My body curled into a ball as my face became drenched with tears. Shame and regret washed over me while I cried. Harsh words had been hurled at a loved one, the unlucky recipient who had unjustly borne the brunt of my overflowing stress.
I wished I could take those ugly words away from the hearer’s ears and shove them right back into my mouth, then swallow them whole and allow something kind and gentle to flow from my lips instead.
I desperately want to be a life giver. To refresh, uplift, and renew those around me.
But sometimes, I fall painfully short of that desire. Sometimes my attitude or careless words drain hope and happiness right out of someone’s spirit.
Because words and deeds are like that – they hold great power. And we can’t undo what we’ve already done. We don’t get a rewind or a do-over on life. We only get one shot at each moment.
In those minutes after my verbal storm, I felt unlovable and nonredeemable. I fed myself lies because I didn’t feel worthy of Truth. And the truth is that, yes, I should have responded in a kinder way, but one bad moment does not make me a bad person.
One bad hour does not have to accumulate to a terrible day.
One slew of unkind words, though not excusable, does not take away the thousands of beautiful sentences I’ve woven into someone’s heart.
Mess-ups, sins, shortcomings, they’re all redeemable. But to grow, we must feed ourselves life-giving truths. Dear friend, if you’re struggling with feelings of defeat, I want you to tell yourself these truths. Say them out loud. Feel the healing that can come from believing these words:
- I am lovable.
- I am capable.
- I am valuable.
- I am redeemable.
- I am enough.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:13-14, NKJV
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8, NKJV
Do you deeply believe the words you just whispered to yourself? If you don’t, write them down, print them out, put them on your bathroom mirror, or stick them in your pocket. Tell yourself the powerful truths over and over again until you believe them. And then keep on telling yourself, so you never forget.
Because if we want to move forward, if we want to do well in life – whether at parenting, homemaking, a career, or any other desired goal, we must first believe that we can. We have to internalize the knowledge that every inch of us was lovingly created. We must know that we’re not beyond help.
Beautiful Tidy Up Friends, one of the worst lies we can tell ourselves is that it’s too late.
We eat another brownie and decide it’s too late to make healthy food choices today so we reach for even more. We waste the morning on electronics and berate ourselves for not accomplishing needed tasks, then we turn our defeated faces back to the brightly lit screen.
We make a bad move at the office or in a relationship and our stomachs sink because we know consequences will arise and people may be hurt.
But you must know, it’s not too late to alter the path you’re currently on. It’s not too late to make good choices and it’s not too late for you.
When we begin to feel defeated, we can pray for guidance and gently correct our inner voice by saying, “It’s not too late. I can help redeem this.”
When our little ones want us to snuggle with them in bed and we say no, we can return to their room, whisper an apology, and ask them to hold back the covers for us as we climb in.
When we eat too much dessert, we can set a bowl of fruit on the counter so it’s easier to make a healthy choice the next time.
If we make a poor decision in a relationship or at work, we can seek forgiveness from the people we’ve hurt. Because even though we don’t like drawing attention to our poor choices, it’s often the fastest way to restore a relationship.
If we live in a chaotic home, we can wallow in self-pity and defeat, or we can choose to start where we are to restore beauty and peace as we lovingly work to make imperfect progress.
We can stop waiting until the next big event, or next month, or even next year. We can stop waiting until the mood strikes and start now.
Because as my mother used to tell me, “Mind over matter, dear.” In other words, we can choose our attitude and choose our mood, regardless of the circumstances.
We shouldn’t make excuses for poor habits. But we don’t need to wallow in self-defeating ugly talk, either. We can gently acknowledge where we need to improve. We can kindly feed ourselves truth.
We must believe that we will make a difference. We will change. We will improve. We will learn to be okay with imperfect progress.
Because when we take the pressure off of ourselves to do things in the perfect way at the perfect time, we’re giving ourselves permission to move forward, right where we are, starting today.
Lasting change won’t happen perfectly right away. And a positive difference isn’t always noticeable from the outside until great progress has been made within our own hearts first.
But when we refuse to give up, we will begin making improvements. Yes, it might be two steps forward and one (or three) steps back, but we can dig in our heels, climb the mountain, and refuse to walk away.
We keep trying because every positive decision helps to propel us forward. We refuse to give up so we can mature into the women that God created us to be. We can choose to be refined (Zechariah 13:8-9).
And it will be beautiful.
Friend, this week’s assignment is to give yourself a small housekeeping success so you can start believing in yourself. Catch up on laundry, clean out your closet, tidy one room in your house, or gather a bag of gently used items for donation.
To really give yourself a boost, share this article on Facebook or with a friend, join the free Tidy-Up Club, or leave a comment letting us know a truth you’re working to believe. Immerse yourself in beautiful community so we can encourage and inspire each other as we work together to form positive, life-changing habits, one step at a time.
And to make it easy for you to encourage someone you love, I created printable You Are Enough notecards that you can share with a friend. Go here to receive your free notecards.
Articles Linked to Within this Post
- Maybe Your Two-Year-Old Just Needs You
- 10 Ways Cleaning is Like Dieting
- Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions (Book Review)
- Chaos to Clutter-Free: 16 Realistic Steps to an Organized Home (My eBook)
- Show Love With Clean
- Housekeeping Tip #4: Stop Waiting for Perfect
- Tidy Up Club (private Facebook group)
I’d love to hear: What truths do you need to tell yourself today?