While we were in Edmonton last week, we heard Joyce Meyer speak. I had never heard her speak before, and I must admit I wasn't all that excited about the prospect. Yet her message was very good; her subject was 'going deeper' and some of the things she said struck a chord with me. She's quite a lively presenter and in good ways reminded me of Gloria Reimer in her delivery...to the point, spirited, seeds of wisdom and at least one 'suck it up' comment in her presentation.
The thing that has stuck with me from Joyce is her comment about our thoughts about ourselves. She said we need to replace our own critical thoughts with God's thoughts about us. When we look in the mirror, we need to see what God sees. I suppose that this isn't really a new thought for me, I know to do that, but sometimes God has to re-teach me things I've already (thought I) learned?!
I don't think that I have a critical spirit (at least most of the time), particularly not toward other people. But toward myself, especially in stressful times, well I can be pretty hard on me...and in the mirror (both literally and metaphorically) I can be especially hard even though I know better, even though my husband tells me differently, even though friends tell me differently and even though I know that God doesn't share my opinion.
Hard?...now that's not a word I would generally use to describe myself. Generally, I'm a soft-y, a soft touch, soft-hearted, soft-figured, so why am I so hard on myself?! I can dig up all kinds of history, but that doesn't totally help me to try and make sense of it, and it especially doesn't help me to turn my thoughts over when I need to.
I remember a year ago, while at the WJOF conference, the speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs, struck a chord with me on the same issue. She started out by teaching me the real meaning of the expression, 'ta-da'... It's child's talk for 'thank you daddy'...and 'daddy'/'abba' is, of course, the affectionate term Jesus taught us to use with the Father. Liz advised us to spread out our arms and proclaim 'ta-da' to God every morning as we look in the mirror to show our thanks to God because when He made us, He saw that it was 'very good'.
You know, I've thought about saying 'ta-da' occasionally since Liz mentioned it, but I've never actually done it. I don't always see that what God made (in me) is 'very good' and I need His forgiveness for that.
Here are a few quotes from one of Liz's 'ta-da' talks:
"Does it not thrill you that we (as women) are God’s crown of creation?" Higgs asked... "We are the last thing He made, and He said we are very good."
She told every woman to jump in front of a mirror after she’s ready for the day and say, "ta-da!"
Saying "tada" will change the way you think, she said. "You can’t say it grumpy. It takes 5 pounds and five years off your face right off the bat. It will change
how you think about you and how you think about God and trust that He knows what He was doing when He made you. I want you to see yourself as God sees you, and you are gorgeous."