Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. —Charles Swindoll
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. –Robert Frost
I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey
All progress takes place outside the comfort zone. –Michael John Bobak
If you’re going through hell, keep going.– Winston Churchill
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.– Margaret Thatcher
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! —Audrey Hepburn
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. –Anonymous
Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being. –Kevin Kruse
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. –Eleanor Roosevelt
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. –Thomas A. Edison
What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.– Oscar Wilde
You are more than you think. Have you ever taken a pebble and thrown it in the water? Your life leaves ripples. Be easy on yourself this week. Enjoy the good, forget the bad and trust God to lead and guide you to more adventures. He loves it when we expect good things from Him!
God’s Word for You:
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11 NKJV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning – James 1:17 NKJV
My Prayer for You:
Help us see the good in things and people this week. Let us soften our hearts and see the need around us in our brothers and sisters. Give us the means to bless them abundantly. We trust you to guide us into good things and direct us to reach the Promised Land you promised us. Let us not walk around mindlessly for 40 years. Direct our steps as we turn our hearts to you. In you we trust Lord. in Jesus Name.
We may not feel amazing. We may not look amazing right at this moment. But that is not what matters. God says we ARE Amazing! We are created by His hand, and everything God touches is BEAUTIFUL! It really doesn’t matter what others say about us. What is true is what God says. And He doesn’t make junk!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139:13-18 NKJV)
Our attitudes are our choice. We can make a new choice today and choose to trust God even when we don’t understand everything that is going on.
After my post yesterday on the prevalence of Mental Illness in this Nation, I feel compelled to share the only way that I have found to renew my mind. You see, I could relate to that girl.(Here is the post – THE SEMICOLON PROJECT) I have had those self-destructive thoughts in my mind for years. I hated those thoughts. And I know they are NOT from God. God is not out to destroy me, the Enemy is. The Enemy has come to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus has come to give us life and life more abundantly.
I have tried the ‘psychology’ fixes to change my thoughts. I have read almost every self-help book out there. But that did not quiet the thoughts in my head.
The only thing that has renewed my mind and shut up the destructive thoughts is the WORD OF GOD.
Think of your house.
You don’t let any old person in do you?
Just because they come to the door does not mean they get to come in and sit down on your couch and move in right?
The same is true with our thoughts. Just because a thought comes to the door does not mean we have to let it in.
Every thought we get to ‘take captive’ and test.
Is that thought true?
Is that thought what God says about me?
Is that thought out to destroy me?
If it is not true or destructive we can close the door and not let it in our house. Instead we can think on good things. God says we are good. God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God says that He has a plan and He will never leave us or forsake us. God speaks Truth, and those thoughts bouncing around may be LIES. Don’t let them in.
That is how we renew our minds and heal our mental illness, one thought at a time with the Word of God.
Bible Verses on Renewing Your Mind
And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], (Ephesians 4:23 AMP)
For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (2 Corinthians 5:3-5 AMP)
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God,even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2 AMP)
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. (Philippians 4:8 AMP)
1. Rearrange your furniture. I did this yesterday. I can’t tell you why this works but it does. It’s like there is extra space in our living room. I’m sure it was there before, but I missed it. I didn’t notice it. Move a few things around and viola! Peace is here.
2. Dig in the dirt. Yep. Get outside. God made this beautiful place for us to enjoy. Enjoy it! Go for a walk, plant a flower, or mow the grass. Play in the breeze. Dance in the wind.
3. Take a step back from your life and breathe. I am a detail girl. Sometimes I lose sight of the forest, the big picture, because I’m focusing on one tree. God knows, and I choose to take Him at His Word and trust Him. Sometimes I have to do this 20 times a day, lol!
Lamentations 3:22-26 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Spring Training. All the baseball teams gearing up for the game. Getting ready, letting go of what doesn’t work and training for the new season. I am in a period of transition. A period of spring training. I have had to acknowledge a few weaknesses and change my thoughts and attitudes to learn new habits. I am learning to build my strength both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Spring Training is a New Series I am writing to help us all refocus on our positive goals and exercise our faith.
Like the athletes we all have ‘muscles’ that we need to use or they atrophy. Muscles that have been in hibernation during the long cold winter. And our faith is the same way. It only gets exercised when we are using it. That means there will be trials,temptations and troubles we will get to go through – but they bring forth the GOLD of our faith. Press on my friends, together we can do this!
SPRING TRAINING EXERCISE #1:
Learning to Honor Our Bodies
Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,
You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 AMP)
Taking Responsibility for Our Health
One of the hardest areas for me after a life of abuse is learning how to honor my body. When you have had innocence stolen from you and been raped you feel like trash. The enemy plants thoughts in your head that you deserved it and you will never be clean. And then add Abuser after Abuser who commanded you to do unholy things with your body and your relationship. Add those swine who sought out pornography and the evils it opens you up to. For many years I did not address or even talk about these things. I did not own my body. I let another use it and abuse it. I gave away my power and my self-respect to a pig.
I was married before and I wanted to please my husband so I did what he said. He was sick. I should have said no. It took me years to learn to say that word. Then I was in another relationship with a very sick man who was into the bondage scene (yeah, my own shades of grey nightmare). Let me say that just because a person has money does not mean they are healthy. Some of the ‘sickest’ people I matched up with had money and thought I was a piece of property and something they owned. I went from psycho to psycho as I didn’t believe I deserved any better. I had no boundaries and I thought I was trash. I had no idea who God said I was.
Some of the wisest advice I got from Grandma Pat, a beautiful woman who lived down the street from me. She used to come over singing these old hymns and just listen to me cry. I wouldn’t be here today if she had not taken the time to stop and come over and listen. She told me,
“You don’t have to dishonor God to please your husband.”
That was the home run for me. I finally got it. I could choose to honor God first. What those men asked me to do and what I did was wrong. God knows what happened. And I had to ask God to forgive me, and then forgive myself for giving authority of my body over to a swine. Yes, I cast my pearls before swine. And they trampled all over them. Because that’s what pigs do.
I ended those relationships. And didn’t date anyone for over a year. I learned how to take care of me and take authority back over my body. I asked God to break all the soul-ties with the blood of Jesus. I asked the Holy Spirit to come into those dark rooms and bring the deep healing I needed. I met with a counselor for a time and learned that the rape was not my fault. I did not ask for it. I did not want it. I did not asked to be abused. It wasn’t that way in the beginning. It happens over time. And it’s wrong. Not every husband/boyfriend honors his wife. I learned the hard way.
When I was on my own I had to learn how to ‘honor my body’ and choose to be well. I didn’t have to stay a victim. God promised to heal me and I chose to let Him. He turned my victim mentality into victorious. He gave me strength when I had none. He gave me hope when I was lost.
I had to learn what honor meant too. Words and actions like honor, cherish, love, treasure – they had no meaning to me after years of abuse. But honor meant I could say NO. I could make a new choice as to what I would accept for myself, and what I would reject. I had to learn what a healthy relationship looked like. And I had to learn what respect meant and how to respect myself after receiving disrespect from so many.
Ways to Honor Your Body:
1. Accept that God made you perfect and stop the negative self-talk.
This negative self-talk led to destructive self-harm for me. I had to ask God to quiet the voices of the Enemy of my soul. And I had to read the Word and learn who God says I am. I had to give God’s Word more authority over me than my past, my hurts, my feelings, or my pain. I even hand wrote scripture verses on index cards and carried them around with me in my everyday life. This way when I heard a negative thing in my head or from some other person I would read and meditate on a verse of God’s Word. It works, really. I honor my body when I believe what God says about me more than how I feel or what someone tells me or has told me.
2. Start to eat healthier.
I admit it, I love junk food and pizza. And after being depressed for so long I ate what I wanted when I wanted it. Instead of taking things away the Holy Spirit has asked me to start adding healthy things – nuts, fruits, and vegetables to my diet. I don’t keep track, I am not a food Nazi. But I have to say that I feel better after adding these things. It is a process and I am glad He is teaching me how to honor my body this way.
3. Stop watching smut TV.
Yep. No more. I refuse to entertain the spirit of lust. I will not even watch mildly graphic shows, no soap operas, no dating shows, no let’s swap wives or Hollywood Housewives or anything. I turn them off. Lust leads to all sorts of bad things. I have seen so many people break up relationships or marriages after the spirit of lust moves in. What comes in through the eyes makes residence in our minds. Thoughts become actions. I have seen people throw away what they have to try something they see happen on tv or a movie. And it’s wrong. I choose to shut that door and not entertain the spirit of lust. I honor my body by not even going there.
4. Start to exercise slowly.
I joined Planet Fitness with my teen daughter about a month ago. The first time I went I could only go 5 minutes on the elliptical machine. And with my past leg injury I didn’t even try the treadmill. Can I tell you after a month I don’t have to wear my leg brace anymore! I can go 20 minutes on the elliptical and have even used the treadmill. All from a girl that heard the Dr. tell me, “I hope this leg surgery works or you won’t walk again.” I honor my body by moving it and exercising it. My mood is better. I feel alive again and there is hope. It’s going to be a good season this year!
What about you?
How did you learn to ‘honor your body’?
Tune in next time for SPRING TRAINING – TAKING RESPONSIBILITY OF OUR MONEY
I came across this picture on Pinterest. I remember how true it is. And then I remember that anything I learned as a kid can be unlearned. Not all the behaviors I learned will benefit me in my future. And I had to let go of the pain to move forward. I had to forgive the offenders, forgive myself, and forgive God. I got kind of mad at God for a while there. I think we all do at times. We have our perfect little life all planned out and then…well you know, something happens. But can I share something with you? It’s ok. God will make good come out of it – He promised! And the best part of that is that after we gain new information we can always make a new choice. Our endings can be much better than our beginnings!
Quotes About Learning From Our Mistakes and Moving On
“Your life was meant for more than being a life-long doormat for deadbeats, losers, gossipers, nay-sayers, dream-crushers, energy vampires, users, abusers, ragers and passive-aggressive backstabbers.” ― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
“A teachable spirit and a humbleness to admit your ignorance or your mistake will save you a lot of pain. However, if you’re a person who knows it all, then you’ve got a lot of heavy-hearted experiences coming your way.” ― Ron Carpenter Jr., The Necessity of an Enemy: How the Battle You Face Is Your Best Opportunity
“You have to make the decision to let go of the past if you want to move forward.” ― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” ― Phillipians 3:12-14 NIV
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” ― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
“Stop focusing on your past mistakes. Don’t be ashamed of the things that you’ve done. We ALL have made mistakes. Don’t you see? All of those things helped shape you into the beautiful person that you are today! Hold your head up high because you didn’t allow your past mistakes to consume you. You learned! You conquered! You became a better YOU. Be proud of who you are TODAY!” ― Stephanie Lahart
“Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.” ― Tim Fargo
“Many times what we perceive as an error or failure is actually a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year
“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” ― John Dewey
“As my Popo used to say, life is a tapestry we weave day by day with threads of different colors, some heavy and dark, others thin and bright, all the threads having their uses. The stupid things I did are already in the tapestry, indelible, but I’m not going to be weighed down by them till I die. What’s done is done; I have to look ahead.” ― Isabel Allende, Maya’s Notebook
Opportunities come in strange packages sometimes. You know, you are expecting a pretty package, wrapped perfectly, with that pretty bow on top. And you receive a box, wrapped in an old brown grocery bag, beat up on the corners, that shakes when you rattle it. Yep. Not what we expect at all right?
Yet with every obstacle comes an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to change. And perhaps things will be better. No one likes a stagnant pool of water right? It’s all green and stinky. The water has to MOVE to be fresh. And so do we.
What would you do if things did NOT stay the same?
How do you respond to change?
Do you welcome it or run from it?
12 QUOTES ON OPPORTUNITIES
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”― Winston S. Churchill
“With each opportunity before me, God presented me with a choice. I could accept His offerings, His wisdom, His grace. Or I could choose to hold onto the pain, the anger and the resentment a little longer.” ― Sharon E. Rainey, Making a Pearl from the Grit of Life
” Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” ―Galatians 6:10 NIV
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”― Colossians 4:5 NIV
“Strength comes from struggle. When you learn to see your struggles as opportunities to become stronger, better, wiser, then your thinking shifts from “I can’t do this” to “I must do this.” ― Toni Sorenson
“Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty.”― Thomas S. Monson, Pathways To Perfection: Discourses Of Thomas S. Monson
“For a wide door of opportunity for effectual [service] has opened to me [there, a great and promising one], and [there are] many adversaries.”―1 Corinthains 18:9 AMP
“How would your life be different if…You didn’t allow yourself to be defined by your past? Let today be the day…You stop letting your history interfere with your destiny and awaken to the opportunity to release your greatest self.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” ― Abraham Lincoln
“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”― Thomas A. Edison
“It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.” ― Eric Hoffer
I found this note in one of my Bibles. I am not sure where or who it came from, but God bless you Pastor!
One of the ways God Delivered me was from my poisonous thoughts. He has changed my mind and I expect to succeed today. I expect GOOD things. My life was not always this way. I was a bit of a self-sabotager. I admit it. I was so used to things going badly in my life that when something was good I didn’t know how to handle it. Many times I would “throw the first shoe” before it got thrown at me!
Its rather funny now, but not then. I remember once I got a sales job. I was super motivated, and worked like a Banchee and got all the sales awards. I was the best of the best. The boss wanted to give me a raise and promote me. Do you know what I did? I quit! Then I went to the next job, and did it again. I was my own worst enemy. I didn’t believe I deserved to succeed. And I didn’t know what to do with success once I got it.
It is only through reading the Word of God that my thinking has changed. God says He wants me to succeed,that I will be the head and not the tail. He says He will be with me wherever I go, and that I am the most blessed of all the people on the Earth because I am His child. I am grateful that God has changed my thinking. And that I was open to change.
Open your heart to Him and His Word – and expect GOOD things!
5 CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED
Life’s only limitations are the ones we make.
Nothing noble is done without risk.
3. DO YOUR PART
It takes the effort of many to make impossible feats possible.
Push yourself to the limits and experience wonders you never imagined.
It is the work of the team which determines success.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 NLT)
Oh, sweet mornings. My husband is a creative cook. My daughter is a creative cook. 2 cooks in the kitchen last night. Oh my – getting creative sometimes makes an explosion! Yet, I would not have it any other way. There is something about an Artist making something – you can see the spark. You can feel the energy!
Make the mess today – create something wonderful!
10 QUOTES ON CREATIVITY
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ” ― Pablo Picasso
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”― Albert Einstein
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ― Sophia Loren
“Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.” ― Red Haircrow
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. ― Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG
“Creativity takes courage. ” ― Henri Matisse
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ― Walt Disney Company
“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
Hang on! Your story is not over yet. Things may be crazy at the moment but remember God is faithful. He will walk you through this storm. When the winds of change start blowing, grab the closest thing and hang on!
2nd Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed.”