Welcome to our 2020 Summer Refresh! While Val is busy, busy writing away on her new book, we thought this was a great opportunity to update some old faves from the blog and re-share them with you! Enjoy!
There are some truths I hear that I think, I know that but if I really lived my life remembering it each day, my days would be vastly different. You know, like if I remembered God’s purpose for marriage I would choose to serve my husband instead of nit-pick. If I remembered that God has called me to be an ambassador for my kids, I would take time to address the heart and not just change the behavior.
Truth has the power to steer our days in a completely different direction, and that right there is a hopeful way to start my day.
On a podcast episode, Allie Casazza talked about affirmations. To be honest, I had never seen it in a Biblical light.
Here’s a definition of affirmations:
positive, specific statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. They help you visualize, and believe in, what you’re affirming to yourself, helping you to make positive changes to your life and career.
The idea of this sounded good in theory. Of course, overcoming negative thoughts is good! But it seemed to leave out one big thing – it wasn’t about believing primarily in myself, but in who I was because of Christ in me.
Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” We must make it a habit and priority to renew our minds and guard our hearts because it leads to everything else.
So I started to see affirmations in a new way. I started to think “What Biblical truths would transform my life if I remembered them daily?”
I made a list on my phone and paired a verse with each.
I started meditating on them during my 5 minutes of silence each morning.
How we start our day can decide the trajectory of where we’re gonna head.
Am I gonna live surrendered? Or am I going to live in control of everything?
Am I gonna live already prepared to be flexible and resilient when trouble comes? Or am I going to be shocked when something bad happens?
The first thing you do with your day has the power to set you on a rock or quicksand. Colossians 3:2 says “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Morning affirmations can be an opportunity of capturing the image we want to revert back throughout our day. That sounds odd but it’s hard to live differently than the world if I’m not constantly reminding myself of what is different from the world.
Romans 12:2 (the key verse from Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday) says “Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Eugene Peterson paraphrases this verse in The Message by saying “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”
I can’t promise you a miraculous change and that you will remember every minute of the day, but I believe God’s Word spending time each morning dwelling on major themes or statements from the Bible will make the path of returning to God’s truth much quicker.
So today, I wanted to share the affirmations I wrote down and a worksheet. The worksheet has two sides. One side is filled with the affirmations I am sharing below so that you can get started on this right away. The other half is lined for you to customize and fill out your own affirmations depending on personal needs and how God leads you. Here are a few questions to ask (in prayer!) when figuring out what affirmations may need to be on your list:
- What truth would keep me dependant on God?
- What is your biggest pain point in life?
- What are the things that cause the most conflict in your life with others?
- What things cause you the most anxiety?
- Based on my goals, where do I feel you leading me and what thoughts cause me to stay stuck? And what truth are you forgetting about all those above questions?
You can get the worksheet here.
The affirmations I chose:
1. He who is in me is greater than He who is in the world.
1 John 4:4
As I start my day, I want to be reminded that whatever comes my way, God is bigger. He is bigger than the next national tragedy. He is bigger than our government. He is bigger than hurricanes, floods, and forest fires. He’s bigger than failed tests, chronic pains, and broken relationships.
2. Jesus died on the cross for me. His grace is sufficient.
This is my ultimate hope. In a fallen world, I can always rejoice in the grace I have been given with Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for the sins that I owed.
3. Your Holy Spirit lives in me. I am free from the yoke of slavery.
Romans 8:11-15, Galatians 5:1
Because of the Holy Spirit, I am not limited to my own abilities. When I feel like I cannot resist temptation, have patience with my kids, I want to remember that I have the power because of Christ who lives in me.
4. The Lord’s plan is better than mine. Therefore, I will live surrendered and obey.
Romans 12:1, Matthew 6:10
I want to live surrendered every day.
5. Make me thirsty for more of you.
Lord, keep me so hungry for you. Increase my passion for you, your Word and prayer.
6. Use me for your kingdom, God.
Remind me of my ultimate purpose on this earth.
7. Today is a gift from you.
May I start my day with gratitude knowing that for every good and perfect gift comes from above, including this new day.
8. It’s not about me.
Turning inward leads to selfishness, conflict, and even hopelessness. Give me eyes to see the world around me the way you see it.
9. No one can serve two masters. I choose to serve you.
Matthew 6:24, Matthew 6:33
Anything that I prioritize over the Lord, even good things, can become an idol. Lord, help me seek you above all.
10. Abide in the Vine.
Apart from God, I can do nothing. Fruit in my life only products when I remain in the vine.
Examples of my personal affirmations:
1. Prayer is powerful. Prayer is productive.
James 5:16b (NLT)
Lord, when I remember this truth, it’s easy to choose prayer.
2. Food does not rule over me. I rule over food.
1 Corinthians 10:13
I am not a robot that is at the mercy of a sweet treat. God has given man the authority to resist temptation.
3. God’s design of marriage is vastly different from the world.
Lord, let me approach my spouse with unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness.
4. I am God’s ambassador for my children.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Lord, help me focus my efforts on changing the heart of my kids and not simply the behavior.
Just last night, I was reminded of one affirmation I might need to think about each night. Lately, I have gotten so down on myself for not accomplishing “enough” with my time. I would go to bed each night feeling bad about myself because of it. It made me think “why put guilt on myself for something God doesn’t put guilt on me for?” So a new nightly affirmation for me will be:
5. My value is not determined by what I accomplish today.
My life doesn’t have to be driven by checking everything off my daily to-do list. That is not where God places my value so I won’t either.
6. God is bigger than ______ .
Each day, whatever thing threatens to become bigger than God in my mind, I immediately put in the right order and remember God is bigger than it. God is bigger than coronavirus, racial injustice, my health issues.
7. I can choose joy right now.
My life doesn’t determine my joy. I have hope in the Lord that circumstances can’t take away.
8. I can resist the enemy. I know his schemes and God gave me a way out.
James 4:7, 1. Corinthians 10:13
The enemy repeatedly tries what has worked in the past. My awareness of his schemes means I am fully prepared to reject them through Christ who gives me a way out.
2. Start asking the Lord the questions in the post to help you figure out if there are any personal affirmations you need to incorporate in your mornings.
Bonus: I created a 14-day challenge all on renewing the mind.
COMING UP NEXT: What I learned about intercessory prayer