Friday, April 19, 2013

Kicking The Enemy Out Of My Mind

On Sunday I was really struggling with my thoughts.  I like to think that I am generally a pretty cheerful, easy going person, but I have my moments where I struggle to be positive about my circumstances.  A few days earlier, I was confronted by my next door neighbor who had some harsh words for me.  I am a pretty non-confrontational person (unless I am really upset about something), and I really strive to live at peace with everyone around me so his attitude really shook me up.                                          
After that confrontation I could not stop thinking about it, turning it over in my head - what I wished I had said, what I would really like to say to him (not very kind things at all).  Every time I drove by, saw his car, went outside with the kids, I obsessed over it. 

Around the same time, someone posted something on Facebook that was insulting to me.  Darn Facebook.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  Anyway, both things effected my spirit negatively and really got me down.  For whatever reason I also began feeling overwhelmed by housework and began having negative thoughts about my abilities as a wife/mother/homemaker.  I began feeling like I wasn't good enough at cleaning house, wasn't a good enough cook... I was in a tailspin of negative thinking and by Sunday it had caught up with me.  I was feeling exhausted by my thoughts and emotions - a true testament to how powerful our thought life is!  

In church on Sunday morning it hit me that I needed to make a choice.  In my first blog post I talked about my experience with choosing joy and I realized that I needed to practice this very principal.  It was time to make a conscious decision to stop the negative thoughts and tell myself the truth - God's Truth.  I knew that the enemy had found an inroad into my heart and spirit and was beginning to pick at my weaker areas.  I refused to give him the satisfaction of kicking me down anymore.  Just making this decision began to turn my mood around.  I have the power to choose what I will and will not listen to and I wasn't going to accept the negative.

When I got home I noticed the three notecards that I had just put up on my kitchen cabinet a few days earlier.  In our Beth Moore Bible study, we were challenged to write these three verses on notecards concerning our thoughts, our words and our deeds.  I love putting up verses around the house because I read them every time I walk by and it's the easiest way to commit them to memory.  These three verses spoke right to my current situation.  

THOUGHTS Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me oh God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

WORDS Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight oh Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

DEEDS Psalm 15:12 Lord who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.

I have been reading them every day since Sunday and challenging myself to live by them.  It has been a challenge at times but it has also really helped me to stay on track!  I am especially trying to be careful that my thoughts are pleasing to the Lord.  I think we tell ourselves that dwelling on certain situations won't hurt anything as long as we're not actually acting on those thoughts, but I believe that if it's not pleasing to the Lord, it will begin to effect us negatively.  

I am really challenging myself to be kind to my neighbor if we ever have another confrontation.  As hard as that might be, I have a responsibility to show the love of Christ in my life to everyone - not just those that are easy to get along with!  I'd like to encourage you to write these three verses down and put them somewhere where you will see them every day.  What better way to start every day off with the right mind and heart than by praying each of these verses!