MML Week One: What’s In Your Thought Closet

We’ve just finished our first week of study in Me, Myself and Lies a Thought Closet Makeover by Jennifer Rothschild. It’s not too late to join us in study, for workbook information click here. This week we examined our own life words and death words, and discovered our personal thought thesauros. We had a chance to examine our “I am” statements and became aware of the differences between human thoughts and godly thoughts. Jennifer asks us to consider what our thought closets would look like if we meditated on God’s thoughts and not our own. On page 24 she helped us focus on the eight categories of Philippians 4:8 NASB and suggested we meditate on these thoughts. It may help if you get a 3 x 5 index card and write this down- then look at it during the day. By the end of this week’s lesson, we had a good idea of the difference between “what if” thoughts and “what is” thoughts.

If you are having difficulty connecting thoughts to a closet filled with clothes, you might want to consider the image presented by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She suggests your brain resembles a forest of trees, one connected to another. In your forest, bad thoughts attach themselves to the treetops and they multiply like weeds. Eventually the bad thoughts become so congested, they clog out the good thoughts. You can read more about this in her book Who Switched Off My Brain. She writes “Toxic thoughts destabilize the brain and create broken feedback loops….There is a certain point when you can control the thought and decide whether to accept it or reject it.” In our bible study, we’re learning how to shift gears and stop negative thoughts before they choke the spiritual life out of us. Once we discover what’s inside out thought closet, we can clean it up and fill it with truth.

Jennifer suggest scripture memorization to reprogram the thoughts in your closet. Please join us here in the Womens Bible Cafe as we memorize 24 scripture verses in 2011 with the SSMT. Join us anytime!

Prayer Requests

We welcome any prayer needs from the group and ask that you will print a copy of the prayers, place them, in your workbook and pray for these women. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.

Jennifer Rothschild Quotes

  • Our words have influence, but only God’s words have power.
  • God can help your dilapidated thought closet experience a divine makeover.
  • What you tuck into your thought closet will become the wardrobe of your life.
  • To dwell on untruths is to hold His truth in disregard.
  • Turn your worry into a prayer.

This Week’s Scripture Verse

I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 NASB

By the grace of God I am what I am. 1 Cor 15:10 NASB

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:17 NASB

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NASB

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Col 3:2 NASB

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Phil 4:6 NASB

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Phil 4:8 NASB

The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7 NASB

For Next Week

  • Read Week Two in the workbook
  • Listen to the Session Two Audio or Session Two Video (optional)

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. What two words bring you life and what two words bring death to your thought closet? (page 9 )
  2. What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?
  3. Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?
  4. Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She’s an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

More posts by Christine Abraham

Join the discussion 115 Comments

  • Rachel says:

    # What two words bring you life and what two words bring death to your thought closet? (page 9 )
    Two words that bring me life is “MAMA” and “love” two words that bring death to my thoughts are “cant” and “Hate”

    # What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?
    I am tired and I am scared I am worried I am so happy to be a mom. The I am thought that weighs heavy on my heart is the fear of what is going to happen when judgeship day happens. I fear the thought of having a short time spent with my 15 month old son. I am a single mom but I live with my boyfriend. I got pregnant under unfortunate event and I had to fight for my babys life from day one. I moved back to home and was lucky enough to meet a great guy. I was in a pickle financially and I was going to end up with out a place to live since I work for hardly any pay to support me and my son. I moved in with my boyfriend and he has provided for my son a home and security that i could never do. He has supported him like he is his son. If it wasnt for him I dont know where I would be right now. My son is always sick, always…ER after ER after specialists….I AM SCARED FOR HIS HEALTH, its non stop. I am scared god will judge me because I am living in sin, but i would not be able to be the mom I need to be with out him. He saved us. I am scared to close my eyes and think about the world events and it makes me panic and go to extremes to make sure I have enough food and water backed up. I want to spend an internity with my son and be his mentor and guide him in the right paths so he can be amazing at what ever he wants to do.
    The I am is endless…The I am is negative and fearful and weighs heavy on my heart.
    What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?
    Just making it. I work full time for hardly any pay, this job is 100 percent for health care, gas is expensive, I take on line college courses, my son is always ill, my relationship needs work, my relationship needs major work with god, I cook i clean i read i play i never sit down and i am always so cough up with my fears!
    # Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson
    Brought a sense of peace to my heart.

    • Christine says:

      You will really like the study Breaking Free by Beth Moore, it will heal you release some of those fears. Praying for you to know PEACE and JOY in your heart. I am thankful you are in the study with us Rachel.

    • Lauren says:

      Sounds like you do have a lot on your plate… it is so easy to get caught up in the cares of this world. But all of this is temporary… and we are looking for the eternal. Prayers for you, Rachel!

  • Jennifer D says:

    4. Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson. I enjoyed working on my human thought closet. It gave me a chance to think about were my thoughts are and where they should be. In addition, I like the filling the God’s thought closet. Give me inspiration. In addition, the bins were very interesting; I would have never thought I would have all of those bins. Philippians 4:8 was very interesting to read and comment on. Meditation is something I would have never thought about. It’s something I should do. Just to even to keep the stress level down. In addition, the name calling is true because we don’t always realize that we are doing it to us or to anyone else.

    • Christine says:

      I liked the bins also, because it allowed me to organize my thoughts into something I could see. I am a visual learner.

  • Irene says:

    1. Life: God and Love, Death: fat or ugly and (fear of)being alone/loneliness

    2. I am insecure: Is it true well yes but only because I allow myself to be and from it stem all the other negative thoughts in my closet.

    3. My biggest struggle and what I define myself is my weight if I feel or look fat I let my entire mood go down in everything. My insecurities kick in to full force and I start worrying about not being good enough for my husband and feeling ugly and fat and that just ruins my mood entirely.

    4. I enjoyed everything in the lesson I came into the lesson late and have rushed through in one sitting to catch up but it was great. I look forward to the rest of the study and feel this will greatly help me grow as a Christian woman in my self worth according to Gods higher truths rather than my own lowly perceptions. This will help me to learn to shut out that little critical voice that always tries to insult me and get me down which was the reason that led me to look for something like this Bible study online. So glad I found it yesterday and I immediately went out last night and bought the book to get started. I’m now going to dig into the 2nd week to be caught up for tomorrows session on here.

  • Angie says:

    I fell behind already =( I will have to catch back up. Sorry.

    • Christine says:

      Some people are just starting Angie, so you’re not behind at all. Start reading this weekend and you’ll finish week one in no time. 🙂

  • MaryAnn says:

    Argh… I just wrote my long-winded answers to the questions and clicked submit–but forgot to put my name and email so I got a blank page.

    Let’s try this one more time:

    1. Life: caring and smart Death: not enough, unworthy
    2. I am not likeable, I am ugly, I’m not good enough.
    3. In my feeling of not ever being good enough, I struggle to constantly be good enough. So I’m an overachiever and, often, a perfectionist (no one would believe that when you look at my desk at work or what used to be my craft room at home—but if you’ve every read “The Messies” book, you’ll know what I mean when I say that I am a messy perfectionist.) I’m always aspiring to be something better–right now, that something is a writer, before that it was a real estate agent, the list goes on. I liken myself to the inventor who never came up with the winning invention. I’m 55 years old now and I’m still trying to be good enough.
    4. I think just the initial understanding that my self-talk should be acceptable to God and that I would never say these things about someone else.

    On a side note, I noticed someone else say they were a victim of child molestation and I wonder how many of us who feel that “not good enough” feeling, because of that experience. The thought JUST popped into my head—others knew about my molesters—they’d experienced it themselves but they never kept other children away from him. Because they didn’t, perhaps I’ve thought I was not good enough to protect. Hummm… That’s a new angle for me.

    • Christine says:

      What a heavy burden to carry on the shelf of your thought closet! Give it in prayer to the Holy Spirit and see if this is conviction or condemnation. God speaks softly and when He reveals something, He does it in love. I’m thankful you are in this study. You’re gifted to lead- by real estate and writing and having a desire to achieve; use it to serve Him. Your one and only audience is God. Write for Him.

      • MaryAnn says:

        Thanks, Christine. It is heavy, but I guess it’s been there for so long, it was hiding behind something newer. I think I’ll work on taking it down and making room for better things.

  • Janette says:

    Forgive me for straying from the 3 question format. My perverted thought processes for week 1 went something like this: “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” That was a nice thought at first. But I quickly turned that around in my mind to say “What I do NOT struggle with is not who I am, either…so who am I?” I know I am a daughter of the King, but what does that mean with regards to how I should think about myself? And it’s only a sin when what you tell yourself is untruthful. God did not make junk, I know that. But we can take the good that he has made and turn it into bad, can’t we? I am hoping to find these answers as we continue in the study.

    • Christine says:

      You don’t need to answer all the questions, so forgiveness is not necessary 😉 You’re right, we can take the good and turn it into bad. Let’s use wealth as an example. God gifts us with the skills to earn a wealthy income, and we can use that income to minister and serve His people, or we can use that income to buy porn, drugs, and even sex. Think sex-trafficking. What’s in our hearts determines how we use our gifts. When we allow Satan to deceive and lead us, our gifts become junk and no longer treasures.

      Does anyone else want to add to this discussion? Let’s keep it going…

  • Anne says:

    2 Death Words: isolated, unworthy
    2 Life words: Love and forgiveness

    What “I am” has been in my closet the longest? “Creative”. It is true. I am creative and have always wanted to write. Instead I am in the business world and I am, by our society’s measures, very successful. But I feel that I didn’t completely explore what could have been had I pursued my creative dreams. Now there are too many responsibilities to pursue those dreams and I’m not even sure I have those dreams today.

    Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing. I was SO happy to read that and begin believing it. I have defined myself by my previous financial struggles and self-imposed inadequacies. (Funny though, when I got out of the financial struggles I didn’t define myself in a new, positive way) My greatest struggle now is that inadequacy/insecurity creates self-fulfilling prophesy. My husband wishes I would “relax” and “enjoy life”. It makes him crazy when I look for things to be upset about. I end up feeling so guilty because I know better than to let Satan steal my joy and I want to fill my closet with Grace and Truth.

    Sharing something I have enjoyed in this week’s lesson:
    I enjoyed (benefited from) thinking about presumption and assumption. I realize that my arrogance and pride is prevalent in my assumptions… “if this person loved me they SHOULD ______”. I hate that I am so arrogant, like Martha in John 11:21, that if it doesn’t come my way, in the form that I want, then it isn’t so. Knowing that it is wrong to think that way is one thing, changing it is another.
    I am praying each day for all of us here in this bible study to allow God to work through us and help us experience His bright joy that can be the foundation of our thought closet!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for the prayer and encouraging us with your words Anne. Isolated is a death word; we learned in the spiritual warfare study that Satan isolates us from God. When we are apart from Him, we feel unworthy of His blessings and love. God’s love and forgiveness bring life into our hearts again. If you are not ready to write a book, why not write a blog? As you journal your thoughts, you get into a pattern of creative writing. I started writing when my daughter was in 5th grade and I had to edit her creative writing essays. I rediscovered my passion for writing and started blogging. Recommend the book Problogger by Darren Rowse. He was a struggling pastor, started blogging in his spare time, and became a blogging superhero. 🙂

  • Tricia says:

    I too just started the study…it’s my first ever bible study…kind of nervous but so excited. I will try to catch up so that I can be on track with everyone! Thanks!

    • Christine says:

      No need to be nervous, we don’t judge people here. Just be yourself and you will benefit greatly from the study. You have an audience of One, and that is God. Always keep that in mind when you look in the mirror and examine yourself. 😉 Welcome Tricia.

  • Sue says:

    2.What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?

    That I “am weird” (and shameful in some way). As an adult I have pondered how this came to be and tried so hard to change it. I eventually kind of “gave up” and thought that it was because as a little girl I was molested — somehow a shameful “feeling” got into me at such a young age, it framed me in a way that I can’t get to and can’t change. God has helped me so much; yet this shameful feeling is still there. Lately I have actually thought that I’m being convicted of being a sinful person (I know my sins) and so maybe it’s that. Anyway, I really need this lesson book. The most powerful thing right now is that it is making me AWARE of what I struggle with as well as reminding me of the TOOLS — for example Phil 4:8 helped me tremendously for years after becoming a Christian. Then I kinda forgot to meditate on it continuously! We can never let down the guard — it leads to weeds and more weeds.

    I am so so grateful to know how GOD thinks of me — this lesson is helping me tremendously. Changing our thoughts is difficult work — but it is HOPEFUL work.

    • Christine says:

      The closer we draw near to God, the more the enemy will pull out his arsenal of lies. The truth is-you are a beautiful Daughter of the King. The difference between conviction and condemnation is that conviction from the Holy Spirit is spoken in love, not shame, and it draws you closer to God. Condemnation from Satan, the father of lies, makes you hide from God, and sometimes from who you really are. The next time these thoughts creep into your heart, filter them through scripture and God’s promises. If He convicts you, He also shows you how to unleash the chains. If you feel condemned, rebuke Satan with scripture- your Sword.

      According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, we can change our toxic thoughts in just a few days and replace thoughts that choke the spiritual life from us with thoughts that thrive in the Spirit. Have you read her book Who Switched Off My Brain? It’s excellent.

      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 Cor 10:5 NIV

  • Jodi says:

    Yea!! I just got my book in the mail today… I’m so excited… Ive been following along by reading the discussion comments from everyone.. I love this online bible studying I feel so at ease and comfortable… I’m going to go bury my head into my work book right now so I can be right on track with everyone… This is my first bible study ever and I can tell you in enough how good I feel about getting into this… Thanks and God Bless you all! Jodi

  • Necco says:

    1.What two words bring you life and what two words bring death to your thought closet? (page 9 )

    Life Words: Grace and Forgivness. Death Words: Unworthy and not smart enough.

    2.What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?
    I am not good enough, so I find myself trying to prove my worth in so many ways which is exhausting and a terrible way to live. It is not true. What liberty to put my though closet on His truth rather than this lie to be more like Mary rather than Martha contantly!

    3.Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?
    I tend to define myself with the struggle of being unworthy or not good enough, not quite able to get it. I use this soundtrack in almost every avenue of my life which is getting old. I am His workmanship and love the liberty to live in this truth. In His strength I can do all things through Christ that He calls me to do or asks of me.

    4.Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson.
    I enjoyed learning that God has many thought toward me and His are higher than mine, so He has control over the situations I may be in the center of and He will work out the details.

    • Christine says:

      Love this when you wrote “What liberty to put my though closet on His truth rather than this lie to be more like Mary rather than Martha constantly!” We’re only on week one of the study, and I know there are even more treasures ahead for all of us! Thank you for sharing.

  • Karen says:

    1. Two words that bring life are faith and love … two words of death: not good enough (in everything) and not worthy.

    2. What’s been in my closet the longest … would have to be that I am not good enough in anything and everything. Is it true? Not really .. just need to find what I am really good at.

    3. I struggle with is failure … at being a new wife, keeping my weight off, staying in the word of God, wanting and needing to be successful at something worth while. Not seeing myself as others see me.

    4. What I have really enjoyed is committing myself to God and really relying on Him 🙂

    • Christine says:

      Your struggle is with perfection, the Martha-syndrome mentioned in the book How to Have Mary Heart in a Martha World. Most of us have this to some degree, and the purpose of bible study is to remind us who we are. We’re not Martha Stewart, the Proverbs 31 Wife or the Queen Mum- we are Daughters of the King and sometimes we need to sit and rest at the feet of Abba. Let God define you, and let Jesus walk you through your life. Commit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

      …in all your ways submit to him,
      and he will make your paths straight.
      Proverbs 3:6 NIV

      • Karen says:

        Thank you Christine! I am planning on getting that book. Your words of encouragement are so appreciated. Have a blessed day.

  • Marietta says:

    1.What two words bring you life and what two words bring death to your thought closet? (page 9 )

    Life: peace, breathe.
    Death: Any word(s) that makes be feel shame or guilt.

    2.What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?

    What I have to say is not interesting to anyone else. Sometimes it’s true and sometimes, because I’m thinking it, it becomes true.

    3.Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?

    Being undisciplined, not smart enough and not paying enough attention.

    4.Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson.

    I am having a difficult time getting into the lessons. I feel very resistant and distracted. I’m aware that often the very thing that we can learn the most from is the most difficult to follow. I think I’m experiencing just that.

    • Christine says:

      Praying that you can get into the lesson Marietta. Try completing two or three lessons in a row, instead of one a day, and see if it flows better for you. The lessons are short and you may prefer something longer. I really love your life words…they create an image in my mind of total surrender.

  • Mindy says:

    1.What two words bring you life and what two words bring death to your thought closet? (page 9 ) Relax, Breathe. No, Wrong.

    2.What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?
    I am not good enough. No, it’s not true!

    3.Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?
    I struggle with my looks and thinking I’m defined by them.

    4.Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson.
    I enjoyed “if it’s not the truth, stop meditating on it!” My mind is noisy! I have stuff going on in there all the time. I work hard at being aware of what I’m thinking, and changing the defeating thoughts to thoughts that are productive. I liked “the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” I understand that words start from the heart and the mind, and I got an insight that what comes out of my mouth is what I’m putting out into God’s creation… I like that realization.

    • Christine says:

      The scripture verse I am memorizing right now is

      Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit- you choose. Proverbs 18:21 Message

  • Lynn says:

    “who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing” was such a revelation to me this week. That is how I have lived my life to this point. If I struggled with being patient one moment, I immediately became an impatient person. If I struggled with frustration, I convinced myself that I had always been such a frustrated, angry person. It was so refreshing to be reminded that my struggles are just that – struggles. I loved soaking up the Word to remind me of who I truly am.

  • Charity says:

    1.What two words bring you life and what two words bring death to your thought closet? (page 9 )
    Life: Loving Death: Selfish
    2.What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?
    I am stupid. No it’s not. I have a college degree and working on my second. I also was smart enough to see that I needed the Lord in my life to make me feel complete.
    3.Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?
    I struggle the most with feeling inadequate. There are many aspects of my life that I never feel like I am doing the best I could be.
    4.Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson.
    I enjoyed reading the scripture and taking the time to mediate and listen to what God has to say.

  • Kathy says:

    1. Two words bring me life are “unconditional love” and “forgiven” and two words bring death to me are “incompetent” and “insensitive.”
    2. What “I am” thought has been in m thought closet the longest? “I am insecure.” Is it true? Even though I am very accomplished, I feel insecure … I secretly question everyone’s opinion of me and generally think it is negative.
    3. Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do I most tend to define myself by? I struggle with tending to rely on my feelings and not on the facts. I have had 2 episodes of mild depression, but thank God, He has given me a spirit not of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. I try to keep my mind on the truths of His word.
    I really enjoy Jennifer’s style of writing as if she is writing just to me…thanks!

    • Christine says:

      I agree with you Kathy, Jennifer Rothschild speaks in a language we can all “hear.” Her bible study Walking by Faith is one of my absolute favorites. I think we all feel insecure at times, as women we are often quoted for saying “does this dress make me look good?” We seek approval of other humans and we live in the flesh. I challenge you to look in the mirror, and then visualize a sparkling crown on your head. When you look at this image, remind yourself “I am the King’s Daughter.” Now, try and tell yourself you are worthless 😉 The Holy Spirit speaks in love, while Satan tells his lies to make us feel insecure and afraid. Listen to the heart.

      You are royalty even when you don’t feel like a princess. Sherri Rose Shepherd, from His Princess Girl Talk with God

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m not exactly sure which “I am” thought has been in my head the longest, but I know the most prevalent negative one… I am unsuccessful.

    Although I am generally very positive, this week I learned that when my external situations changes, what I choose to wear from my internal thought closet changes as well.

    Recently I have had the lingering thought that I am unsuccessful because I have not gone back for my masters, I’m not married, and I don’t feel my performance at work is where it should be. Is this true? No, and far from it. I have been very successful at bringing youth to Christ and developing relationships. I only get this thought when I look around at my peers and compare my life to theirs.

    I appreciate this study because it showing me how to remove this from my thought closet through meditation and I know what God has for me, it is for me.

    • Christine says:

      Wow, what you said is so powerful: “I learned that when my external situations changes, what I choose to wear from my internal thought closet changes as well.” Since you bring youth to Christ, you are seeing the world from their perspective. God is so amazing when He speaks to our hearts. In God’s eyes, you are His youth. Daughter of the King, not wife of so-and-so or mother of he-and-she. See yourself as God sees you, perfectly and wonderfully made. Then teach the youth to see themselves as God sees them. Psalm 139

      • Jennifer says:

        This post reminded me of the story of Jesus and the children from Matthew 19:13-15 :

        “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

        This story touches me so deeply. It clearly represents an example of what God asks of us, to imitate Christ. Vanessa, you are fulfilling God’s Words and imitating the works of Christ by ministering the youth and bringing them to Him. God bless you in all you do.

  • Nikky says:

    1. What two words bring you life and what two words bring death to your thought closet?
    Life : acceptable and forgiven death: inadequate and unacceptable

    2.What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? Is it true?
    I am restless. Yes, it is true. I am usually thinking or worrying about what comes next instead of accepting where God has me right now.

    3. Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?
    I struggle with insecurity and the desire for feelings of acceptance and adequacy. I work harder than I need to in order to be good enough.

    4. Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson.
    I have taken some intentional time to meditate on God’s wonders and his goodness. In the midst of losing my father just before Christmas, God’s comfort never ceased and He was always near. He gave me Psalms 27:13 to cling to in the days after my dad passed away. I have been meditating on that.

    • Christine says:

      It takes courage to write what you did in #3. Kudos for stepping out in faith and speaking your heart for the audience of One. We will be discussing perfection during this study and cleaning this from our though closets. With so many advertisements and reality television shows based on perfection, it’s often difficult to just “be me” without feeling guilt. The enemy has worked hard in this world to teach us his lies, and thankfully the Holy Spirit is speaking to our hearts to convict, not condemn. I’m sorry to hear of your dad’s passing during Christmas, please reach out and let us pray for you when you need it. My grandmother died Christmas Eve about 13 years ago and my beloved Grandpa died 2 years ago on Good Friday, a nonbeliever. The importance of these dates reminds me that each year during our religious holidays, I belong to an eternal family with a spiritual heritage. I am HIS.

      You should read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, about taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen.

      Quiet down before God,
      be prayerful before him.
      Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
      who elbow their way to the top.
      Psalm 37:7 Message

      I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
      in the exuberant earth.
      Stay with God!
      Take heart. Don’t quit.
      I’ll say it again:
      Stay with God.
      Psalm 27:13-14 Message

  • Jennifer says:

    1. Two words that bring me life: blessings and salvation

    Two words that bring death to my thought closet: doubt and neglect

    2. The “I am” thought that has been in my thought closet the longest is “I am not organized or motivated enough.” Is it true? No, it is not true. This has been revealed to me through prayer and through this Bible study. It is not true because it is not inline with God’s thoughts, who finds me capable and able to do anything through Him.

    I find myself having conversations with God throughout the day, but I will admit how much this first week of Bible study is really helping me to overcome all of my worries and insecurities. When I find myself starting to drift, John 16:33 immediately comes to surface in my mind:

    “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

    Jesus really does heal my heart and my mind.

    3. Sometimes I define myself as “cluttered in my mind.” I find my thoughts to be often scattered like a puzzle. I am often too impatient with my thoughts, but find myself doing things that are not as important like cleaning constantly, having to have everything look just so. But lately I’ve been letting things go, because they do not define my trueself, and my true love for God. I’m learning place my mind on things above, and not on earthly things.

    4. This week I really enjoyed how and the importance of meditating on God’s Word. I also have placed myself as a child, which I am, of God. He is my Father and is constantly watching me, is concerned and wants me to always feel His love. I am learning to follow His word and let it direct my life, rather than my thoughts directing. I pray non-stop, and I praise non-stop. God IS with me!

    • Christine says:

      Your words are inspiring Jennifer, thank you for sharing them. In Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore, we are instructed to write down a list of our worries. The bible says to turn our worries into prayer. She writes “God’s prescription for worry is TRUST.” So we went back to our worry list, and above it wrote the word TRUST. It was an enlightening lesson. 🙂

    • MaryAnn says:

      The “cluttered in my mind” hit me like a ton of bricks, when I read it. I’ve always described it as an inability to concentrate. But, now, I picture a closet jammed with 30 years worth of clothes. When I go to look for an outfit, everything is so jumbled, I can’t find what I want to wear. THAT is my mind. It needs a good “cleaning out”—a purging of the words that no longer fit, never fit in the first place and those I’ve never “worn” at all.

      Thanks for framing it perfectly for me!

  • Michele81240 says:

    1. Jesus, Prayer….Unforgiving, Anxious
    2. Unforgiving. I know I was and still am to a certain extent unforgiving to my ex husband. I have dropped my rock numerous times only to find it…pick it up…and hurl it in hurt in anger. I have to remember that God forgives me, I have to do likewise. It’s still hard…there are pebbles.
    3. I think I struggle at times with my faith…It’s certainly that not that I don’t believe. It’s times when I am confronted by people of no faith that sometimes my words fail me in standing up for God or in sharing His word. I have found keeping myself immersed in the bible and His word keeps me grounded with this particular struggle.
    4. I loved the analogy of considering God as a passenger in my car when I was meditating and rumminating on anxious thoughts.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for sharing this, I am sure other women in the study can relate to it. I like what you said about the analogy of God as a passenger in our car. The bible is our GPS.

  • Margaret Hardy says:

    1. Life words would be “Salvation” and “Forgiveness

    2.The “I am” thought that has been in my thought closet the longest is “you will never be able to anything with your life but cook,clean,home school,and take care of the family”

    3. No, it is not true. I know that it is just the season of life I am in right now.As the children become more independent and grown I will be able to pursue some of the dreams I had before starting our family.

    4. The struggle that I define myself is ” stay at home mom” or home school mom” I must say, those titles can put a real hurt on you when others judge you as to why you do what you do. Why not put them in school? Why not get a real job????? I was even told one time when getting a manicure, Why don’t you go to work?? Your kids need to be in school!!! You need to work!!!Wow, if they only knew the real truth and the struggles and challenges this 10 year journey has taken me. Or, the mere fact that we had five children to provide for and raise.People do judge and it is sad. Little to this persons knowledge I was working and still do with my husband in a family business.

    5.The thing I have enjoyed most about this lesson is the “closet cleaning” and really taking to heart just what I am thinking and what I should be dwelling on. God’s thoughts, His ways, His promises,His truth,and etc. All the greatness of the Bible, His word :)That’s what I need to be dwelling on.

    • Christine says:

      It’s sad that we live in a world that judges rather than accepts. As a society we live in the flesh not the Spirit. Remind yourself- the only opinion which matters is the eternal one. You serve an audience of One. Let the critics mumble among themselves, while you stand before your husband and children and bathe in the beauty of what the Lord has placed on your table.

    • Jennifer says:

      Margaret,

      I had to reply to your post. I needed to tell you that I am actually someone that looks up to a woman like you. I am 24 years old, married with two children ages 2 and 4. After my salvation, I decided to pursue a life soley based on God and his Word. I also looked it as an opportunity to define myself, what truely brings happiness to my life. After working in the field of nutrition counseling for 5 years, I longed to be home with my children. I realized that being a wife, a mother, and a stay-at-home mom really does bring happiness to my life. I had to completely closeout the opinions of others to clearly define who I was. Having been blessed with such a supportive husband, I have decided to homeschool my children. I am so happy, so consumed in God, that it absolutely does not matter to me if anyone thinks I should be working to putting my kids in a punlic school. I know how blessed I am, and I praise God for it. I am doing the works of HIM, sharing my salvation with my kids, teaching them His Word, and ministering to others when I can, even if its just sharing His word with a friend.

    • Ann M. says:

      Margaret,

      I applaud you for what you are doing. I have two children, both in college. When they were younger, I was a “stay at home mom”. It was not easy to make the sacrifices needed to live on one income, to watch the world seemly slip by, or to find my place once that phase of my life was over. When I would get discouraged, I would remind my self to “work at it as working for the Lord and not for men”. (Col.3:23) It is the Lord I serve and not men. But please know, you are doing great things with your life right now. You are planting seeds, and witnessing in word and deed. Your daily choices will not be lost on the next generation or go unnoticed by God.

  • Sabrina says:

    1. Words of life: Love and Kindness Words of death: Loser and Pitiful

    2. I enjoyed and thankful to be reminded that God loves me unconditionally always.

    • Christine says:

      His love is unyielding and unfailing, no matter what. We are His children.

      The LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. Psalm 32:10 NIV

      Fill in the words of this scripture verse, using your greatest hardship…

      For I am convinced that neither _____nor_____, neither _____ nor _____ neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NIV

  • Deanna says:

    My two death words are shame and doubt, my two life words are forgiven and truth!
    The thought that has been in my closet, is the words; Not good enough.
    I struggle with past sin and flawed thinking. I sometime let the enemy convince me that I could not be forgiven for things that I have done. But, I am thankful that the blood of Jesus was poured out for sinners like me!

    Can I just say, “Hallelujah!!”

  • Ann says:

    Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?

    I know that my struggles should not be taken lightly and that they are very real, but sometimes I get into a pity party and thats when I most need to remember that God is using me and my situation for his purpose not for me to have a pity party. AMEN. Thank you God

    Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson. I really enjoyed the revelation that God showed me this week. That no matter how many times I am negative or what I tell myself, HE MADE ME AND HE LOVES ME.

  • Matie says:

    3. Jennifer writes “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” What struggle do you most tend to define yourself by?

    The struggle that I am having is not finding my calling. This is my current struggle that I cannot get past at the moment. I am trying to just be patient and take it one day at a time. I have so many things that I like to do, so I am finding it hard to narrow it down.

    4. Share something you enjoyed in this week’s lesson.

    I enjoyed all of the lessons.
    I love the part about turning your worry into a prayer,which I have definitely been doing.I love all of the exercises and I am learning something new every time I read this book.

    • Christine says:

      Your calling will find you. Maybe God is not ready to use your spiritual gifts yet, and that’s why you can’t find the calling. Maybe He is still grooming you? Jesus did not enter his ministry until he was called at 30 years old- which astounds me because I’d imagine him teaching from the time he was 5 years old. God groomed Him, sent many teachers into His path and called him at the appointed time. If you are struggling with a career choice, I suggest the book “How To Reach Your Full Potential for God” by Charles Stanley or “Chazown” by Craig Groeschel.

      • Matie says:

        You know I never looked at it from that perspective. I have always thought okay maybe it is me, maybe I am not doing something to find my calling….maybe I need to do this or maybe I need to do that…

        WOW! Until he was 30! That blows my mind away as well.

        Thanks so much for suggesting those two books.

  • Ann M. says:

    1.Words of life: Thank you, beautiful. Words of death: unacceptable, loser
    2.I am thought held the longest: artistic. Yes it is true.
    3.The struggle I define myself by: being under-employed and not using my gifts to serve God and others.
    4. I am so thirsty for God’s Word. I loved looking up all the bible verses and letting them soak into my brain. I have written them on post it notes and index cards to have them constantly in my focus.

    • Christine says:

      I like the way you are filling your heart as well as your home with scripture verses. Wish we were neighbors…I’d come over and read them with you. 🙂

  • Melissa P says:

    1.life: love, confidence – death: Loser, not good enough
    2.What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest? I am not good enough. Is it true? I am learning that even if some people think that, that it is not true. This is probably what I struggle with the most. Learning not to listen to those words either from myself or the words from others that I perceive that way.
    4.The phrase that most caught my eye was that “To dwell on untruths is to hold His truth in low regard.”

  • Amanda says:

    1.Two words that bring me life Forgiven and Baby. Two words that bring death fat and dumb.
    2.I am fat has been in there the longest. I have battled with how I see myself for my entire life. Is it to much to desire to want to not compare myself or analyze my body ever again? I dont think so! I love what I have read in this study so far and I believe God had me come across it for a reason. He wantts me to know the truth and be set free from the lies!
    3.I tend to define myself by how I can never get over my body issues.
    4.What I love most about this study so far is Gods truth in it. I have a baby girl on the way and I do not want to pass this issue along. I want her to know she is beautiful as is and perfectly made by God. I want to not just tell her that I want to live it and believe it! I have placed scripture and some sayings from this week on post-its all around my house so I see them during my day!

    • Christine says:

      I love that you are learning this and cleaning your thought closet before your daughter is born. What a wonderful way to start her life!

  • Kelly says:

    1.What two words bring you life: love and joy and what two words bring death: hurt and disappointment.
    2. The “I am” thought that has been in my thought closet is “I am a shameful disappointment to my God, my husband and my children” Is it true? I know the correct answer is NO….but it sure FEELS true at times. There are other times when “I am beautiful” hangs out in my thought closet. It really depends on how I am feeling that day.
    3.The struggle that defines me is getting over my past. I have made major mistakes and hurt a lot of people. I have to remind myself over and over that I have been forgiven by them and most importantly I AM forgiven by God.

    • Christine says:

      When cleaning your thought closet, look and see if you need to forgive yourself. It took awhile for me to realize that Jesus forgives me, God forgets my sin, and I was still clinging to it and not letting it go. One day I heard my pastor say “Jesus did not shed His blood and die on the cross because you told a lie or you drank coffee during a Lent fast. Jesus shed His blood because of your really big sins. We are a church filled with sinners. Now honor Him by letting go of your past.”

  • PattyA says:

    The two words that bring life to me are: Mom/Gramma and Father/God Jesus. I gues that is three or more, but I cannot seperate them. My death words are: guilty- I always feel like it (whatever) is my fault and not smart/stupid/dork.

    The thought that has been the longest in my thought closet is Guilty and unworthy, Inadequate. It is not true…. but I stll have a hard time throwing those thoughts away.

    I am a Christian, a Mom and a Gramma, loyal, hardworking, loving, I care deperately about people and want to fix everything. I have never felt smart enough that is probably my largest hurdle. I am learning to give that over to Father/God.

    this is my first time with this online study. I think I am going love it. We (my husband and I) have hosted many studies in our home over the last 6 years. My journey to find Christ has been very difficult, but God put a hunger in me that only Jesus could fill. Anger,hate and revenge consumed my thoughts for a very long time. Jesus taught me to forgive totally. I have no anger, hate or revenge thoughts left behind. For years I could not even sleep without earplugs in my ears. My thought closet was like a raging river. On 10/10/10 in a worship service, I suddenly realized I no longer had any baggage left. I did have peace. Christine as you said “it is well with my soul”. I love that and my hearts sings it often. I look forward to the daily study.

    I loved the lesson on the thesauros. That is a neat piece of information.
    May God bless all of us and show us all He intends for us to see!!!

    • Christine says:

      Moses never felt smart enough either. He is one of my bible hereos. When God calls us, He equips us.

      Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:10-12 NIV

      • PattyA says:

        I have been thinking about this a lot this week. I have read and taught about Moses often, but never had the realization that there really was no reason for God to use him, he was nothing special nor did he do anything to earn that position. God used him because he wanted to. That is true of all of the Biblical characters, God calls us and then He equips us. Thank you Christine, for bringing that to light for me. This is an extremely important piece of information for me to realize at this particular time of my life.

  • Kathy says:

    1. Two word for life: I love you; I appreciate you
    Two words for death: idiot, stupid
    2. What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest?
    I am a child of God has been there a long time, but I still have to fight the I am a failure thoughts constantly
    3. I define myself mostly with the struggle to keep an organized home. With seven children and working part-time, this is not something that is easy. If my home is unorganized then it makes me feel like a failure.
    4. The reminder that what I am thinking about must be acceptable to God because he is always with me. Memorizing Psalm 19:14 and using it in my daily thoughts.

    • Christine says:

      I enjoyed what you said “what I am thinking about must be acceptable to God because he is always with me” because we live in our own little worlds and forget the Holy Spirit has ears to hear our thoughts. It grieves Him when we are not thinking and saying pleasing words.

  • Tina says:

    Hello Sister’s,
    I am praying for you and as you continue in this study it will get more personal and those things you do not understand will come to be understood!! There is a saying that “When you are done to nothing, GOD is up to something”….Rest assure HE is!!
    HE has great and wonderful plans ahead, Have FAITH,HOPE and know that you are LOVED!!! You are being prepared to be set free from the snares and pits of your mind…a good song is Shackles by Mary Mary….before sitting down get your praise on…show the devil who is boss.
    love you and I am praying for you..
    Tina

  • Delon says:

    1.) What two words bring life? Jesus and Love.
    What two words bring death? Dumb and Loser

    2.)I know I am worthy and I know I am loved, but what is up with this struggle, I always feel like I am going to lose and that what makes me happy or fulfilled will not last long enough for me to enjoy it.

    • Christine says:

      Your death words sound like something I hear kids say in first grade- which reminds me how long we can carry these words. Your answer on number 2 reminds me that we need to stand on God’s promises, what we know is truth in scripture. The more we study and meditate and pray on His Word, the less we will think in the flesh. His Word is the bread of life- our food, and it always satisfies- as long as we ingest it by reading and memorizing scripture.

  • Yvette Cla says:

    1. Two words that brings life is Jesus and love. words that bring me death is not feeling smart or failure.

    2.not that smart…no it is not true. Yet it is a thought battle I constantly have to deal with.

    3. struggle that I define myself by is being black. Some automatically will see me & may think single mother, not educated, coming to tear down a neighborhood, etc.. I always feel I have to fight just b/c of something I had nothing to do with, the color of my skin. Although it isnt as bad as it once was, racism is yet still here. Its more settle today.

    4. what hit home for me with this week study was “God used His words to create.” We can speak either death or life into our situations. God’s thoughts are not our thoughs, his ways are not our ways. I have to train my thoughts to meditate on what his word says and not what the world sets up as my thoughts!

    seeing so far how this online bible study is a blessing to me.

    • Christine says:

      I’m sure God hates racism, because we were all created equal. In the church, we have no color, we are all one in Christ. As a culture, death words were spoken over your family, generations before you were born. It’s time to replace them with life words that are pleasing to God. Claim your ground as a Daughter of the King- don’t let the enemy steal your JOY in that. It’s not easy to live in the Word and not in the flesh- sometimes it can be a daily battle. I fight my battles with scripture and truth. I don’t expect perfection from myself anymore, I do expect and demand FAITH. I am HIS- and I claim God as my Father, so it’s important for me to live my life wearing garments of truth.

  • Sarah S. says:

    1. life: appreciate, love; death: blame, idiot
    2.”I am not worthy of anyone’s love when I am not at an acceptable weight/ size.” Absolutely not true, yet I still struggle to put it death on a regular basis.
    3. Currently I struggle most with — perhaps even take pride in — being SO busy, maybe feeling important to many people that way. As I back away from too many things, I realize I don’t feel as ‘defined,’ perhaps a bit of an identity crisis when I’m not doing a million things!
    4. I like reminding myself that we are ALL meditating — what are we choosing to meditate ON? I have been mindful of where my mind ‘wanders’ through many different venues this week: looking through Lysa Teurkurst’s ‘Made To Crave’ book, the SSMT work, and this study. Thanking God for a re-wallpapering of my mind, and the Truth given to me through all these things. It’s the ‘What IS’, not ‘What if’!

    • Christine says:

      When I look at the death words, it tears at my heart because these are words I was labeled with as a child. After hearing it so much from one of my parents, I started to believe the death words and live my life as one who was dead, not alive in Christ. Ouch! You are worthy of love, because you are God’s daughter. See yourself wearing the purple robe of royalty and groom yourself for Him and only Him. Being busy is an asset, unless the busyness takes you away from worship with God. This is the central theme of the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. I’m re-reading this book right now. We meed to take time and just sit at teh feet of Jesus, with nothing to do expect worship Him.

      Do you like the Made to Crave books? Mine arrived Friday and I am thinking of returning them- it’s not what I expected. What do you think?

      • Sarah S. says:

        I haven’t read the Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Would love to.

        As far as Made to Crave — I actually downloaded a free version that isn’t the full book: “Craving God”. It takes bits and pieces of it (I’m sure the idea is to entice you to buy the book). For me, it is just enough, coupled with this study, to remind me that I should crave God above EVERYTHING: food, as well as my desire to be thin. I’ve kept up with Lysa T’s blog through the inception of the book. I didn’t think it would be a ‘to-purchase’ book for me, but I like having the abbreviated download version.

    • Lauren says:

      Oh, girl, I’m feeling you. The more I say yes, the fuller my schedule is, well, surely that means I am more important. Yet so many times I’ve realized in the hustle and bustle of Momhood, work, and committees and volunteer stuff that I don’t even know who I am. I have felt so much better about myself when I learned to say, “No,” or “not right now”. Being able to priotize based on what is necessary for God has set me free from worry (ok, I still obsess a little, but it is sooo much better). I loved the Having a Mary Heart… it spoke to me so much!

  • Linda says:

    1. The two word that bring death are “unloved, deceit.” Life words “truth, although more than one word “child of God.”

    2. Unloved has been in my closet the longest. My father was abusive to me and I was married to an abusive man for over 20 years. My father and I reconciled some years ago, and the marriage ended when my husband committed suicide. I remarried about 6 months after his death. Without going into a lot of detail, I wonder if my huband truely loves me, or if he married me for other reasons. Of course, I question my motives as well. This black cloud just lingers over my head that I will never be loved for who I am.

    3. I’m going to place this on an index card as well as the memory verses. This study is giving me much insight to my walk with God. He is truly my Savior as he has brought me out of bondage from sin and a life of pain.

    4. What I enjoy most from this study is what it reveals about myself. I am letting my inner struggle define who I am. It reminds me of some of those reality shows of “what not to wear!” Those thoughts are there and I’ve become comfortable with them like my favorite sweat pants. They are unattractive, and unflattering, and they need to go in the trash. It may not be easy to let go; but, with God’s help, I know all things are possible.

    • Christine says:

      Regarding number 2, you are loved for who you are- by Jesus. When we take God off the throne and replace Him with our husbands, children, family, friends or even an illness- we will not experience unyielding and unconditional love. It only comes from the Lord and He alone belongs in the center of our thought closet. Just like you said, you are the Child of God. Daughter of the King. Trust in the Lord…and only in Him. Then you will know overflowing love in your heart. I enjoyed reading your answer to question 4, about comfortable thoughts. Thank you for sharing Linda.

  • Jamie says:

    1. Life Words- “I love you” and “Your amazing”. Death Words- “Your a failure”, “Your embarrasing.”

    2/3. I have always been insecure about the “failure” thing, a voice is always saying in my head, “You can’t do anything right.” No its not always true, but unfortunately I think it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I know this is spiritual warfare, and I am trying to cast out these thoughts when they enter my head and replace them with worship, scripture, and truth.

    4. I liked Jennifer’s illustration of hanging a sign on your closet door that says, “Only grace and truth allowed.” If your thought is not gracious or true, kick it out!

    • Christine says:

      Your life words sound like they come right from the heart of God! The failure words come back to the same themes: shame and pride. Pride says we need to be perfect, and if we can’t, then do not try. Shame says if we try and fail, we need to hide in isolation from God and from others. It’s time for sedated Christians to claim their territory against the enemy and stand their ground. We have no shame before the Lord. We do not carry badges of pride, we carry hearts of His amazing love. Your illustration of the GRACE and TRUTH kicking out shame and pride, is inspiring!

  • Christine says:

    1. My life words are create and give. My death words are shame and anger.

    2. I am creative, loving, giving, smart, pretty, busy, honest, loyal. I’m a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, Daughter of the King. It’s true.

    3. The struggle that defines me most is the one with financial security. My husband continues to lose his job, and I work from home because I have a special needs child. It makes me uncomfortable to depend on someone who is not dependable, and when I let go and trust God with my financial needs, the struggle is dissolved. Each time it reappears, I have to remind myself to trust Him.

    4. I enjoyed the image of the thought thesauros, because we don’t realize that we are creating these words from our hearts, not God’s. My thought thesauros and His thought thesauros are not in alignment- I’m using the AMV (American Mom Version). 😉

  • Tinesha Walker says:

    1. What two words bring you life…. Jesus and Grace. What two words bring death to your thought closet…..I cant and Im not.

    2. What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest….I am stuck in this place in my life. No it is not true.

    3. The struggle I most tend to define myself by is…..I will never move forward and move from this place in my life. I feel as if time has stopped in my life and there is so much that I want to do. My mind is constantly programmed on WHAT IF and i need to break free from it!

    4. I enjoyed being told that in order to survive I have to focus on WHAT IS and not WHAT IF. I find myself waking up out of my sleep and stating in my mind WHAT IS in my life.

    • Christine says:

      One of my favorite books I read last summer is called “Failing Forward” by John C Maxwell. I was raised to be perfect, literally. As a child, if I vacumed the carpet and the vacume cleaner lines were in the “wrong direction” my Dad made me start over. The song words “Perfection is My Enemy” applies to me. I believed perfection was the key to love and acceptance,so I searched hard for it. Instead, I found Jesus and realized that perfection is rooted in pride, something God hates. I’m still shedding pride- and each time I lose an extra pound of this heavy burden, my chains are set free.

      “The only way you can get ahead is to fail early, fail often and fail forward.” John Maxwell

      • Nikky says:

        I can relate to that feeling of needing to be perfect or that somehow my best efforts were not quite good enough. I learned to set very high standards that are sometimes hard to achieve. Even as a Christian, I realize that I’m always thinking that I need to do or be more. I know with my logical mind that I am saved by grace and not my works, but it can be hard to break old habits. I realized with horror one day,that I had passed it on to my daughter. We’ve talked about it and try to remind each other when we need to “chill out” and just let things be “okay”.

        My daughter and I laugh about the song “Perfection is My Enemy” because it fits her so well–dented fender and ripped jeans 🙂

        • Christine says:

          I watched my then 11 year old daughter sing this song at a church talent show. I’m sure I saw her glance at me as she screamed the words. It was uplifting 😉

  • Renee says:

    1. Life words: loved; Jesus. Death words: silly, untalented
    3. Every time I fail at something I have to remember it is not who I am. Joyce Meyer always says to separate you Who from your Do.
    4. I was thinking I didn’t say too many negative things to myself so I did a lot of thought observing this week. I was surprised how I really did. These were softly spoken thoughts so I hadn’t noticed them so much before. This was a good exercise and I was able to recognize them.

  • Tinesha Walker says:

    1. What two words bring you life….Jesus and Grace. What two words bring death to your thought closet..I’m not and I can’t.

    2. What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest…I am stuck in this place in my life. No after reading and praying I now know I am not. I am in desperate need of a plan of escape. Praying that cleaning out my thought closets allows God to create a permanent plan of escape.

    3. The struggle I most tend to define my self by is……why cant i break free from this place in my life? God has brought me sooo far since 2005 when my life fell apart. I survived my fathers death in 2008 and my nephews death in 2009. I am in a place in my life where I want to move forward and create a secure future for me and my children.

    4. I enjoyed learning that in order to survive I HAVE TO think about “WHAT IS” not “WHAT IF.” I am constantly on a day to day basis thinking about “WHAT IF.” Lord, makeover my thought process and redo my though closet!!!!!

    • Christine says:

      My heart breaks for your loss, as worry becomes a constant companion and traps us like an animal in a cage. I pray for you to escape the chains of worry and move forward in living a full and God-centered life as a Daughter of the King. Claim your ground, and do not let the enemy steal your joy with worry. May the King of all Kings heal your heart, restore your courage and bring forth two feet walking on the same path as Jesus. Hold His hand Tinesha, and let Jesus lead you out of the pit.

      Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

    • Jamie says:

      Tinesha, I too am very sorry for your loss. Greif over a loved one is probably the hardest thing we as humans have to go through. But know that Jesus is walking with you through it. I totally get the “stuck in this place” feeling. Sometimes it feels like with little kids that I don’t have time for anything but just covering the basic neccessities of getting through the day and scraping by with the minimum amount of sleep I get. I don’t feel like I have time for anything besides cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, and transporting the kids to school and sports events. Much less reading the bible or spending time with God. I find myself saying, “I’ll press in to the Lord and read my bible/ pray more when they get a little older. God surely understands!” Then you hear things from people like, “It doesn’t get any easier, you just get another set of problems.” I know that by not doing the daily quiet time I am missing out on God’s blessings but on the other hand feel like I’m doing the best I can do! My life is not much different from the everyday life of a lot of other moms of young kids, I know, but I find myself crying out for a miracle! Like you said, “Break free!”

  • Lauren says:

    1. Words that breathe life into me include, “I love you”, “Thank you, I appreciate it.” or “Mom”…. my favorite has come a lot here recently as I have seen my attitude change from hatefulness to joy, impatience to patience (even though I still struggle): “you’re the best Mom ever.”
    Words that can lead to death are “I’m stupid” and “why do you do that?” These often come from myself and lead to doubt and insecurity. One thing I noted is that it sometimes isn’t necessarily the words themselves, but the tone in which they are used.
    2. “I am incompetent/unworthy.” I use this to make excuses for myself as a wife, a Mom, a teacher,a nurse, a child of God… and no, it isn’t true. but it can sure cause me to be under a cloud of gloom.
    3. All of the “stuff” Ihave to do… all of my many hats that I take upon myself. Not saying no. And I love that I am not defined by mistakes… even if they are mistakes I have repeated!
    4. I love the verse in 1 Corinthians- I am who I am by the grace of God. He made me… I’m His. And He is still doing a work.
    I am enjoying this study… I completed it just a few months ago and I am happy to say that I have seen some improvements in my answers. Still have negative self-talk, but old habits die hard. One day at a time, though… =) Blessings!

    • Christine says:

      Looking at your answer to #2, you are a Daughter of the King. “Uncompetant and unworthy” are not befitting words to your crown, those words are from Satan as he attempts to distract you from your royal duty. When you hear these words, fight back with truth in scripture. Memorize verses opposite of what the enemy is telling you, and when you recognize him throwing flaming arrows into your path, rebuke him. Recommend reading the Invisible War book by Chip Ingram. You can also read more about this here:

      https://www.womensbiblecafe.com/2010/11/spiritual-warfare-201/

  • Tina says:

    I have done this study..Amazing!! I so love Jennifer Rothschild!! There is so much power in our thoughts and we have to be careful how we allow them to run our lives.
    Jennifer share’s so much truth and helps you see how we as women have so much going on in our daily lives and how are thoughts play out our day. The one thing missing in my thought closet were treasure’s…I did not have a lot of treasure’s, and that was sad for me, I did an inventory check and I asked GOD to help clean out all those things that were not thought closet worthy and HE did, I have some friendships end, HE has healed me from a lot and now as I peruse my thought closet..I see more treasure’s and I had a lot more there then I thought I had!!
    This year I turned 40, a new year, new beginnings and simply refusing to allow the things of the past try to conquer my present…I am going to celebrate and I am going to have fun and I am free to be me and as Psalm 139:14 I am fearfully and wonderfully made…So are you!!
    Many Blessings
    Tina

    • Christine says:

      Enjoyed reading your comment Tina because I had two dreams last night about treasures! Now I’m going to pray over them and see what the Holy Spirit speaks into my heart regarding “thought treasures.” Happy 40th Birthday!

  • Lynne says:

    1. Bring life: love you, appreciation, beautiful. Bring death: dummy, embarrassment.
    2. I am ‘Not good enough’ for family or job or friends has been in my thought closet for longest time. It’s not true.
    3. I am a hard worker and yet feel like I don’t produce enough to make anyone happy. This has been defining me as not good enough.
    4. I enjoyed pondering/meditating on God’s forgiveness, There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1, when we were asked to remember God’s wonders or His Word, and from Lamenations 3:22-24, God’s mercies are new every morning. Every morning I can begin again. I also really liked the “What Is” closet because it showed my worry closet to be filled with worry that were not truths. So, it encouraged me to pray to God about worries and be thankful for what is.

    • Christine says:

      You might have shame tucked away in the back of the thought closet? Dummy, embarrassment and not good enough are shame words. I’ve worn them too, that’s why I recognize it. This study helped me identify it, then work on removing it. At the Womens Bible Cafe, we are a “no shame zone.” Every woman is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord, no matter her past. Every woman is a Daughter of the King and every woman has been washed free of her past with the blood of Jesus. The church of Jesus, the real church, does not bind people it shame. It recognizes us as freed captives. Because we are freed, God’s GLORY is revealed in us. Claim it- and stand your ground against the enemy.

      • Lynne says:

        I had to look up the word shame in the dictionary. I don’t know how I have become someone who thinks they have to hide how human I am. I have been trying to pretend I can do it all and have no limits, but the truth is I can’t do it all and I have many limitations. In one of your comments you spoke of David and Moses and others that could’ve felt shame for their shortcomings and sin, but instead they embraced the love of God’s total forgiveness and were who they were, humans! This week I want to work on being honest with myself and honest with others, asking for help when I need it, admit when I can’t do it all or at all, admit honestly that I sometimes fail, but it doesn’t define who I am, a child of God. and be joyful that God loves me and by His grace I am what I am, His child, forgiven, shortcomings and all. Thank you for your response and for your encouragement. I am gleaming much more from others in the study, too, hearing them express my thoughts better than I could and hearing and being open to thoughts and responses, especially hearing God’s Word that says He has an amazing love for me!

        • Christine says:

          Shame has to do with the way we are raised, our life experiences, the people we know, family, and present environment. God continues to shape us with the Potter’s hands. Once I let go of my shame-based past, I had to learn to let go of pride and perfection. He’s still grooming me in this and I am thankful to be repeating this study.

          Enjoy this song: The Potter’s Hands

    • Lauren says:

      I love that verse in Lamentations!

      • Jamie says:

        Lauren, I completely relate to everything your saying and am walking it with you sista! I think we as women, especially moms, are caught in that cycle of working as hard as we can and always feeling we should have done more. We think that thinking this way is making us better in some way but after years of beating yourself up like that you start to get discouraged. I am claiming this verse, “Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).” Psalm 55:22!!!

  • Sue Alice says:

    1. What two words bring you life…Jesus and Joy. What two words bring death to your thought closet…Stupid and Ugly.

    2. What “I am” thought has been in your thought closet the longest….Nasty Is it true? YES

    3. The struggle I most tend to define myself by is….why am I like this, why can I not stop thinking these thoughts, and will I ever stop this self-talk.

    4. I enjoyed the words on page 30 about….”Ponder this during the day….to be like Christ is to be full of grace and truth. If you are a name-caller, meditate on these Scriptures.” Prov.3:3, 8:7 and 12:17

    • Christine says:

      Stupid, ugly and nasty are shame words, and do not belong in your heart. You’re none of these, you are a Christ child. When you look at the many people in bible- Eve, David, Moses, Rahad- to name a few, all had the potential to carry these same shame words, yet God used them to serve His Kingdom. David, loved by the Lord, killed a man and had an affair. When God forgives, He forgets. The debt is paid and the sin is forgotten. As we cling to our past, Satan uses it as a weapon to block out path. Regarding your answer to question #3, you may have a divided heart. Half is filled with scripture and God’s love and your faith. The other half needs a heart-transplant, a healing and restoration. Pray on this and ask God to heal you, head to toe.

      Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 NIV

      • Lauren says:

        I am trying to read the Bible through and just the last couple of weeks have been amazed. Abram lied, Jacob lied and stole, so many people full of deceit. Judah recommended selling his brother. Yet look what great people (Christ!) came from them. It’s all about claiming His power and glory instead of ours. You are more, Sue Alice… you are more than your mistakes, your past, your stubborness and insufficiency. His grace is sufficient, and in your weakness, He is strong. Just claim it, girl! =)

        • Sue Alice says:

          Thank you two for the kind words. They mean so much to me. Believe me I have made mistakes in my past and I am still doing so now. I can be so stubborn, full of anger, and at times I just want to be left alone and go my own way. I know I am a child of God and I am forgiven.

          Blessing to both of you.

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