Good morning! If you’ve been with us for Day 1, welcome back! I’m so proud of you for continuing on! If you haven’t snagged a copy yet, it’s not too late to get yours and join us! Head on over to Make Over Your Mornings to get yours now. The workbook that comes with it is invaluable – not to mention the personal videos you get to watch each day featuring Money Saving Mom‘s very own Crystal Paine. You can find Day 1’s Blog Along post here to catch up. And if you’re looking for a testimony to how wonderful this program works, you can find mine here.
Have your copy and ready to start changing your life? LET’S GO!
Can I just take a moment to say CONGRATULATIONS? I’m so very proud of you for making it this far! I know it can be hard to change our habits and pull ourselves onto a different course, but you’re doing it! You are merely days away from completing this course and setting yourself on a track for a successful life, and that deserves some recognition! Well done!
Today’s lesson was a hard one for me to swallow the first time I went through the course and even today. Honestly, this is an area of my life where I’ve felt an inability to overcome my own opinions of myself. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem since I was in Middle School. Unfortunately, the longer I keep telling myself the same lies, the lower my self-esteem gets. I say they’re lies, because somewhere, deep down, I know that’s the truth. I know that God made me and loves me just the way I am. The human part of me, however, has always looked for the world to see me in the same light He does.
I’ve gotten much better in the past year about not caring as much what other people think of me. I’ve come to realize that, generally speaking, what others think of me is not based on what they say, but it’s based on what I think they’re thinking. Which is utterly ridiculous. I try not to assume the worst in others, yet assuming that someone won’t like my personality or that someone thinks I’m this way or that, is doing just that. I’ll have pre-judged others’ judgments of me before I’ve even met them! How crazy is that?! It’s so easy to use the excuse that people won’t like you or won’t want to hear your story or won’t have the same struggles that you do. That very excuse has kept me from experiencing so many things.
I’ve spent most of my life thinking that I’m not good enough, that I don’t have anything worth while to offer, and that no one will like me if I’m genuinely myself, and it has cost me a lot. Sometimes, the negative thoughts of myself are enough to tear down an entire day. When my husband is trying to build me up, it’s so easy for me to tear that down and close my ears. It’s not fair to him or me. And it’s certainly not fair to my children to see that their own mother thinks so little of herself. Establishing those negative habits is not something I want for them because I know just how truly difficult it can be to build yourself back up.
I’m a work in progress for sure. When I went through this course this past summer, one of the negative thoughts I wrote down that was holding me back was the fact that I tend to shy away from group settings because I automatically assume from the beginning that no one will like me. I decided that in order to get out of that negative train of thought rut, I would join a group, stick with it the entire way (I’ve joined so many to wind up not returning after the first or second time in fear that people didn’t want me there) and be my authentic self from the beginning.
It just so happened that about a month ago, one of my dear friends asked me to join her MOPS (moms of preschoolers) group at church. The church I attend doesn’t have one, and I’d always wanted to join a MOPS group, but my fears held me back. This very thing had been weighing heavily on my heart for sometime. I struggle with the fact that I pretty much hole myself up in my house every day, shutting out the outside world, and don’t make an effort to make friends. Therefor, I have a very small world of close friends (one that lives in another state, my grandmother, and this friend I’m telling you about now) and have desired very much to grow that area of my life.
God knew my heart and came to the rescue, as always! Not only did He give me the opportunity to join a group that I’d longingly watched from ‘outside the store window wishing I had the right clothes to go in’, but He gave me a safety-net as well. He gave me my friend. I wouldn’t be going it alone, and I’d have her right there, holding my hand the entire way. He also knew I needed her to keep me accountable and going.
She joined me for the sign-up day and stayed by me the entire two hours the women chatted and kids played. She made me feel comfortable and safe and was such a wonderful blessing. Two weeks later was our first MOPS group meeting.
I was so happy to go knowing that I had someone to lean on. I got up that morning with an excitement I haven’t felt in a long time. I knew that this time, I wouldn’t fail. And God was making sure that I was going to be in the right group of women. Shortly after getting the older two on the bus, I received a text message from my friend that her son was sick, so she wouldn’t be able to attend. That, my friends, is what we call my perfect escape plan. I had the excuse I needed to not go. To give up before I was disappointed or had to spend the entire morning worrying about whether I was coming off too strong or annoying or excited or loud. My safety net wasn’t going to make it, so I didn’t need to either. Easy peasy.
Guess what? I shoved all of those feelings aside and decided to go anyway. I made a goal, and I was going to stick with it. I’d finally reached my peak of being sick and tired of holding myself back. So, I got myself and my toddler ready, and we hit the road with excitement and hope in my heart.
I told my grandma afterward that God rewarded me for going anyway. As it turned out, my friend’s sick son did a number on her husband when he was walking out the door for work that included the biggest droopy, sad, eyes and adorably pathetic voice begging his papa to stay home and cuddle. Long story short, he worked it out with his boss and stayed home so she could go to MOPS. God’s reward! And His biggest reward was that I didn’t spend the entire time worrying about what others thought of me, after all. Instead, my full focus was on the wonderful, God-fearing women all around me with their warm hearts and incredible souls, and the pure joy I was experiencing in their presence the entire time.
God blessed me with an amazing friend, and through her the opportunity to turn my negative thoughts into positive actualities. It’s hard sometimes not to fall back on old habits. I still struggle in others areas worrying about what people think of me when I find myself in large groups of new faces (usually do to my husband’s unending list of friends). But the important thing is that I’m working on it. I could spend hours of your time writing about the areas of my life where I’m feeding myself destructive lies. Instead, I’ll tell you that I’m working on each and every one of them. And one day, I’ll be in a place where I see myself through God’s eyes and not my own distorted lenses. I look very forward to that!
I’ll be back here tomorrow with my experiences and thoughts from Day Eleven! And don’t forget, if you still haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of the Make Over Your Mornings e-course, you can do that here.
What is a negative thought you’ve been feeding yourself? What truth did you counter it with, and what habit will you form to overcome it?