Are birds building nests in your hair?

One of my favorite sayings is quirky, but it works for me.

You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair. (Martin Luther)

The craziest thoughts go through our heads, right? Those thoughts aren’t sin. They just happen. But once they happen, the responsibility then becomes ours to either let the thought live on or end the thought immediately.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

It’s a fight every day to pay attention to those fleeting thoughts so that we can test them against Scripture and hold up our shield of faith to refute any lies.

Here are a few recent examples of me taking thoughts captive:

1. A student asks, “Are you Dr. O’Connor?” No, I am not. “Oh,” says the student in a deflated tone. The thought crosses my mind…They no longer see me as credible. I don’t belong here at this college, especially now that academia has gone PhD-only in most colleges and universities in the country.

I can stop the nest-building immediately.

Lord, I thank you for my job. I thank you that I belong here or else I wouldn’t be here. Thank you that my value is not determined by how any student views me. I play a critical role in your story on this campus. (2 Corinthians 5:20 speaks to this truth.)

2. I was scrolling on social media and saw a picture of several really well-known, gifted, amazing speakers who are currently influencing women in biblical and visible ways in today’s society. I paused. The thought crosses my mind…Your dinky little blog and your speaking at a church pales in comparison to how those ladies are used by God. You are small, Laurie.

I can stop the nest-building immediately.

Lord, thank you for the role in the body of Christ that I play. It’s the role you have picked for me as the BEST spot in the body of Christ for you to shine best through me AND for me to contribute most brightly for the body of Christ, for my brothers and sisters around the globe. (Romans 12:5 speaks to this truth.)

3. Someone is talking and they reference me in a way that sounds like under-handed criticism, or even criticism outright. I feel shame. The thought crosses my mind…You messed up. They think you are making mistakes or have a heart operating with impurity.

I can stop the nest-building immediately.

Lord, I thank you that I do not live for that person’s approval. If there is truth in the messages I perceive from them, show me so I can make it right and move on. If not, I am moving on in freedom from their thoughts of me, still able to love them well because they are Your business, not mine. (Galatians 1:10 speaks to this.)

When we spin out in our thought life, it’s our fault, really. We are responsible for holding every thought captive and stopping the lie that flew over our head from building a nest in our hair.

Life is a fight for all of us. This is the good fight. Let’s fight strong!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)


Picture Explanation: St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday. The family gathered around our corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and coconut cake for dessert. Yum! As good as it was, however, the best part was listening to my family be happy while playing our favorite family game, Sequence. One daughter says she won’t even date a guy who doesn’t play it. {smile}

© 2018 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.


7 Responses

  1. I can so relate to this, Laurie! This has been my battle, but I’ve also experienced freedom in it, as well. Thank you for the concrete examples of how we can allow our thoughts to “build nests in our hair” and how we can replace them with God’s thoughts towards us. I’m definitely sharing this!

  2. “When we spin out in our thought life, it’s our fault, really. We are responsible for holding every thought captive and stopping the lie that flew over our head from building a nest in our hair.” Thank you for your frankness, honesty and VERY concrete examples of the ways you combat the lies with what is true.

    1. I am so thankful my real-life examples helped. This is real-life stuff after all, isn’t it? You fight the lies well, my friend.

  3. I’m referring your forgiveness talk (link in last week’s blog) to someone who just did the hard work of forgiving and I referred this post to someone else as well. The battle is real. The battle is in our minds. We’re able to resist comparison, insecurity, worrying what others think, and more when we remember that God is already pleased with me because of Christ. I don’t need the approval of others or the success of a task in order to know I’m already loved and accepted by the only One who really matters! A favorite on this is The Search for Significance (with the workbook) by Robert McGee. Good job! 🙂

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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