Jen’s Gem: Where your mind goes, your life goes.
The month of June has been a blur. Days and nights filled with end-of-school activities for my daughter packed my trusty paper calendar. Prom. Scholarship and awards ceremonies. Internships. Finals. Graduation. College orientation. Each was terrific in its own right and has left both of us in an uplifted mood as summer begins.
While the approach of my favorite season was enough to boost my spirits, I found myself walking on cloud nine nearly every week. Though stressful at times trying to balance it all, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
My attention is now turning towards preparing my daughter for college and the potential for my son to move into a place with his friends. Net/net – by the end of the summer, I could be an empty-nester. Whaaat? Pretty mind-boggling. My daily hands-on parenting is coming to a close and for the first time in a long time, my attention will be on me.
This thought along with the name of my blog –Elevate the Day – echoed in my head the other day as I was out walking. The question that kept popping up was “What are you elevating?” This query was quickly followed with a response of “Whatever you’re elevating is what’s important to you.” In other words, whatever we choose to focus on each day is what we value or prioritize.
For me, the past few weeks have been focused on really, really great stuff and I awoke each day with a spring in my step and a positive outlook. But I’d be lying if I said this was my behavior every day. There have been many times where my thoughts were not so happy-go-lucky.
The Bible is very clear about how we should handle what we think about. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8:
“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.”
Paul gives us further instruction in Colossians 3:2 where he says “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Let’s think about a couple of examples of these earthly things Paul mentions:
- If we constantly think about our bank balance, money is top dog and we’re likely to be fearful if those dollars and cents aren’t enough to support us.
- If our difficult boss takes up real estate in our heads, our work reigns supreme and we’re probably depressed each day thinking of the drudgery of our daily grind.
- If a recent illness or injury has our undivided attention, we may forget the other areas of our life that are going well.
Bank balances. Mean bosses. Illnesses. If our thoughts are continually on the negative, guess what? We’re going to feel pretty bad every day. And if this is our daily thought pattern, we can look forward to a life of misery. The Bible states this plainly – you reap what you sow.
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6.
I’m not suggesting that we walk around denying reality. However, focusing on what we do have instead of what we don’t have is not only God’s command to us but there’s rewards for it. Who wouldn’t want a reward? Who wouldn’t want to feel good? Who wouldn’t want money troubles to go away?
None of these are possible if we’re continually placing our thoughts in this negative space. Oh and if you’re constantly talking about the bad stuff? Yikes – that’s a double whammy my friend.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
This week, I’d like to encourage you to think about what you are elevating in your life each day. When you wake up, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? If it’s “Oh my aching back” or “Ugh – it’s Monday again,” I’d suggest that you might want to change that dialogue. The fact that you woke up is a blessing in itself. Many people don’t.
So, what are you elevating in your life? You get to make that decision. Make it a good one.