Exchanging Lies for the Truth

Those first two weeks back after furlough were difficult for me. I was discouraged in the classroom. I was exhausted at home. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything right. I was yelling at my kids. I wasn’t spending time with my husband. I wasn’t disciplining well at home or at school.

Why was I struggling so much? I realized that I had been listening to some lies – lies that I had allowed to enter my thought life and poison the very way I was looking at the world. So these past few days, I’ve decided to think through those falsehoods and combat them with the only thing I know that can obliterate them from my mind. I’ve decided to exchange those lies for the Truth.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 

Lie. You’re not meant for this teaching business.
TruthFor we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Lie? No one enjoys being in your classroom.
Truth. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…  Colossians 3:23 

Lie. You’ll never be organized. You’re not creative enough. Your Spanish isn’t good enough. You’re just not enough.
Truth. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Lie. There’s too much pressure. This is too hard.
Truth. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Lie. Your personality isn’t “strong” enough to do this.
Truth.  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

Lie. You shouldn’t have to deal with these problems. Look at all you’ve given up for the Lord!
Truth. 
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 

Lie. You’re the only one who is going through difficult circumstances right now. No one understands what it’s like to be in your shoes.
Truth. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

Lie. These kids are never going to learn. You’re just beating a dead horse.
Truth. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

I’m looking forward to a week with different perspectives. Lord, help me to take every thought captive!

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(So Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote this amazing book called Lies Women Believe.  I realized halfway through writing this post that I “stole” her format. No intent to plagiarize here. I recommend that book, by the way. And… the end.)

Flat tires, Moldy Mattresses, and Village Drama

We’ve been in the DR about 2 weeks now. It’s always a battle to get back into the groove, to have the right perspective. Things always seem to “go wrong” when we’re trying to get settled in again. My attitude can go from happy to grumpy in just seconds flat.

This time, it started off with a flat tire on our new car. Flat tires are a normal part of life here, and I really shouldn’t have been surprised. We were gone for a month. Scott took care of it, and life went on. But when other frustrations started piling up, it was just too easy to add the flat tire to my “I have every right to be annoyed right now” list.

A couple of days ago, Scott blew another tire as he was returning from an early morning airport run. Thankfully, I was able to go rescue him. After we drove all over the city looking for an open tire place, we were able to get the car back on the road.

Our first day back, we spent several hours unpacking the myriad of supplies, clothes and randomness we bought in the States. After getting things somewhat organized, we fell into bed exhausted late that evening. I suddenly looked at Scott and asked him if he smelled something awful. I turned over and sniffed the mattress. Apparently, it had rained a ton while we were gone. Our bed had been absolutely soaked with rain water. It was a mildewy mess. Talk about trying to have a joyful attitude having traveled the entire day on 4ish hours of sleep. Blah!

We teachers recently had the opportunity to talk to parents in the villages about their children’s first quarter grades. While our school was on vacation, one of the public school teachers spread some lies about us to parents. While we’re slowly gaining the trust and confidence of these precious people, it can be frustrating when we hit road bumps along the way.

As you pray for us, remember me – I want to learn to respond correctly when stressful or frustrating situations arise. I desperately want to grow in my ability to cast my anxieties on my Savior first instead of reacting negatively to the circumstances around me.