Step Out & Thrive Ministries with Bethany Boring
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Ready To Walk On Water?

I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?

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Let’s Play Ball!

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When was the last time you declared catching practice against the curve-balls of your negative thinking? As a mom of three boys and a decked-out tomboy growing-up, this vivid imagery grabbed my attention.


We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭4-5‬ NLT) 


I was driving our minivan with the boys jabbering away as our local Christian radio station Z88.3 played through the noise. I had so many to-do lists whirling through my mind. So many places to go, people needing more of me than I can even offer! Can you believe it’s already time to start shopping for school supplies?


Yet, so many times I fail to stop and really deal head-on with my thoughts. The lies that whisper:
“Bethany, you are so not prepared. You will never be a great mom.”
“Bethany, no matter how hard you try, you will never do as good of a job as that mom over there.” 


“Bethany, you dropped the ball again, as usual. Why keep trying?” 




I could go on, but I’ll stop there. Can you relate?


Do you allow your negative thoughts to define you?
What about:
  • Worry
  • Shame
  • Doubt
  • Fear

Rene Swope took over my radio that day for just a moment, a few seconds that completely silenced our entire van. Seriously! Our van filled with sweaty, snotty, love to burp in public manhood was completely hushed as she unfolded a lesson that took root in our hearts. The story involved a hurting little boy and a really good opportunity for a great catch. Listen to the radio spot here.  


So many times I fail to stop and take every thought captive. Instead, I just follow wherever my thoughts, emotions and feelings may guide my day. What a waste! Like a dog chasing a skunk, well friends, that’s not going to end well. We all know that. Yet, we have a hard time catching our wounded heart when our negative thinking has taken over. We are hit hard and frankly, it stinks up everyone around us.



In our minivan that day, my boys and I decided to try Rene’s new strategy. I offered them permission to catch me in a negative mindset by simply showing me their catching hand. I would do the same for them if I noticed they were going down the same path. Suddenly our vehicle was transformed to three amazing catchers with no umpire or batter in sight. It was quite humorous actually. No words. No sounds. Just a family willing to guard the hearts of our bond together.



As I dropped my older kids off to VBS this morning, my middle guy was not comfortable at all. He is our drama king. Hiding emotions is not in this kid’s DNA. Perfect for some situations but not for public drop-offs.


He hugged my leg so tight I could literally feel the heat of all ten fingers wrapped around my knee. As I eventually positioned our huddle into a pew, we sat together in silence. As a mom, my heart was breaking. I wanted to take him home and let him rest in the security of his everyday surroundings. But I knew Gods best for him required steps of faith leading to new friendships and hopefully one day a relationship with Him.


In my brokenness, I looked him in the eyes and held out my catching glove.


His response was classic:


“But mom, I don’t want to catch it.” 


Yep, been there, done that.


As I sat with my 5 year-old, putting fear in his hands, I thought I was going to lose it. Honestly.


My guy is 5 sticky fingers old and he was going through steps I forget to do as a…well, we no longer count our fingers now do we?. Yet, here he was, literally throwing his fear right back to where is came from. He protected his heart from being damaged. He walked in faith out of that sanctuary in a way I had never seen him do before.


Oh, it worked!


As I reached the church doors to exit, my feet resisted the overwhelming urge to turn back, just to check. My babies mean so much to me. As I looked down for my keys, there I saw my hand, still clinched, holding my ball of fear inside.


Could it work again?


I smiled. Of course this simple analogy goes both ways. Good enough for our kids but oh mercy, perfect for us parents as well. Throwing my hand into the air, I threw the ball of fear right to the One I knew could take it away forever. I smiled too. Sighing deeply and freely, I opened my car door to a very quiet backseat. I whispered, “God, You have them and I trust You. The ball is in Your hands now.” 



File Jul 13, 11 52 59 PM


Now, I sit with flaky VBS snowballs bouncing off of our kitchen counter. My boys are back and ready to play hardball! Mommy is learning too…one ball, one challenge and one step at a time.


Don’t allow negative thoughts to strike you out today. Make the catch and pass the glove onto a friend. 


QUESTION – How do you handle your negative thoughts? What resources have you used to explain this with your kids? I’d love to hear your experience today! Comment below or tweet me! If you receive my blog posts by email, simply hit reply and connect with me personally. 

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About the Author Bethany

Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!

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Wendy says July 14, 2015

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! Stopping in from the #RaRa link up!

    Bethany says July 15, 2015

    You are welcome anytime Wendy!

Gina B says July 14, 2015

Battling negative thoughts is a difficult, constant battle for me, especially with my parenting. I know I’m a good, God following mom in my heart but it takes a long time to get to my head. I’m not perfect and it often feels like there’s a million balls in the air, and then I have to stop and criticize where I’m wrong (forgot the dentist appointment! haven’t done summer studying yet! let them eat sugar!). But then I realize that I’m making myself out to be the villain rather than just a mom handling a bit more than she can, a mom who forgets that this is meant for GOD to handle more than me. Thank you for this great post!

    Bethany says July 15, 2015

    Yes Gina! Oh our minds think alike! It does feel like a million balls up in the air all about to crash down…with the sugar…and the meltdowns! I practiced catching a lot today, but it was a hard day for me too! Restart tomorrow!

~Karrilee~ says July 14, 2015

What a great visual aid! I love it! I always (well – not always, if I am honest… but I always try to) stop my thoughts when negative and ask, “Is this a thought God would have about me?” I believe in the power of agreement and I have purpsoed in my heart to only come into agreement with His thoughts about me… for those are always good!

    Bethany says July 15, 2015

    Beautifully said my friend! I’m a more visual person…or perhaps I just like the feeling of chucking a ball! Ahem…life with boys!!!

Susan Shipe says July 14, 2015

You are an awesome Mom, Bethany, don’t every think you aren’t. xo

    Bethany says July 15, 2015

    Susan – It’s just so hard some days! I do know this deep down, but feeling it consistently is a completely different reality.

Andi says July 14, 2015

oh yeah – i had some of those this morning – i just remember all the positive things that i’ve been doing lately 😀

    Bethany says July 15, 2015

    Good idea Andi! I’d break-out my Evernote for that! Thanks!

      Andi says July 16, 2015

      thanks! 😀

Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says July 14, 2015

Love this post and this analogy, Bethany!

I especially love the reminder that when we attempt to try to teach our children something, we often learn as much as they do, if not more.

Our God is great that way, isn’t He?

Thanks for sharing this wise and touching post. May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing!

    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says July 14, 2015

    Forgot to answer the question – sorry!

    When I struggle with negative thoughts, I do 3 things:

    1. I recognize the source. They certainly aren’t from God.
    2. I combat them with Scripture.
    3. I pray.

      Bethany says July 15, 2015

      Love this Heather! I follow something similar for my quiet time!

    Bethany says July 15, 2015

    So true Heather! God speaks to me through my kids everyday! So amazing!

Dana says July 15, 2015

Great job with the analogy. This post was really inspiring. I think women tend to worry more about how we’re all doing in motherhood and LIFE. It’s important for us to give God the ball and let Him worry about the pitches and the direction of it all. It is hard sometimes, but the game of life is much more joyful without all that worry!

Nancy Silvers says July 15, 2015

Wow, Bethany!! I definitely think God is trying to get my attention! First thing this morning I read Chapter 8 in The Mended Heart that deals with our negative thoughts and now this!! I AM LISTENING, LORD! Throwing the ball of fear and apprehension to Jesus!
Love you sweet sister!!

Kristin Hill Taylor says July 17, 2015

Oh, I’ve been there, letting negative thoughts warp my perception of reality. So grateful God can take our negative thoughts when we offer them off and redeem whatever it is we hand him. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement – and for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

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