Fat Fridays: Angel or Devil?

I am late posting this today. I’m going to blame that on a really fuzzy brain. Last night I went to bed with the thought that I would write my blog first thing in the morning. Then this morning I puttered around the house aimlessly, not thinking about blogs at all. Then, when I set myself to a task, I suddenly remembered I hadn’t written. I will write as soon as I am done with this task! Except I forgot again. I’ve done this three times today. So, here I am at last. 🙂

Yesterday I saw this sappy meme that ended with this: “Focus on your own voice. It’s the only one that matters.” And I thought it was ironic that I was reading this because my thoughts this week have been how my inner-voice is one of my worst enemies. 

The kids are eating a dessert. My inner-voice says, Go ahead and have some! You deserve it! 

I think about whether I should stop and get some fast food after a long stressful day. My inner-voice reminds me that cooking a healthy meal is going to take a long time, and maybe I will have to wash some dishes first before I can even cook. And does healthy food really taste that good? Don’t we deserve a break? 

This past Wednesday I went to the park to jog. I was supposed to walk two minutes and then jog two minutes for a total of thirty minutes. I jogged the first two minutes. My inner-voice spoke up. Why are we doing this? 

I jogged the next two minutes. My inner voice got louder. This is not fun. You should just walk. Walking is still exercise.

I jogged the next two minutes. My inner voice was yelling by now. This hurts! You are tired today! You don’t have the energy to do this! Just walk. Noone cares if you walk. You should only run if you Really Really want to. And you don’t want to. 

Fortunately, I’ve got two voices in my head. And every day I have to decide which one I’m going to listen to. 

The other voice said, ignore that. You can do this. You are not a quitter. You only have to run two minutes at a time. You have given birth to ten children: You can run for two minutes. You are not a quitter. Keep going. It’s going to be done soon. You’ll feel really good if you don’t quit. 

And in the end I just started chanting in my head, I am not a quitter, I am not a quitter! And I finished the full thirty minutes. And I felt good about finishing. 

Remember those cartoons where the person has a mini-angel on one shoulder, and mini devil on the other? It’s a pretty accurate picture of our two voices that are constantly talking to us. 

When it comes to weight loss and exercise and lifestyle changes, that devil and angel voice get into some pretty fierce fights. It’s a daily battle to figure out which one I’m going to listen to. 

Which Voice Will You Listen To?

The last couple of days I have had some loud voices in my head. The first voice has been systematically pointing out all the ways that I’m failing. It has pointed out the dust and cobwebs that I haven’t gotten around to cleaning. It has pointed a finger at my pantry that needs a serious overhaul. It has reminded me that I have a hole in my dining room floor that needs repairing. It has kept a tally for every time I have lost patience with my children and yelled. It has shone a spotlight on each of my children when they have not obeyed or been sassy. It even brought up some old stuff, like the fact that I didn’t write my (now deceased) grandmother regular letters when I was younger. Every time I have put any food in my mouth it has shouted out how I am a fraud, I claim to be a Christian, but here I am being a glutton and stuffing my face. If I just had enough faith, I would overcome this sin habit. 

 

This voice has been responsible for at least one day where I could barely drag myself out of bed. I would say it has also been responsible for the sharper tone of voice I’ve been using. And it probably plays a big part in why I’ve been losing my temper so quickly. It’s really hard to be nice when you are fighting a feeling of worthlessness. 

 

I said that there were voices, more than one. There has also been another voice. It’s been quieter, but it’s still been there. It’s the voice that quietly says, being a mom is hard, you’re doing a good job. It’s softly said, here, you have some spare time, why don’t you get on your elliptical for a while? It’s calmly reminded me to go and apologize to my little boys for yelling. It’s urged me to pull out my Bible in the mornings, instead of staring at Facebook. It’s whispered, You are Saved by Grace, not by Works. It’s gently suggested I put on some praise music while cleaning to counterbalance how annoyed I always get when cleaning up my kids’ messes. When I have completely given in to fear, it’s firmly told me to recite my creed of faith, ground myself again in truth. 

 

It’s taken me a couple days to realize that there is actually a battle going on in my brain. And I have to make a choice. Which voice am I going to listen to? One is the voice of judgement. The other is the voice of love. 

 

I’m thinking I need some love. 

 

You would think I would recognize immediately that one voice is for me and the other is against and I would just shut down the ugly voice. Life has been a little crazy lately. We’re going through a lot of transition and we have a lot of things in limbo at the moment. And that makes me feel insecure. And feeling insecure makes me lose my vision. And suddenly that loud obnoxious voice kind of sounds like it’s speaking the truth. And the more I listen to that voice, the louder it gets. 

 

Honestly, about the only way I can break free of that voice is to purposefully focus on truth. What does God’s word say? What does God say about me? 

 

As I was writing this, I took a short break and checked my Facebook. My sister-in-law had just posted a song on her page. It was just what I needed to hear. 

 

I hope you have time to click on this link, it’s a song about listening to the voice of love. 

You Say by Lauren Daigle

May you have the grace to listen to the voice of love this week.