One of the first scriptures that my children learned was John 1:1 “In the beginning, there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This short scripture lets you know that the Word has always existed, as it was with God in the beginning. God breathed the breath of life into mankind, thus giving you the capacity to think and create with your words.
Before any speech comes out of your mouth, it begins with a thought. Your thoughts are like words on a ticker tape going across your mind, but where does it come from? Your thoughts are influenced by a number of factors, but primarily by what you allow to enter. Things enter and become thoughts based on what you hear (as it enters your eargates), and what you see (as it enters your eyegates).
If you don’t like the thought patterns that you are having, then it’s time for a self-assessment. What have you been watching? How has it influenced or manifested itself in your thought life, dreams, or elsewhere? What have you been listening to? How has that influenced your thoughts, dreams, and actions?
A familiar quote says it best, which I will share here:
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become your character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
You determine your character. Your character has a direct impact on your destiny. Protect your eargates and your eyegates; in doing so, you protect your thoughts.
If you reflect on the story of Job, he was an upright man of complete integrity who feared God and stayed away from evil. When Satan was given access to Job, he attacked not only his possessions, but those caring for the possessions, and his children. Satan attacked everything that was connected to Job, but he was never after the things he attacked.
Satan attacks four primary areas known as the Four F’s.
Satan is always after number one on the list, FAITH. The “stuff” only weakens or strengthens your faith based on your response. The enemy came against Job’s faith by attacking his finances (livestock, possessions), then his family (children and wife/helpmeet). With both finances and family out of the way, Job’s future was in jeopardy. The enemy even used Job’s wife to call his future into question.
Whenever you experience distress in more than one of the areas listed above, it is called an unparalleled attack. Know that the attacks will come; however, you can prepare in this season for what is to come through consistent prayer, getting to know God better by reading His Word, and by being accountable to another. Your accountability or prayer partner can cover you before, during and after an attack of the enemy.
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16 NLT
Have you ever heard about a woman who was hurt by one man and now holds all men accountable for the mistakes of that one? Worse than that, have you heard the outbursts and tirades of such a woman as a result of holding onto the hurt, and numerous disappointments? Now that you have that visual in your mind, ask yourself: “could that be me”?
The emotional healing process begins with allowing yourself to feel the emotions that were exceptionally painful that you have either ignored, denied or remained stuck reliving. Those repressed emotions have become emotional baggage. When you constantly stack baggage into one area, walls have to be erected to keep it from spilling out. What walls have you erected as a result of those hurts?
Examine those walls to become aware of any destructive patterns. What you do with that information is your choice, but know that your choice will affect the quality of your life and become the filter for the rest of your days.
The goal is to get in touch with who you really are underneath all the baggage and battle scars so you don’t repeat the mistakes, bad habits or patterns of your past. Freedom begins with accepting responsibility and you don’t need permission from anyone for that.
- Emotional Baggage: Carrying the Weight into Adulthood (realmofthegoddess.wordpress.com)
Many people face challenges that cause a shift in priorities when it comes to family, work and other interests. This is particularly true if you are the primary breadwinner in your household. How can you make better decisions to ensure that the bills are paid but your family is not neglected?
Desiree leans on the desk of Dara, the secretary. Dara looks up wondering what’s wrong. Desiree can’t help herself anymore. She has to talk to someone. It’s like word vomit; the words come spewing out so fast. When Desiree finally takes a breath, Dara is already on her feet reaching out to embrace her. The comfort of physical touch has never been more welcome for Desiree. The moment passes and as she regains her composure, she thinks to herself “this chick needs a raise because she certainly doesn’t get paid enough to handle the multitasking of my emotional conundrum”.
As long as Desiree can continue to have stellar performance evaluations, she won’t let her fleeting emotions give her grief. With the surgery coming up soon, Desiree will make sure that everything work-related is complete and intact. Requesting a week off to care for Malik afterwards should give her some time to get herself together, too.
Given her husband’s surgery and the care that is required, Desiree understands that her time off work will be necessary for his care, but also for her self-care.
How often do you take some down time just to care for you? Often as caregivers, it is easy to take the needed time to care for others, but you must remember to take time to find balance in your schedule, priorities and health. Caring for others requires a lot of physical exertion. You will need physical rest, but also mental rest and emotional encouragement. Develop a strong support system before it’s needed so you don’t find yourself in a deficit. After all, you cannot care for anyone else when you are not at your personal best.
Read more about Desiree and Malik in Their Darkest Hour now available in e-book format.
- Their Darkest Hour – an excerpt (elderwiggins.wordpress.com)
In the soon-to-be released novel, Their Darkest Hour, Desiree is a woman who is struggling to maintain her sanity as she deals with a husband who is growing more distant by the day. With Valentine’s Day approaching, what are some ways to reignite the flame in a relationship? Leave your comments below for a chance to win an exclusive “Their Darkest Hour” autographed t-shirt! The most creative and/or unique response will win…
- Their Darkest Hour – an excerpt (elderwiggins.wordpress.com)
In typical fashion, many bloggers choose to reflect on the current year as preparations are made for the year ahead. In retrospect, this year has been the most difficult year of my life. Every area of my existence has been under attack: physical, emotional, mental, and financial. These struggles have truly tested my faith. In the end, the lessons learned are transforming me into a better person, a better mother, a better teacher and a better friend. I have ridden the waves on the roughest seas this year and through God’s unfailing love for me, I stand.
Physically, my body has been through a lot. Mysterious diagnoses, lengthy treatments and exhausting tests have been my portion. Though I still have unexplained aches and pains that make daily tasks such as walking difficult at times, I stand.
Emotionally, my heart has felt the spectrum from one end to the other. I never imagined that I would find myself divorced again. I have cried harder and laughed harder this year than ever before, yet I stand.
Mentally, my mind continues to come up with explanations and justifications, yet all that is important is stability. The trials could not destroy me; therefore, I stand.
Financially, I am ready to begin again. When you are at your lowest point, all you can do is look up and look ahead. I stand…ready to continue the process to my renewal in mind, body and spirit. I have no choice but to be ready for wherever God decides to take me next.
As you reflect on 2012, are you prepared for what may come?
Vision, therefore, is God’s message for your life. That message is needed in all areas including personal relationships, finances, family and career. Vision is needed just like a GPS is needed when you are traveling to an unfamiliar destination. God is taking you somewhere that you have never been before, so you need his message, guidance and direction to navigate your way successfully.
Vision should be short enough to be remembered easily and BOLD enough not to be easily forgotten so you can “see” it as you hasten by. You’re going to be moving pretty swiftly in this next season, so prepare yourself now. Write the vision and make it plain.
- Write the Vision (michellesmotivation.com)
- “Visioneering” (prayereverywhere.wordpress.com)
- Habakkuk 2:1-3 I Will Wait To See What The Lord Says (writedownthesewords.com)