Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Running in My Head Like a Memory

I have these verses that run through my mind. You probably have them too. They are the verses that I grab when my thoughts start to stray, or when sin habits rear up strong.

They are the verses I whisper to myself while plunging hands into soapy dishwater, staring out the window. The verses I speak out across the front lawn, past the robins, the blue jays, and into the bushes--lilacs with slow signs of growth--while absentmindedly scrubbing plates and bowls. The verses I write across journal pages, tape to bathroom walls that curl up in hot steam, and tell myself often.

I call them to mind whenever I forget, or music grabs me, and the lies start.

Because all sin, really, is about lies. The lies we tell ourselves vary, but the themes are the same: this will fulfill that need; this is justified; this will be harmless; this has no effect.

So, in cadence, I stop, grab the truth and speak them to my heart.

"You were taught, Jen, with regards to your former way of life
to put off the old self
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires..." 

(--Jen, don't be deceived... every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows." If it's not coming down from above, it's not yours, and you are being deceived and corrupted, my girl.)

"To be made new in the attitude of your mind..."

(Made new, grabbed truth. Legitimate answers to legitimate needs, dropped down by the Father of heavenly lights, but not deceiving myself. Retraining my mind, retraining my heart, my responses, my reactions.)

"To be made new in the attitude of your mind,
To put on the new self, 
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

(Putting on a new self --not simply pulling on a new outfit to hide the old-- but a brand new start, created by a master Designer.)

"Created to be like God, in true righteousness and holiness."

These verses run through my mind. I grab them when sin habits creep in, or lies trickle into my consciousness. These are the verses I whisper to myself while plunging hands into soapy dishwater staring out the window. The verses I speak out across the front lawn, past the robins, the blue jays, and into the bushes.

My mom? Just this weekend, we whirred along suburban streets to carpool teens. Alone in the car, our talk turned to verses that were grabbing our attention lately. In gentle measured tones, my mom spoke words of truth from ancient Roman prisoners. Words inked on parchment to tiny churches in Ephesus and Greek Thessalonika fell into my car in cadence.The words spoke truth into our relationships, families, coworkers, and marriages. And the breath in me caught, as I shifted and changed highway lanes.

"You too?" I breathed. "Me too! I have verses that run through my mind that I grab and speak aloud..."

We recited the words that spoke truth and focus to us, eyes squinting at times to see them in our mind. I made a mental note to find hers and write them out, adding them to these.

I have these verses that run through my mind.

You probably have them too.

What are yours in this season?

 Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose and Scribing the Journey. 

Photo credit here.


Cheryl Barker said...

Jen, a couple that my mind has gone to frequently the past year or so where my writing is concerned --

"fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you" 2 Tim. 1:7

"Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." 2 Tim 1:14

Elisabeth OKeefe said...

:D This happens to me all the time:) It really pays off to memorize the Bible; it keeps God close to your heart:)

elizabeth said...

Oh, I loved this. The Word is so important to me, the only way my mind can be renewed from wrong ways of thinking, reacting and responding.
I also love reading of this sweet relationship with your Mama, you speaking the Word to one another.

Floyd said...

That is so cool! Not just God's words, but the bond of love from God in you and your mother. I guess we're kind of on the same page today.
"Putting on a new self --not simply pulling on a new outfit to hide the old." That is profound and wise. That is the very problem that threatens the foundation of the church. It's always about what we can't see or grasp with our senses I think.

Continued blessings to you, your family, and all the kids that God has placed in your care.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Cheryl, oooh, those are good ones. Yes, keep fanning into flame your gifts too. I enjoy them. :)


Jennifer Dougan said...


I agree. Memorizing scripture is one of my newer passions, and it so helpful to me.

Have a great week,
Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Floyd. It's fun to see God using similar themes in our lives.


Jayne said...

"I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth."-Casting Crowns

Jennifer Dougan said...


That is a wonderful song, and is the one that God whispered to me to get me into public speaking. Yes, he is good.


Karmen M. said...

Thank you for this. I will have to make myself a verse list to recite when I am in need of reminding. Thank you.

Unknown said...

"All sin really is about lies." Pow-er-ful. Had to tweet that!

cabinart said...

"Believing prayer will heal you and Jesus will put you on your feet", James 5:16, The Message Every day I pray that He will heal my plantar fasciitis.

"He who will not work shall not eat" - paraphrased by me, feeling guilty for reading and commenting on blogs when I need to be working!

Great post, Jennifer.

Lisa notes... said...

I love this post, Jennifer! If you don't mind, I'd like to share it on the Hide His Word Facebook page next week to encourage everybody there who tries to memorize scripture. Because we know that in order for the scriptures to come to mind when we need them, we have to put them in there to start off with. Thanks!

Alecia Simersky said...

I think this is why it's so important to memorize scripture, so that when the lies come, and they always do, we have a way to combat them. My favorite are the ones on taking every thought captive, and there is no condemnation for those in Christ. I also like to repeat the ones about putting on your armor, bc that's what it feels like most days, getting ready for the war of the mind.

Mommy Emily said...

this is a wonderful reminder of how scripture can transform our minds.

Anonymous said...

Love that everyday moment, you and your mom in the car.

Jennifer Dougan said...


It's so fun and helpful. I would love to see some of the verses you choose some day too! That would teach me. :)

Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...

Shannon, I'm honored to have you tweet that, and it's so true, isn't it? That hit me last week.

Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...


I am so sorry that you are in pain every day. That is hard! Yes, those are good verses. How intimate of God that different verses can grab us all in different ways, huh?

Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...

Lisa Notes,

I would be honored to have you share my post on your "Hide His Word" facebook page this week. Thanks.

Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...


I agree: "the war of the mind." Since all sin really is about lies, huh?

Nice to talk with you here,
Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Emily.

Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...


Those are some of the most memorable times, huh?

Thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer Dougan

Lisa notes... said...

Linked it here today. I know it will encourage many. Thanks, Jennifer!

cairncottage said...

Oh, WOW! This is so true, Jennifer! I just recently had a very familiar verse run through my mind, when satan tried to tell me I couldn't do something that I need to do...Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength! I'm SO thankful for these verses from the Bible!
P.S. Thanks for stopping over at my blog and sharing today!
In His Love,
Ann @ Christ in the Clouds