The to-do list to my left is long.
I have all the normal items written down of a typical homeschool mother and pastor’s wife, but a few extra things have been added in. With company coming, stores to visit, school to teach, a home that needs a thorough cleaning, a van that needs a serious vacuum, a body that needs some health improvements, a heart that just needs some rest.
Yes. It’s hard not to feel harried and stressed.
But those last two… the health and the heart – they aren’t on the long list of things to get to, they are just longings at this point. Longings that will have to be tended to another day.
With all the hustle going on around here right now, and a prompting I felt earlier in the week, I’m pulling up something from the past to share with you today. Speaking of long, it’s a bit lengthy. It expounds more than my normal post would. But I was taught while typing it… all those 3 years ago, and I was put in my place by it today, yet again.
I hope it stirs you, and urges you on to something good…
You want to know what’s beautiful?
You want to know what’s intricate, and intimate, and complicated, and strong?
You want to know what’s wonderfully imaginative?
And astoundingly accurate?
And beyond understanding?
And fantastic? And divinely organized?
The mind of a woman.
This crazy mass of complex design – this chief organ of neurons and synapses and systems….it’s marvelous. Especially on us women.
We can recall conversations with ease. We can dream and imagine and ponder in wild, vivid color. We can remember minute details and tuck away even the tiniest of hurts, and joys, and occurrences. We can weave all the areas of our lives into one detailed piece. We can remember words, and exchanges, and facts, and glances….verbatim. (Much to the chagrin of husbands everywhere!)
And while all this is truly remarkable. And created. And given….
It can also be used for the fall.
This instrument of ours that sits atop our bodies….it can be twisted into a gnarly, tangled, broken mess of mass.
And we women of Christ, as we recognize the power we behold in our minds, we must recognize the potential we have to tarnish it all. Our minds can lead us down roads that we were never meant to take….not even in the mental realm.
Like adultery. We have heard of emotional adultery. And we clearly understand physical adultery. But mental adultery? It’s real. Us women…with our imaginative tendencies – we can have a man from our past – or a man from across the aisle – or a man from a movie – or a man from the office…wrapped in the embrace of our brains in seconds.
Like jealousy. We see something in another lady….her house, her husband, her hair, her gifting, her blouse, her boobs, her role, her children, her bundt cake – and we covet it like a child covets a wanted toy that’s in the grip of another babe.
Like fear. We let crazy, anxiety-inducing scenarios play out in our heads until we are convinced that those scenes will actually come to pass in our lives. And this leads to nothing but weariness and stagnation. We place safety and health above sanctification and hearts saved. (In this area….I am chief. Lord, help.)
Like haughtiness. We get some desired position, we get to volunteer on Sundays, we get asked to share at the next women’s supper – and we suddenly walk about a foot higher…this brain in our minds suddenly amongst the clouds….suddenly above all the others.
Like self-loathing. We get insulted. Or we get reprimanded. Or dissed. Or overlooked. Or slighted. And we wallow. While these feelings are sometimes warranted – we sometimes choose to stay there. We women…we can even refuse healing. Why? Because we feel we deserve to be depressed. Because we get more attention being broken. Because less is expected of us when we aren’t whole.
Please hear me saying this ever so gently….this has to be overcome.
The damage that’s done to our hearts all because of what we are thinking in our minds – its catastrophic.
We have to turn this around. We have got to use this incredible device we’ve been given for ringing in His glory.
Instead of imagining ourselves basking in the brace of another man – let’s imagine bringing our best to the husband we’ve been joined to. Period. Only him. Your marriage is holy ground – even up there in the solitude of your own thought life. Especially there.
Instead of pondering all the things we don’t have ….let’s wear thankfulness. Let’s have it be how people describe us. Let’s have grateful be the word they use.
Instead of allowing the enemy to implant ferocious thoughts in our thinking – let’s simply refute him with the sword…with the scriptures. Don’t let those frightening images sit in your head even for a second. Immediate deployment of God’s Word is necessary.
Instead of imagining ourselves ushering at services in a cute dress on a good hair day – let’s usher in the Spirit to people. And likewise – instead of worrying about manicured nails and outfits and just-right jewelry when we present Him to people…let’s bask in raw realness with our fellow sojourners.
Instead of false-humility and backwards lowliness – let’s recognize who we are in Him and the healing that’s available by way of Jesus.
Is the Spirit speaking to somebody besides me?
Instead of filling our minds with sin-filled nonsense…let’s fill it proper.
Let’s have this vast imagination of ours let loose on Truth.
Scripture can change a mind – save a mind.
I heard Christine Caine talk one time about being faithful in anonymity and obscurity. You can’t get any more obscure than in the mind, my friends. So up there….in that secret place – let’s show our obedience to the Lord. Let’s chase away and shoot down any thought that isn’t righteous, and life-giving, and founded in goodness.
A ‘no-trespassing’ sign needs to be nailed up, if you will.
A decision to force out thoughts and images and ideas that aren’t healthy, and helpful, and humble…needs to be made.
And oh, as you choose to obey Him faithfully in the places that people can’t see, His blessings will abound even in the places they can.