Think Lovely Thoughts

In my adult life, I’ve taken some sense of value in my ability to stay calm in crazy situations.

Not EVERY time, but mostly.

What this has involved has been taking the time to quiet myself.

Time to rein my thoughts in and turn them around to a positive way of being;

I.e. To look on the bright side.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Well it seems that through the years of practice with this “Quietude”, there has been an unexpected side effect; that of not feeling the full spectrum of emotion.

I’ll start by saying that over the last several years, if you ask me how I’m doing; my answer would invariably be “Fine”.

My heart has been at peace. My mind has been at rest.

This answer is accurate and correct.

Recently though, something else has been happening.

Circumstances over the last several weeks have caused many emotions to come to the surface.

By that I mean, the tears are closer to the surface than I am accustomed to them being, and I’m perhaps a bit touchier than I like.

I’ve tried and tried to figure out what was happening.

This week, two things happened that seemed to open up a window for me to view the issue in a different way.

  1. I remembered a quote I had heard from Brene’ Brown;
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And then;

  • I had lunch with my BFF. I was discussing the fact that I wasn’t processing this issue very well, and that I wasn’t really sure how to put it in words. Here’s what she said; (When they know all your secrets, they can get to the heart of things!)

“You have been doing well with your emotions. This one circumstance has been a grief to you for a long time. You cannot sustain yourself in grief mode for that long a period of time.”

(Basically, she was saying that I had been protecting myself and my emotions from burning themselves out.)

So now, things have changed.

 “You can grieve now. You can feel the emotions and get them healed.”

These words were like a bright shining light on my soul.

The window is open.

This is where Brene’s quote comes into play; there was definitely a time where numbing out the painful emotions was the right thing to do.

But now, I can go on to “un-numbing” the positive emotions!

I can feel the emotions I need to feel, and get on with things, get on with life.

I can feel some real joy.

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Was all that time of “Peace and rest” wrong?

Was all that time of “Peace and rest” untrue?

Was it all counterfeit?

No, No, and No.

The peace and rest that I grew to know and love, was so very real.

I believe it was God’s way of protecting my mind, my heart and my health.

A lengthy sustained period of grief would have destroyed me from the inside out.

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

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So how about you, are your emotions in line with the times you’re in?

Are your thoughts running to the positive or the negative?

Are you thinking on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable?

“If you don’t like the thought you’re having; have another thought!”

Graham Cooke
Peter Pan

A Slice of Random

Since I am processing (and reprocessing) words to a different post,

I hope you will enjoy this little collection of random photos from my previous week.

Window on calm.
Full moon rising.
A far view.
Just a peek.
Sweet ornament.
Awwww.
A night time look up.
Storms a brewin’.
Lovely evening in town.
Coffee with a friend.
On the road to ………………….

I hope you enjoyed this little trip.

Will see you next time.

Psalms of Life

A long time friend of mine has begun a new project.

Now we have spoken very little, if any, about his topic.

Imagine my surprise when I began reading his words!

(Surprised, but not surprised. Our verbiage is even the same!)

If you have been here on my blog for any time at all,

you know how much value I put on having quiet time.

How much peace there is to having time to settle your heart and soul.

And how I also always delight if in some small way, I can help you to help yourself.

Even for just a moment; a little at a time.

So with Gary’s permission, I share his offerings with you now.

Psalms of Life

There is a quiet place
Far from the rapid pace
Where God can soothe my troubled mind

Those are the first words of a song that is not an original work of mine but have been on my heart a lot in recent days. I would like to suggest, my dear Psalms of Life friends, that dedicating yourself to a time of ‘stillness within’ is so valuable.

Establishing the habit for even a few minutes a day (especially at the beginning) is where the power lies. It is the ‘master key’ to a more fulfilling life.

Find a quiet place if only for a few minutes. Be silent, place your hand lightly on your heart. (Your mind focuses on where the touch is felt.) Then breathe slowly and deeply, listening to your breath while you choose to feel grateful.

Listening to your breath actually relates back to the fact that, in Hebrew, the deepest root meaning of Yahweh is ‘passionate breath.’

Practicing the simple habit of daily stillness with the Lord will transform your life. Studying and reading the Scriptures is good, but the art of practicing simple stillness is the most important foundation to build upon. Thanks for spreading these thoughts with 👍 ❤️ !

Gary Ellis
Psalms of Life

Remember to share your thoughts and comments.

We really love to hear your “Voice”.

Until next time.

Click here for more of Psalms of Life

Inside or Out?

I like my new habit of a blog post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

So here I am, sharing a few short moments with you in pictures.

My day has been spent in doors dealing with some contentious office work.

I HAVE ventured out side a few times.

Running in the shadows.

In keeping with Monday, Wednesday, Friday –

It was the least I could do.

It is definitely a most beautiful day!

Hope you enjoy your weekend, whether it’s inside or out!

See you next week.

My Friend Joy!

Joy has been in a photo group with me for a couple of years.

Joy’s style is photo journalistic in nature.

Joy has a good eye, and is known to find beauty in the most unexpected places.

It could be her “Flower of the Day” series, or her walk along the river front or in Weed Park.

Joy is not deterred by the heat or cold, or rain or sunshine. She just goes.

It’s always a treat to see where she is going to show up next.

Join me now while I ask her some questions, and share some of her work.

Interview July 9, 2019, at the Black Pearl Cafe

  • How long have you been taking photos?
    • About four to five years now.
    • My interest began on a camping trip, in a little town in Indiana, where there was art work, murals and things, all through out the down town area.
    • The town boasted a flower garden calendar. It was so beautiful it begged to be photographed.
    • It was divided into four seasons, and it was unique and beautiful.
    • It sparked my interest in capturing the beauty of God’s creation, and being able to share it with others; flowers, sunrises, nature.
  • What camera do you use to get your photos?
    • I actually use the camera on my phone. It’s a Galaxy S9.
      • I’m mobile!
    • My phone takes quality photos, is very portable, and always ready for a shot, without doing much with the settings.
  • Do you use any filters on your photos?
    • I use no filters.
    • I have tried recently to do a couple of black and white photos, but then went back to regular photos with my phone.
  • What is your motivation for the photos you take?
    • Worship. It’s definitely a part of my worship.
    • I find it very healing.
    • I’ve dealt with depression.
    • Depression makes you pull inside yourself, and away from people.
    • Now that I enjoy photography, I get out of my house. I go places.
    • I can go with someone, or even go by myself.
    • This makes me happy because I can do things however I like. Take a picture or not, stay or go, I can decide.
    • I tend to take pictures dealing with light and creation, and the CREATION always makes me feel connected to the CREATOR.
    • The amount and diversity of creation is amazing and awe inspiring.
    • I no longer take for granted the state and town I live in.
    • Embracing and sharing my hometown, causes me to want to do it more.
    • There is beauty in every state, but coming home to Iowa is always best.
  • How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
    • Trial and error
    • Practice
    • Viewing others photos on photography websites
    • My husband is being educated on my photo taking needs as well!
  • Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
“Favorite picture of the summer so far. Taken from the bike trail during the flooding. I always enjoy capturing reflections and cool shadows. So beautiful with the white puffy clouds.”
  • What mood or message do you try to portray in your photos?
    • Natural beauty.
    • Positive. Always positive.
    • Encouraging.
    • I want my photos to point people to God.
      • She also likes to show off her town! (Added by me)
    • I want to try to stay out of “competition mode”.
  • Whose work has influenced you most?
  • What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
    • (Chuckles) How to take a decent selfie!
  • What would you say to encourage someone to is considering beginning photography?
    • Go out as often as possible.
    • Go out a different times of the day.
    • Play with light and shadows.

Some of Joy’s favorites for photos;

Sisters’ Garden & Bloom

Iowa Photograph

“Driving back from Kalona, with the sun behind us, I had a realization. For some people, looking back is painful emotionally. However, when it comes to photography, you need to be willing to examine your subject from every angle. Otherwise, you might miss the best picture ever!”

Joy

Dare I say, Joy doesn’t miss much!

Thanks for joining us!

See you next time!

What Was That You Said?

“If my kids ever turned out like you I’d kill myself”.

WHAT ON EARTH???

These words said to him by one set in charge of leading and guiding him, one whose job was to help him to find his potential, not destroy it.

I’ve heard many horror stories like Rusty’s. I am sure you have as well.

Perhaps, like me, you were the one on the other end of those destructive words.

It has been scientifically proven that the words we TELL OURSELVES, can have a crippling effect on how we develop.

Oh the words we say over our children!

About them. In front of them. In front of others.

When those words are SPOKEN over us, the effects can be deadly.

In John 6:63 (ESV) It says; It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

If the spirit speaks life, then it stands to reason that it is evil that speaks death to living beings.

The nasty things that are said to us burrow deeply into our hearts.

They become “Our truth”, even though that is not how God intended it to be for us.

The Harvard Business Review says five positives to one negative is a good ratio for success. 

Remember Mearle from Rusty’s story above?

In my case, I had two Mearles.

First was a pastor named Gary, the second an apostolic teacher named Sharon.

These two never gave up on me. They encouraged me into a much more life affirming thought life than I had ever had before.

They still encourage me today.

Now I am here with you, espousing a life of “Quietude” for your own general well being, helping you to overcome the awful things spoken over your life.

For Rusty, he created one eighty, to help others to overcome the effects of the negative words and declarations thrust upon them by others. Visit his site and see what a positive thought life can do!

Resources on the words we speak;

Watching the Words We Speak – Rev. Lynette Hagin

The Power of Spoken Words – HuffPost

The Power of the Words We Speak – Christina Fox – For the Family ,org

Thanks for reading.

Please feel free to comment or message me if you would like to add to this conversation!