Mind Your Mind, Child

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Photo by Kat Jayne

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Philippians 4:8  KJV

It was one of those days.  You know, the kind when you wake up feeling like you’re under a dark cloud for no apparent reason–one of those.  I don’t like those.  It’d been quite some time since I’d felt that way and that it didn’t shake easily bothered me.  Instead of post-Christmas cleaning like I should have been doing, I found myself searching my mind as to what had brought this on.  What was churning in my mind?  The truth is, I didn’t want to face it, but since I longed for the sun to return to my disposition I went into the shadows to see what lurked there.

Visiting with family during the holiday season was pleasant overall but there had been some difficult situations.  A particular memory was unknowingly stirred up by my husband’s sister that caused him a great deal of pain.  It kept us both awake that night.  It actually sat in me like a loaf of bread made from a brick.  Then on another day there was the inhospitable treatment at another relative’s home.  That was awful.

Then there was my ruminating over 2018 in general.  It felt like a loss due to dashed hopes and unmet expectations in our family as a whole–the kind that hurts deeply because I truly expected great things for us.   That led to me contemplating my own personal goals and what I’ve achieved.  It seemed like very little once written out on my mental tablet.  2018 felt like I was trying to catch vapors.  News flash: they can’t be caught.  I guess I just wanted…more.  Then I had a startling thought: I wished 2019 were over.  That jarred me.  Where did that come from?  I thought: You better get over that real fast because 2019 has only just begun.

Lone Follower, Encourage Me came back to me.  “Practice what you preach, Christi, encourage yourself.”  Oh, but picking oneself out of the doldrums is so hard!  “Do it anyway.  You know better.”  Okay.

Two to three years ago the LORD drove a scripture verse through my brain like a nail.  And let me tell you, I had to have it pounded into me.  But I was a willing recipient of that particular hammering.  I needed it.  I wanted it.  And I find that at certain times, such as these, I must revisit it.  This is the verse in two translations:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2 NKJV

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  Romans 12:2 NLT

This was so important to me because I would find myself visiting a cesspool of thoughts, especially concerning my husband.  I hated going to that place.  That doesn’t mean hurts and misunderstandings between us weren’t real; they were, they are.  But I visited them–no, I dwelt with them way too often.  He and I, we’re in this for life, so I had to figure out how to shut this place down.  It had way too much power over me and contaminated my relationship with him.  Not to mention it corrupted me by virtue of not wanting to be the kind of wife I found myself being at times.  I had to change this.  But it had to be changed God’s way: with the Word.

I first asked Holy Spirit to make me aware when the thoughts would begin trickling in.  My sad admission is that I  had to have Him tip me off because reverting to these thoughts had become so habitual I was afraid I would not notice it right away.  (By the way, this works with all thoughts contrary to God’s way of thinking).

My first severing Word:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.                                                                                                I Corinthians 13:4-5 NLT

I had to train myself that if my words weren’t kind, or they were rude, or I was irritable, then I  wasn’t acting in love.  I wasn’t acting in God.  Therefore, it had to go.  That was basic.  That was doable.

I had to retrain myself to be the wife I wanted to be.  (God bless my Robert who, more often than not, said he didn’t notice when I’d go off and sit by the edge of the cesspool and then apologize to him for words and actions incurred during my visit there.)  More retraining and severing came from these:

A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.  Proverbs 12:4  NLT

What sane wife would choose cancer over a crown?

  Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
    She is more precious than rubies.
 Her husband can trust her,
    and she will greatly enrich his life.
 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life. 
 Proverbs 31:10-12  NLT

I like the NKJV which says “the heart of her husband safely trusts her” and “she does him good and not evil”.  I want so badly to be this kind of wife.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.  Proverbs 31:26  NKJV

Kindness again.

I wanted to share this because this is a simple example of what retraining the mind looks like.  And it works for everything and anything.  Still, I was left with my current ruminations.  But thankfully, as I wrote earlier, God’s Word pertains to everything.

Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.  Hebrews 6:11
I like this particular verse because it applies to the inhospitable relative (keep on loving) AND hope (so that what you hope for comes true).
The sun (Son) broke through.
tree in the middle of the field golden hour photography
Photo by paul kangas
And this for my feelings of little achieved and 2019:
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you,” says the Lord.
“I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”  Jeremiah 29:11-14   NLT
And this for all times:
…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  I Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
silver colored heart lock bridge
Photo by Marcus Wu00f6ckel
That’s a tall order, thanking God in everything.  It may help to notice the wording: in everything not necessarily for everything.  It would be silly to thank God for disease, divorce, bankruptcy, etc., but to thank Him in it looses Him to work in the situation and empowers us to triumph.  I’ve heard it said that if you can’t think of one thing to be thankful for concerning a difficult person/situation, then be thankful for something simple.  Inhospitable relative: seems to be a supportive and involved parent.  So-so 2018: 2019 is a New year.  Yes, the year has changed, God has not.  HALLELUJAH!!  Whatever it is, find one positive thing and cling to that.

I like what our Pastor once said:

Thanks> leads to >Joy> leads to >Peace> leads to >Answers


A cooperate prayer for all of us based on Romans 15:13:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill us completely with joy and peace because we trust in Him. Then we will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
                                                  O      P      E
Whatever you’re facing today,  be it pain buried so deep from your past that you feel like the hurt will never end, contrary relatives, or the feeling of never being enough, our Father has an answer for that.  Join me in minding our minds and applying a fitting Word to all that ails us…and let’s give thanks.

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My husband and I married over 20 years ago on a chilly, rainy, spring day. One year later caught me in a whirlwind as I was celebrating my first wedding anniversary, my first Mother's Day, and my first publication as a freelance writer. The birth of our third child followed a couple months after we celebrated our twins' 3rd birthday. Though a pen has been one of my constant companions, I have not pursued writing professionally due to the monumental task of homemaking and the raising of children. A shout out to my Robert who has been our sole provider while I have had the pleasure and privilege of remaining home with our children to homeschool them. Now, thanks to him, I have the liberty to once again pursue my passion to write and encourage others in written word as we journey with God through life experiences.

6 thoughts on “Mind Your Mind, Child”

  1. Thanks for following the path God has placed before you. Your words are encouraging, thought provoking and helpful. I’m taking them to heart and “mind.”


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