The Lies of Rejection

The Lies of Rejection

The-Lies-of-Rejection-Blog

I didn’t have my daddy leave me when I was a little girl, as Lysa Terkeurst recounts of her story in her new book Uninvited, but I have felt the slap of rejection.

The time when my seventh grade school friends planned a birthday party for everyone else, but not for me.
The time I blew it with a close friend, and I asked, “Do you still love me?” And the answer was, “A little less right now.”
The time I was passed over for a job that I felt capable to do, in favor of a younger, more talented woman.

Slap. Slap. Slap. Long after the red mark of the blow faded, the impression on my heart lasted.

With each new rejection, I made a mental note on how to never let it happen again.

So in junior high, I went on those before-school walks with my friends around the block taking covert puffs of cigarettes. I wouldn’t inhale because that would give me lung cancer which was deadly. But I pretended and puffed, earning my inclusion in the group.

I learned not to upset anyone so as not to have their love withdrawn from me. I learned to be likable, amiable Emily, becoming adept at people-pleasing.

I stopped putting myself out there for jobs I thought I could do, because there was always someone else who could do it better than me anyway.

Lysa writes, “Rejection isn’t just an emotion we feel. It’s a message that’s sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others and God.”

My lie was that I better blend into the crowd to be liked and accepted. That I better never tick anyone off, or I would never be truly loved. That I needed to try harder or else I would never be worthy enough to fulfill the dreams God gave me. The burn from the slaps in my past never fully healed because I kept rehearsing the scenes over and over, believing their stinging truth. I was now my own worst enemy.

I was the one rejecting myself, no one needed to do it for me.

I remember sitting at a conference with inspiring speakers. My usual M.O. means mourning that I’m not like these speakers. Oh, I’d like to be like them – inspiring, motivating, educating, but I realize I am not up to par with them. And probably never will be. The negative talk hisses, “I’m not educated like they are. I will never be able to do it as well as them. I am not equipped or connected. I just don’t have what it takes!”

During worship time, God whispered as if He sat right beside me. “Emily, what you are moaning about is sin for you. You are staying stuck in the belief that you are not enough. You think this is a belief about yourself, but it’s really what you believe about me. You believe I am not enough for you.”

“Oh, Lord, no!” was my first response. “You are sovereign, all-sufficient and every other praise adjective I was taught in Sunday School.” Yet He showed me I honored Him with my lips, but my actions showed otherwise. When I constantly let rejection define me by belittling myself, comparing myself and trying hard to be perfect, what I was really doing was telling God His approval was not enough. That what He made when He made me was obviously not good enough.

In fact, I was the clay, smashing my vessel and fisting it to God, “Not good enough! Remake me!” And The Potter takes that lump, with my uncertainties and insecurities and says, “You are my workmanship. I knit you together perfectly. I chose you as my own before the foundations of the world. When I made you, I declared it good, VERY good even. I bought you. With a heavy price. I made you enough already. When will you confidently believe it?”

I know you have your stories of rejection too. Just think back to junior high, the hotbed of so much rejection. Have you carried those wounds through adulthood? Have you let them define you? Tell lies about you? It’s funny how we try so hard to find approval in the ones who rejected and hurt us. Isn’t it enough to know the Creator of the Universe believes we are enough?

Lysa observes, “People can’t fix from the outside a perspective that needs to rewired on the inside.” Not admittance in the Cool Club or perfectly performed responses or acquiring the best suited job. None of that tells us we are enough. So it’s useless trying so hard to make it so. But there is a salve to heal the hurts of rejection. It’s turning to the Truth, running to the Life to show us the Way.

I confessed the lies I believed about myself. But I also had to confess my lack of faith in my Father. His Word is truth and He’s says we are cherished and approved! Do you know how healing it is to accept God’s approval and quit chasing after the world’s?

“Lies flee in the presence of truth.” Tune your heart to believe a new truth: You are accepted, for now and forevermore!

*All quotes taken from Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst.


Emily NelsonEmily Nelson is part of the Kathi Lipp ministry team. More about her can be discovered and loved at her website, www.beyondtheredchair.com.

5 Ways to Keep The Husband Project Going

5 Ways to Keep The Husband Project Going

5-Ways-to-Keep-THP-Going

Being intentional about anything is always the best way to make it better. Whether we are talking eating right, clearing the clutter, having quiet time with the Lord, or loving on our man. As we wrap up our study this week with all of our friends at Proverbs 31, I want to encourage you with 5 ways to keep The Husband Project going.

  1. Add a reminder to your calendar for at least 2x per month to do something intentional just for him. Maybe it’s to pick up a treat for him, make him his favorite dinner, a massage, or 30 minutes of free time carved out for him to recharge.
  1. Add your man to your prayer journal. Praying for your marriage is a great way to be intentional and praying specifically for God to move in your husband’s life through you and in every facet of his day will build him up.
  1. Buy a pack of post-it notes and then use them. Buy a pack that are just for him (maybe they are blue or heart shaped) and write an encouraging word for him. Leave one in his car, his lunch, on his pillow, in his suitcase, on his mirror… you get the idea. Doing this at least once a month will show him you are thinking about him and grateful for all he does.
  1. Break out the lingerie. Girls, if this project was the first time you’ve whipped out the lingerie in months/years/decades, vow to bring it out more. Has it been an especially tense week for your guy at work? Lingerie. Did the teenager disrespect him? Lingerie. Are you in a really great mood today? Lingerie. Did you have two cups of afternoon coffee? Lingerie. Find an excuse to bring it out rather than excuse to keep it in the drawer.Pinterest14WayseBook
  1. Make sure you are signed up to receive my blog and newsletter in your inbox because… Every 2 months we will be doing a special 5 day mini-project. We’ll get together and encourage each other, build each other up and of course share all of the great ideas you have with all our new friends dedicated to their marriages. Our first 5 day project will be in late September!Sign up by clicking here and when you do you’ll receive by ebook, 14 Ways to Have a Happier Husband.

*Bonus idea: get out your journal, or a piece of paper, or type on your computer. Write down all of the benefits you’ve seen from doing this study. From your heart, to his reactions, to your children’s responses to mom loving on dad more intentionally. Write it down. And when you get discouraged about your marriage, go back to this list.

A Relationship-Crushing Lie  (And the Truth That Busts It)

A Relationship-Crushing Lie (And the Truth That Busts It)

Low expectations (1)

My father-in-law regularly repeats a joke that used to do the macarena on my last nerve. “Your mom and I have a great relationship. Want to know the secret?” he’d ask my husband and me with a smirk. “Low expectations.”

As a woman of exceedingly high standards for myself and my relationships, I’d snort, roll my eyes, and think, “How sad!” Twenty six years of marriage and about a decade of personal soul searching have changed my view of the joke, however. My father-in-law is on to something.

I was the woman who dragged a whole train of expectations down the aisle with my white dress, and it hasn’t served me well. A long list of lies shot those expectations full of steroids.

Before I broke up with perfect, I said things to myself like “I always need to be my most perfect self.” That’s been replaced with a commitment to be my truest self. (Shaky sigh of relief.) I once truly believed that I could make the pictures of perfection in my head come to life, but now I’m content to live in the blessing of my reality. I used to measure the perfection of my marriage by holding it up to others. These days I focus on the gifts of the man that’s perfect for me instead!

Probably the worst lie I believed was this:  I should help my beloved live up to his potential.

It sounded so pretty when I said it with my sweet southern accent, but the heart of the lie was rotten. I suspect I’m not the only one who bought the lie, though. You know the drill. “It’s not criticism. It’s help.” “It’s not manipulation. It’s showing him the right way to do things.” “I’m just encouraging him to have high standards, don’t you know?” Mercy.

We go into a relationship because of admiration, but somehow a growing level of commitment shifts us into improvement mode. He’s wonderful, but… He’s almost perfect, if only…

When I met my husband Barry, I was most attracted to the bold and hilarious way he spoke his mind. I love to tell people that he’s reverent about God, but everything else is fair game! Barry had this “good girl” in daily gales of laughter about the edgiest things.

Somehow the switch flipped after we married, though. He didn’t change a bit, but my attitude did. I was nervous when I didn’t know what he’d say, and I thought I could make him even more wonderful by refining his verbal filter. Needless to say, that belief wasn’t very popular.

Relationships shatter when we value perfection over people.

Sadly, it took years for me to realize the damage I was doing with my pick-you-apart methods, but thankfully my husband isn’t just funny.  He’s also one of the most grace-filled people I know.

I asked Barry recently what expectations he brought into our marriage, and he seemed puzzled. “I expected to love you and for you to love me,” he replied simply, and I realized he was being honest. That’s a shocking statement for a woman who believes in the power of a life-changing tweak!

Day One of Breaking Up with Perfect

Click to Download Day One of Breaking Up with Perfect

For twenty-six years, Barry’s greatest gift to me has been that he truly lets me just be without an agenda to improve me. The trick for us reforming perfectionists is to learn to return the gift, and I’m determined that’s just what I’m going to do for Barry for the next twenty-six years plus.

This week I’m finishing up Kathi’s 21-day challenge in The Husband Project, and she’s been a huge encouragement all the way through. Almost every day in one way or another she’s urged all the participants to lower our expectations. Live in the real world. Give yourself (and your husband BTW) grace.

Kathi’s absolutely right. For about five years, I’ve been breaking up with expectations, lies, and mental pictures of perfection, and my marriage is the happiest it’s ever been.

It’s been a journey, but I’m now convinced. Low expectations add the gift of joy to our marriage. When unconditional love is elevated and perfectionism is banished, two individuals experience the freedom to grow into a bonded unit where happiness thrives.

That kind of marriage is even better than perfect, so next time, I’ll look my father-in-law in the eye, rare back, and laugh myself silly at his joke!


10-19-15 Carroll Amy HeadhshotAuthor: Amy Carroll is the author of Breaking Up with Perfect and a speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She lives in NC with her husband and a bossy miniature dachshund.  You can find her on any given day texting her sons at college, typing at her computer, reading a book, or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner.

Join Amy for a FREE online book study of Breaking Up with Perfect from Aug. 1-September 5. Find out all the details about joining in the fun and community by clicking here.

Dress to Impress Your Man

Dress to Impress Your Man

dress to impressguest post by Kim Nowlin

One way we show our husbands we love them is by looking our best each day. Does that mean I am wearing a ball gown and full makeup everyday when he comes home? Not at all. In fact, there are seasons — think just had a baby — when you are lucky to get a shower each day. Let alone dress for your day! It’s about intention — “How can I look as good as possible when we come together again at the end of the day?” Sometimes all this means is you’re putting on a fresh pair of sweats and freshening up before he gets home.

As you go through The Husband Project Bible Study, I encourage you to dress each day to please your husband.

Here are some simple tips to dress to impress:

Dress for the season you are in: Looking your best does not require becoming a fashionista if that’s not your thing. The goal is to look our best in the season we are in. For example, I’m a stay at home mom who is occasionally a speaker at women’s events, so my wardrobe is primarily made up of jeans and t-shirts. The rest of my clothes dress up my everyday look — blazers, cardigans, and accessories. Nothing fancy! But my husband sees me in different versions of my “uniform” each day. And I am always dressed for my day when he comes home.

Dress for your day: Every day I “dress for my day” — somedays I am home all day doing chores, so I might have on my sweats. Before my husband comes home I make sure I take a few minutes to freshen up. On days I have dressed for being outside our home, I make sure I stay in that outfit until after he comes home and sees me before I change into something comfy.

Dress for your husband: Your husband may not care anything about fashion and may act like he doesn’t care about what you wear — dress to please him anyway. Show him you care about yourself and him by looking your best each day. If he communicates preferences, honor them whenever possible. For example, my husband loves my lips and likes to see them in red lipstick. He does not like to kiss my lipstick. Before he gets home I take off my lipstick so he has fresh lips to kiss.

Dressing for bed: I don’t know about you, but I am not into lingerie at all! I prefer t-shirts and shorts — preferably cotton. Thankfully, you can still show up to sexy time looking and feeling your best. You can find cute, comfy, sexy pajamas in a number of places — Target is my favorite. Not feeling super great about your body? Find the pieces showing off your best features in fabrics and colors making you feel great.

And remember — out of all the women in the world, he chose YOU! As Kathi says, “be visually generous” with your husband. Yours’ is the body he gets and wants to look at — dress it to please him!

He-Chose-You


dress to impress Kim Nowlin

Kim Nowlin is the Assistant Pastor at Valley Life Foursquare Church, in Santa Clara, and a Mentor Mom for MOPS.
With a background in fashion, most recently as a Personal Stylist for Anthropologie, Kim assists women in creating a Clutter Free Wardrobe that will enhance their true beauty in Christ.

Kim has been married to David for 15 years. They have two children, Olivia (13), and Adam (11).

The Secret to Winning in Your Marriage

The Secret to Winning in Your Marriage

The-Secret-to-Winning-in-Your-Marriage

I’m at my mom’s house, and she’s just asked me to do the dishes.

I don’t want to.

Now don’t get me wrong; I would do just about anything for the woman who gave me life.

But doing the dishes at my mom’s house comes with a certain amount of built-in humility.

Because I know that as soon as I’m done loading the dishes into her dishwasher, she will rearrange them all.

And for the rest of the night I will seethe. Not because of wasted time or effort. But because of my mom’s deafening unspoken message: There is only one right way to load a dishwasher— my way. And you, dear daughter, have done it wrong. Again.

I’m a grown woman with four grown kids. I load a dishwasher at least once (and if I’ve actually cooked and we aren’t just washing coffee cups and cereal bowls? More than once) a day. But my mom always has to make sure that her dishwasher is loaded right.

For the rest of our visit, I’m going to be silently steaming over the dishwasher redo. Because let’s be honest; there isn’t one right way to load a dishwasher. There are about 300 “right” ways to do it.

Have you been there? You just want to love someone, serve them even, but their need to be right squashes your effort to show love?

Sadly, too many times, I’ve been the squasher when it comes to my husband.

When we first got married and blended our family, I knew the right way to run a house. I knew the right place to store the mixing bowls and the right place to keep milk in the fridge.

And I also knew the right way to discipline kids, have a happy marriage, and, well, just about everything.

What I forgot? Roger had a right way to do all of those things as well.

I’ve learned how vital it is to have our priorities in order. To ask ourselves, “Is my first calling to be right or to be in relationship?”

How can you tell? If your priority is to win, if it’s to get him to admit that he is wrong and you are right, if it’s to prove that he should always just do what you say when you disagree because, again, YOU WERE RIGHT, then clearly your priority is to be right.

In contrast, when you focus on being in relationship, you put your relationship before results. You care more about you two as a couple that any one outcome.

What about when you’re right (because I’m guessing that happens a lot,) and want to value your relationship more than the being right?

This is when the third R comes in: Respect.

You can disagree, champion your point, and be right all while maintaining the relationship as long you do so with respect.

When Roger and I are driving to the mall and clearly he is going a different direction than I think we should be heading, I’m tempted to say, “You’re going the wrong way! Again!”

Instead, I can use my favorite “Respect” secret weapon: a Clarifying Question.

Such as, “Is there someplace you wanted to go before the mall?”

And one of the greatest gifts in all of this going from right to respect and relationship is this: when there is less need to win, you both can win by being on each other’s team. You are not opposing each other; you’re linking arms to confront problems, together.

Philippians 2:3b
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

The-Secret-to-Winning-in-Your-Marriage-Verse-Square

Question of the day: What is one way you are going to focus on relationship over winning in your marriage this week?


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Recipes to Crave: Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipes to Crave: Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches

Star-spangled ice cream sandwiches

Just in time for 4th of July celebrations, I wanted to share one of my favorite summer time treats with you. Enjoy!!!

Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 28 sandwiches*

Ingredients:

56 of The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever (recipe to follow)
1 gallon of your favorite vanilla ice cream
patriotic sprinkles

Directions:

Once cookies have fully cooled, place one to two scoops of ice cream on half of the bottom side of the cookies. Press the bottom side of each of the remaining cookies onto the ice cream scoops to form sandwiches. Use your finger or a knife to spread the ice cream evenly around the sides of each sandwich. Wrap the sandwiches individually in plastic wrap or place in a large dish and cover. Freeze at least 30 minutes before decorating. Place patriotic sprinkles in a shallow dish. Remove sandwiches from freezer and roll each sandwich in the sprinkles until covered as desired. Enjoy!

*The original blog post for The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever was for a cookie dough exchange and makes a large number of cookies. The Star-Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches Recipe is based upon the halved recipe of The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever. If making the full recipe of cookies, you will yield 56 ice cream sandwiches and need two gallons of vanilla ice cream to make them.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

The following recipe is by far the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe we have ever made at home. There is something about that blended up oatmeal that makes these cookies about the moistest (is that even a word?) and chewiest CCC I have ever had the delight of eating. Oh, and the dough freezes perfectly! On to the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 112 cookies (recipe may be halved)

Ingredients:

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

If freezing cookie dough, decide if you want to freeze into pre-scooped balls or ready to slice logs. Flash freeze scooped balls on a cookie sheet before packaging it. It will make it easier to handle and keep its shape better if you are freezing a lot of packages on top of it. For logs, wrap in plastic wrap and form into a log about 2 inches around.

I package my dough in large Ziploc bags. Put the dough in the bag and write the baking instructions on the bag. I like to experiment with the cookies and find out what the baking time and temp is for frozen dough as well as thawed dough.