Been Thinkin’

I was reminded of something recently that has been percolating in my mind for a few days.  It’s a theory that goes something like this:  if you want to change how you approach the world, your life, your stresses, your good days & bad, you first & foremost have to change how you think.  I’ve heard something to this effect in many different scenarios:

  • If you’re discontent or unsatisfied with your life, make a list of what you are thankful for.
  • If you’re restless, focus on what makes you content.
  • If you’re sad or angry, take a moment to reflect on the happy moments in your life.
  • If you’re experiencing stress, focus on the (likely) positive outcome rather than the stressful uncertainty.
  • If you’re feeling as though your faith is weak and unsustaining, note times where God has blatantly and obviously made his presence known, cared for your needs, and protected you from harm.
The point of the exercise above – whether it is a physical list or a mental note – is to refocus your mind and heart on what is good, and let the bad things take a back seat.  This is not only good common sense, it is actually a biblical imperative.  Just check out Philippians 4:8, which says  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

One of my Facebook friends (also a friend from high school) is approaching this concept in a clever way.  She decided to do a 30-Day Thankfulness Project, the goal being to write a Facebook status every day for 30 days with three things for which she was thankful.  She has inspired me to do something along those lines, with the specific requirement of writing (and publishing) my daily thoughts, not for affirmation or feedback (though feedback is always good), but to purposefully take time to not only think through “whatsoever things are lovely,” but also to write them down in a permanent and visible place.  Talk about a unique and ingenious way to create a habit of dwelling on the pure, virtuous and praiseworthy parts of life…not to be a Pollyanna (Gawd no), but rather to make a serious and deliberate effort to let go of anger, pain and corrosive bitterness, and replace those things with contentment and joy.  So I’m going to do this…to see if it really will work.

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Happy Memories and a Thankful Heart

  1. Wedding day
  2. Honeymoon
  3. Being well taken care of by my darling husband
  4. My job (the best one on earth) – wife to my husband and mom to my sweet boy
  5. Birth of my sweet boy
  6. Purchasing my first home ever
  7. Purchasing our first home together
  8. Graduations – grad school, college, high school
  9. Christmas at the grandparents when everyone was there
  10. Sea World w/ my sweet boy on his 5th birthday
  11. Vacation (twice) in Destin FL with great friends
  12. Trip to Quantico VA to see a good friend graduate from the FBI Academy
  13. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds concert with my husband
  14. Completing a 5K
  15. Skydiving with a friend
  16. Scuba diving vacation to Grand Cayman with a good friend
  17. Scuba diving vacation to Aruba with a good friend
  18. Vacation to Denver CO with my boyfriend (now husband)
  19. Road trips with my husband
  20. Scuba diving trips to Jupiter FL
  21. Cowboy shooting with my husband
  22. Target practice
  23. Anytime I read for pleasure
  24. Anytime I am writing
  25. Anytime I am playing the piano
  26. Dinner parties with great friends
  27. Listening to audiobooks in my car
  28. A house free of clutter
  29. Garage sales
  30. Thrift store shopping
  31. Shopping days with my best shopping buddy
  32. Reconnecting with old friends
  33. Quiet time
  34. Finding the perfect gift for someone
  35. Great conversations with my husband
  36. Library trips
  37. Reaching a weight loss goal
  38. Pets in the house
  39. Moving to Phoenix AZ
  40. Seeing my sweet little boy happy in school
  41. Hugs & kisses from my sweet boy
  42. Being told “You’re my best girl” from my sweet little boy
  43. Being told “You’re my favorite” from my hubby
  44. Anytime my hubby calls me “Mrs. Wife”
  45. Great massages
  46. Feeling completely & utterly exhausted after a hard workout
  47. Cutting my hair OFF
  48. Pedicures
  49. Good conversations with great friends
  50. A clean car
  51. Driving fast
  52. Riding roller coasters
  53. Eating ice cream
  54. First movie outing with my husband (when he whacked is head & got a goose egg)
  55. The dinner party where we both burned our left hands
  56. The dinner party where we stayed up until 4am playing London Gin
  57. Coffee, a cinnamon roll and my laptop for breakfast
  58. Having funny made-up jokes with my family (What does Mommy start with?  M!  No, coffee!)
  59. Happy giggles from my little boy
  60. Listening to my little boy pray at night
  61. Reading a book that I love so much I don’t want it to end
  62. Sneaking books out of the library when I was a kid (because I was determined to read everything)
  63. Attending Wine Over Water every year with friends
  64. Attending the Daytona 500 every year with friends
  65. Peanut butter, banana & honey sandwiches on white bread
  66. Standing up for myself
  67. Road trip to the Grand Canyon with my good friend
  68. Anniversary mini-vacations
  69. Finding cool turquoise jewelry
  70. Watching my sweet little boy happy dance when something pleases him
  71. Waking up rested
  72. Great friends
  73. Watching TV with my husband

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