Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Voices in my Head

I noticed a lot of my friends shared the same article on their Facebook pages.  It's called The Bully too Close to Home, by Rachel Macy Stafford of

After it appeared in my news feed for about the fifth time, I decided I should take a minute to read it.  After all, if that many of my friends deemed it worthy to share, perhaps it wouldn't be a waste of time.

So I read it.  And it was in fact a very good read.

The author talks about her obsession with perfection, and how that obsession led her to seek perfection in her children, namely her oldest daughter.  She went on to say that the desire to have all things perfect stemmed from the negative thoughts that creep into her mind, criticizing her appearance, her actions, and even her children.

Do you hear those voices in your head?

I know I do.

And no, I'm not schizophrenic.  
At least that's what I tell myself. 


But I hear those same voices, telling me those same things.

You're fat. 

You're ugly.

You're lazy.

You're stupid.

But the voice I hate the most, and yet I hear the loudest, is the one that tells me...

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough.

That is the voice that too often keeps me from knowing Jesus better, seeing Him for who He really is, and understanding His love for me.


This past weekend, my husband told me he had decided to teach our boys a lesson in humility by having them participate in a foot-washing.

Now, anytime you talk about feet, my automatic response is, "Ewww...  Feet are gross."

I mean, honestly, think about it.  Feet ARE gross.  Am I right?

They're cold.  They're sweaty.  They're smelly.  They're filthy.  Ew...

Yes.  I am right.  Feet... are... GROSS.

So, what better way to practice humility, than to kneel in front of someone and wash their feet?


This whole ordeal brought forth a memory of the last time someone, other than me, washed my cold, sweaty, smelly, filthy feet...


I was part of a Christian service sorority, Alpha Delta Theta (ADT), during my college years at High Point University.  The girls in this group were "my sisters".

I didn't do anything on campus without at least one of them by my side.  They helped me experience college life at its greatest.  Whether it was staying up all night rolling down a snow-covered hill, or getting kicked out of McDonald's because we were laughing too loud.  Singing to a captive audience at the local Pizza Hut, or crying over boys, or exams, or mean girls.

They helped me thrive and survive during those college years, in every sense.

But most especially in the spiritual sense.

When I started college, I was a follower of Jesus Christ, but I didn't really know Him.  I had always gone to church, but I knew there was more to being a Christian than what I'd learned at Sunday School.

I remember, my first day at HPU, when my college roommate introduced herself to me as a devout Christian, my response was, "I want to be that too."

And the first time I went to an ADT meeting, a curly-haired girl named Molly said hello.  Then she held her hand up to me with her fingers crossed and said, "Me and Jesus.  We're like this."

And I thought, "Wow.  I want that too."

And over the next three and half years, these ladies showed me that living for Jesus is more fun, more challenging, more meaningful, and more purposeful than I could ever have imagined.

And this past weekend, while looking down at my husband as he gently lathered my feet with soap, one particular memory with my college peeps came to mind.

That's why I wrote this blog post.  This is what I want to share with you.


I was one of the leaders of Alpha Delta Theta, our Christian service sorority.  As I called the meeting to order, our praise leader pulled me aside to tell me that in place of our devotion, we would be doing a foot-washing.  Our conversation went something like this...

Me:  Wait.  What?

Her:  A foot-washing.

Me:  What is that?

Her:  Like in the Bible, when Jesus washed the disciples' feet.

Me:  So you're going to wash our feet?

Her:  We're all going to wash each other's feet.

Me:  Ew.  No.

Her:  (awkward silence)

Me:  No.

Her:  Why not?

Me:  I'm not comfortable with this.

Her:  Why not?

Me:  I'm just not.

Not since I was a baby had anyone washed my feet.  Ever.  And as I watched another friend bring in bins full of water, with cloths draped over her arm, I became light-headed.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no.  

I was scared.  And a little grossed-out.  But mostly scared.

We sat in the circle with our closest friends.  My friend, the praise leader, sat beside me.  She read from the Bible about Jesus washing his disciples feet.

And as the washing bin made it's way closer to me...

(rapid heartbeat, nervous breathing)

I started crying.

Tears flowed freely from my eyes, and I totally lost it.

And not because I was thinking of Jesus.

And not because I was totally grossed-out.

But because of that voice in my head.

You're not good enough.

You're not good enough. 

You're not good enough.

I felt so unworthy.

Who am I that my friend should kneel before me, and wash my feet.

I tried to convince her to skip over me, but she refused.  She grabbed my foot and stuck in the water.  Then she proceeded to make it clean.

She didn't hear that voice in my head.  She didn't know I wasn't good enough.

She just washed my feet.

I have never in my life felt so humble.


I hadn't thought about that moment in a very long time.  But it all came back to me this weekend.

Keith wanted to teach our boys by initiating this foot-washing, but I think it touched me more than it touched them.

In their defense, they are young boys.  All they could think about was how smelly each other's feet were, and how much it tickled to have them washed by someone else.

But as Keith washed my feet, and I washed his...

This time, I thought of Jesus.  The King of Kings.  Kneeling in front of me.  Washing my feet.


Or better yet.  Jesus, King of Kings.  Dying on a cross.  For me.

I am so not worthy.

You are so right, voice in my head.  I am not worthy.  But He did it anyway.  How blessed am I?

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you, Jesus.


Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

I've always struggled with those voices in my head.  It is quite a relief to know that I am not the only one.  

What I've come to realize is those voices come from the mouth of the devil, trying to destroy my confidence, and obliterate my sense of self-worth.

The Bible says in John 10:27

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

If I am listening to those voices telling me I'm fat, or I'm ugly, or I'm not good enough...  Then I can't hear the voice of God, the voice of Truth.  The voice that tells me...

I am beautiful.

I am loved.

I am important.

Thanks to my sisters in Alpha Delta Theta, thanks to my husband, (thanks to a few years in counseling), but most of all, thanks to the Holy Bible, I know His voice is the only voice that matters.

I hope you hear it too.  :)


If you have a moment, I encourage you to listen to this awesome song by Casting Crowns - The Voice of Truth.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Long Time, No Write

It has been a very, very long time since I last sat down to write a blog.  I'd like to say it's because I've been busy.  But once again, my excuse for not writing has simply been because I haven't know what to say.

My last serious blog was quite revealing in that I had finally come to understand some things about God and faith.

#1.  When I ask God for something, I believe He will answer.

#2.  I may not like His answer.

#3.  I have to trust that my Father knows best.

That blog represented a "light-bulb" moment for me.  Once I wrote it, I fully anticipated many more inspiring posts to soon follow.  I thought the revelations from God would just start flowing.  I thought I would feel closer to Him.  I thought I would continue to be at peace with all that has happened over the last year.

That is not the case.

The truth is the peace of that understanding only lasted for a little while.  Then I reverted back to numbness.

And I feel like I have been sleep walking through life ever since.


Every Wednesday, my homeschool friends and I gather around a small table in the local public library.  It is the time of week I most look forward to.  I like to compare it to what I imagine "planning period" might be like for public school teachers, except without the planning.

Heeheehee...  That makes no sense.  Let me try that again.

Maybe it's more like "recess" or "music class", when someone else takes your kids for an hour.  And at that moment, you are not responsible for teaching them anything.

I feel so grown up on Wednesdays, like I'm playing dress up in my mom's clothes and pretending to drink coffee.


A few weeks ago, I was at the library with my friends, and a couple of them suggested I read a book called The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rachel Nichols Alonzo.

This did not sound like my type of book.  I like to read fun, fictional novels that provide an escape from reality.  Not true stories that remind me how sad life can be.

But my friend, Missy, began telling me about this book.  Our conversation went something like this...

Me:  Ew.  That sounds scary.  What is it about?

Missy:  It is a novel about a true crime committed in the 70's right here in North Carolina.  

Me:  Yeah.  That still sounds scary.

Missy:  No.  No.  No.  You have to read it.  It's really good.  

Me:  Will it give me nightmares?

Missy (laughing at me):  Goodness, no.  It's about forgiveness.



I read the book this weekend...

It gave me nightmares...

Thanks Missy...


But seriously, it was a true story written by a woman recalling how her family was terrorized by an evil man when she was a young child.  Her parents were shot right in front of her.  Her mother died, and her father never fully recovered from the mental anguish inflicted by this "devil" who lived across the street.  

You can see why I had nightmares.

However, I read the book in less than two days.  I could not put it down for two reasons.

#1.  I needed closure.

#2.  Missy said it was about forgiveness, and I just could not wrap my brain around that.

It turns out, it truly is an awesome story of forgiveness.  I am still quite baffled.  It scared me to death, and opened my heart at the same time.

This woman, who had suffered life-altering fear and unspeakable loss at the hands of a madman, found it in her heart to pray for that same man and to forgive him.


I stayed up til 1 a.m. to finish this book.  And when I turned out the light and lay there in the dark, I knew I would have nightmares, so I tried to stay awake as long as possible.

I thought about how I might react if I ever found myself in that type of situation.  I'm quite certain my reactions would not reflect an unshakeable faith and deep love for God, as this woman's did.

I realized that I am not so deeply rooted in my faith that I would be able to forgive as easily as she has forgiven.

Once again, as I've done so many times before, I found myself wishing I knew God better.  And once again, as I've done so many times before, I hung my head in shame because the only one to blame for that lack of knowledge is me.

Then I fell asleep and had horrible nightmares.  Thank you Missy.


When I woke up Sunday morning, I literally jumped out of bed, eager to escape the nightmares, but also eager to go to church, hoping to hear something that would encourage this desire to know God better.  My Sunday School teacher showed a DVD from Billy Graham's My Hope America series called The Cross.  It was a moving compilation of testimonies, visuals, and messages.  It really fed my soul.

I walked out of that classroom feeling like God is just as eager for me to know Him better, as I am.  It got me excited.

And today, I began to incorporate Quiet Time into our school schedule.  I rarely deviate from our school schedule, so I figure by making it part of our daily routine, it will not go undone.  We will start our school day spending quality time in His Word, praying, meditating, and praising.

So, long story, short ~ that's why I'm writing today.  To tell you that scary, awesome book gave me nightmares, woke me up, and reignited that hunger for God inside of me.

Thank you Missy.  :)

Seeds of Faith - inspired by Elisha Skeen

What scares me the most is that I've been here before.  Desiring to know God better.  Hungry for knowledge.  Eager for His Word.

And somehow I've always dropped the ball.  I pray this time is different.  And I ask you to pray for me as well.

The Bible says in Acts 13:22

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.

I have always loved that description of David, "a man after God's own heart".  It gives me hope.  

David was not a perfect man.  He disappointed God on a number of occasions.  Just as I have.  Just as you have.  And yet, God described him as "a man after mine own heart".

Despite my imperfections, I pray that someday, someone will describe me as "a woman after God's own heart".