Monthly Archives: February 2014

Where Your Mind Goes, So Go You


It started out as a feeling, which grew into a hope, which then turned into a quiet thought, which then turned into a quiet word, and then that word grew louder and louder until it was a battle cry.
– “The Call” Regina Spektor

                Sitting in the movie theater, my eyes adjusting to the lights that had just come up at the end of the movie, I knew I loved the credit song.  It didn’t hurt that it was sung by one of my favorite song artists, but I would have loved the song if it had been sung by someone else.  I loved the words and the instrumentation.  It was gorgeous.  Breath-taking. Magical.  And the lyrics of the chorus haunted me, hit me deeply, because I knew they were true.

Our thoughts are incredibly important.  They lead to actions.  And, apparently, actions are the fruit, or product of our hearts. But if actions are the product / fruit of our hearts, than our thoughts, are  the food of our hearts.

We have many sources for our thoughts – life itself, school, movies, music, friends, parents, T.V., the list goes on.

But it is the thoughts themselves that are our heart’s food.   It is our choice to focus our thoughts on what we want (or don’t want) from those movies and music.  What you choose to think about from the conversations you have throughout the day, from the subjects in school you’re learning, from the TV shows you watch and the songs you listen to, affects you.

It’s kinda like a dinner buffet.  At a buffet, you have many options of food to eat.  And you get to choose what you want to eat, or not eat.  You can choose from spaghetti or lasagna or some sketchy-looking Chinese meal, the salad, or the roast beef.  Well, the world is the same way with our thoughts.  You have the choice to think about stuff from movie last night, or from the book you’re (supposed to be) reading for Language, or from the conversation you had with your friend, or from the song that’s overplayed right now on the radio.  It’s your choice.

But here’s the thing, just like if you chose healthy food to put in your body your body functions more along the lines of its originally intended plan, so your heart functions in a healthier manner if you feed it healthy “food”, or thoughts.

From your thoughts grow actions.  Which might be why Jesus goes all strict-bun-in-a-tight-bun-steel-rimmed-glasses-ancient substitute teacher on people in Matthew.  He’s rather tough when it comes to such things.  He says it’s just as bad to lust after someone as to actually have sex with them.  It’s just as bad to hate someone as to actually murder them.

Maybe because if you continue to think those thoughts of lust or anger, they grow, and then …there’s a chance, should you be given the opportunity … you’ll ACT out of those thoughts.  And even if you don’t actually ever murder someone, or sleep with a man who’s not your husband, or say one nasty comment to your mother, those thoughts are still causing you to treat the people around you in ways that are not honoring to God, or honoring the fact that they were made in His image.

And God’s a pretty big stickler when it comes to how we treat each other.  He highly stresses treating each other with love and respect.  It’s a huge deal.  Love God and love your neighbor.  It’s incredibly important to Him – in fact, that’s how the world is supposed to know we love God – by our obedience to Him (which causes us to live differently than the rest of the world) and by how we treat others.  And if your thoughts aren’t reflective of that, your actions (and words and facial expressions) won’t be either.

So, be careful what you allow your thoughts to dwell on, what you focus on.  Your thoughts feed your heart.  And out of your heart spring actions.  Your thoughts have a great deal of power over how you treat others, so be careful what you think.

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A Long Time Healing

A year and a few days ago I broke up with my boyfriend.  And I’m still healing from it.  Which, to me, is crazy.  It wasn’t like we were dating long – only almost three months (which, for an adult is SHORT – for a middle schooler, this is almost an eternity). But it was fast, intense, passionate, and over

And today, almost exactly a year from when it ended, I still have no doubts that it needed to end.  But I also am still working through hurts and memories and lessons that I received during my time with him.  And this astounds me.

Because I’m supposed to be over it by now.  I’m supposed to have worked through it all, and not need to spend another second thinking about the past.  But that’s not the case.

The thing is, I know I’m not the only one in this situation.  Somehow, in our modern world, we tend to think people heal from stuff fast.  They’re supposed to get over some major emotional injury quickly and not bother the rest of us about it.

But healing doesn’t work that way.  Healing is a slow, painful, HARD process.  It takes a great deal of effort (healing demands you actually work through stuff, not just ignore it) and a great deal of time.  So. Much. Time.

When I was a very little girl (like, 4 years old) I fell down and scrapped the palm of my hand.  It bled and I had a nasty red and yellow scab for a week after.  It only took a second to be wounded, but exponentially longer than that to heal.  And while this particular wound was a physical one, the same is true of our emotions.  Healing takes so much longer than the wounding.

So be patient with yourself.  Give yourself the permission to take the time to heal.

The thing is, the same is true of our friends.  They might be in pain from something so much longer than we’d expect.  Please, please sit with them in their pain.  Sure, encourage them to heal, but don’t rush it.  Allow them the time they need.  Someday (or month or year or lifetime) they might be sitting beside you while you heal.

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Make or Break

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Relationships make or break life.  I’m serious.

Think about it.  In elementary school – what ruined your day?  It wasn’t if you got an “F” on the spelling test (if it was, your momma and I should have a talk).  It wasn’t if hot lunch was taquitos instead of the French Toast that was on the menu.  It was if you and your friends had problems. (Okay, so keep in mind I’m speaking from a girl’s point of view.  I have no idea about boys.  It might have been earth shattering if you didn’t get to kick the ball at recess if you’re a boy.)  But if you’re a girl, than you know that the worst thing that could happen was getting in a fight with your friend group.  You would go home in tears and even Mom’s pudding wouldn’t make things better.  The same was true of middle school, except the fights got nastier and lasted longer and were generally more public…in a quiet, whispery sort of way.  High school pretty much was a repeat of middle school, except there was less fighting (hopefully).  But, in high school, there was the additional stress of “boyfriend”.  Or lack of “boyfriend”.

And then there’s college.  Your roommate (or roommates) make or break college.  If you and your roommate get along, if you guys know how to talk stuff out, and actually deal, and know how to give each other space, but also how to get into each other’s space when needed, your year will be awesome.  I don’t care if you have the worst classes ever.  You like your roommate, you two click, your year will be good.  On the flip side, if you have the best classes ever, and even make some good friends, but don’t get along with your roommate, your year will be incredibly hard. In.cred.ib.ly. Holding on by the white of your knuckles hard.

And then you get to  “adult” life and relationships take a different tone.  You have work relationships.  And church relationships.  And friendships that have miraculously hung on through the years from college or earlier.  And maybe, even, a husband (or wife).  And those relationships are crazy important too.  Your relationships will make life fun and wonderful, or incredibly stressful and hard.

So, all that to say, take care of your relationships.  Whether they’re romantic or really deep friendships , or even family – take care of them.  Life is SO much more enjoyable when things are going smooth-ish. (even good relationships have bumps – and they should!  Otherwise they don’t grow!)

So, today, on a day when stores are packed with haggard-looking men desperate for the last rose left on the shelf, and the slightly beaten-up box of chocolates, maybe broaden the subject a bit.  Sure, romantic love is fun, and necessary, and it’s not the worst idea in the world to have a day reminding us of that.  BUT, it’s also a good day to look around at the relationships of all types that you have in your life and appreciate them…and maybe polish them up a bit.

Send your friend a text telling them what a great friend they are.  Give your mom (and maybe even your brother) a hug.  Spend a few minutes in quiet, listening to whatever it is God’s been trying to say to you for the last week that you’ve been too busy to listen to.  Buy that single, red rose for the one your heart adores.  Take the time to have hard conversations, and to say you’re sorry, and to just listen.

Relationships make or break your life.  So take the time to take care of them.

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