsplashOnce you’ve been a mean girl’s target, it’s easy to spot the signs of a mean girl. I was fairly new to my church and had just finished leading a worship song, when I saw a woman sitting in the 2nd row, pointing at me and laughing with her husband. It was all I could do not to start crying. I replayed the song in my head. Did my voice crack? Did I mess up the words? I ran my hands down my sides to make sure my shirt hadn’t ridden up and that my mom-belly was still covered. (Lord knows no one wants me to have a wardrobe malfunction.) But all was in place. With nothing else to examine, I had to face the music. I had been “mean girled” at church. And I was devastated.

Though I never told anyone about the incident, I cried about it. I prayed about it. I stewed about it. But I went on with my life, continued to sing at church, and ignored the situation. So imagine my surprise when the very woman who laughed at me asked to be my Facebook friend. My immediate reaction was “no way!”. I was sure this woman only wanted more ammunition. She would find a flaw in my mothering skills by reading my statuses and studying my pictures. She would look for my imperfections – and there are many. No. Absolutely no. But God told me yes. With a sigh and a dramatic roll of my eyes, I accepted the friend request.

To my disbelief, the hearts started rolling in. Not just likes, but hearts! She “hearted” a lot of my pictures and statuses. She commented on a few things and offered to participate in my daughter’s fundraiser. A feather could have knocked me over. Why was she being nice? Surely there was an ulterior motive. I thanked her for her support with the fundraiser, and then added another brick to the protective wall around my heart. I would not fall for the “nice” trick.bewakoof-com-official-205686-unsplash

As the months passed, we talked more and more on Facebook, then at church, and before I knew it, I liked her. I’d never mentioned the mean girl moment, and I decided to forgive her. She’d made a mistake. I have made countless of those. I had to put this behind me if I was going to give this new friendship a shot. So I did.

In this friendship, I found that she had a big heart. She was truly a wonderful woman. I began looking forward to our interactions, and that tall, thick wall I’d built crumbled down. She was in. This was the danger zone. In this place, she could really hurt me. Being this vulnerable with someone is hard when you’ve been “mean girled” because now you care about this person and what they think.

One day, while talking, she told me about one of the first times she’d heard me sing at church. She laughed and said, “I leaned over to my husband, pointed at you, and said ‘I sound just like that when I sing, right babe?’.” She said, “We both laughed so hard because I can’t sing at all!” I froze. I knew the day she was talking about. I knew exactly. I had completely misjudged what had happened. They weren’t making fun of me at all. In their own cute way, they had been complimenting me.

It still amazes me to think that I almost missed out on this amazing friendship with her over a misunderstanding. We forget that not everything is as it seems. It really seemed as if they were making fun of me. What if I had denied her friend request? What if I’d never been kind to her because I let anger, hurt, and bitterness simmer inside of me? What if she thought I was a mean girl because I wouldn’t talk to her? How different could this have turned out?

omar-lopez-296937-unsplashThis experience has taught me so much. I’m grateful that I chose to listen to God in this situation. I hope that when you’re presented with a similar situation, you’ll remember the following:

  • Even when things look a certain way, be sure before you react.
  • In all circumstances, treat everyone with kindness.
  • Forgive them and forgive yourself.
  • Seek God’s will in all your relationships.
  • Give people a chance – a real chance.

Okay, I know. Some of you have an actual mean girl that you’re dealing with. While I’d like to say it’s a misunderstanding, “mean girling” is a thing that totally exists. So I’ll pass on what I tell my daughter:

  • Show them what a kind person looks like. You can’t control them or their actions, but you can control yours. Don’t ever lower yourself to their level. Instead, show them what it’s like on your level and encourage them grow.
  • If it continues, they’re not your friend. It’s hard, but not everyone is good for you. You can choose to excuse yourself from interacting with that person without being a mean girl back. We’re called to be kind, but not take abuse. Kindness is not weakness.
  • Pray for them. This can be so difficult. The last thing we want to do is pray for someone who is mistreating us. But I promise, those who need love the most are the least lovable people. Let God work in them through you.

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Being a girl/woman is hard, right? But we aren’t meant to go through life alone. We need to lift each other up, encourage one another. My friends are a huge part of my life. I couldn’t get through a single day without my girlfriends. Support and love the women God brings into your life. They are a precious gift.

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Do to others as you would have them do to you.  Luke 6:31 (NIV)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15:12-13

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“We Need Each Other” by, Sanctus Real YouTube

“We Need Each Other” by, Sanctus Real Spotify

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Spring Into Change

The birds’ songs ring through the morning air, little plant sprouts have shot up seemingly overnight, andwilfried-santer-233377-unsplash the sun has finally made an appearance through the break in the clouds. The warmer air and tree buds give us a sense of renewal and we can’t help but feel good. Welcome to Spring.

By now, we have likely given up on our New Year’s resolutions, but there is just something about spring that lights us up with possibilities. It’s our second chance. We’ve still got ¾ of the year left and we’re determined to make it great. Yes, springtime is a perfect time for resolutions – take 2. But before you choose to renew your resolution, or make a new one, may I make a suggestion?

Let’s change our frame of mind. That’s it. That’s my suggestion. Let’s work on thinking differently.

camila-damasio-259515-unsplashLike the rebirth of spring, each day is a do-over. We have the opportunity to start anew, or hold on to the pain of yesterday. We can choose to view the day as a gift with a new attitude and outlook, or continue to cling to the negative attitudes we tend to have. You can take two people in the same situation, and they could say two very different things about the situation based solely on their frames of mind.

It’s easy to complain about the rush hour traffic, and get angry when our workload is overwhelming. When our kids don’t do what we want them to, we lose our tempers. And the worst thing is we allow these things to ruin our entire day! We let these feelings and frame of mind to turn us into pessimists. Before we know it, we view every interaction and experience through the skewed vision of our negative frame of mind. We start to question people’s intentions – we’re sure they aren’t just being nice, they must want something. We complain about imperfections in everything. But since when has anything been perfect? Why is that suddenly an expectation? Everything we experience is filtered through our destructive mind, forcing even great things to look terrible.

I went on vacation to a beautiful resort in Mexico a couple years ago. This vacation was long overdue and I just couldn’t wait to arrive! I was greeted with cool, damp towels and shown to my luxurious room. But my heart was on the beach, so I wasted no time! As I stood taking in the waves, breathing in the salty air, I heard someone say to their spouse, “This is the ugliest beach I’ve ever been to! Look at all the seaweed!”

To me, the beach was pretty darn close to Heaven. I’d come from a long Kansas City winter, so the sun, sand, and water were exactly what I needed. Sure, there was seaweed and I, too, had been to beaches with prettier sand and water. But I didn’t care. I found it beautiful, because I wanted to.

We often forget how much is affected by our frame of mind. We forget to appreciate ourethan-robertson-132225-unsplash children when they’re trying our patience. We forget that our job is a blessing. We forget that the long drive to work is an opportunity to be alone with God. One day, when our lives look different, we will wish we could go back. We’ll give almost anything to experience our kids at this age again. We won’t remember the work we do, but we’ll remember the people we worked with fondly, and wish we could talk to them again. Think about this for a moment: One day, years from now, you will miss the very thing you’re complaining about. One day, you will wish you would have lived it happily instead of just existing in it.

We also tend to hold on to our mistakes and guilt. We drown in our pain when we’ve been hurt and refuse to forgive. We hold on to our misery until it’s the “right day” or “right season” to let it go; to start over. But that isn’t God’s plan for us. We should be spending time in prayer, asking God to help us let go of all these negative things daily, allowing the next morning be a brand new start. By doing this, you will find it easier to set, and achieve goals instead of resolutions.

A few friends of mine and I are reading “Your Best Year Ever” by, Michael Hyatt. This has been eye opening for us. He talks about setting and actually achieving goals – and mindset can make or break you! I highly recommend this book to everyone! You can change everything about your life by simply changing how you think.

Don’t limit self-evaluation, and resetting your mindset to only once or twice per year. Do it daily. Allow God to show you who you are in Him. Allow God to show you that you don’t need more things, or certain circumstances to be happy. You only need to choose happiness to have it.

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Philippians 2:1-2

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

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“Life Is Beautiful” By, The Afters YouTube

“Life Is Beautiful” By, The Afters Spotify

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From Mom-Shaming to Mom-Celebrating

pexels-photo-116151If you’re a mother, you’ve been there. In that moment, you’re desperate. You’d do almost anything to quiet that kiddo down. You tried bribing – something you swore you’d never do. You attempted to bargain with God – “Lord, if you magically put this kid to sleep, I swear I’ll do anything you want!” But, no can do. That monster of yours has just reached a high screech that makes dogs whine, and there is no calming them down. You’re this close to pulling your own hair out. You shoot apologetic glances to those around you who have to listen to your screaming child. And then it happens. Mom-Shaming.

There is nothing worse than standing in a long line at the store with a child who’s throwing a fit. Unless of course, there is someone who is telling you what a terrible mother you are while you’re standing in line with a child who’s throwing a fit. That is most definitely worse.

I’ve often wondered what is going through the mind of a mom-shamer. Do they think their harsh words will give you some sort of ah-ha moment that will make you mysteriously get your kid to stop crying? “Wow! Thank you for telling me what a terrible mother I am – I’ve seen the light!” Does it make them feel superior? No offence, but they should aim higher as that’s not exactly a mother’s best moment. Maybe they really think they have the answers. But if that were the case, what about that delivery is helpful? I try to always assume the best intentions of those with whom I interact. But no matter how I try, I can’t come up with a positive spin on mom-shaming.

It breaks my heart to think that women can be so mean-hearted to one another. Motherhood is hard. (Understatement of the century, right?) So why is it that when we see a mom in a moment of struggle, we decide to (metaphorically) kick her?

Everyone has their own idea of the “correct” way to raise a child. Most mothers are open to advice, especially if this is their first rodeo. But if you get nothing else from this post, please understand this: no one wants advice in the form of hostility. That is not helpful. In fact, it makes the situation far worse. Which brings me back to the question of intention.

Here are three things I’ve learned about mom-shaming.

  1. Mom-shaming isn’t about you.

Most mom-shaming happens from someone who has no idea who you are, or what you have been through. In the example I used at the beginning of this blog, the mom-shamer probably doesn’t know that your child caused most of the items in aisle 15 to fall on the ground in the store and that he hit his sister not once, not twice, but three times in the last pexels-photo-235554ten minutes, and he’s screaming at the top of his lungs because you said he couldn’t have a KitKat bar. She doesn’t know that due to this chain of events, you’ve reached your limit. She also has no idea that you kissed his boo-boo earlier, how he always says “pwease and tank you” thanks to your superb mommying skills, or how you read to him out of a children’s bible every day. It’s in this chaotic moment, with your red face, the vein popping out of your forehead and wild eyes, that this person judged you. I promise it says more about that person than it does you.

  1. We’ve all done it.

Many of you are fiercely denying that we have mom-shamed before. But think about it. In your whole life, have you ever looked at a mother and judged them? The answer is yes. We mustn’t forget that we all make mom-mistakes and that mom-shaming only makes these mistakes harder to get over. Listen, we are forgiven by the creator of the universe for everything we have ever done and will ever do. This is not limited to motherhood, but everything. If the creator – the one true God – can forgive us anything, who are we to cast judgement on a mother just trying to do her best? Would it kill us to say something nice and encouraging to her? What if we said, “do you need anything? Can I help you in some way?” Or “I’ve totally been there. It gets better.”

  1. In the end, it doesn’t matter.

The mom-shamer will go their way, and you yours. Sure, your pride is hurt and you’ll tell someone about that mean person at the store. You’ll question why God gpexels-photo-532389ave you these children when you’re doing such a “terrible job” raising them. But then your baby, the very one who seemed possessed in the store, will crawl on your lap and look at you with big eyes and say, “I love you, mommy”. And you’ll feel sorry for that mom-shamer because she only saw the worst instead of what was really there: true, pure, unconditional love.

Mom-shaming is no different than bullying. People are so quick to judge other moms when we should be celebrating moms. This mom gig is hard! We shine sometimes and just plain stink other times. But isn’t that life in general? I challenge you to “Mom-celebrate”! When you see a mom doing great, show kindness and pray for them. When you see a mom struggling, offer to help, show kindness, and pray for them. It’s really very simple. Choose kindness. Show love. Mom-celebrate!

 

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And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

 

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“With Every Act of Love” by, Jason Gray YouTube

“With Every Act of Love” by, Jason Gray Spotify

 

 

 

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You Can

How many times do we say “I can’t…” in a day? A week? A year? How many opportunities, or chances do we miss by giving up before we even begin? There are a few reasons why one might think they can’t do something. And I’m going to discredit these reasons, effectively giving us no excuses. Are you ready for the truth?

Reason #3 why we say “I can’t”:

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We’re scared. This is arguably the most common reason we tell ourselves that we can’t do something. Now, we don’t want to admit that we’re scared, because hey! We have our pride, right? If we don’t take chances, we’ll never fail. If we never fail, our egos are never bruised. If we keep things simple, we always look good. We decide to settle for careers that don’t challenge us. We convince ourselves that while we see a need, we aren’t the right “fit” to fill that need. We often leave the difficult tasks to others who are more “qualified” than we are. Why do we do this? Why do we let fear and pride hold us back? Easy. We do this because we are thinking about tackling these obstacles with only our strength and abilities.

As Christian women, we have access to the power of the creator. Read that again. Let that sink in. We have access to His power! We are all likely familiar with Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. All things. Ladies, let me tell you something that I hope changes the way you look at your life. You have a talent, you have a passion, and it is not by accident. God has blessed every single one of us with talents in different areas because He wants to use us. And the passion! If you think you are not a passionate person, you need to dig deeper. God made us all passionate about something. If you ask God where and how He wants you to serve, He will show you. Once you find your place in serving, you will feel a passion rise inside of you that you didn’t know existed.

When we start undertaking our dreams, talents, passions, obstacles, ministries, motherhood, marriage using His power instead of ours, there is nothing that we can’t do.

Reason #2 why we say “I can’t”:

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We may not have the support of our spouse and/or family members. This is such a difficult place to be. If you are in this position, it’s likely you’ve dreamed of something for a long time. You may have even begun the journey to reach your goals, achieve that dream, or serve God the way you feel led. But despite your efforts, you give up because it’s hurting your relationship. You finally say, “I can’t sacrifice my marriage for this.” And you’re right. If you actively seek your goals when your spouse doesn’t support them, either your goal or the relationship will fail.

But don’t give up! There is another option. If we take a moment to really examine the situation, we will see that this is a job for God, not us! We as human beings do not have the power to change hearts. But it just so happens that God specializes in that very thing.

I challenge you to change your focus. Pray for your spouse instead of praying for yourself and your dream/goal. Pray for your spouse to seek God and His plan. Have an honest and open conversation with your spouse about why you feel led to do whatever it is you want to do and then pray about it together. Finally, speak to your pastor and/or a Christian counselor. All of these actions will give God opportunities to work in your marriage/relationship in multiple ways. Trust me when I say if God wants this to happen, He will make a way.

Reason #1 why we say, “I can’t”:

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We’re lazy. Ouch. The truth hurts, huh? We have grown complacent in our lives. We live happily in our comfort zone and the thought of all the work we’d have to do is not appealing. We justify these thoughts by telling ourselves “I’m too busy” or “I’m too old” or “Someone else will do it”. But if God is calling you to do something, no excuse will work. This happens to be something I have personal experience in…

I sang on the worship team for nine years at a church. Singing is a true passion of mine, and singing for God – there really are no words to describe how fulfilling it is. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, we left that church feeling hurt and betrayed. I wallowed in self-pity for two years by choosing to sleep in on Sundays. I didn’t make any effort to further my relationship with God, and I didn’t serve.

My best friend belongs to a local church and she invited me to go every time we talked. Every. Time. It was so annoying! LOL. She even tried to bribe me with chocolate! (I didn’t mind that so much.) God had been telling me to go. But, alas, I am a stubborn daughter. I came up with excuse after excuse, continued to tell God and my bestie “no” over and over. But my time to say “no” ran out.

At a local skating rink for my bestie’s son’s birthday party, she introduced me to someone. She said, “Kristy, this is Pastor Brett. Brett, Kristy wants to sing on the worship team.” Then she turned around and walked away while I stood there gaping like a fish out of water. I auditioned for the worship team the following week, and joined the church immediately after. If you ask my friend, she’d tell you that God called her to get me to church. You see, God wasn’t only telling me to go, He was working on the people in my life too. He set the stage, opened the door, and almost literally pushed me through it.

We can come up with hundreds of reasons why we “can’t” do what God is calling us to do. We’re wives, mothers, single mothers, employees, employers, homemakers, homeschoolers, dance/football/baseball/basketball/soccer/wrestling moms, PTA volunteers, caretakers of our parents, sounding boards for siblings, Aunts, Grandmothers, friends, the glue that holds our families together. But without God, we are nothing.

He made us for a purpose.  He made you exactly the way He wanted you. He wove your talent into you. He placed your dreams and passion in your soul. I’m here to tell you that you can’t ignore it. If you don’t do what you were put on this earth to do, you will forever feel incomplete and unsatisfied. Every single reason you “can’t”, every excuse can be reversed and fixed by God. Seek His will in your life and you will live a life full of purpose and passion. Trust me, YOU CAN!

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Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.   Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.  Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28 (NIV)

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“Dream For You” by, Casting Crowns (YouTube)

“Dream For You” by, Casting Crowns (Spotify)

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In The Middle Of The Storm

As followers of Christ, we are taught to bring our requests to God. When we want that raise or a new job, when we really need to sell the house so we can buy the new one with the extra bathroom, or when we just really would like to get a full night sleep without the baby crying, we pray. We pray for what we need, what we want, and for our parents’ health. We expect God to hear our prayers. We expect God to be faithful. We expect God to do what we want, when we want it. This is where we often run into trouble.

We forget that God is in control. We forget that God has a master plan. He doesn’t have a plan A, B, and so on. No, He has one plan. THE plan. This plan cannot fail. No matter how many things go wrong or seem impossible, God is already hundreds of steps ahead.

We humans have a habit of looking at our circumstances, and basing our opinions, goals, and conclusions on them. We forget that God’s view is by far superior to ours. It’s like comparing a basement window with a view of the brick building two feet away to the view of Hawaii on top of a volcano. There is no comparison. He sees you and your circumstances, but He also sees your future. He is intimately familiar with the storm you’re in, and how it will shape you and make you ready for the brighter days ahead. We merely see the storm.

We get angry with God. We say “What did I do to deserve this?” and “He must really be mad at me.” Nowhere in the bible does it say that once we believe, life is perfect. No, life can’t be perfect because we live in a world full of imperfect people. We all know this, and yet, we expect life to be easy. Why? Where did that expectation come from? Some might say “Well, if He really loves me, then why would He allow this to happen?” I can’t answer that question for you. I can only say that nowhere in the entire world, universe, or beyond will you find someone who loves you more than the way God loves you.

God loves you so much that you are a part of His master plan. Yes, you! You play a leading role. And for whatever reason, you have to go through this storm and trust that He has a very good reason for it. It takes absolute trust in Him to have that outlook. But when you do, it changes your frame of mind. You look at these circumstances differently than you did before. Your expectations change. You realize that God did not forsake you, He’s merely molding you to be the person you need to be for His plan.

It hurts. Trust me, I know. I’m in the middle of a massive storm right now. It’s the most difficult time I’ve ever lived through. But we’re not meant to go through this alone. God gave us arms to hug each other, to comfort one another. God gave us tongues to speak His truth to someone who is hurting. God gave us other women who have been though the same storm you’re in now to speak about their journey and encourage us. God gave us a love letter with all the secrets to life – we only have to read it. God gave us a savior so we will never be apart from Him.

Sometimes we forget how truly blessed we are. We’re blinded by the dark clouds, the long journey, and the pain. But if we’re brutally honest, we can admit that we are extremely blessed. We can see that God hasn’t forgotten us, nor does He hate us.

One day we will look back at this moment in our lives. We will say things like “the only reason I made it through that time was because of God’s strength, God’s love, and the people God placed in my life.” You may even find yourself looking into the tearful eyes of a woman who is in the middle of a storm similar to the one that you endured and you will thank God for the storm that shaped you into the woman you became. You will thank Him for the opportunity to share your experience and His love. One day we will more than understand. We will share His view.

 

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“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm, plans to give you hope and a future.”     Jeremiah 29:11

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.  2 Timothy 4:17

piano“Praise You In This Storm” YouTube

“Praise You In This Storm” Spotify

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