Blog

Mental Maps: a faith based story on love from the Story Powerline
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by Becky Cerling Powers

Some years ago a campus minister I knew called me for help. He was driving from the next state to give a talk to Christian students near me, but he ran into car trouble. He got off the highway at a nearby town called Vado at Exit 155, and he needed me to pick him up there.

Well, I had a mental map in my head and I thought I knew where Vado was. But unfortunately my mental map was wrong. I drove 25 miles past Vado before I started reading the exit signs and realized my mistake. I had to go back the way I came, and the man was late for his talk.

Doing things right while getting it wrong

On this drive I did a lot of things right. I drove the speed limit. I followed safety rules. I even sang and praised God as I traveled. But the mental image I relied on was wrong, so I messed up.

We all have mental images in our heads about the way the world is and how to get where we want to go in life. If our mental images are wrong, we mess up.

I spent the first 40 years of my life working to do everything perfectly and get the approval of authority figures. I thought it was my responsibility to make life smooth for my family and everyone around me. Mentally I believed in God’s grace, but emotionally I thought I wasn’t worth anything unless I was producing good work and keeping the people around me happy.

Over and over I burnt out.

Finally I cried out to God about my overwhelmed, exhausting, burnt out life. And one day I sensed the Lord drop an idea into my thoughts: “Becky, I love you like you love the baby.”

That simple image cleared my confusion. And showed me grace.

Because, oh how I loved my babies!

I loved their soft little heads, their cuddly bodies, their sudden smiles, their eagerness to figure out how to get places and explore new things….

I didn’t love the baby because he scrubbed my kitchen floor and cleaned my cupboards. He didn’t help with any of my work. He made more work. He slept. He cried. He ate. He pooped. And I loved him, I delighted in him.

At last I understood.

The way I see the baby is the way God sees me. I don’t have to work to earn his love. He just loves me. He delights in me.

With those few words, God transformed my thinking. His word picture did two things. First, it exposed the lie that I was only worthwhile if I did things other people noticed and approved. And second, it revealed the truth about the way God sees me, and the worth He gives me. And since He alone is God, His opinion is the only one that matters.

What St. Paul said

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Today’s prayer

Oh Lord, I am frustrated. I keep running into walls, being defeated by the same problems over and over. Please correct my mental map. Expose the lies and reveal the truth that I need today. Amen.

©2019 by Becky Cerling Powers

Reprint with attribution only (www.beckypowers.com)

 You can find more family stories from Becky Cerling Powers in Laura’s Children: the hidden story of a Chinese orphanage and My Roots Go Back to Loving and other stories from “Year of the Family” in the Bookstore

 

 

 

Share This Blog:


Previous Posts

Hymn for a Baby: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
7/22/2021

Insights & Reflections for Parents in July: from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
7/1/2021

In Sickness or in Health: a faith based Father's Day Story from the Story Powerline
David Melin as told to Becky Cerling Powers
6/16/2021

Why Smart Kids Can't All Read by Age 6: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
6/10/2021

Being with Dad: a faith-based story from the Story Powerline
Glen A Hinshaw
6/9/2021

Insights & Reflections for Parents in June: from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/31/2021

Home Style Secrets of Kids' Learning Success: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/24/2021

The Balances of Parenting: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/18/2021

Letting Daughters Grow: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/8/2021

Insights & Reflections for Parents in May: from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/1/2021

Reading Lots of Easy Books Produces Fluent Readers: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/22/2021

Reflections for Parents in April, Week Two: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/12/2021

Helping Kids with Math: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/5/2021

Reflections for Parents in April, Week One: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/1/2021

Trouble -- the doorway to God's Kingdom: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
3/25/2021

Honey Tree: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
3/23/2021

Watching for the Positives: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
3/21/2021

Give Your Children Sticky Minds: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
3/15/2021

The Law of Kindness: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Laura Jane Cerling
3/12/2021

Eyes in the Lookout: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Glen A Hinshaw
3/10/2021

Focusing on the good stuff: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Joe Herman
3/5/2021

The Grumble Family: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Anonymous
3/3/2021

Being a Better Parent...One Week at a Time...in March
Becky Cerling Powers
2/28/2021

Henry O. Flipper: a black history month story from the Story Powerline
Randy Limbird
2/24/2021

Preparing to Raise Teens: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
2/18/2021

Neighbor Love: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
2/17/2021

No Matter What, I Love You Every Day: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers and Robert G Cerling
2/14/2021

Mental Maps: a faith based story on love from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
2/10/2021

Putting Myself in the Love Chapter: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Erik Powers
2/8/2021

Reading to Babies: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
2/5/2021

Being a Better Parent....One Week at a Time...in February 2021
Becky Cerling Powers
2/1/2021

Resolving the Past: a faith-based story from the Story Powerline
Sharon Withers as told to Becky Cerling Powers
1/22/2021

God Sets the Lonely in Families: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Sharon Withers as told to Becky Cerling Powers
1/21/2021

Keep Trying: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Laura Jane Cerling
1/13/2021

Hooray for Mother Goose! Parenting Insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
1/5/2021

Being a Better Parent....One Week at a Time...in January 2021
Becky Cerling Powers
1/2/2021

Working With -- Not Against -- Life Seasons: parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
12/28/2020

Why Play With the Kids? parenting insights from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
12/21/2020

Breaking Barriers with Kindness: a faith based Christmas story from the Story Powerline
Laura Jane Cerling
12/10/2020

Shoe Shine Boy: a faith based Christmas story from the Story Powerline
Ruben Fierro as told to Maria Luisa Navarro
12/4/2020

Slow Down for Christmas: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
12/1/2020

Ruth & Boaz, Part 2: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Maria Luisa Navarro
11/12/2020

Ruth & Boaz, Part 1: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Maria Luisa Navarro
11/9/2020

Enemies No More, Part 2: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
10/30/2020

Enemies No More, Part 1: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
10/28/2020

Double Minded Doggie: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
10/22/2020

The Father's Blessing: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
10/13/2020

Dad's Green Packard: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
10/10/2020

Hill of Woman's Fidelity: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
Retold by Becky Cerling Powers
10/1/2020

In Praise of Naps: tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
9/28/2020

Music Enriches the Family: tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
9/10/2020

Pre-School at Home During Covid-19: tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
8/21/2020

Parenting in the Mess: Tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
8/16/2020

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 1: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
8/4/2020

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 2: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
8/4/2020

Temptation: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Glen A. Hinshaw
7/23/2020

TALK: A Simple Way to Help Kids with School: tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
7/21/2020

Honest Abe Lincoln: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Randy Limbird
7/14/2020

The Most Conscientious Hunter I Ever Met: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Glen A. Hinshaw
6/24/2020

Washing Feet: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers and Lee Merrill Byrd
6/17/2020

No Parking: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
6/10/2020

Ruby Bridges, part 2: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
6/3/2020

Ruby Bridges, part 1: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
6/2/2020

Raising Fluent Readers: tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/29/2020

Unwanted Baby: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Eileen as told to Becky Cerling Powers
5/26/2020

Family Funnies: Tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/22/2020

Joey's Letters: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Lee Merrill Byrd
5/21/2020

Alzheimer Valley: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
5/13/2020

New Bride Confusion: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
5/12/2020

Amaris Luz, Light from Darkness: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Lee Merrill Byrd
4/28/2020

Losing Poetry: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/22/2020

Let Kids Cure Their Own Boredom: Tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/15/2020

Naaman, Rich in Money and Presumption: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs and Becky Cerling Powers
4/14/2020

David, Bathsheba & Psalm 51: a faith based story story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
4/9/2020

The Hundred Chart: math lesson tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/8/2020

The Beer Would Call Me: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Beatriz Balcort as told to Becky Cerling Powers
4/7/2020

Turned Around: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Brian Bolton with Becky Cerling Powers
4/2/2020

Toddlers Helping During COVID-19 and Beyond: tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
4/1/2020

Elijah & the Captain of 50 Men: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Retold by Becky Cerling Powers
3/31/2020

Fear in Residence: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
3/24/2020

Household Management During COVID-19 Time: tips from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
3/23/2020

Dreaming of Anita Jo: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
3/12/2020

No Complaint Dinners: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Laura Jane Cerling
3/10/2020

DIY Plumbing: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Jennifer Cummings
3/5/2020

A Brother's Love: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Retold by Becky Cerling Powers
3/3/2020

My Two Dads, part three: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers
2/27/2020

My Two Dads, part two: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers
2/26/2020

My Two Dads, part one: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers
2/25/2020

Grandma's Apron: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Jennifer Cummings
2/20/2020

Colors of the Beetle: a retold faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
2/13/2020

Cantaloupe Crop Disaster: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Glen Hinshaw
2/5/2020

Afraid to Sleep at Night (Psalm 91): a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
1/22/2020

How the Camel Got His Hump: a retold faith based story
Becky Cerling Powers
1/13/2020

Growing Up With Polio: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Laura Jane Cerling
1/9/2020

All Things Bright and Beautiful: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers, poem by Cecil Frances Alexander
1/7/2020

One Dollar for a Donut: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
1/1/2020

Star of Wonder
Paula Kortkamp Combs
12/26/2019

The Shepherds
Paula Kortkamp Combs
12/24/2019

Mary and the Angel
Paula Kortkamp Combs
12/18/2019

Zechariah
Paula Kortkamp Combs
12/17/2019

Christmas Cookies: a a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Laura Jane Cerling
12/10/2019

First Thanksgiving, Part 2: Beginning in Weakness (a faith based story)
Rami Scully
11/28/2019

First Thanksgiving, Part 3: Gifts & Gratitude (a faith based story from the Story Powerline)
Rami Scully
11/28/2019

First Thanksgiving, Part 1: Enduring the Sea Voyage (a faith based story)
Rami Scully
11/27/2019

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part 3: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Néaouguen Nodjimbadem as told to Becky Cerling Powers
11/22/2019

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part 2: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Néaouguen Nodjimbadem
11/19/2019

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part 1: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Nodji (Néaouguen Nodjimbadem) as told to Becky Cerling Powers
11/12/2019

Preventing Parent Burnout: from the Parent Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
11/4/2019

Grandma Time: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Jennifer Cummings
11/1/2019

Safe Amid Snakes and Semi-Trucks: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
10/30/2019

The Love & Diaper (Nappy) Connection
Becky Cerling Powers
10/25/2019

Avon Perfume Surprise: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
10/22/2019

Saving Butterscotch: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Karen M. Pickett Ward
10/16/2019

The Patient in Room 116: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
10/8/2019

Belshazzar: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Retold by Paula Kortkamp Combs
10/2/2019

My Mysterious Relative & the Missing Paycheck: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Becky Cerling Powers
9/26/2019

Keeping in Touch with Cousins: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Paula Kortkamp Combs
9/24/2019

How the Ostrich Got His Long Neck: a faith based retold story from the Story Powerline
Retold by Becky Cerling Powers
9/9/2019

When Life Goes Up in Smoke: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Glen A. Hinshaw
8/20/2019