When was the last time you declared catching practice against the curve-balls of your negative thinking? As a mom of three boys and a decked-out tomboy growing-up, this vivid imagery grabbed my attention.
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NLT)
I was driving our minivan with the boys jabbering away as our local Christian radio station Z88.3
played through the noise. I had so many to-do lists whirling through my mind. So many places to go, people needing more of me than I can even offer! Can you believe it’s already time to start shopping for school supplies?
Yet, so many times I fail to stop and really deal head-on with my thoughts. The lies that whisper:
“Bethany, you are so not prepared. You will never be a great mom.”
“Bethany, no matter how hard you try, you will never do as good of a job as that mom over there.”
“Bethany, you dropped the ball again, as usual. Why keep trying?”
I could go on, but I’ll stop there. Can you relate?
Do you allow your negative thoughts to define you?
took over my radio that day for just a moment, a few seconds that completely silenced our entire van. Seriously! Our van filled with sweaty, snotty, love to burp in public manhood was completely hushed as she unfolded a lesson that took root in our hearts. The story involved a hurting little boy and a really good opportunity for a great catch. Listen to the radio spot here.
So many times I fail to stop and take every thought captive. Instead, I just follow wherever my thoughts, emotions and feelings may guide my day. What a waste! Like a dog chasing a skunk, well friends, that’s not going to end well. We all know that. Yet, we have a hard time catching our wounded heart when our negative thinking has taken over. We are hit hard and frankly, it stinks up everyone around us.
In our minivan that day, my boys and I decided to try Rene’s new strategy. I offered them permission to catch me in a negative mindset by simply showing me their catching hand. I would do the same for them if I noticed they were going down the same path. Suddenly our vehicle was transformed to three amazing catchers with no umpire or batter in sight. It was quite humorous actually. No words. No sounds. Just a family willing to guard the hearts of our bond together.
As I dropped my older kids off to VBS this morning, my middle guy was not comfortable at all. He is our drama king. Hiding emotions is not in this kid’s DNA. Perfect for some situations but not for public drop-offs.
He hugged my leg so tight I could literally feel the heat of all ten fingers wrapped around my knee. As I eventually positioned our huddle into a pew, we sat together in silence. As a mom, my heart was breaking. I wanted to take him home and let him rest in the security of his everyday surroundings. But I knew Gods best for him required steps of faith leading to new friendships and hopefully one day a relationship with Him.
In my brokenness, I looked him in the eyes and held out my catching glove.
His response was classic:
“But mom, I don’t want to catch it.”
Yep, been there, done that.
As I sat with my 5 year-old, putting fear in his hands, I thought I was going to lose it. Honestly.
My guy is 5 sticky fingers old and he was going through steps I forget to do as a…well, we no longer count our fingers now do we?. Yet, here he was, literally throwing his fear right back to where is came from. He protected his heart from being damaged. He walked in faith out of that sanctuary in a way I had never seen him do before.
Oh, it worked!
As I reached the church doors to exit, my feet resisted the overwhelming urge to turn back, just to check. My babies mean so much to me. As I looked down for my keys, there I saw my hand, still clinched, holding my ball of fear inside.
Could it work again?
I smiled. Of course this simple analogy goes both ways. Good enough for our kids but oh mercy, perfect for us parents as well. Throwing my hand into the air, I threw the ball of fear right to the One I knew could take it away forever. I smiled too. Sighing deeply and freely, I opened my car door to a very quiet backseat. I whispered, “God, You have them and I trust You. The ball is in Your hands now.”
Now, I sit with flaky VBS snowballs bouncing off of our kitchen counter. My boys are back and ready to play hardball! Mommy is learning too…one ball, one challenge and one step at a time.
Don’t allow negative thoughts to strike you out today. Make the catch and pass the glove onto a friend.
QUESTION – How do you handle your negative thoughts? What resources have you used to explain this with your kids? I’d love to hear your experience today! Comment below or tweet me! If you receive my blog posts by email, simply hit reply and connect with me personally.
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