Monday, November 23, 2015

FREE (thought) Trash Removal

I'm online paying my trash bill. I'm thinking. I pay to have my physical trash removed weekly. Well, the weeks I remember to get the bin out by the road in time anyway.

I'm feeling a bit blah. Dumpy, if you will. I'm letting the darkness outside creep inside. If I'm not careful, depression will start to try and take over. I'm getting better at realizing it. Most days. When I pay enough attention, before it gets too much of a grip. When I remember that it's OK, preferable even, to TAKE the happy pills I have on hand. When I remember, I don't have to battle darkness on my own. When I acknowledge, it is more of a battle than I like to admit.

Feelings, emotions, thoughts that can get dark easily. They become the mind trash that needs to be dumped. I don't keep physical trash around. Why should I keep mental trash around? Why should you?

We don't even need to pay to have it removed. Well, unless you count therapy! ;) 

Wouldn't it be N.I.C.E. to work on removing some of that mental trash?

N - Notice!
When those thoughts start invading, pay attention. Don't let them get a foothold and lead you down the path of self destruction.

I - Don't Ignore! It may feel easier to just stay in bed at least temporarily. However, if it is becoming preferable to stay in bed rather than participate in life? Get some help. Call a dr. Phone a friend. Reaching out may be the last thing you FEEL like doing, but remember feelings are not truth.

C - Celebrate!
Something. Anything. Find a reason to inject some joy in your day. Turn the radio on. Have a family dance party. Dance by yourself. Find a reason to celebrate that you are here for this moment. BE in THIS moment.

E - Encourage!
Find something encouraging to read or look at or enjoy. Encourage someone else. You never know how telling your story may help someone else on their journey. Others have walked this path, but no one has taken YOUR path. Don't walk alone.

Little lights shine brightest in dark places. Find a way to bring a bit of light into each day. Even if you have to borrow it temporarily from someone else's candle. Then when you're feeling better? Share your light with somebody that needs a spark.

Genesis 1:3-4 (NIV) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV) Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Infusion in the midst of confusion

Ah, the time change. Daylight Saving (no S!) time. I will blame/chalk it up to that. The grumpys, blahs, grumbles, gripes, pick a phrase, ______________ (fill in the blank with whatever you call it when you get in a funky mood!) began to run rampant today. My brain felt foggy and confused. I felt like I was going through the motions....and slow motion at that. Letting life happen to me. I turned on some praise music. Better, but still not where I'd like to be.

However, when I really begin to pay attention, I can see all the little/subtle (sometimes NOT so subtle!) ways that God has been trying to get my attention.

As I type this, I'm hearing a message on grumbling and gratitude (and realizing it is the same one I heard when I got in the car earlier this PM after dragging my feet to head out the door, right time, right place comes to mind) OK God, I'm a bit slow! In that message, I was reminded that not being joyful is a way of grumbling at God. Even on my darkest day(s), I am still SO blessed.

Time for a perspective change What is going wrong? to all the things that could be, but are not going wrong.

Where does the infusion come in? I'm thinking back on my day. I get the thought of tea. To me, tea is comforting. I look up the definition of infusion: the addition of something that is needed or helpful. My overwhelmed feelings = hot water. Adding God (tea) the addition of someOne that is needed or helpful. God infuses my overwhelmed feeling into a more comfortable take on life. I could even go as far as living water.

I also happened to pick up a daily devotional book at the thrift store today. "More Than Conquerors" good title and a good reminder to me. "We are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us." Romans 8:37 I open it up to where the ribbon is placed in the book. Who cares if it was July! I read because I have often found (AND still am surprised) that God has taught me much when I take a few minutes to focus on Him. One page is about having an inborn longing for God (compared it to migration for birds). The other page is about hope in our hearts. The line that stuck out: "If God is the sunshine of your life when things are going well, He is also your lamp in the darkness of midnight. When your heart is overwhelmed and many difficulties greatly upset you and it is all too much to share with other people, put your hope in God, your personal Comforter in sorrow."

God, our ever light when darkness tries to creep in,
Thank you for the times you arrange for us to be confronted and comforted in truth and love, especially when we least expect them but need them most. Forgive us for the times when we have let overwhelming feelings. emotions and darkness try to block out the light and love you want for us. Help us not to give into those or let negative words come out of our mouths. Help us to remember 1st to praise and say uplifting words to others and ourselves. There is a difference between happy and joy-filled. I pray for my friends that they be uplifted by Your glory and compassion, however You decide to shine it into their lives. May we dance and sing praises long and loud enough to banish even the grumpiest days into submission.
All in the name of your Son, Jesus.

The following verses were those mentioned in the radio program I was listening to. The 2nd time? I was even by a computer! Bonus.

When I look in the Bible, I like to look at the headings. Gives me an idea of what's going on. This one in Philippians is under "Have the attitude of Christ" (uh? Yes, please!)
Philippians 2:14 (NLT) Do everything without complaining and arguing,

(Note: in all circumstances, not FOR all!)
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NLT) Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. 
Radio mentioned verses 11-12. However, the whole chapter is worth a read:
Psalm 30 (NIV)
1 I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.” 
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.