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It’s been a while since I’ve made an entry here.  I think the last bit of diet stuff really tanked my confidence. I didn’t really feel like I had much good to say for a while. My focus was really out of whack.  My first thought about it is, “idolatry.” Changing my body became my primary focus and I lost sight of who I was and even more importantly whose I am.  Life is coming back into focus though and I’m experiencing spiritual renewal.  This is a good place to be.

Earlier this week as I was headed to work, I started thinking about my life group friends. I was deep in thought as I approached the highway… autopilot had kicked in and I turned south — headed toward church (or life group – both are in the same direction) … The problem? Work is north. As soon as I made the turn, I realized what I was doing but it was too late to do anything about it. So, I ended up taking a different route to work. No biggie. I got to enjoy the sunrise over the lake and also wondered if perhaps God had a little intervention to keep me from some unknown (to me) disaster. I’ll probably never know. But it got me thinking about the power of our thoughts and how they can affect us spiritually, mentally, and even physically.

Sunrise over Joe Pool Lake

Have you ever pondered the power of your mind?  Have you considered how much your thoughts influence your choices, your actions and even your body?  Its only natural … we move toward the things we dwell on. I was thinking about a particular group of friends that I know from church and so I naturally changed my course and began moving toward them. Unconsciously. Unintentionally.

What does this mean?

The Bible encourages us to set our thoughts on God. I think that when we do this, we naturally begin to move closer to Him. We don’t even recognize it, but the more we delve into His word, the more we fill our thoughts with Him, we just naturally gravitate toward Him. Our choices, actions, and perceptions change when we fill our lives with the goodness of God – with His thoughts and His words.

Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. (Col 3:2)
I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. (Ps 119:15)
think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. (Prov 3:6)

What about your day-to-day life?

What does your mind focus on? Is it always negative? Are you one of those “Negative Nellies?”  Or are you looking for the good in things? Even the rough parts of life?

Are your thoughts consumed with lots of “I can’t”?  I can’t get up that early to work out. I can’t find time to cook healthy meals. I can’t get my family to eat the good food. I can’t find time for God. I can’t stop this addiction.  I can’t control myself.  “I can’t” becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.  I figured out a few months back how to turn around these “I can’t” situations.  It’s easy. I started saying, “I can.” Even when I wasn’t following through, I started telling myself that I could do it. I CAN get up and go to the gym early in the morning. I CAN find the time to cook healthy meals. I CAN find time for God. And my brain began working it out – I started finding ways to do these things that I had found so difficult before. The mind is powerful and we CAN change our thoughts and ultimately our responses.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Phil 4:13)

There are so many ways that all of this can be applied … but lets just consider one other area in the realm of our thought world.  How do your thoughts affect your body?

Have you considered that your body hears what your mind is thinking? … so what messages are you sending it? Are you telling your body that it is fat or ugly? What about incapable? (I’m guilty) Have you dwelled on the thoughts of not feeling well, only to begin to feel worse? Did you know that your body will carry these commands out and “make it so?”  There is a lot of research available now that shows this mind and body connection, which means that it is so important to be aware of what you are saying to yourself and make some changes where needed.

My new body mantra is, “My body is a fat burning machine!!” My new body attitude is, “My body is amazing and with love and support, it is healing itself and coming back into balance.” I have started listening to the cues it gives me and am responding in a loving, nurturing way instead of pushing harder into exhaustion or going into self loathing and condemnation.  My thoughts have shifted from overly strict rules to paying attention to what my body is needing at that time and responding appropriately — including occasional self hugs and words of affirmation when I look in the mirror. This is a huge shift from the negative thoughts that passed through my mind every time I saw my reflection in the mirror.  I’m beginning to believe the good stuff, and my responses and actions are changing to support my new belief system. This is called love and is a much more peaceful place to be.

So, is it time for a little course correction?  Yes, it is time to take those negative thoughts captive and start replacing them with truth.  It is time to change your thought patterns, create new neural pathways in the brain, send your body positive messages and reconnect with your Creator.  It is time to flood your mind with gratitude, truth, and loving, nurturing thoughts.  It is time to move forward toward your dreams, closer to your Creator and ultimately to the fullness of life that He has promised us.

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:2)

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you … (Jas 4:8a)

Need help with your spiritual course correction?
http://www.celebraterecovery.com/find-a-group/

Check out these websites for nutritional and emotional eating resources:
http://www.arete-nutrition.com/
http://www.sheilaviers.com/
http://www.healthylivinghowto.com/

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