I have been blessed in my life to have a supportive family, during great times and terrible times. I have learned that what I put in, will come out.
I grew up on Country Music, and a little of my dad listening to, “Oh What A Night”, and similar songs. I, to this day, have no idea who sings that, but Mrs. King my 6th grade P.E. teacher taught us aerobics to it, so when I hear it at the dentist office almost every visit, my feet tend to start moving. 🙂
Due to growing up on country music, I just like it. I love the beat, the instruments used, the way the singers sing. Feeling emotion within every song and having an experience in the 3-4 minutes it’s playing. The problem with growing up on country music, is that it creates a mental “norm” for what a family is, or what every family, every relationship “must” endure. This isn’t just a country music thing; I can think of very few genres that aren’t Christian who’s lyrics don’t change your thinking or distract you from your purpose.
I am about to blow your socks off… It’s false. Every bit of it. I tested myself about two weeks ago, and I turned on the country channels, only when I was in the car. I don’t expose my children to it intentionally- for a reason. I was at first amazed by the lyrics of the songs. Every single song encouraged and made alcohol seem like the answer. Have a drink, get the girl… have a drink, get even… have a drink, the world is fine… yada. yada. yada… all false. I got pulled in. I knew I would, but I needed to reawaken myself to what I live for, and sometimes to do that you have to see where you were.
I was in that spot years ago dealing with my dad’s death, the loss of my nephew before we could even meet, and about 10 other loved ones in a years time. My son was backed over by my husband in our truck, and it startled me into awareness of where my life was. I was singing on the worship team at church, having an emotional affair, dealing with my husband’s affair, contemplating divorce and living as close to drunk in private as I could. Feeling too much hurt, so I numbed it. I had my prescription of Xanax from my dad’s passing and I learned to live on half a Xanax during the day until I got home at night and could sneak some drinks. I missed gaps of my children’s lives, and the worst part; no one knew. Not Tim, not my family, no one; but God.
I can sum up my life with one phrase; but for God. That is my life story… but for Him, who saw me, the one who saw me, who sees me. But for Him, I would be a divorced alcoholic unable to function in my gifting’s, in my purposes. I would be a failure as a wife, a mother, a child and a daughter of the Most High God. You will notice I write the Most High God a lot. It isn’t for you that I write it; it’s for me. I need to remind myself in my thinking by renewing my mind, that I was created, designed with a purpose and although I fail, I am not a failure, but for God.
Tim corrects me all the time, because I say, but, a lot. (It’s true, I do.) He says, “Mel, when you say that you cancel out everything in front of it.” (Again, grammatically that is true.) What he doesn’t realize is that there are times that everything being cancelled before the word is actually an answer to prayer. When He looks at me, He doesn’t see the lying, the betrayal, the drunkenness, the darkness surrounding me; He sees Himself because I was created in His image and upon accepting His son, I became the likeness of Jesus.
I did about a week of Country music and some things happened, specifically; I began changing. I didn’t think of God anymore. I didn’t think of consequences, I didn’t desire to pray, read my Bible, get to know Him more, or even write on this blog. I became selfish and motivated to do for me, and myself alone. I felt frustration when my children needed my attention, I felt like my body was mine and not available to my husband, I was in control. I reached the week mark and turned my positive radio back on, my K-Love, and PER, and AFR, and I felt the change begin; literally my heart softening as my mouth began to form the words of songs of hope, encouragement and love for the creator. I immediately felt repentant for my behaviors and attitudes of the previous week. I was blossoming back into the woman I was created to be. I am astounded by how lyrics repeated over and over can change my thinking, my personality and who I choose to be.
It is a choice, everyday we have a choice to lift the name of Jesus or ourselves. We have a choice to put in what we want to come out.
If I eat 25 Twinkies, and expect to lose weight, I am out of balance in my thinking and my expectations. If I choose to eat lean meals and exercise the expectation is that I will begin to see muscle appear in place of fat.
If I submerse myself in music, movies, or people who degrade and demolish the work of the cross, I will become who they are. I do believe that we are able to immerse ourselves in small doses with those we are called to reach, but if you are going into that environment without prayer, fasting, intentionality you will find yourself tied up in slowing constricting bonds. What doesn’t affect you much at first, will over the course of time, develop in you a personality you will be ashamed to carry. Your calling will be marred by the acts that brought you back to the foot of the cross, and while He holds nothing over you, no condemnation; none, you will still wear the marks left by the bondage you endured. You got to choose how tightly those bonds held you. You get to determine as a parent how many bonds you will allow your children to wear in the name of “friendship”, or being “the cool parent”, or worse like me, “the stubborn disconnected parent”.
What are you putting in today that is impacting you and stunting your growth?