- Written by Charity Farrar
SETTLING - HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
How many of us would intentionally pay full price for a half of a pack of anything? I would gather, not many. How many of us when given an incorrect amount of change when purchasing something would settle for what was returned to us especially when we were owed more? Probably, none of us. However, why is it when it come to relationships, we often settle for considerably less than what we were expecting to receive?
Settling in a relationship can be defined as accepting significantly less than what you want because perhaps you don’t think you can get what you truly desire. It is simply taking what is offered, however it is offered, and deciding to live with it. It is agreeing to way less than what is satisfactory to you and paying a much higher cost.
How do you know when you have decided to settle in your relationship? You begin to notice that little by little you’ve begun to let go of things that were once important to who you are and how you would like to be treated for the sake of keeping this relationship (one too many epic fails in your past.) You have convinced yourself that compromising your needs is for the good of your relationship even though you realize that only your partner’s needs are being satisfied. He’s unfaithful, and you stay. He’s abusive, and you stay. You think changing “you” will make him treat you differently or that if you change enough, then, maybe, he will, too. Just how much change is enough? It’s been four years and three kids, and he has yet to ask you to become his wife. How much more must you give and endure while receiving substantially less before you comprehend your true worth?
In settling, we as women sometimes don’t believe we deserve more because we are actually worth more than what we readily accept in our relationships. Oftentimes, we settle because we don’t know who we are but long desperately to be loved. Our identity has been based on someone else’s perception of us as opposed to God’s design for us and the value He places on our worth. In the Bible, Jeremiah 31:3 tells us of God’s everlasting love for us and how by His unfailing love He has drawn us to Himself. This means that even with knowledge all of our flaws, mood swings, wrinkles, dimples, mental meltdowns and emotional issues, God still says we have great worth, and that we do not have to bow to mediocrity or become someone we’re not in order to be loved.
If you have found yourself in a relationship where you have settled and given way more than you should have, accepting less than minimum in return, it is not too late to learn to love yourself and discover your worth in Christ. A very good friend of mine shared this quote with me that is so fitting, “While there is a man putting you last, there is a King waiting to put you first.” You beautiful, brave, generous, strong, loving, resilient woman, believe you deserve better, and then live it!
- Written by Charity Farrar
Hope that you all are having a wonderful summer break and that you continue to squeeze the most fun out of summer that you can. The greatest thing about our summer at Life Choices Medical Clinic is that souls were saved, were brought back in the fold, and patients were seen, and they say summers are slow!
Toaday I want to share with you an interesting passage I came across in the introduction of the Pentateuch in my John Mac Arthur study Bible. This passage helps to answer questions about sharing the Bible with and offering Biblical counseling to those who haven't received Christ yet.
The Isrealites were taught to meditate on God's Law (Josh. 1:8), teach it to their children (Deut. 4-8), and read it publicly (Neh. 8:1ff). The first two I was familiar with, but the third, not so much. Mac Arthur went on to say that. Moses set the public readings into place before the Isrealites went into the Promised Land so that it could make it's way into human hearts and change their relationship with God, and ultimately their conduct. At Life Choices I ask people to tell me about their relationship with God, not their religion. Our focus is on relationship not religion and my Biblical Counseling training was also focused on relationship with God too. I'm sure that you aren't shocked to hear me say that my psychology based training focused on behavior and changing behaviors, we can see how that is getting the cart before the horse when we begin to learn from God's W ord where true and lasting change comes from. But let's take a look at Dueteronomy 31:12 - Gather the people together, men and women and littleones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law.
Now I want you to hear his exact words because they are so powerful! "The relationship between the command is so importan. The people must: 1) gather to hear the law in order to learn what is required of them and what it has to say about God; 2) learn about the Lord in order to fear Him based on a correct understanding of who He is; 3) fear God in order to be correctly motivated to obedience and good works. Good works performed for any other reason will be improperly motivated."
WOW! That is not what I learned in my PSY 101 and 102 class, but according to the Scriptures - it is true! So here's another reason why we neeed to keep proclaiming God's Word to ALL- even the strangers within our gates (we have regulars that are practicing Muslims and Hinduhs), in every season of their lives, before and after they meet the Savior. After all, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. " Romans 10:17
In closing, I would like to say a special thank you to the dear couple that donates boxes of Bibles to our clinic. It is so wonderful when counseling and someone asks for a Bible to take home that we can give them one! I can't think of a greater gift.
Life Choices Medical Clinic- Spiritual Team
Gateway Biblical Counseling Center
- Written by Charity Farrar
How many of us would say that we are pretty good at building? Perhaps you have a particular set of skills when it comes to building two-tier bookshelves, Lego skyscrapers, birdhouses or houses made of cards? Or maybe, you see yourself more as Tim the Tool Man from the show, “Home Improvement”, as opposed to Bob Villa when it comes to creating something noteworthy, but there is at least one thing many of us are good at building – walls! One lesson I have learned about walls is that they can keep us from experiencing abundant life, can keep us imprisoned, and only the wall fortified by God will last.
What is a wall and what is its purpose? According to the New Standard Encyclopedia Dictionary, a wall is a continuous structure designed to enclose an area such as a building. It is a barrier constructed for defense, constructed for protection and separation. A wall can also be used as a barrier to noise and to keep people out that do not belong on the property of a certain physical location. Additionally, we tend to construct walls for emotional reasons: to protect our hearts. These emotional walls keep others from getting too close to us because we do not want to be hurt again or rejected in case the real “us” is exposed and consequently not accepted or loved.
Life has taught me that some walls are built for appearance – “I dress up the outside with make-up and a nice outfit because I don’t want you to see my inward brokenness.” Some walls are built with a tough, abrasive exterior – whether it is personality, demeanor or words because “I don’t want you to see my insecurities and how vulnerable I really am.” Some walls are built to help us blend in – “I am not bold, and I do not have the energy to be abrasive every day, so I will blend in, so no one will notice me. The last time I was noticed; I was abused; I was hurt by somebody I loved.” Whatever walls we have chosen as defense mechanisms may have kept us from being harmed or taken advantage of again, in the short term, but our walls also keep us from experiencing true life.
In keeping our walls up vigilantly, we miss out on smiles, hugs, “real conversation”, and true connection. They keep us from experiencing the abundant life that Christ’s death gave His followers. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJV) Some of the walls we have erected in our lives are a result of theft from the enemy of our souls. On many occasions we allowed him to kill relationships in our lives and burn bridges or perhaps completely destroy our lives due to bad judgment, decisions we made based on suggestions made by others or our own unstable emotions. The abundant life Christ came to give is freedom to be loved by Him completely and by others without fear; that we embrace being fully known. Christ is the only One who completely knows us and loves us with all our flaws, imperfections and funny ways. In allowing Him to love us, we begin to learn to love ourselves – our moles, freckles, natural hair color, body shapes, etc. Subsequently, we allow those we trust to truly see us and love who we are from the inside-out and not from the outside-in.
Walls can also become our wardens and keep us imprisoned indefinitely. The emotional walls built by the cinder blocks of fear, denial, guilt and shame, perceptions (however wrong they may be), our thought-lives (for what we think is critical to how we behave), and our false sense of security – [we think we are surviving; but we’re “not living, just not dying.” (The Croods - 2013)] – must be dismantled brick by brick and demolished by the sledgehammer of truth found in the pages of the Holy Bible. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of bondage." We must choose to not be afraid of toppling the strongholds of crippling thoughts that keep us enslaved and afraid of taking risks to love, to be loved, to fail, and to try again. We must choose to live and not die behind our self-imposed walls.
In closing, only walls fortified by God will last. Physical walls will eventually need to be repaired because of constant use. Exterior walls will need improvement because of the inclement elements outside. In both of these instances, the walls were built by humans which means they were only going to be temporary from the start. By the same token, we can only protect ourselves with the walls we have built for so long because they are coping mechanisms designed to hold us for a while; to tide us over until our clearer thinking kicks in. They were never meant to be permanent solutions. Also, protecting ourselves for any length of time will soon drain us physically and emotionally. Our hearts and our lives must be fortified by God. “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” (Psalm 127:1) Without God, trying to build our lives is pointless because we cannot sustain them on our own, though we do try. However, I do personally know the Carpenter who builds people as well as lives if we allow Him. We can safely tear down our walls because He wants to be our Fortress and our Protector.
Time to put on our goggles and wield our sledgehammers!
- Written by Charity Farrar
I got up this morning and started my day as I do most days – I said, “Good morning,” to Jesus and had a conversation with Him, made my bed and began to get ready for work. As I finished my morning routine of face, hair and make-up, instead of quickly turning from the mirror to finish getting ready, I lingered there to really see the face of the woman staring back at me. I actually took a moment in time to see this woman I often ignore or hurriedly attend to her needs in order to care for someone else’s. I noticed that her eyes were not as dark brown as she had once believed them to be but upon closer inspection, they are actually pecan in color like the syrup. I gazed at hair that is graying, but I also reverenced the wisdom that has come with a price for each strand. I examined small facial moles around my eyes that I inherited from my paternal grandmother, and I observed every fine line, dimple, dark spot and soon-emerging pimple and made the same decision I choose to make every day – to love the woman I see in the looking glass.
If you are like me, I am sure you could in thirty seconds flat identify every item that is “wrong” with your body and tell how you would change it immediately if you could – less flab here, more muscle there, smaller waist, nicer calves, fuller hair and the list could go on. However, the sooner we, as women, learn to love our bodies and the things that we cannot change such as our height, skin color, natural hair color and texture, freckles, the stretch marks we earned from carrying our babies or beauty marks in the oddest of places and embrace the things that make us who we are like our sense of humor, our unique laugh or our sometimes-weird idiosyncrasies like collecting paper dolls (mine), the healthier we become emotionally. This brings freedom in our being able to receive love from others who already love us just as we are.
Most days, if we are honest with ourselves, we tend to concentrate more on glamorizing our outward appearance than we focus on properly dressing our hearts – the core of who we are. Our learning to love ourselves is about more than just cosmetic changes we desire to make on the outside. It is more about wrapping our arms around the women we are on the inside and validating-while-strengthening them from the inside-out. Loving me is about actively redefining negative core beliefs I’ve held for far too long regarding who I am and who I would become and making a decision daily to become who I want to be – Jesus-loving, kind, optimistic, determined, brave, skilled, forgiving, realistic and mature! Loving me is about affirming the woman I behold each day and telling her over and over again that she is beautiful and I love her; that she has value whether she is single, married, divorced or widowed; that she is of great worth whether she has given birth to children or have loved those God placed in her life. Loving me is about not settling for mediocrity in life but believing that I am worth more. Some days will be harder than others to encourage this woman; to love her, as is, but keep doing it because the core of who you are will become stronger and freer to love and accept others as you love and accept yourself. Most importantly, learning to love you, the way God created you and taking His Word as the final authority for your life will be nourishment for your soul. Psalm 139:14a says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” I dare you to repeat this verse after a bad break-up; after a thorough chewing out by your boss in the office or a long night with your teething five-month-old. The next time you’re in a hurry to attend the tyranny of the urgent which is nonstop, don’t forget to take a moment to greet and love on the strong woman whose life is the gift looking back at you.
- Written by Super User
Living Life with Life Choices
A blog for everyday questions - encouragment - lessons - laughs
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