Word Women Wednesday & Link Up

Meet my new friend Linsey @ LLH Designs.  I met her through Tara @ Between You and Me and she has stolen a piece of my heart.  She puts you at ease instantly.  She is genuine, sweet, kind and she listens with her heart.  She makes THE most beautiful cards I have ever seen.  She just has a birthday Monday and has sworn off fearing birthdays choosing instead to celebrate her fearfully and wonderfully made self!  And I couldn’t agree more.  Most importantly – I love how she transparently shares her relationship with God and with others.

I want House of Belonging to be a  place where we can be real women in a real world loving a real GOD and then digesting the seeds He is sowing in our lives and living them outloud.  Ann Voscamp @ Holy Experience said

“The words that matter most are the ones we live. And what ranks the highest is how we write our lives.”

I can chew on that awhile.  We are living letters…living words that others breathe in and out every day.

Linsey is a real living letter and I am excited for you to read her…I asked her if she would mind if I re-posted this because it is a real place that so many of us find ourselves in..often.  Here is a word picture of what a women looks like in the process of being set free!

I would be humbled if you’d join me…

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While pretending yesterday was a snow day, I did a lot of blog reading in bed. That sounds dreamy, right? It should’ve been, but instead of gathering inspiration, I became more and more overwhelmed by what I saw…goal setting that intimidated me, accomplishments that shamed me, creativity that was beyond me.

I came away thinking I am DONE blogging…both reading and writing. And it’s not like anyone would notice my absence. It’s not like I have many followers, subscribers, commenters, etc.  With all of the well-read, well-written and hugely followed blogs out there, who needs my ramblings?

But then I read this post by a new blog friend, Tara. {I love her authenticity.} Actually, I first read her post back in July, but I had forgotten all about it. I needed it more today than ever. This quote she shared from Beth Moore stopped me in my tracks:

“INSECURITY’S BEST COVER IS PERFECTIONISM.”

But I’m not insecure, I thought to myself. Never have been. Right. So what was going on yesterday? Why did I feel so intimidated and…INSECURE as I surfed through all of my favorite blogs? It wasn’t because of the person writing. Nope, it was something in me that didn’t feel good enough.

This is the whisper of the enemy of my soul: that I am not good enough. We’ve all heard the whisper. The trouble isn’t in the hearing; it’s in the believing. And when we start believing the lie, it changes the way we see everything.

And you don’t have to go very far to see things through the lens of the lie {that you are not enough}. All it took for me was one step out of my bedroom where I was confronted with this:

Looking at it now, I can see the truth: that we are really missing Elsa and the 10 hours of housekeeping help she provides each week. {Sweet Elsa broke her arm two months ago and has yet to return.} So things get a little crazy around here, and I’m no laundry queen. That’s OKAY.

But when I looked at the laundry room through the lens of the lie {that I’m not enough}, I heard whispers of condemnation in my head. This doesn’t look like all the blog photos I saw yesterday. Other people can do it all. Why can’t you? {The comparisons reeled in my mind.}

Just ignore the mess, Linsey. Keep walking. Go downstairs and read that book you don’t want to read. {More on that another time.} So I went downstairs to grab a cup of tea and sit by the fire when I saw this:

What’s wrong with that, you say? Nothing. Nothing at all. Of course, I can see that now. But with the whispers of condemnation still ricocheting through my head, I thought: look at that boring, empty mantel, the dirty brick, the candle wax I’ve not yet scraped away…

…and the undecorated but yet-to-be-put-away CHRISTMAS TREE for crying out loud! No one who has a decent amount of motivation and respect for her home leaves things looking like this! {There’s that condemnation again.}

You might be tempted to call me crazy, overly perfectionistic, too hard on myself…but I’m taking the risk of sharing this with you because I think there may be others of you who hear these same condemning whispers in your head.

And here’s the deal: there is no amount of will power or goal setting or motivation that can permanently disarm these lies. To think there is would only cause you to further beat yourself up when you fall short. Been there, done that.

So it’s time for a change: not in a resolution-making, goal-setting kind of way, but a change in the way we SEE, which requires a change in the way we THINK. The real question is: what will we choose to BELIEVE when the whispers threaten to undo us?

There’s a lot more to say about those things, but this post is plenty long already. But I will say this: there’s a shift that occurs when we choose to believe the truth. Now I can see things differently.

Instead of fixating on the mantel, I sat beneath it and I enjoyed a hot cup of vanilla tea by a warm fire…and thanked God that I had a fire to enjoy on this chilly day.

And instead of focusing on yet another to-do (or “failure to do”) as I gazed out the window…

..I shifted my gaze to a bird friend {bottom right corner}…

…and took the time to watch him drink, then welcome another friend.

And yes, my laundry room is still a mess (I only showed you half of it!) and my Christmas tree is still standing, but I see things differently now. And I see myself differently.

“For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

And THAT, my friends, is the truth…the truth that changes the way I see everything. And if sharing all of this helps even one of you see differently today, too, then this crazy-long post was worth it!

Blessings and hugs to you today from a heart that is being set free!

P.S. I thought robins were spring birds, but it seems they pop out even when it snows! I love the way my blog friend Paige captured a few bird friends here. Doesn’t her post make you want to cozy right up in her home?

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Today, if you’d like to share with us on any area of captivity or where you are choosing being brave over being stuck or just being a real woman in a real world … just enter in the direct URL to your exact post….. If you share –  we would love you to help us find each other by sharing our WORD-women button or linking back to Word Women Wednesdays.  xo:) thanks SO very much.


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LLH Designs - Tiffini, I am the humbled one. Wow. I've never even met you and yet you have lavished me with love and encouragement. You are a gift. Your heart is true and whole and HIS! I am so thankful for your voice of authenticity here on your blog…and so amazed at the ways God has crossed our paths…just as I was thinking of throwing in the towel on blogging,

Loving you all the way from Houston, my friend! Thank you.
Linsey

Morning T - Hi Tiffini~ so glad you shared Linsey's beautiful post with your readers. That post resonated with me, especially during a time where I found myself in a blog rut and questioned keeping my blog going at all. Linsey reminded me that my blog is my own little creative corner and that if I don't have anything to post for a week, it's A-OK!! She is a true gem and I'm fortunate to call her my real life friend as we met through out little blog last year and had an instant connection. Funny thing is we live a few blocks from each other.

Cheers to you~
T

tkilgore - How blessed we are to have real friends. Ones that have our backs..speak truth wrapped in love..lift us up..inspire..pray for us…just a true gift in this life. Then to have that gift a few blocks from each other…that is the cherry on top:)
thanks for stopping by…

Tara - love this post…
it's been one of my favorites of 2011 because she stepped out of her comfort zone and stretched herself…just beautiful.

Donnetta - What a great reminder and challenge to my own heart! It's not the hearing of the lies that leads to my demise, but rather the really listening and then believing them that changes the way I see things… including myself.

What an encouraging reminder and promise of hope! As I refuse to believe the lies and choose truth, freedom comes. And the "truth shall set you free". Indeed!

paige - thank you linsey for introducing me to the house of belonging!
i love it!

paige - oops…i wasn't done

linsey, this was one of my favorite posts of yours. i appreciate your open heart & transparency.
i think we all have days where as much as we love the inspiration from blogging, it can feel intimidating too. the comparison road is a treacherous one.

i love your blog & i'm so glad i found you
xo
the end

Mickie - Thanks so much for this message, I could see myself on each page.

Michelle DeRusha - Wise words and revelations from your friend Lindsey here — thanks to you, and her, for sharing them here.

Linda Lewis - What a nice tribute to Linsey who just happens to be my daughter. She is, indeed, the real thing.
BTW, the quote about life you've used is George Bernard Shaw. It is one of my favorites.

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