Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Week Forty-Nine - Choose Peace

Beside the Well
            I’ve been jotting things down for years.  I have odd notebooks full of sermons and lesson outlines that once blessed my heart, incomplete lesson ideas of my own, brief thoughts jotted in my journal, and precious scraps of paper in old boxes. Around my desk, I have post-it notes with more words of encouragement, and old reminders that help to keep me on track.  It can be like a trip down memory lane to read back through them.  They hold so much of the wealth and history of my spiritual journey.
            Last week, I was cleaning out one of those old boxes and came across a small spiral notebook with several gems.  One read, “Peace, like love, is a decision, not a feeling.”
            Peace is a decision?  A choice? Yes. I choose to relax, or I choose to keep driving myself into a tizzy.  I choose to stop guilty, accusing thoughts, or I revel in my pity-party.  I choose to stop that condemning self-talk, or I believe every lie I hear.  I choose to be happy and cheerful, or I continue walking around under a dark cloud.
            These are all my decisions.  My circumstances need not be the determining factor for my choices.  I know that to be true because I have read the testimony of those who were in prison, concentration camps, and under persecution whose hearts were still joyful and positive.  It was a choice they made contrary to their circumstances. They chose peace.
            The Apostle Paul said he had learned to be content no matter what his state. (And he wasn’t talking about Missouri!)  He knew it was within his power to choose his mental and emotional frame.
            Also, tacked up around my computer, is a sign that reads, “You have a choice, each and every day.  I choose to feel blessed.  I choose to feel grateful.  I choose to be excited.  I choose to be thankful.  I choose to be happy.”  Good words—I read them every day!
            But I must have forgotten about them when I emailed my editor a few weeks ago.  I was recounting to her some of my hindrances in writing and used the word mediocre. That prompted her direct response that gave me a renewed emphasis.  She reminded me to watch my self-talk. 
            “What we say to ourselves, we tend to believe, even if we know it isn’t true.”  Then she said, “Avoid sentences that state, “Must,” “have to,” “should,” or “need.”  These terms restrict motivation.  Instead, replace them with “I get to,” or “I want to,” when you talk to yourself.  These terms heighten motivation.” (Debra Butterfield -
            So, what did I do?  I wrote those little phrases on a post-it note and put them up around my computer! I am using them to change my thoughts and words from “I have to get this done, “ to “I want to accomplish this.”  And from “I have to do this,” to “I get to do this.” 
            And you know what?  That one simple change is proving very effective in creating peace and joyful motivation in my heart and life. 
            How are your choices working for you?

No comments:

Post a Comment