Stop it!

 

STOP IT!

STOP IT!

I attended First Baptist Temple Terrace recently, and the pastor there, Paul Purvis, was preaching on Nehemiah. It was one of the best sermons I’ve heard in a long, long time. Backstory: Nehemiah was calling out some bad behavior among the Jewish people. They were charging each other interest, selling their own people back into slavery etc. Nehemiah called a town meeting and basically said to them: “STOP IT!” Both Nehemiah (and Pastor Paul) said it emphatically, “Just stop it!” Paul then drew the line from Nehemiah’s story to ours….what are we doing in our lives that we need to stop? I loved the way he delivered the message: You don’t need counseling, you don’t need to go to therapy. You just need to STOP IT!

So, my fellow sisters, listed below are a few things in which we need to say to ourselves: STOP IT! We chicas are our own worst enemies! We drive ourselves crazy obsessing over these things, and we just need to STOP IT! By the way, I am the chief of sinners.

1. Stop saying “yes” to everyone. There’s no need to say “yes” to everything! Take Billy Graham’s advice. Ask yourself: Is this event/endeavor/engagement really necessary? Is it taking me away from my family? Is it really the best use of my time? Or do I just feel guilty and obligated?

2. Stop saying “no” to yourself.  Repeat after me: Rested wives and moms are better wives and moms! Take some time for yourself. Carve out a few minutes a day for a quiet time. Think about it this way: If you had the opportunity to sit for 10 minutes with “fill-in-the-blank person you respect the most” (for me, it’d be Beth Moore or Billy Graham) would you cancel on that person? Would you walk away, and say “sorry, can’t.” No!! You’d make time! Then make time for Jesus! The one who loves you! Your Redeemer! Your Savior! The one who knows you better than you know yourself. Last thing: an occasional girlfriend date for pedis is nice too! And yes, stop by Starbucks on the way!

3. Stop apologizing all the time! I am a Southerner. It’s in my DNA to apologize and then give an explanation. For stinkin’ everything! STOP IT! Actually say it back to me…I need to hear it! “Carmen, STOP!” Of course, we need to be gracious. But it’s ok to be ok with our decisions and preferences. (I’m sorry, does this sound harsh?) Haha!

4. Stop comparing your life to what your friends post on Facebook. Definitely stop this one! With the exception of those friends who are chronic complainers on Facebook (very unattractive, btw), let’s all admit that we post “the best of the best” on Facebook.  We’re not gonna post, “Just got in a fight with Pete, and we went to bed not speaking.” NONE of us have perfect lives. We all have deep hurts and very personal stuff happening in our lives. I could write on and on about this. I could tell you about my insecurities, my fears, the times I feel very lonely…I could tell you about all of that …. but the reality is I don’t post that stuff. And neither does “she.” So stop looking at all the perfect pictures, with perfect status updates, describing the perfect vacation, with the perfect husband, holding hands with the perfect kids, having a perfect meal. These are only a glimpse of a small fraction of our lives!  Praise the Lord for families and vacation, etc etc. I love family, vacations, good meals, and fun status updates….But know this for sure: virtual does NOT equal reality. What we choose to post is not the whole picture. If browsing your newsfeed makes your feel badly, STOP browsing the newsfeed.  And just fyi, Pete and I did get in a fight on Sunday night (over a game, no less!) and went to bed without speaking. We didn’t talk all day Monday, and finally went for a long walk last night and resolved it. There were lots of tears (me) and “I’m sorrys” (both). So, there…..that’s REAL life.

5. Stop viewing food as the enemy. Read this book: Intuitive Eating. It changed my life. It’s about making peace with food. We girls tend to label foods as good or bad. We look down at our plate and here’s the internal conversation we’ll have, “Grilled chicken – good! Mac & cheese – bad. Broccoli – good! Warm roll with butter – bad!”  Here’s the bottom line: Of course, we can’t live on bad carbs. But good gravy, (pun intended) ENJOY a meal every now and then! Give yourself permission to eat a cookie. I truly feel that if we’d give ourselves permission to have forbidden fruit occasionally, then we wouldn’t be so obsessed with not having it.  I truly do try and eat healthy. But it’s my mental, negative self talk that is the enemy. Not the mashed potatoes.

6. Stop body snarking – out loud AND in your head. Again. Chief of sinners! How many times have you heard me talk about my muffin top or bra fat on the air? I do it ALL. THE. TIME!  And it’s wrong. I need to STOP IT! As women, we are socialized to believe the lie that our worth lies in our looks. This is a lie from the pit, my sisters! We need to stop putting ourselves down. It’s not good.

7. Stop obsessively untagging yourself in every “unflattering” photo. This one has been the biggest struggle for me the last several years. When I started in radio years ago, FB wasn’t even a twinkle in cyberspaces’s eye. It’s a new world, and we have little control over it. Camera phones are here to stay, and aren’t going away. People aren’t gonna stop taking pictures, and they’re gonna post what they’re gonna post. Obsessing over the pic that doesn’t capture your best side (for me, it’s my right side) is only gonna make you crazy. Remember this: your real friends will get approval first. And your very best friends will crop!

8. Stop trying to make your life or house look like Pinterest. Granted, I’ve never been on Pinterest (as most of you have heard. Bill’s our Pinterest guy).  But I’m assuming it’s very Martha Stewart-esque. I think “do it yourself” things are great. But ease up on yourself. Most of us do not have catalogue homes, with Food Network kitchens.

9. Stop being plugged in 24/7. Stop it! Take some downtime. Stop scrolling through your phone incessantly. Stop being available to your employer at all times. Stop checking and returning email at all hours of the night. Take a vacation. Turn off your phone. #1) You need the decompression and away time, and #2) You’re not that important. The business isn’t gonna cave without you.

10. Stop wearing heels everyday. Give your feet a vacation too!

11. Stop fearing being alone. I don’t know why some of us are married, and some of us aren’t. Embrace your singleness. You are perfect just the way you are! You don’t need a man to complete you! God knows the desires of your heart. Trust Him, that He has good plans for YOU!

12: Stop holding onto toxic relationships. Whether it be a girlfriend or a boyfriend. It’s true….Relationships either “life” you, or “death” you. If you’re not being lifed by a person, it’s time to prune; lose the frenemies. And there is a Christ-like way to do it.

A few more thoughts….in the same sermon, Paul, using Nehemiah as the example, finished the list of things we could learn from him (Nehemiah) this way:

1. STOP IT!
2. Start it!
3. State it!
4. Stick with it!

I think we can all apply this to our lives. Hold me accountable. I’m praying for you today, my sweet sisters. And I hope you’ll do the same for me. I love you!

{Note: This list was inspired by/taken from a Huffington Post article I read by Emma Gray. She wrote an amazing list, and I certainly want to give her credit! She really nailed it! I expounded and put my own spin on it – to make it more applicable to us – as women who are striving to be more like Jesus.}

26 Responses to “Stop it!”

  1. ASTOREY November 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    AMEN!!!!!!!

  2. Becky November 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    WOW. That was so inspiring and so true. Thank you, Carmen!

    • Therese November 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      Paul Purvis was the minister at First Baptist Church in Conyers, GA previously. Although I attend another church in town but have had the pleasure of hearing him preach. He has had many sermons like this one. Thank you for the reminder that I just have to STOP a few things.

  3. Lisa November 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks Carmen — needed that reminder. Appreciate it and will try to remember to STOP IT!

    Lisa

  4. Christy November 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Carmen you rock!! I needed that!!!!

  5. Lesia November 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Timely reminders. Thank you for your honesty – everyday!

  6. Jena November 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Thanks for this! Especially the FB reminder. As the mother of a drug-addicted son, it reminds me of what my life should have been. God is using me for other things and FB distracts me from that.

  7. Kim November 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Welll said! Thanks Carmen

  8. Felina November 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Thank you for this list of STOP IT’s! I see myself in many if not all of these, I need to STOP IT. Thank you for being honest and letting God use you. Be blessed sweet Carmen!

  9. Trudy Beerman November 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Pastor Paul is AWESOME! I have enjoyed his Build It series in Nehemiah. The sermon series can be reviewed on the church facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FBCTempleTerrace and if you are in our neck of the woods, come by the church and hear him in person. Thanks for sharing your inspiration from that message with us Carmen.

  10. Glenna November 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    I love my Pastor! His whole series on Nehemiah has been great. Thanks for sharing this one with your friends. :)

  11. Glenna Eskew November 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Amen!! Thank you for sharing this :)

  12. Marissa November 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Oh Carmen, how you have blessed me today! This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. Seriously, as I just read this at my desk it brought tears to my eyes. I find myself doing almost all of these things on a daily basis. I have come to realize that there are a few things in my life that I need to stop. So thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful reminder. <3

  13. Marilyn November 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Thank you. This was a great wake-me-up lesson.

  14. Gwen Diaz November 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    What an awesome article. Definitely sharing!!

  15. kim November 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Exactly what needs to be said and to whom it needed to be said. God bless you for sharing that word with us.

  16. Bob November 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    This was taken from the Huffington Post “27 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing.”

  17. Donna November 21, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    Thank you Carmen – I really needed to hear these..I’m gonna make me a list to put on my computer to remind me too! So thankful for your heart and being “real” all of us. Blessings to you

  18. Kristie Hamer November 21, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    Carmen!! I love you too!! You’re one of my favorite people ever!:) I’ll be praying for you:)! And hey mine is the right side too:)

  19. Jen November 21, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    My how you just described me to a T! Thanks for sharing this :) Be Blessed!!

  20. Rosalinda Perez November 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    Amen!

  21. Colleen November 27, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    Thank you Carmen; this is excellent! Very inspiring and liberating!

  22. Donna Gray December 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    My Pastors wife loves coffee I have given he a grinder but I have told her about my press and she said how much she would enjoy one. I would love to be able to give her one for Christmas. Thanks

  23. Jan Chaffee December 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    THANK YOU! Also, I wanted to thank you for announcing on air the Women of Faith Christmas simulcast our little church in Oldsmar hosted this past Friday night. Community United Methodist Church! We had people coming from Bradenton, Lakeland, Wesley Chapel, Tarpon Springs, St. Pete and more! It was incredible and will be an annual event at our church each December. Perfect way to kick off the celebration of the birth of Christ.

  24. Ricky December 10, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    In this world of standardization, dotting the i and crossing the t, your blog was uplifting. Seems the world wants guys to stay in put down mode, and we are supposed to be a chore to be taken care of. As the song says ” I gotta to be me”, but Christ says we are a new creation, and we are new (my take). God Bless you and your family Carmen and go FSU :) :)

  25. shannon garcia December 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    hi carmen i really enjoy listening to you in morning it really brightens my day god bless you and the morning cruise have a blessed christmas and new years

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