I have a new habit and it’s not a good one!
My new habit is… I mumble!
I mumble to myself about what’s going on around me.
It’s like this negative internal chatter that narrates my buggy surroundings, resulting in my inner monologue spilling out of my mouth.
And, no idea why I’ve taken this up!
The other morning, I dropped my 14-year old, Olivia, off at school and then headed toward my next appointment, which was an outdoor, small group training—as in exercise! This was my first workout like this in MONTHS!!
Arriving about 20 minutes early, I decided to “zoom in” by phone to the morning assembly at Olivia’s school.
Now, I have never zoomed in by phone before, so I was being extra careful with keeping my camera off and quietly listening. About 15 minutes into the presentation, a car briskly pulled in to the spot in front of me and a quirky looking fellow in workout clothes hopped out of it.
He was tan with extremely tight leggings and moved in an aggressive manner. At that point, my new involuntary habit kicked in and I mumbled, “Oh no. I don’t want to work out with HIM!”
Isn’t that terrible I said that?!
Well, unfortunately, that’s not the most terrible part of this story.
The next thing I heard was the principal of Olivia’s school saying, “I think we need to mute everyone.”
I KNEW what had happened on their end: Olivia in class, watching on zoom… hears her mom’s voice accompanied by her mom’s picture appearing on screen in front of the WHOLE school.
Why couldn’t I have just thought that without saying it?!
I could NOT get off the zoom call fast enough!
How could I make such a rookie mistake by not double-checking I was muted!!
The next moments were filled with thoughts of how to un-do what I’d done.
What if the principal thought I was responding to what he said? Should I call him?
What if Olivia was teased the rest of the day?
What if parents rolled their eyes at me the next time I was on campus?
WHY have I embraced this obnoxious habit of mumbling OUTLOUD to myself?
This was my personal wake-up call and I began analyzing myself: Am I mumbling because I have a complaining spirit?
Followed by…I don’t want to have a complaining spirit!
In the Bible, mumbling (murmuring and grumbling) is always connected to complaining. We see this A LOT with Moses and the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings.
70% of our thoughts per day are negative, and considering we have 60,000 thoughts per day, that means over 40,000 of them are negative.
How on earth do we combat ALL that negative thinking!
Here are a few tips from me, an embarrassed and recovering professional ‘mumbler’!
How to Overcome Negative Thinking
- Start each day with God- You KNEW I would start here!
But, truly… filling those first moments of your day focusing on God is the first step in setting your mind on the right track.
Romans 12:2 (NIV) “… be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Each day is a fresh start with fresh challenges, and we desperately need the mind of Christ to navigate all that is coming at us. In other words, ‘thoughts IN’ help control ‘thoughts OUT.’
- Here’s a super practical one: Practice smiling!
I know, I know—kind of a strange one, but it’s working for me! A simple smile can derail a boatload of negative thoughts. Go ahead, try it!
- View your words as a gift: Gahhh! I love this one!
Ephesians 4:29 (TPT) says, “And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.”
What IF we viewed our words as beautiful gifts and a way of presenting grace to others?
And what IF this was the gate code for our thoughts? … only allowing thoughts to continue that fit this ‘gift criteria’?
This is an excellent place to insert one of my favorite sayings:
Your thoughts create your feelings.
Your feelings create your actions.
Your actions create your results.
It ALL starts in our thoughts
So, if you’re like me, trying desperately to be able to show your face on campus again, then managing your thoughts must become a daily, intentional choice.
And I KNOW you are on the edge of your seat waiting to hear how the workout went with the tan guy in tight leggings. Well… minutes after my mumbling moment, he got back in his truck and drove away.
All that embarrassment for nothing! Hah!
Oh my this had me laughing and then deeply considering my own thought patterns. Thank you for this great reminder and those beautiful verses! Now I’m off to take your words of wisdom and start my day with God!
Thank you for all of your encouragement. ❣️
Haha! Just another day- in-the-life over here! And, yes… aren’t those verses beautiful?!
Thanks Lori! Great words. To make you feel better the first time I ever got a FaceTime call I didn’t even realize it and answered it while I was sitting in the bathtub! Fortunately it was a grandma who didn’t even know how she FaceTimed me and I was able to get off quickly ha ha
OK You WIN – most embarrassing moment! Thank you for being so vulnerable in sharing this story. I too have a negative track (thoughts) rolling in my head and yes stuff slips out through my mouth. Thank you for this reminder of Gods truth for us and to look at our words as gifts!
Oh man… I really don’t want to WIN! Haha.
The negative thought track is challenging and, yes… God’s truth is the answer.
Oh Lori, that is such a great story! I can so relate to you! Thank you for sharing your most vulnerable moments. Not only are they funny, but you have the amazing ability to pull out such truth!
The funny thing is… I couldn’t even bring myself to tell Eddie the story. I just told him he needed to read the post. So embarrassing! Haha
So funny yet convicting. So easy to have had breath of the soul. Thanks for the reminder.
I’m glad I made you laugh AND brought a bit of conviction. #missionaccomplished 😄
Lori! I was dying as I read this! So funny and sooo embarrassing! I’m sorry that happened but also glad it produced such a great, encouraging and practical blog post! This is so good and I am going to try that smiling tactic next time I feel the grumbling coming on!
I’m glad you were laughing and felt encouraged! Keep smiling!❤️
Lori, I rarely laugh out loud… but this! I totally relate! Thanks for sharing this story – it resonates and I’ll take the advice to smile… thanks for sharing the words of Natalie Bacon. So good.
I’m so glad you laughed out loud! It was SO embarrassing!❤️
Lori, this is such a great post. I can not believe those statistics about how many thoughts we have in a day. Wow! I struggle with negative thinking and that’s A LOT of negative thoughts. That is a real eye opener for me. Thanks for sharing your story. Means a lot to know I’m not alone in mumbling. (Shhh….did I just admit that?) Lots of love and thank you for so much encouragement today!
Yep… you just admitted it!! I’m with you and we are works in progress! Blessings!
Ha! Hilarious!! Welcome to the club! I recently decided when I am tempted to describe someone in my presence with very accurate but not nice words, I would default to ,”what an interesting person…” I am still working on it but it does redirect my emotions and thought train! Thanks for the great post and scriptural encouragement!
THIS made me laugh! I just may have to try your approach. Blessings!
Wow! I so needed this post today. Thank you Lori for your vulnerability. I went from laughter to tears.
Ephesians 4:29 is a beautiful reminder on how our words can uplift others as well as ourselves.
Isn’t that verse so special?? Great to hear from you, Allison.❤️
So funny! Such a great reminder to watch our words. ❤️
I want to know what happened on the school end? Did Olivia say anything? Did anyone really notice?
Olivia saw my picture (thank goodness I was off camera!) come up front and center and wondered what was going on. She heard the principal say someone needed to mute and figured I had said something. Luckily, she reassured me that at least she didn’t clearly hear what I said.
Shoot, I missed that assembly! Ha ha! I recently was in a Zoom meeting with several healthcare professionals and accidentally unmuted myself while talking to a family member in the room. I didn’t realize I had interrupted the doctor who was presenting until I heard the moderator say, “I think Karie Mazerik is trying to contribute to the conversation”. Oops!!
Haha!! And that is so funny!!
I’m a little late to the party here but OH MY WORD!!! You make me laugh Lori! I love you and your vulnerability! Thanks for this incredible reminder!!
“Smiling, smiling’s my favorite!” ;D
It was SO embarrassing!! But… it’s good to laugh (and smile) about it! ❤️
Oh, Lori, i love the fact you are so open and honest about the foibles of being human. Your relateability is awesome. I laughed myself silly over this blog and laughter is the best way to start the day. Now i know why i mumble on occasion and can now recognize it for what it is and “bring it into submission”. Love and hugs.
I’m glad you can relate and that you were laughing silly! Laughter IS the best way to start a day. For sure!