Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I have moved!

Dear friends, I am thrilled to announce, after seven months of labor and the volunteer help of many patient friends and family, I now have a new blog site.   

I have enjoyed Tiddlywinks, named so for my sweet grandma who always signed her letters that way, but I need more definition for why I write. 

Starting today, Tiddlywinks will be no more.  (A bit of sadness.) 

Come visit me at my new website called Off the Shelf.  The content of my writing remains the same.  Only the address and look have changed. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Habits of the mind.

When I walk I’m so unimaginative.  I sit down on the porch to put my shoes on.  Then I walk around Alpine Lane.  Down Rock Street.  Around Stone Street.  Back around Alpine Lane.  And home. 

The same path every time. 

Boring, I know.  I like to think and pray while I walk, and I don’t want to think about the actual exercise part. 

Our brains take the same route.  Wear deep paths of thinking that we mindlessly walk every day.  Financial stress –WORRY.  That person –ANGER.  Potential failure –FEAR.  Difficult situation –DEPRESSION. 

One time I had to take something to my child at school, so I walked there instead of my normal route.  That was nice.  Different path.  Different scenery.  Different heart rate. 

It’s possible to change paths of thinking.  It’s just –do we want to or are we so, so comfortable walking the familiar route? 

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  (Matthew 7:13-14  NIV)   

There are TWO paths the mind can set foot on.  If your thoughts seem to be leading only to destruction, it might be time to try some new scenery.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Yes, yes you can.

I hyperventilated over a bowl of breakfast cereal yesterday morning.   

I’ve hit a season where every morning for the last week I have made a long list of tasks, have worked hard all day, and have barely even scratched the surface of what has needed to be accomplished.  (My husband suggested I just stopping making lists, but that’s not really helpful, dear.) 

I've felt overwhelmed and anxious in an “I’m going to throw up” sort of way. 

Over my bowl of cereal yesterday I had anxiety so severe it actually caused chest pain.  (That’s probably bad.)  Then I remembered the verse, “Do not be anxious about anything…”  (Philippians 4:6  NIV) 

Can you tell someone to stop being anxious?

I hear it all the time from people.  “I can’t help but be afraid.”  “I can’t help but be angry.”  “I can’t help but be anxious.”  “I can’t help but be depressed.” 

Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” 

Evidently, we can help it.  God’s expectation is for us to be transformed from a life of anxiety to peace, and this happens by acquiring new ways of thinking. 

I ate another bite of cereal and rolled the verse around in my mind.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer…”  Oh yeah.  Prayer.  Toss all that anxiety in God’s lap and let Him worry about how the tasks are going to get done. 

So I prayed through my list of anxieties, and by the time my spoon hit the bottom of the cereal bowl I felt peace and no chest pain. 

Here’s the process for getting over bad feelings:
1.     Get a verse from the Bible that speaks to your condition.
2.     Memorize it.
3.     Believe it. 
4.     Do what it says.
5.     Repeat steps three and four as needed.
Yes, you can help it.