3 Steps To Creating The New You
by Stephanie Pletka
Are you looking for happiness at the next turn? I love to experience adventure. The excitement of new places, people, cultures, and ideas, brings an adrenal rush. I love change, well at least the good kind. We educated our four kids while we worked and traveled for 3 years, via planes, trains and AirBnB’s, visiting 45 states and 9 countries. It was fun, exhilarating, hard, with an array of ups and downs. We worked at every coffee shop, park bench, and co-share facility. All we needed was a laptop and wifi, submitting projects and presentations five days a week.
Along the way, we lost kids on the Golden Gate Bridge and found them, ran out of gas somewhere in South Dakota, took Spanish lessons in Barcelona, though no one can remember anything more than- Hola! We rode Segways through Europe and almost hurled one into the canal. We drove through Manhattan in a 36 ft motorhome during rush hour (I do not recommend this) making an 18 point turn, since vehicles carrying propane tanks are not allowed in the Holland Tunnel. Who knew! I bet we hold the record for the most horns blown in a 10 minute period. We’ve met people from all walks of life, biked through Glacier National Park and paddle boarded through Bend, Oregon.
With all the adventure, change and new destinations, guess what…
…we still had to pay bills, do laundry, take baths, cut our hair and fuel the car. Our family fought, laughed and cried. And remember the Holland Tunnel? Let’s just say: My husband and I did NOT forget how to fight. When you think you’re going to die as your life flashes before your eyes, all sorts of crazy flies out of your mouth. I was praying to Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, all the while hollering at my husband and threatening the kids to quit talking or this would surely be their last day.
Traveling to new destinations, didn’t soften my tendency to react when I’m mad, to pull back when I feel insecure. It didn’t lessen my boy’s tendencies to wrestle each other on any given street corner in Germany or while volunteering at a women’s shelter in L.A. Yeah…That was fun!
The kids were allowed to carry one small backpack on extended trips. Our intention was to pack light, but it turns out, with all the emotional baggage we carried multiplied times six, our weight load was exponential. If Delta calculated emotional baggage, we would have been bankrupt.
We were lugging around the lies we tell ourselves: You’re Not Enough, comparing ourselves to other families who seemed to have it more together than we did, or the belief that we couldn’t start something until the circumstances were perfect. Perhaps you tell yourself: Marriage equals suffering. Past labels create my current self. You align finances with lacking. You walk into a packed room and feel alone. The grass is greener elsewhere.
If I can only start a new job, move to a new state, find a new guy. A new environment will clean the slate, rid us of our circumstances. It will save us, free us, relieve us from the pain, the grief, the suffering, the heartache we try to elude. Nope. You’re just giving those problems a new view. Giving them another cushy place to lay their weary head. Fluff those pillows, we’re home. Until our contentment meter is repaired, until the lies we tell ourselves are resolved, we will remain off-kilter, no matter the new city, partner or job.
It’s time to let go of others’ expectations.
It’s time to let go of the labels and lies we tell ourselves.
It’s time to drop the baggage and walk a lighter path.
It’s time to live in the freedom God created for us.
He’s a God of redemption and grace.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
As Susan Miller says, ” You can’t move forward if you’re always looking back. You can’t move forward if you’re always carrying luggage not meant for you to bear. Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, we are not overwhelmed, devoured or monopolized. For His mercy never fails. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23… I love how God invests in our spirit. He cares about our emotional psyche. He created us to soar, to succeed.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things.”
He didn’t say to focus on whether your butt is too big, or your house is too dirty!
He said to focus on anything praiseworthy.
So how do we free ourselves of the lies?
Read the Word.
Isaiah 55:11 says, “The Word that goes out from My mouth, will not return to Me empty. But will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Girl, God is for you and not against you. His Word does not go out and come back void.
No, ma’am. It goes out and does the work He has commanded it.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Transformed, revamped, reconstructed. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
3 Step to Creating the New You (N.F.L.)
1. Name all those lies and insecurities one by one and begin to pray the above scriptures over your life. Expectations, Loss, Fear, My Past. Pray for a new mindset. Exchanging Guilt for Grace, Perfection for Progress. Pray for God to change your heart, your perspective, exchanging the scratched lens for a clear one.
2. Find a picture of your younger self. Look at this little girl, meditate on her sweet innocence, before life had a chance to create the rough edges. Could you tell her that she’s not enough? Could you tell her that she’s ugly, undeserving, alone, won’t measure up? I don’t think so. Frame this picture. Encourage that little girl that she is enough, that she is everything God planned for her life. That she is redeemed, good and deserving. That she is perfect and pleasing in His sight.
3. List what makes you happy. What gets you excited to wake up each morning? What are your hopes, talents, and dreams? What did you love doing as a kid? Perhaps it was climbing trees, swinging at the park. Go do it. Indulge yourself. You’re worth it. Wherever your travels take you, don’t allow the unwanted baggage to hold you back, to weigh you down. It will cost you more than you’re willing to pay. God came to give you life and life more abundantly. Live in His fullness, with a new you and a different view.
Now go enjoy the journey!
Here’s to Living the Best Version of You!
Stephanie Pletka is a writer, blogger, and speaker, who finds humor in the ordinary, writing topics that inspire moms to Live Their Best Life, as she leads you step by step on how to exchange guilt for grace, comparison with contentment and perfection with progress. With 2 business, 4 kids and a need to create life’s Slow Down button, this Atlanta family hit the road for a life of adventure: running a tech company, writing and educating kids on the road, while traveling to 45 states and 10 countries. Recently moving to Scottsdale, AZ to explore the beauty of the West.
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