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I heard the call of a Red-Shafted Flicker today.  These beautiful woodpeckers are “Heralds of Fall,” migrating to higher elevations in the summer and returning with the Autumn. The daytime temperatures may still soar in the 90s here at my home in the Sierra Nevada foothills, but night cools into the 50s. The lingering daylight of the summer months is no more.
My life, too, is in a new season. Homeschooled all their lives except for one year in a public school, my children have “migrated” to schools in other states. In June, my elderly mom took her last breath of Earth’s air and flew freely into eternity. With my care-taking responsibilities in the past, God is inviting me forward—to fresh adventure.
Is God calling me to focus more on writing and speaking in the months (years?) ahead? I sat still in His presence last week to listen to what he had to say to me about this. Instead of the sweetness of His presence, I was astounded by the noise in my head. I captured the monolog I spoke over myself:

Lord, is this really what you want? What if I am being arrogant? What if I am promoting self? Then I would be setting myself up for a big fall… you know that I don’t feel like I have much to offer. I just truly want to point out to any who will listen how awesome YOU are. I want to proclaim your praises. What if people think it is too Pollyanna-ish? What if they think my joy is fabricated? What if they think it is old news? What if they minimize just how powerful a transformation praise, gratitude, and forgiveness can cause in a life? What if they shoot the messenger because they don’t want to hear the message? I know many are in places that I can’t fathom. Those who have been hurt beyond belief or who are walking through trials. What about them? Is teaching that a life of praise is transformational…OFFENSIVE? I hate to wound, but I guess what I hate even more, Lord, is not being loved by others. I want them all to be excited by what I share. What if I think you have given me ideas to share…and what if I can’t organize them or finish them? Lord, what if the ideas I have aren’t good enough? What if they are only personal truths…and aren’t really as amazing as I think? What will people think…of me? I seem to be stuck in that rut of what people think a lot. That saturates my thinking. My greatest fear is that I have made up a “calling” to write and speak for selfish reasons. Yet I am not sure I even *like* the idea of writing and speaking and putting myself out there to be rejected! Lord, I am confused! What is YOUR will?
Not the best way to start a new season of life writing and speaking, huh? (I was due to leave to share at our women’s retreat in just three days’ time!) I just about convinced myself to forget the writing and speaking (the work) and, instead, go after the certification as a professional tennis instructor, teaching tennis (another opportunity that has opened up).
God led me to expose the lies in the monolog I was proclaiming over my life with an eye to what Scripture teaches. This shut down my defeated thinking–immediately!
What do you speak over your life? Are you like me? Do you speak lies over your life? How do you narrate your story? Do you, like me, defeat yourself? Is your loving, Heavenly Father challenging you to expose those lies and to replace them with truth—HIS truth, so that you might walk in what He wants for you?  How about if you try it? Be it a new endeavor—a new hobby, ministry, vocation—or a long-held ambition. Picture yourself giving it a go. What do you have to say about yourself? Capture the noise in your head, the narration or monolog that you speak over your life. See if you are caught up in defeated thinking that God wants to stifle with his trump card of truth! Then speak truth in response!
The LORD your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
    he will quiet you with his love,
    he will rejoice over you with singing.
~ Zephaniah 3:17