Friday, April 29, 2011

From Connie's 'thought closet'

It's been a while since I've shared my thoughts, what God's teaching me and just plain shared my (true) heart.  I did share that I struggled for about 2 months.  To be honest, it was pretty bad.  Wow. That's the first time I've 'said' that...acknowledged to myself just how bad it was.  I felt like I was loosing my mind.  

Through prayer, support, meeting with a counselor, starting to take time for myself, going on a couple of walks a week, talking about my feelings, reading things (for myself, not baby) here and there, starting a new study and changing my attitude and perception - all of which I believe to have been (and continue to be) God-directed - things have turned around.  Amazing what can happen when you invite God in and allow Him to do His work, right?! :)  I'm so stubborn!!  And well, I was brain dead so it took me a while to be able to think and 'get there'.  

I had a HUGE self-realization yesterday that I'm still processing, and after a little more thought, I'd love to dive in to that ;)  But I figure one subject for rambling per word-only post is all I should do.  Don't want to make you think I've given up on taking and sharing pictures.  (Never!)

I have also been praying that each thing that I feel God uses to speak to me through, rather than jump on the 'who can I share this with' train right away, I stop, pray about each topic/thought/etc in my life first, THEN move forward to share it with others that I feel may benefit from the reading.  This has led me to focusing on myself more, which I feel really selfish to say, and keeping to myself a bit.

A few weeks ago, we began a new study with my fabulous Monday night group of girls 'Me, Myself and Lies'.  It truly was God's perfect timing when we began to discuss whether or not we'd go in this book's direction.  Through previous lessons (from teachers and my life) I had began to apply talking back to my negative thoughts. Basically letting God reclaim my mind and telling Satan to get OUT!  As you know, I have taken on the 'Siesta Scripture Memory Verse' challenge through Beth Moore's blog.  It started out because I was tired of telling myself I was bad at memorization, and I just prayed that God would give me techniques and mental capacity to learn, memorize and apply verses to my heart.  At this point of my life I was glad I'd taken on the challenge because I needed that bank of verses I'd begun to put to memory to save me from whatever Satan would pop in to lurk with.  

This study is about the lies that you tell yourself, or think; things you allow Satan to toss in there but once there we allow them to sit and marinate and sometimes take over.  As we've begun the homework it's been a huge help in my journey to renew my mind.  

While those are a lot of details there, that's a summary of how I got to where I am now.  It's not a steady road, meaning, I have slip-ups and find myself feeling like I'm drowning, like "I can't do this right now", etc.  I know I have a ways to go, but I'm grateful to be on the journey here.  I can see God's just taking me through another road I've never really traveled down before.  Please pray for me while I'm on this journey!  When it's a rough day, it's a huge hump for me to try to get back over and on solid ground. 

In doing today's homework, I wanted to share some of the things discussed.  It brought a new light to things I hear over and over, so as usual, I wanted to share in case it could do the same for someone else!!

  • When the world tells you to make your violators pay, the mind of Christ thinks: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32
    So watch yourselves.  
    “If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:3-4 

  • When the world suggests you look out for number one, the mind of Christ thinks:Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:1
  • When the world advises you get all you can-buy now and pay later-the mind of Christ thinks:
  • If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.  Matthew 5:41-42
  • When the world says you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, the mind of Christ thinks: 
    for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.  

    Philippians 2:13

  • When the world persuades "it's all about you," the mind of Christ thinks:
    you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.  

    1 Corinthians 6:20

    “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”  Revelation 4:11

We always hear that we should not let our minds conform to the world..instead be transformed (Do not conform 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).  But hearing these phrases made the light turn on in my mind, then pairing them with scripture really set in.  These are things we hear all the time.  I used to try to get myself through things by telling myself to get up, get over it and move on, kind of like 'pulling myself up by my own bootstraps'.  In hearing people try to encourage, or more like empower one another, I've heard similar phrases to some of these others.

...just a few things to ponder here :)  Remember that whatever you allow yourself to think, you are meditating.  Your thoughts are powerful.  They can bring you up, or tear you down.  God wants you to focus on His words - so don't let things that are not truths take up too much (or any!) space in your mind...

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