Friday, June 5, 2009

thoughts

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Just over a year ago, I realized how negative my attitude had been. (Thanks to a gentle word of conviction from my husband.) I honestly had no idea.

At first, I was greatly offended. (Aren't we always?!?) The fact that Geoff hit a nerve, however, led me to pray and ask God to reveal His truth to me.

Wow. Have you ever seen a woman come out of the bathroom with her skirt tucked into her pantyhose? (Gasp.)

Yah.

That's exactly what it felt like. Everyone else knew what was going on, except me. I would have thought that I would at least have felt the draft. ;-)

As I dug into Scripture, I realized that the source of my attitude was my thoughts. Checked on those and found they were indeed a non-stop record of negativism. Eesh.

Since then, I have learned that the only way to stop negative thoughts is to replace them.

And so, following the advice of one of my mentors, I came up with a long list of power thoughts. These are Biblically based statements that I speak daily and repeat over and over.

I have six pages of power thoughts, each one sentence long. I typed them up in bullet-format and laminated the sheets. (I am a homeschool teacher, after all!)

The woman who inspired me to do this shared that she did this in her own life and found that God brought each and every one of her prayers to fruition.

Guess what?!? He's doing the very same thing for me! (And He can do the same thing for you, Friend, if you are struggling in this area.)

There is definite power in our thoughts and in our words. We have the choice whether we are meditating, thinking, rehearsing, and speaking words of life or words of death. It's that simple.

One of the areas I immediately recognized that I needed God's gift of life was in regard to accidents around the house. You know, spilled food, milk, broken dishes, etc.

If you're not sure if you need a brain "makeover," I encourage you to perform the following thought test.

First, fill a bowl with applesauce and top it with cinnamon. Second, walk over to a window that has curtains on it and stand about two feet away from it. Third, drop the bowl on the ground.

If you drop it just right, the applesauce will not only plaster your outfit, face, floor, curtains, window, and wall, but also your ceiling!

And, if you are so busy cleaning it out of your eyes and hair, you may not even notice the ceiling until weeks later.

At which point, the sticky mess will have hardened like gobs of yellowish-brown glue on your white ceiling.

(Just ask my husband. Neither of us knew the sheer velocity that was within pureed apples. Nor did we know just how difficult to clean off of painted surfaces they can be.)

Now, Friend, if you were brave enought to try my little test, how did you respond?

Did you:

(a) laugh and say, "well, at least the bowl didn't break"
(b) cry over your spilt applesauce
(c) lash out at anyone and everyone around you

Perhaps you can spare yourself the mess and just imagine yourself taking the test. After all, I don't want you (and your husband) cursing me for the volcanic mess in your dining room! :-)

Sometimes as moms, we get so overwhelmed with our responsibilities and to-do lists, that we lose touch with ourselves.

We get stuck in the rut of negative thinking (and speaking) and actually start to believe that is who we are.

The sad part is that not only do we miss out on the life that Jesus died to give us (see John 10:10), but we end up hurting those we love most. Our precious families.

Unfortunately, I know this from personal experience. Far too often, something as ridiculous as spilled food (regardless of who spilled it) caused me to choose option "c." :-( Sad, huh?

But the good news is that's not the end of Amy's Applesauce Saga.

As I said earlier, God taught me about the power of thoughts and words.

But you know, I'm still learning. It takes awhile to change habits and patterns.

The incredible thing, however, is that when we think about and speak words of life (particularly, God's words), we are able to immediately reap the benefits of the seeds (thoughts) we sow.

It's an amazing thing. I encourage you to give it a try. God is SO good!

I am thankful that in God's world, a leopard can change her spots.

It's because of Him, that I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Choosing to change my thoughts,

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