Tag Archives: thoughts

seek out the good

1 Sep

I’ve been trying to go to church more. Even if it means sitting by myself. Don’t get me wrong here. Jason is a worship leader and so we are at church A LOT. But when Sundays roll around, I feel like there’s always something  that is preventing me from going. The boys are sick, I’m not feeling good, I’m exhausted, or just want a day off. And Sundays are hardly a day off for me because Jason is at the church all day. So it’s a rare occasion when we can go to church together and sit together through an entire sermon. And frankly, going alone and sitting there by myself doesn’t really sound that great to me.

But that doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter if it’s FUN or not. I should be going to church every week, even if it means that I need to sit there by myself. So that’s what I’m doing more of. Jason totally comes with me whenever he’s not playing, but those mornings are rare.

So last week I went to church. Dropped the boys off in the nursery/Sunday school and headed on over. I really love our church. I really love our pastor. It’s a huge church and so I know not EVERYone is going to be happy there, but I really am! He spoke on criticism and judgement this week. Uh-oh, right? The topic that makes a LOT of people squirm. But it was really great AND has actually challenged me a little bit. I’m naturally a critical, glass is half empty, too quick to judge type of person. It’s ok. I’ll admit it. It’s WAY easier for me to usually see the negative side of things before I see the positive.

Is this a character trait I’m proud of? NO. Would YOU be proud to admit that?? I don’t really like that about myself and it’s something I’m constantly working on.

At least it feels like it.

It was a good reminder to hear what the Bible says about judgement and criticism. And to reflect for a second on my OWN heart and mind. The thoughts that you dwell on will usually reflect what’s going on inside your heart and what will come out of your mouth. How easy is it to think and say negative things about our situations and others? How easy is it to feel better about our own circumstances by comparing to anothers? But what good does it do? Not much. For a second, it takes your mind off of your own issues and insecurities. But it doesn’t fix them. It may temporarily make you feel better. But the real damage is that that you’re doing to your own heart.

I’m learning really fast, this week especially, not to judge others for what things ‘appear’ to look like. Too often I feel like people just put on a good front, but if you only knew what was REALLY going on, you’d have no room to judge, criticize or to be jealous. I’m trying to let myself see the GOOD in every person and situation FIRST. Before my mind goes straight to the negative. Or BEFORE my mind goes to anxious thoughts. Or judgemental thoughts.

Speak kindness. Think kindness. Isn’t this, after all, what I am trying to teach my kids ALL. DAY. LONG? Why wouldn’t I practice this myself.

Slow to speak. Quick to love. Be kind to everyone. Because you might THINK you know where they’re at. But in reality, you probably have no idea.

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they’re on vacation

17 Aug

While we were at Disneyland, I hardly had time to really focus on all the people watching I love to do. I love to just stare at people sometimes. Seriously.

Don’t even pretend like you don’t do it too.

Anyways. I didn’t have time for that. Did you know that there is only like, TWO PLACES IN ALL OF DISNEYLAND THAT SELL CHICKEN NUGGETS??? Ok, there might be more than that but I had a hard time finding them. I’m not sure why. And when you can’t get your kid to eat anything BUT chicken nuggets, you will search high and low for places that sell them.

(Don’t roll your eyes. I’ve tried the approach of feeding him what we are eating and my kid can go almost an entire week without eating what I present before him. SO. I search for the nuggets while we are on vacation. When we are home, I’ll take a stricter approach.)

So, I’m searching for nuggets. At one particular point on Day 2 that we are in the park, I am scurrying through the one and only chicken nugget line to make sure my little man has a full belly. I’m picking it up and bringing it back to where the rest of my family is eating. We picked a place to meet and we were all grabbing our own thing. But no one else wanted chicken nuggets.

I don’t blame them.

So I’m leaving the line and I’m grabbing packets of ketchup when I overhear two Disney workers chatting as they were emptying trashcans. Ok, I like eavesdropping too apparently. You know you’d do it too. Don’t pretend like we ALL don’t do it. Actually, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop this time BUT I did manage to hear one worker saying to another that they were frustrated about all the people that were in Disneyland. He said and I quote,

“Man, they don’t care about trash. They’re on vacation! They don’t care that other people here are working. And aren’t on vacation. And are tired and working hard to clean up after them.”

It sort of stopped me in my tracks. And made me think. And I felt really sad about his comment. I’m not even sure why I’m blogging this. Other than to say, I had been respectively enjoying my own vacation. I wasn’t NOT thinking about others. But I wasn’t exactly thinking about all the people it took to make my vacation a success. It’s so easy to NOT think about others sometimes, huh? Easy to be wrapped up in your own agenda. Your own situation. My own chicken nuggets for my own children.

I wondered what had maybe happened. Had this worker had an interaction with a visitor that was rude? Probably. Had he already been working a long day and was ready to go home? Most likely. But it still made me think. Because it’s odd- I actually HADN’T thought about my vacation through this lens. So it made me really aware from this point on how I was treating and viewing all the workers there that I came into contact with. How unfortunate to be having fun but forgetting that there are a lot of people around me who are NOT on vacation. And just want to go home to rest.

Vacation is fun. But I’ll always approach it in a slightly different way from now on. It wasn’t a huge deal. I know this post might not impact you greatly. But it was sort of a defining moment for me. Why? I’m not sure yet. But it really hit home. So I share it here.

Because that is what I do.

worry

28 Jun

Words are a great source of inspiration to me. I’m really trying to worry a lot less these days. It’s one of the hardest things I will ever learn, I think. And I wish it wasn’t.

let it go

26 Feb

I definitely watch too much Oprah. BUT she’s in her 25th season, which will be her last season, and I’ve really, really enjoyed some of the shows she’s done. Do I agree with everything she stands for? NO. Do I watch every single show? NO. Honestly, it’s always on during the boys nap time and so I usually have it on to ‘watch’ while I’m working. I like it. So sue me.

Anyways.

I was watching one of her shows last week and David Arquette was on talking about his troubles and being in and out of rehab. It was on in the background and I was half listening to it but mostly working and answering emails. Halfway through the show, he said something that really stuck with me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It was about anger. He said,

“Anger is like YOU drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Whoa. How true is that? How often do we hang onto things in our lives that make us angry and all it really is doing is festering within our own souls? Usually, the person that made you angry to begin with doesn’t even know that you are STILL angry at them. It doesn’t affect them any longer. But you are still hanging on to it. But hanging onto anger, is only poisoning YOU. It’s not hurting the other person. It really IS as if YOU drank poison, but are waiting for the other person to die. It’s not going to happen, but it IS only harming you.

It’s something to think about. What are you hanging onto? Who are you still angry at? It’s only poisoning your soul.

And life’s too short to live that way.

*I found this gorgeous photo HERE.

dear cruz,

20 Jan

If I could teach you just one thing in this life, aside from teaching you about Jesus, I hope and pray that I can teach you this:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9

This is something that I am still trying to learn. It’s something I struggle with every day, and something I pray that I won’t struggle with for much longer. But this passage is really hard for me. It’s hard, in this world we live in, to not be anxious about anything. To not worry about everything. To not be fearful.

I understand, completely.

Cruz, when life is overwhelming, when your mind won’t shut off, when fear takes over and when you’re anxious about so many things and you don’t know why- know that you can trust our Almighty Savior. Mediate on this passage. Trust in Jesus. And pray without ceasing. There’s so much about this life and this world that doesn’t make sense. There’s so much bad, anger and hate in the world and it is scary. Evil is scary. This life is only for a moment. Don’t waste your whole life being afraid and anxious about everything. Dwell on things that are pure and right and honorable. Fill your mind with the positive. Surround yourself with things that are true and pure. Guard your heart. Guard your mind. God promises peace. God is peace. Fill your life with Him, and you will live a life of peace. Even if everything around you is not peaceful.

I pray for you every day, Cruz. I pray that you and Rider both will live lives that are free of anxiety and fear. Lives that are full of peace and truth and honor. Do not be afraid. God is with you and will uphold you. Trust in Him, for He never fails.

I love you, my sweet boy.

Mommy

 


on repeat

15 Dec

I went through a time in my life, not too long ago, where everything- EVERYTHING made me anxious. I could take no thought captive. I couldn’t sleep well. I worried about everything. Stupid things, important things, real things, made up things. I was anxious about it all. Past, present, future. Things that already happened. Things that hadn’t happened. Things I feared would happen. It’s no way to live.

I am going through a similar time in my life. Taking thoughts captive is a huge struggle for me right now. What is prompting it? Nothing. Everything.

When I went through a time similar as now, Jason knew I was struggling big time. One morning when I got out to my car as I headed to leave to work, I noticed he had left a note in my car. I won’t say word for word what the note said. It’s special to me and I prefer to keep it that way. But he just wanted to encourage me in my anxiousness. He wanted me to know he was praying for me. And that he loved me. And that there wasn’t anything we couldn’t face together. He left a CD in my car that I listened to, on repeat, for no less than a month. Maybe more than that. The CD was Tim Hughes, Holding Nothing back album. It’s a phenomenal album and it is a reminder to me of God’s grace in my life when I’m struggling to rest in Him. It’s a reminder of how amazing my husband is. It’s a reminder that I’m being held, by the Creator, who sees my thoughts and knew about them before I even thought them.

One song imparticular holds a dear place in my heart. It’s called ‘Everything’, which is fitting. But I could pretty much sob every time I hear it. Sometimes I just sit and soak in the words. Sometimes I repeat them as if I’m victoriously declaring the truths. Sometimes I just listen, as if God is actually speaking over me. Do I sound weird? I don’t care. It’s a constant struggle for him to be MY everything. This song is such a reminder that he needs to be my everything, in everything I do, say, speak… think.

Everything.

It’s on repeat today as I work. Such amazing words of hope. Amazing words of truth. And it’s soothes me to the core on days, weeks, months when I can’t get my thoughts and anxiety under control.

Check it out on iTunes. The album is amazing. That song is incredible.

thoughts

11 Dec

I don’t really have much of a purpose for this post. Nothing has really happened that is prompting me to talk about this. But I guess I’ve just spent the morning reflecting on past relationships, past friendships and even current ones. It’s been a weird season of life for me in my friendships. It’s been a time, these past two years or so, where I’ve been surrounded by a lot of people but have really had to face the reality of who my true friendships are. Isn’t that a hard lesson to learn? Some I’ve been hurt deeply by, some I know I hurt too. Others, we’ve just drifted apart. As I’ve gotten older and started my own family, I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that not ALL friendships are meant to last forever. Some are only for a season. And some are meant to teach us something. And there are some that are meant to last forever. They are few and far between and friendships that should be held dear to your heart. Like family.

Anyways. I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say. I’ve really been struggling with my thought life again this past week and it’s really made me think about what I put into my brain. I learned from a very early age, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ and I know how Satan can take hold of our minds and destroy lives that way. Once I started thinking about what I put into my brain, I started thinking about what comes out. Is it anxiety, worry, negativity, judgement? Sometimes is truly is. Lately, it totally has. Then it made me think about gossip and how truly dangerous it is. How it can destroy someone completely and they don’t even have to be in the room.

How powerful are our thoughts and our words? If you stop to think about how truly powerful they are, isn’t it kind of scary?

How easy is it to talk negatively about a friend, or even an enemy? How easy is it to feel better about yourself by talking to others about ‘friends’ that have done you wrong? I know I struggle with wanting to do this. Shouting from the rooftops wrongs that have been done to me. Exposing someone else so others can see their true colors. How awful is that? Just being honest. I’m sure there are others that have done or want to do this about me too.

But I do know how painful it is to find out that others were gossiping about you.

And that painful feeling makes me stop and think about my friendships. Do I gossip about friends? Are my insecurities and negative thoughts spilling over onto others? I bet it does sometimes. And I hate that. Gossip usually doesn’t have anything to do with the other person, I think. But with your own insecurities and jealous thoughts. Am I wrong? I know this is true for me.

I don’t really have anything profound to say or end this post with. I’ve just been thinking about the ramifications of what anxiety and negative thoughts can cause on your life. I’ve been considering true friends and it led me to think about what has come out of my mouth lately. I’ve really struggled with anxiety again, just this past week. It seems that my thought life is where Satan goes straight for the attack in my life. And it’s hard to get away from it. I’m trying to make sense of this post. I guess I can’t. It’s honestly where my thoughts are at today, so please excuse me for rambling. I guess I’m still processing what I’m struggling with, friendships, anxious thoughts, fears.

Fears.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m trying to get ahold of my thought life. Because getting ahold of what comes in, will help control what comes out. And I definitely don’t want my boys to see me as an anxious, gossipy, negative thinking person. When they think back on their childhood, I don’t want them to remember me being consumed with worry. That scares me too.

Hence the vicious cycle.

Thanks for letting me ramble about where I’m at. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Maybe you’re struggling with this too. I know it’s not just me.