Olivia!

Come and help me! Hurry!

She laughed at my ridiculousness yet again, but graciously came down the stairs, ready to rescue me.

From what… you might ask…

A lizard!

It’s been going on for about a month now— I open the front door. A lizard, nestled between the door and screen, makes a dash into the house.

I scream.

The cats pounce.

And Olivia saves the day.

It’s driving me crazy!!

Finally, this past week, it’s been a bit more intermittent, which means … I let Olivia know I’m about to open the door and might need her help. Just knowing she’s on high alert brings security and peace of mind.

Not to oversimplify this example, but this clicked for me as a real-life visual as to how we can daily be the gatekeeper of our thoughts.

It’s been said that we have over 30,000 thoughts per day, which is A LOT of thoughts to manage. One rogue, negative or condemning thought can high-jack our emotions in a split second.

The pattern goes:

Your thoughts create your feelings

Your feelings create your actions

Your actions create your results.

Spending emotional energy on the wrong thoughts WILL affect our lives!

So…

How do we get that door closed before the unwelcome ‘lizard’ dashes in?

  1. Call for help!

Olivia has no fear of reptiles because she’s extremely knowledgeable about them. When I call for her help, I’m calling the most qualified person in our household. If I talked to Jessica about it, we would both stand there shrieking, talking about how much we dislike lizards. Meanwhile, the little beast would have easy entrance, dashing all about.

Again… not to over-simplify this, but we have qualified help available to US, too.

The Holy Spirit!

John 16:13 (The Passion Translation) “But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil the reality of every truth within you. He won’t speak his own message, but only what he hears from the Father, and he will reveal prophetically to you what is to come.”

2. Have a pre-decided response to stop unwanted thoughts

At one point in my life, I found myself taking up an offense of someone close to me, which meant I was constantly thinking about what had happened to them. Not only was this completely wrong on my part, it was super unhealthy for my mind and emotions. I knew something had to change!

So…

Every time I began thinking about this situation, I would immediately begin praying that God would bless the people who had hurt my friend–  a pray-for-your-enemies kind of approach. This goes against every thing in me, but it flipped the switch in my mind to where I was not constantly thinking about it… a healthy way to be the gatekeeper of my thoughts.

3. Find ways to daily focus your mind on Christ 

My brother, Doug, was just telling me how he listens to the Bible being read aloud on an app as he falls asleep. I was fascinated! What would that do to my thought life if I fell asleep each night with God’s Word quietly filling the room.

I try and start each morning spending time reading my Bible, a devotional and other uplifting books.( I just started a book by Elisabeth Elliot called Suffering is Never for Nothing.) It makes a HUGE difference to my day if I correctly set the tone for it by doing this.

I numbered these ideas as a way to organize some strategies to share with you, but… it’s really not a step-by-step formula. At. All.

It’s a relationship… a connection to Jesus who loves us SO MUCH! As you grow in your relationship with him, he reveals more of himself, guiding us daily through the Holy Spirit.

I’d LOVE to hear some ways that have worked for you on managing what you allow yourself to think about. Comment below or send me an email.

And…

The next time you open your front door— think lizards, screams, thoughts, and faith! Praying that visual sticks with you as you practice being the gatekeeper of your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peace is possible in the midst of broken pieces of your life. We can live life by design and create a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness... even in the midst of brokenness. Join me on this journey and sign up to receive blog posts in your inbox.

Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.

Psalm 33:22 (NLT)

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