Monday, May 19, 2008

Successful thinking

"This is just my bad day."
::what my precious 3 year old says if things aren't going her way::

That was yesterday. Hubs & I were having lots of deep conversations about different things, mostly about me & how he perceives that I respond to stressful situations and people that rub me the wrong way. One of these such people is a family member. We discussed boundary setting, which hubs doesn't seem to get. "Just let it roll off your back," he'd say. Um, yeah. Not so easy. I was just in a bad place forward a few hours to a conversation with world's-best-sister-in-law {sorry if you think YOURS is the best}. She was sharing something that her pastor had taught her:

It all starts with your thoughts. Then your feelings come from those thoughts, then your actions will come from those feelings.

I think that's why God tells us to:

...pray for those who persecute you...
{Matthew 5:44}

Because once you really pray for those people, then you will feel differently about them and then, as a result, act differently towards them. So I am changing my thinking. When I am feeling annoyed or some other negative emotion, I will tell myself that "this person needs Jesus" or "God loves this person" or "we are all sinners". Hopefully that new thought will trickle down into my feelings & actions. So I will be working on thinking my way to success.

I'd love to hear some encouraging words or to know if this will change how you think too.


Anna said...

What a perfect post to cap-off a crazy morning. I won't go into details, but Kyle's mother was on one of her rampages this morning. You never really know what it is you did wrong because she screams at you for everything under the sun. I like to say "she's breathing fire today". There's no other way to describe it. So anyway, great post.

Hollie said...

I think if you take your SIL's advice it will change your thoughts and actions towards this person. Example: My mom has, well had, a step mother who was a mean bitter woman. She burned every bridge in every relationship that she had, so badly that her own son didn't want anything to do with her and her daughter would talk to her on the phone but never took the time to help her when her health started going. For a long time my mom prayed that God to change her step mother's attitude, yet nothing changed. It wasn't until she started praying that God would change her own attitude and heart towards her that things actually changed. Her step mother was still mean and bitter, however, my mom's attitude towards her changed. So hang in there!

Stephanie said...

I know the feeling with certain family members all too well also. It's a struggle at all family functions! And for some reason, my kids' birthday parties seem to fuel the fire... BUT!! (Yes that's a big BUT!!) In preparing for Audrey's party in March, I was doing the normal prep work for the party, but I was also *continuously* praying that God would keep the battles to a minimum...preferably none. Wouldn't you know it, He did exactly as I asked. AND as this particularly difficult family member was leaving, HE HUGGED ME!?!?!?! What was that?!?!? After the party was over, that was the first comment Josh made to me, "He hugged you?!" AmAzInG things can happen when we fully rely on God to change things. Obviously, if it was just me, I would still hold angry feelings toward this person and I would DEFINITELY not be the first one to offer a hug! Either God changed me or him or maybe a little of both? All I know is it felt MUCH better!

Sorry, a bit just hit a cord.

Peaceful Chaoz said...

Hmmm, great post. I had some adivce come today that was about putting everything through a "God filter" Can you imagine what would come out of our mouths (or not come out, lol) if we did that!! How kickin Satans booty would that be!!! I'm all for that!! :0) love you girl~~

Mon said...

This post is great incouragement. I have also learned that if certain people do things to irritate me, pray instead of talking to everyone else about it. Telling everyone else fuels the fire, and makes me stress and loose sleep.