topics:
Faith
20141003_AmberHaines_faith

Often the works of the day, the habits of routine, move our bodies forward. We don’t have to think hard before rolling out of bed. For me, even with my best intentions to go straight to coffee and my thinking spot, I’ll see the laundry that needs to be started, and then I’ll straighten up the pile of shoes by the back door.

Sometimes the path to my morning reading and writing is a mile long. Then the kids wake up, and it’s on. I tell them all, “I am no short-order cook!” but I really am. The plants need to be watered. Then the dog needs to be walked. The floor is beyond gross, so I sweep and mop, and oh yeah, “Let’s do math, boys!” And I move between the boys during homeschool faster than a waitress between tables.

So much of my life is the doing, and while I’m running a million circles, I’m not always aware of my mind, the thought patterns, how they tend to loop on certain things. I can act like a whim of a woman, but my mind often gets stuck in loops that usually have to do with what I’m fearing at the moment.

The loops can run like this: Why does his skin look like that? Do we have food sensitivities? I need to keep these boys healthy. I’ll feed them more green stuff and give them omega fatty acids and probiotics, and, “No, you may not have juice. Only water forever.”

This is a shallow yet true example of how my mouth often speaks out of hidden fear.

Other times, the good days or the good minutes, my loops look a lot more like adoration, like security, like trust and a purposeful acknowledgement of power: God is in control. I have no idea what I’m doing, but He’s helping me. He’s doing it. Look at the grapes here, how we didn’t plant them and yet get to eat. “Yes, eat the grapes, baby. I am thankful. Do you see these gifts?”

The things looping in my heart (the meditations) direct the words that come out of my mouth, and I’m beginning to see how my security, or lack thereof, has everything to do with how healthy my thoughts are. My understanding of how safe and secure I am directs the meditations of my heart.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
– Psalm 19:14

What is in our hearts and what comes out of our mouths has everything to do with our safety and security.

Everything I fear becomes the focus instead of the One who keeps me safe.

So I’m asking myself, and you now, isn’t He our rock? If I am so redeemed, must I go about like I am a servant of a shakeable kingdom?

My son crawls into my lap and I smell the top of his head. We are good at snuggles here. I know what it feels like to call my son acceptable.

I think on my love for my children and my thoughts begin to loop on a question: Isn’t acceptance what I want, too? Nothing makes me question my place in this world more than insecurity. I know I’m in my right place when my foundation is the Rock.

incourage-LetterpressBlocks2-728x90 copy
comments:
share:
  • http://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    Amber,
    Unfortunately, with having OCD, I know all about negative thought loops. It is not uncommon for a thought to pass through the same gate hundreds even thousands of times. The enemy loves to whisper lies in hopes that I will pick up on one and run with it. We all don’t have OCD, but we can purposely choose to feed our mind positive truth (in His word, praise music, reading here at (in)courage, getting out in His creation). I find when I do that, and for me it’s a necessity, I focus more on the positive and on His love which ultimately drives out fear. Thanks for setting my thought loops in the right direction this morning!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • http://theRunaMuck.com Amber Haines

    Thank you for sharing this, Bev. I actually got this language from a friend whose child has OCD. I related so much with how “thoughts loop.” Some of us struggle more with it than others. My husband doesn’t struggle as much with it. He can have a thousand new things running through his mind all the time, and I’ll want to go please revisit the thought that was way back there!

    For me, that time in the morning of quiet is beyond important.

  • Chrystal Otterstedt

    Thank you Kim, needed the encouragement. My grandson Tobin had pneumonia two weeks ago and now has the respiratory illness that’s going throughout the country. My friend Emma is in the hospital because one of the twins has a life threatening issue with its bowel. Feeling sad and feeling as if joy is beyond my reach. So your thought that we must focus on the one who keeps us safe will be my thought for today! I will find scripture to back it up!

  • Pam

    ” Everything I fear becomes the focus” …. Prov.9:10 – the fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
    Chrystall, I pray for you that you would feel the strong arms of the Father holding on to you and giving you peace. I also pray for loving friends to be just be with you in whatever capacity you need at the moment.

    • http://theRunaMuck.com Amber Haines

      Yes, Pam, I agree.

  • http://talesfromasoutherncatholicmomma.blogspot.com The Momma

    “So I’m asking myself, and you now, isn’t He our rock? If I am so redeemed, must I go about like I am a servant of a shakeable kingdom?”

    He is our Rock, but we live in an earthly kingdom made of rubble. Because of original sin and our broken, fallen natures, we are forced to live among the ruins for the duration of our earthly existence. It doesn’t mean that we ought to wallow in this and not try to make something beautiful out of even this life or that because we live in this world that we are *of* it. Obviously, scripture says differently. We ought to live as children of the King, but none of us are perfect and we all fall into sin and experience the consequences of the sinfulness of others and the brokenness of our own humanity. It is good and right that we ought to keep our eyes on Our Rock and continually turn back to Him when we have fallen, but there is a balance between having an awareness of our need to rely on and behave as those who belong to the Redeemer and being scrupulous about every negative thought and action to the point that it steals our joy or causes us to feel defeated. It is good to acknowledge our weaknesses, confess our sins and repent of them, and do our best to keep our eyes on Him, but do all of these things with the understanding that when we fail, we get back up, dust ourselves off, and start anew.

  • Anony

    “Isn’t acceptance what I want, too? Nothing makes me question my place in this world more than insecurity.”

    If you never wrote another d*** word here, at your blog, at other sites, or for a publisher you are and will be acceptable and secure cause He says so. Whatever He says is so!

    • http://theRunaMuck.com Amber Haines

      Anony, I totally agree with you. :) Thank you.

  • Sally

    I fully relate! So nice to hear from others, who are not doubting their faith but just dealing with Life as a child of God, living every day the best way we can. You do the writing please – I’ll do the reading! Xx

  • Elizabeth

    I snagged on the same quote as The Momma above. “Isn’t He our rock? If I am so redeemed, must I go about like I am a servant of a shakeable kingdom?” Actually, I pulled up this blog post again just so I could copy that into my journal and think about it more thoroughly. Thanks for your words today!

  • Laura

    Amber,
    Enjoyed this today. Love your blog. I am a mama of five boys and homeschooling too. I so relate to your mothering heart. Wish we lived closer to have a cup of coffee and swap stories! Mothering boys is not for the faint of heart, amiright? Blessings to you!

  • http://donzwebb.wordpress.com Donna

    “What is in our hearts and what comes out of our mouths has everything to do with our safety and security.”

    Beautifully said, Amber. I am all too familiar with negative thoughts creeping into my head. I am working on dismissing them before they have the chance to move in and make themselves comfortable.

    You are in my prayers!

  • Beth Williams

    Amber,

    I definitely have some OCD tendencies with ADHD mixed in. Yes I get bad though loops from time to time.

    I need to remember/remind myself and pray this prayer often:

    Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
    – Psalm 19:14

    I need for my words to be gentle and pleasing instead of harsh.

    Blessings :)

  • http://martysmoosetracks.blogspot.com Marty

    “Nothing makes me question my place in this world more than insecurity.”

    I think, if we’re honest, we all struggle with this. Thank you for this encouraging reminder today: “I know I’m in my right place when my foundation is the Rock.” :)

  • http://tawnimarie.wordpress.com Tawni Sattler

    What an absolutely beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing.

    p.s. my favorite line was ““No, you may not have juice. Only water forever.”” because that is SO me

  • http://anitamathias.com Anita Mathias

    Interesting. I like David Foster Wallace observation on these thought-loops or default settings. They reveal the idols of our hearts, or who we really are, and it takes conscious effort to first be aware of them, and then to change them. I like your examples.