Tag Archive | thought life

Take a Breath

 

In lieu of many things on my mind as of late, I thought I’d re-run a post that I originally ran in September of 2011.

 

Psalm 139: 13-16   For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

These are the most important words.

I want you to hear them.

God created you.

You were His choice.

If you hear anything different than this,

It is a lie.

Straight from the enemy of your soul.

Designed solely to keep you away from your loving Father in Heaven.

Run from that lie,

And into His arms of truth.

Have a rest there.

Take a breath.

 

I’m working on Friday’s topic.    Until then, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Whatever is on your mind.  A question?  An answer?  A bit of your story?

Or perhaps a topic you’d like to see discussed here.

Above all,  take a breath,

and I’ll see you back here on Friday.

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.

                                                                        *********

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.

*********

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

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!

Adulting is Hard

Adulting is hard, but some days I like it.

Adulting is hard, and some days I don’t.

Today is one of those days.

It’s one of those days I don’t.

People want opinions, ideas, answers.

I have nothing but opinions, and they really don’t want those.

Not the real ones anyway.

No matter how I say them they will sound snarky.

I am not an arguer, a debater, or a pot stirrer.

I do not like to poke the bear, or to get that stick stuck back in my eye.

I want peace. I want quiet.

Ideally, this adulting thing should be done with conversation, give and take, and a whole bunch of truth in love.

Ideally.

Kids don’t know how to do it, they need adults to teach them, but the adults don’t know how either.

Who is responsible? And that’s another thing!

Oh what a hot button! Can we each just be responsible for our own stuff? Must we always place the blame on someone else?

Don’t get me started. Or maybe I should start. See what I mean?

Adulting is Hard.

The book of Proverbs in the Holy Bible is known as the book of wisdom.

Proverbs 2:6For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

If we read one book a day, we are ahead of the curve. Wisdom grows.

Proverbs 4:7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

Adulting should be a combination of experience, common sense, knowledge and yes, wisdom. Wisdom is simply the best way to apply the knowledge that you’ve acquired.

Proverbs 2:10for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

Take it easy Deb. Take a breath. Take two breaths.

Feeling a tad better now – Thanks for letting me vent just a little.

How do YOU adult?

Please share in the comments – We can all use YOUR knowledge.

See you next time.

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing Baby

All of these stones are real. Except one.
Can you tell the difference?

Counterfeit is great until you need the real thing.

We live in a world that is bright and shiny.

There is always something to grab our attentions, and distract us from the things that are in fact, real.

We can always find a bauble for our most current need; until we can’t.

Where do we turn when we find out that what we have been following, and holding on to, is in fact only a cheap trinket, a counterfeit of the real?

This place is both disheartening and frightening at the same time. How could we have been so fooled, so tricked, so easily duped?

It could be disheartening because, well, if we fell for something this time, then we could easily fall for it a next time.

It could be frightening because, many times these counterfeits can bring danger to us; physically, mentally or financially.

Our emotions run, and run, and stopping them takes a lot of hard work and determination.

One quality decision after another.

These are times that the counterfeit goes away, and the real comes alive; Real pain; Real stress; Real bitterness; Real sorrow.

If we could only know the REAL in advance!

Well I believe we can.

My source is the Holy Bible. Words I believe that come from God Himself.

In the day in which we live, we hear all the time that we must live our own truth.

Personally, I tried that. I lived my own truth for most of my life.

Some parts were just me, other parts were me trying to mix in a little of Him to make it into something I could try and make Him happy with.

In the words of Dr. Phil; “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

Not so well I must admit.

My ideas always ended me up someplace where the bright and shiny had worn off, and turned into dingy and dark.

I want to tell you what has worked for me.

In seeking truth and light, a real deal, I came across some verses in the Bible that made me more than a little curious to seek the readily available truth of scripture.

The truth looked like this;

In Genesis 1:27 it says;

  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And in Psalms 139:13-16 it says;

  • For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

And then finally;

John 8:12 says;

  • Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I believe these statements to be the real deal, that being said, then I also believe that we are pretty dog-gone special!

If they are real, it means that;

  • I am (We) are made in HIS image!
  • I am (We) not a mistake, He knew me BEFORE conception!
  • I am (We) will not wander around in the dark if I (We) follow Him!

This is not to say there will not be dark times; there will; but we will not falter by holding on to a counterfeit comfort and light, or shiny useless baubles for our pleasure.

Isaiah 54:17 says that;

  • No weapon formed against you shall prosper. It does no say that it won’t be formed, it says it won’t prosper.

In plain language – regarding truth vs. counterfeit – If you follow what scripture says, you will always be able to discern the truth from a lie.

Thank you for joining me here – My hope is that you will find at least one thing that will be helpful and encouraging for you on your path.

See you next time!

ADD and Quietude

Can they survive together?

This topic is huge. So huge in fact, in order to understand it totally, one would have to research and study a good long time to begin to see all of the nuances.

Let me be clear; I am no expert. I am no professional.

What I am, is an adult female who was diagnosed in adulthood with adult onset ADD.

“I thought I Was Stupid” is a really good article on the struggle of women with ADD/ADHD.

And growing up, I DID think I was stupid, when the truth was quite the opposite. I would finish my work early, then wander around the room and disturb those who were still working.

I never learned to study, so what happened was that at that very early age, when the neuron pathways were still being connected, without proper focus, I was self teaching my mind to wander.

Those connections were being made, but not exactly correctly.

This is not to say that everyone begins the same way. There are so many different scenarios that could happen. I simply believe that this is how it began with me.

Back in the day, no one was talking about this. The research just wasn’t there. We didn’t give little Johnny, or little Debbie extra work to do.

We did not guide them in the direction of their gifting. We did not “Play to their strength.”

We told them to sit down, sit still, behave, be quiet or write 500 times on the chalk board “I will stay in my seat during class.” Stop being a brat.

Consequently, at least in my case, my brain went everywhere, like monkeys in a tree, or a fart in a skillet. Everywhere except where it was supposed to be.

I would doodle. I would hum. I would whistle. I would tap my feet.

What a stupid thing – to not be able to focus. There must be something terribly wrong with me.

This is turning into a lot of words, but I need you to understand what was going on, not for me, but for yourself!

Some boys my age were diagnosed with ADD, rarely, but girls? Almost never.

“At the end of the day, if you’re just dealing with ADD, that’s great,” Solden said. “But most women—because they weren’t diagnosed as children, because they didn’t have hyperactivity or were smart—grew up absorbing a lot of wounds and shame. These women are often twice exceptional. They have incredible strengths and are really smart and creative, but they have these struggles that nobody understands, including them.” Sari Solden

Read – They had to work twice as hard!

Please read HERE for more on ADD/ADHD.

So began my obsession with Quietude – Quiescence – Quiet.

Like I said, I was diagnosed as an adult.

Here is my back story, at least in part.

Finding the doctor that I found was simply a miracle. All others before her told me I was depressed. Told me I was anxious. Told me I was something. You’ll get over it. Well I’d spent my entire life this way, so I probably was not going to just get over it.

She wanted to do a different kind of test. One for adult onset ADD.

I took a very long test followed by some in depth counseling with her, and the findings were conclusive.

This indeed was my issue; Mild enough to not be dangerous, but strong enough to keep things from settling in my brain. I did correct her about the “adult onset” part. She agreed I was most likely right.

She prescribed a low dose, medication that worked by “improving the way parts of the brain communicate with each other.”

Enter Quiet Time!

Over some time, a year or so, I saw much improvement.

I was able to actually train myself to sit quietly in my chair by the window, and calm my thoughts, and actually follow through on finding what God had in store for my life.

My doctor and I decided that since the medication had showed me how it felt to string two thoughts together, what calm(er) felt like and what it felt like to focus, perhaps I could wean off of the medication.

I did so successfully.

I had made some Quiet time rituals. I follow them to this day;

  • Same time every day
  • “Do Not Disturb” settings on all devices
  • Bible or other devotional type book
  • Quiet music or silence
  • Journal/note pad for catching random thoughts
  • Strict determination to make it work
  • Some days it is just quiet. No music. No book. No paper. Just quiet.

To close, I would like to say that EVERY day may not be successful, but I can tell you that when I began the art of “Quietude” ANY day that there was a space for quiet was a success!

Nowadays, I do have to keep track of things closely.

I still forget sometimes that “Quiet” is what I need.

On those days, like I’ve said here on this blog before – two minutes – six minutes -ten – Whatever I can do to make it work.

Introvert, Extrovert – Does not matter. Every one can benefit from a few minutes of quietness in their day.

I must tell you, YOU can overcome the issues keeping you from a quiet space.

The effort that you pour into this endevour will pay you back a thousand times over.

Because of this prolonged practice, I believe that moments that SHOULD stress me out, don’t. I believe it’s because of accumulated Quiet time.

Thanks for reading.

See you next time!