Once the calendar rolls over from spring to summer, I have this heavy awareness that nearly half the year has passed and we’re on the bullet train to the end of the year.  That realization usually sparks an evaluation of where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished.  And frankly…  right now… I’m not pleased.

 

Lake Michigan Shoreline - Start Training Your Mind With Me - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

From my work to my health to my relationship with God I want to be in a better place.

The first thing I do is analyze why… Why am I in this spot?

You know what my biggest challenge is?

It’s my thinking.

My success in all of these areas begins and ends in my mind.

 

Seagulls on the lakeshore - Using scripture to train our minds - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

The mind is a funny thing.  It takes constant training and retraining to have the right mindset.   It’s kind of like physical fitness or good eating habits.  All is good as long as we keep it up.  When we get lax or too busy we see the results either in our fitness level or our waistlines.  When we skip a few days of physical activity or we enjoy a few too many larger than normal plates of food we may not see much of a difference…at least not immediately.  But, when it comes to our minds, it’s a minute by minute, hour by hour discipline to keep our minds in a good place.

This year I have struggled.  I know what I should do.  But, I don’t necessarily do it.

Sometimes I have good reasons because of health issues.

Other times… there’s a battle in my mind and I forget the truth and accept the lies and other derailments as fact.

It takes a conscious effort to focus on the truth.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32

The truth is Jesus.  It’s Jesus who sets us free.

When I keep my mind filled with the reminders of who I am in Christ, who God created me to be, and all the truths of what Christ has done for me, I have the freedom to live and breathe and be successful in my work, my health, and in my relationship with God.

After taking the time to assess my heart and mind, I realize that the most important thing I can do is train my mind and trust God.

 

Waves on the Lake Michigan shoreline - Mental retraining and meditation - inspirational devotional - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

TIPS to train your mind…

1. Actively practice filling your mind with beauty and truth.

For me, that means reading small portions in the Bible that tell me about the character of God and then getting out in the beauty of God’s creation… like going for a bike ride and noticing the blooming butterfly bushes or walking on the lakeshore as the waves lap over my feet.  And maybe even take some photos of what I see.

2. Actively choose to meditate.

Choosing… that’s the biggest hurdle.  Constantly we need to choose where our minds go.   When we do, just like walking, running, or any other kind of exercise where we develop a muscle memory, it becomes easier for us and growth and improvement comes each time we engage in that activity.

Have you ever gotten stuck with the word meditate?  I used to think that was something followers of an eastern religion did when they struck a particular pose.

To meditate on something is to chew on a thought or idea.

How many times have I caught myself chewing on something that I need to spit out?  Too numerous to count.

You know what I was doing?  I was meditating.  Mediating on something that would drag me down, push me toward self-doubt and take my eyes off Jesus.

Maybe you have found yourself worrying about something.  Maybe you overthink things and find yourself on a rabbit trail that is not helpful or productive. Maybe you second guess yourself and get on that path towards stinkin’ thinkin’.

Whenever we find ourselves in that position, we need to overcome the thoughts that derail us from all the good God has for us.

The apostle Paul gives us clear instruction…

 

Philippians 4 Scripture Verse - Inspiration for Mediation and Mind ReTraining - AnExtraordinaryDay.netFinally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.
Philippians 4:8

 

When was the last time you purposely did just that?

These things don’t just happen.  We need to be purposeful.

The upside is that when we purposely… daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute choose to meditate on what is right, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy, our minds change.  We see ourselves, life, circumstances, and people from God’s perspective.

When we do this we are setting ourselves up for success.

As I continue to retrain my mind, with an emphasis on meditating on this scripture, I can expect to have a contagious positivity, more mental energy, more passion, more success in my work, and a closer walk with God.

One caveat… This exercise takes work.

I don’t think Paul would have needed to remind the Philippians if this was an easy thing to do. But, I do think it gets easier as it becomes a habit and we make it an integral part of our days.

We can expect to be bombarded by messages that have the potential to divert us from continuously filling our minds and meditating on the things we ought.

If you find yourself derailed… don’t give up and count it a big fat fail.  No!  Instead, pray a simple prayer and actively choose to fill your mind with beauty and truth.  Make a split second decision to spit out the lies and other yuck and chew on what is right, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy.

Are you in?  Want to go into “training” with me?

 

JoyDay! - Seagulls at the shore - Mind and Meditation Devotional - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

It’s JoyDay!

I’m so glad you could join me for JoyDay! There isn’t anything better than each of us sharing the good things God has done in our lives this week.  Both in the happy and in the challenges.

Will you join with me in counting ‘seven’ from the past week?

I’ll start!

Thank you, God for…

  1. Your truth… Your words… Your guidebook to help me live this life well.
  2. a lovely solo bike ride to the beach and my first speaking video.
  3. walking with my honey and exploring the shoreline this morning.  It was such a sweet time.
  4. yellow beans from the farmers’ market.  YUM!
  5. a few cooler days and evenings.
  6. the healing you have for me.
  7. encouraging me to see YOUR beauty in creation.

Now it’s your turn!  

Please join me by tapping in your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. I dare you!

Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.

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Comments

  1. Cindy Brewer says:

    You seem to have read my mind! Spending too much time in my head! Depression! Uh! For the last three years with ME, it has been more difficult for me because I don’t have the energy to be active like I want to be. I fight depression every day. I want to do so much and my body won’t cooperate. I need to join you for my health and welfare. I am a Christian also. Without Jesus, I would be miserable!

    • Yay!! We can do this through Christ who gives us the strength… regardless of our perceived energy. Jesus is our source for everything we need, Cindy, so let’s trust HIM to help us. You will be whole again, in Jesus Name! Believe it, my friend! xoxo

  2. Happy Joy Day!
    So sorry to hear that you have been struggling. I do know what you mean by meditating, chewing on our thoughts. Simply having my thoughts under MY control was hard because of the constant input from our world. So one day I cut the t.v. cable. That noice box was never on all that much to begin with and I would always choose older suitable for all ages shows to watch but once the ads came on all kinds of unwanted stinking thinking was chucked, thrown and spit in our direction. Even if you think you aren’t paying attention to it it still finds a way in to our thinking. So now if my dad and I watch something together (he in Florida and me in California) it’s on dvd. The two of us trying to push play at the same time is a little funny.
    Lord I thank you for,
    1. This reminder that our thinking is a Huge part of our problem or our peace
    2. My son fixed my bike
    3. The lovely sounds of the summer nights
    4. Husband is feeling better. Soon we will be out again, he in his electric wheelchair and me on my bike. What a sight we must be. What a peach of a pear as my Aunt used to always say.
    5. The beautiful pink clouds that caught my eye while bike riding the other evening.
    6. The giggles of the grand babies.
    7. All the blessings that I simply do not even think of or about because they are a part of my life, always there so I simply do not over notice. I know my life is full to bursting with these and I thank you for them all.
    Thank you as always sweet friend for the beautiful pictures, the time you put out to make this loving place and all the inspiration you instill. God is working through you❤️
    Blessings to you!
    Minnie

  3. I too enjoy this journey we’ve taken together over the long years. We’ve gone through so much together. It just struck me that if we were in those huge dream homes of our wants of a dozen years ago, it would be an awful lot to clean in our todays. God knew our future.
    1. As I began to write a flock of birds passed over and chirped up a storm!!!
    2. I seem worse in ways but as this post says we think about things that are good. I got to swim for an HOUR last evening. First time in two years.
    3. Getting someone to fix all the unfinished projects we cannot do in our home. Do we spend savings to fix it up right? Or just make do?
    4. I slept some
    5. God gave me a perfect verse last night
    6. It’s peaceful this morning
    7. I got to see my grandson for an hour

  4. Several years ago as I decided to make a change in my life & thoughts, those three little monkeys that portray “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” came to my mind. I spend a lot of time in the car listening to the radio. Country-western music could sure make me have those evil thoughts. I changed the station to Christian music and have never turned back. Minnie is right on with cutting the TV! It is hard work to meditate on the things of God but so worthwhile.
    1. Rain yesterday and hopefully some today.
    2. Finishing a project a long time in the making.
    3. Spending the day with twin granddaughters.
    4. Time with the hubby.
    5. Bible Study with the neighbor
    6. Christian Friends.
    7. My son & his family come this week for a visit.

  5. Diane, your heart is so full! I can feel it through the blog! I haven’t visited lately and missed the
    wonderful way you have sharing the joy we all strive for in our life. At least I do. I really needed the
    message today. I’m thankful every day but I don’t have a lot of joy. You’re right though. It’s the way
    I’m thinking. I needed to do the right meditating! Thank you for showing me the way. God bless you.

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