Thursday, March 26, 2015

When I'm Older and I'm Wiser

I was driving and singing along 
to Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.”
I have been through enough tough times
to understand the line that says,
“So wake me up when it's all over.”
It’s not my philosophy, but I get it.
I was struck by the next line though:
“When I'm wiser and I'm older.”

Oh Lord, can these please go together!
“When I’m older” is inevitable.
“When I’m wiser” not so much.
And what do we really have if we don’t
take all that we have been through and
gain from it a heart of wisdom?
It's called wasted time, wasted pain,
wasted tears, wasted years.
I’m not big on waste.

The older we get, the more we can see
the debris laying around from living life.
Sometimes relationships don’t work out.
Sometimes dreams die.
Sometimes failure seems final.
We don’t always know how to move forward.
But we know there is no other option.

So we boil things down to what we know:
He never leaves us. Ever. (Heb 13:5)
He is helping us grow to be more like Him. (Eph 4:15)
He is always about love. Always. (Phil 1:9)
So as hard things come as hard things do,
I have this wealth of experience to draw from.
In this thing, You stand with me.
In this thing, You cause me to grow.
In this thing, You help me love.
So, older and wiser go together by grace
and our willingness to move forward with Him.

I understand those wake-me-up lyrics; 
I have felt that way myself.
But my prayer today is that through it all,
I am awake and fully present for every moment
that I am allowed the privilege of breathing.
At any given point in our stories,
we have the power to say,
“This will end with me knowing how
to love just a little bit more.”

When I’m older AND I’m wiser…

Monday, March 23, 2015

I'm Changing My Mind

If it doesn’t look like spring or feel like spring…
does that mean it can’t be spring?
The weather in much of the country 

feels more like winter; 
the arrival of spring is a good opportunity 
to remind ourselves that sometimes  
we have to think greater than we feel.

Feelings make us alive; 
they also get us in trouble.
Studies have shown that 90% 

of our thoughts are the same 
as we had the day before.
We don’t wake up thinking,
"Hey, I think I’ll just go with yesterday."
Our minds have been programmed to think
in patterns that get reinforced by continual use.
If we don’t stop and look at our thoughts,
we wind up thinking the same, acting the same
and thus feeling the same all over again.
Vicious cycle.
Whenever we make our brain think differently,
we are literally changing our mind.
On any given day, I could “feel” any number
of negative thoughts about myself.
When I stop to ask why I feel that way,
I have the power to change that thought.
The Bible tell us over and over 

to change our thinking.
Our thoughts matter.

His mercies are new every morning.
Yesterday's thoughts don’t need to
be pulled into today’s feelings.
We are encouraged to think upon things that
are excellent, praiseworthy, lovely and true.
That just might require 

thinking greater than we feel.

To make new choices, act differently and
create a tomorrow not based on yesterday,
I need to think new--as in “renew” my mind.
No matter what I feel, the trillium and the calendar
remind me that it really is spring.
Why are you so downcast my soul?
Because you "feel" that way.
I am going to help us think our way
out of that feeling.
I have an opportunity to change my mind.
And that changes everything.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Remodeling


Remodel about to begin. And it's about time.
We moved into our house 20+ years ago, and
our 80's master bath really needed a remodel.
I wanted to rip that bathroom apart asap, but
our growing family dictated other changes.
Every other room has been fabulously transformed.
But now it's time to lose the ‘80s and
get the master bathroom I've always wanted.
Sometimes remodeling takes time.
My thought life is undergoing a similar remodel.
There are some thoughts I probably
should have “remodeled” years ago.
As with our home, remodeling is continual and
I have been transformed by His Word all along.
But there are areas I haven’t gotten to.
It is now time.

Our thoughts matter.
But sometimes I don’t stop to see
what I am even thinking about.
Sometimes I have this “off” feeling
in the pit of my stomach,
and I have to stop and remember why.
Oh. Yeah. That.
And I’ll maybe have a reason why
that thought is a tricky one to change.

With our thoughts, sometimes we are
tearing down thought patterns that are
both familiar and comfortable to us.
When we have lived with a measure of
fear and worry for a long period of time,
it may not “feel like us” to think differently.
"Positive thoughts only."
Hmmm.  Maybe not always.

We "take every thought captive..."
Really? Every thought?
We must actively observe our thinking
and capture the rebels--
 worry, doubt, frustration, anger
unforgiveness, disappointment.
We direct our attention to the Word,
and the nature of Christ,
and meditate upon the truth until
we can "vote yes" to it.

Positive thoughts only.
It is the only biblical way to think.
"Think about these things:
things that are true, excellent, praiseworthy."
This remodeling project is going to do more
than transform some '80s motif.
I believe it will radically transform
every area of my life.
"As a man thinks in his heart,
so is he."
Here we go, here we go...