What’s Your Mindset? Your Life Moves in the Direction of your Most Dominant Thought.

I typed one final text, “Okay, sounds like a plan, I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll meet you there! See you at 1:30.” I touched the SEND arrow… DELIVERED

If I need to meet her at 1:30, I should leave the house about 1:20. I took my walk, unloaded the dishwasher, finished a few emails and looked at the clock. Yikes! I still need to shower. Oh, my word, I better get movin’!  I quickly got ready and checked the time. You’ll make it with only a few minutes to spare!

Earlier when we were trying to decide where to meet we had batted around a couple of choices. One coffee shop was on Main Street and the other just outside the downtown area. We chose the one NOT on Main…because my friend had never been there before. “It’s cute and unique, let’s meet there,” I had suggested. It’s so close to my house it won’t take me a long time but I’d better go!

shallow focus of clear hourglass

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ThankfullyI knew exactly where I was going. I confidently climbed into my steaming hot car and winced when my thighs hit the seat. I carefully touched and buckled my piping’ hot seatbelt. I pushed up my sunglasses which had slid down my nose now speckled with perspiration. I then backed out of the driveway and zipped away.

It was only a seven minute drive. I peered through the windshield down Main Street to see in the distance. There it is! I prayed, “Lord I’m sure she’s already arrived. Help me find a parking spot without having to loop around a ton of times and keep Kathy waiting.”

I scanned the street for a decent parking spot. I wanted a spot I could pull right into, not one requiring parallel parking, ain’t nobody got time for that! I glanced left and saw the store front of the coffee shop had a sign of some kind on it. What’s going on? It looks like the coffee shop is closed? Are they remodeling? I paused a bit confused and stunned.

close up photography of cup of coffee

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We will have to make a new plan to meet somewhere else. I pulled over to text my girlfriend the news. NO, NO, no… wait a second! It dawned on me this is NOT the coffee shop where we decided to meet.  It was one of the choices yeah, but NOT the one we had decided on.

“Oh, for goodness sakes! I drove straight here! What was I thinking about? Why did I drive to THIS coffee shop? Once my mistake dawned on me, I decided not to send a text but drove off instead.

I whipped around the downtown streets navigating through some of the local construction areas and orange barrels, weaving through like one of those car chase street scenes from a movie. I began to chuckle. She’s probably sitting, patiently waiting for me at our meeting place! 

Here’s the kicker. Only moments earlier, I had passed it! I flew right by the coffee shop on my way to the downtown one.( Kathy probably even saw my car as I passed by.)

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Why did I do this? What was I thinking?  Let me walk you through my thought process. While I was driving, I began to think about inviting Kathy and a group of ladies out for the evening downtown to Main Street.

I mean I was having a full on day-dream about it. Scary, I know, since I was driving. I was able to picture it all as I thought about evening plans on Main street. Next, I saw in my mind’s eye the cute coffee shop on the downtown corner. So I zipped passed the one place and drove straight to the other one instead. (My mind moved in the direction of my most dominant thought. Literally in the direction.)

Allow me to turn a “corner” here, no pun intended, and ask…What are YOU thinking about? Do you realize you move in the direction of your most dominant thought? (I heard this quote once but I don’t recall who said it. I only remember it resonated with me.)

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So…What are you currently thinking about? Is it a positive or a negative thought? Do you feel hopeful or hopeless? Are you fearful or joyful? You will move in the direction of your most dominant thought.  I often say, “Mind your mind and think about what you’re thinkin’ about.” Ask yourself, “How did my mind get here?  What thoughts led me in this direction?”

There are many Bible verses about your thoughts. I’ll share this one:

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. Philippians 4:8

I like this Steve Backlund quote, “There are no hopeless circumstances just hopeless people. Let’s all move in the direction of our HOPEFUL thoughts.

Here’s a verse that has been an anchor for me. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NASB

I challenge you to think about what you’re thinking about so you don’t find your mind, like me and the coffee shop debacle, in the wrong location unaware of how you even landed there.

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NASB

 

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A True Fixer Upper Became an Amazing House Flip!

I’m sure you’ve seen shows, read articles and posts which have to do with fixer upper properties. House flipping or remodeling is such the craze now and there are ideas galore. Fixer-Upper, Flip or Flop, Property Brothers, Love it or List It, are a few that have been around for years. We’ve seen design showrooms and quality craftsmanship with Mr. Handy Man and Home improvement professionals who’ve become well-known through these reality TV shows. I used to watch Trading Spaces the way children watch saturday morning cartoons. I love the Before-and-After, don’t you?

Remodeling homes and even tearing parts down has repeatedly caused Chip Gains to don the T-shirt which accompanied his rejoicing exclamation of, “It’s Demo Day!” It’s come partly with the surge of popularity of Chip and Joanna Gains, but I believe there is something fascinating and wonderful about make-overs and the seeming “resurrection” of dead things. (Now, dead people resurrected will have to be a different blog post.)

Like you, I too have seen posts, articles and TV shows all about house flipping. Well, along those lines-there is this house in my neighborhood which was such an eyesore. It stuck out like a sore thumb. (to be fair, completely honest and vulnerable, we don’t keep our property perfect, JUST SAYIN.’ I feel badly sometimes for my next door neighbor who has to look at my yard.)

But I would walk by this one property while on my walk and think, What’s really is going on inside this home? It is becoming such a dump out here!  Yikes! No exaggeration…There was a dumpster parked in the driveway of this home for months. I’m talking about the big metal blue dumpsters contractors use when they’re replacing a roof or completing some other huge project. YEP! It’s still here! Each day I’d pass the huge dumpster until I no longer noticed it because it had sat there so long.

This huge metal dumpster was in the driveway for such an extended period of time that it rusted when it rained and the rust dripped down the entire driveway. It looked like a bloody river of orange which stained half of the driveway where it sat. The bushes and hedges were all over grown and there was definitely some exterior damage too.

I wondered, If it looks like this out here, what has happened to it on the inside? It’s kind of a scary thought. It was never abandoned and I’m not sure what the situation was. I don’t know for sure, but it was a true fixer upper.

But it has been reclaimed! A contractor bought it, flipped it and a new family has moved in!

  • The exterior was repainted from a dingy and tired yellow to a pleasing slate gray, white and black color scheme.
  • Re-roofed and the chimney was redone too.
  • There is a new fence, shutters, windows, garage door and doors.
  • Mulch was brought in and put down around the nicely trimmed trees.
  • The shaggy and overgrown bushes have been cut down.

 

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There’s even a beautiful white rocker out front on the porch now.  I think it’s completely inviting and has sweet curb appeal. It was a true “Fixer Upper” and an amazing “House Flip.”

It’s just fabulous! I am so delighted for the neighbor across the street. His own house and landscaping have always been so pristine and beautifully manicured.

I saw a young woman out watering the plants on the front porch the other day. It just made me smile. How delighted she must be to be in her new home. My girlfriend and I walk this neighborhood and always bless the people who live in the houses. We bless  them with prosperity and health and we bless them with a sense of God’s favor and goodness to them. And now I’m just watching the revitalization happen before my very eyes! WOW! How beautiful these properties are becoming!

I have camped on this section of scripture lately. (Isaiah 61: 1-10)

God is the God of INSTEAD:

  • To give a beautiful headdress instead of ashes
  • The oil of gladness instead of mourning
  • The garment of praise instead of a fainting spirit
  • Instead of shame there shall be a double portion 
  • Instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot

Dear reader, know that you are being blessed. I pray that God is showing his favor to you. I pray you know that God is for you not against you he’s working to reclaim anything in your life that has been neglected, miss treated or is falling apart.  God is really good at DEMO DAY! He is the God of INSTEAD!

If you feel your life is in a shambles, if you feel like it’s been too long, or if you feel like there’s nothing that can be done in your current situation, know that you do not have to partner with those thoughts. That negative junk is a lie. The truth is God comes to restore and redeem.  He does it better in our lives than any fixer upper. He doesn’t desire to fix us up. INSTEAD He kills us off and starts completely over. (read these whoppers!)

  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20        
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! (one version says the old things have passed away… Passed away means they are dead.) 2 Corinthians 5:17 
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Be encouraged, be blessed. “He who started the work in you, and in me, is faithful to complete it!’ (Philippians 1:6) 

 

I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

  • What is your latest home project?
  •  What is God currently doin’ in the remodel of your life?

 

 

 

 

How to Host the Perfect Graduation Party. Ha ha ha!

“My neighbor is going nuts about this graduation party she is hosting and is in a full-blown tizzy about it so I told her I’d help in any way I can.” My friend reported. “Seriously she is so worked up about it. She is stressed out and wants it to be perfect!” Her comments made me reflect about my plan for our son’s high school graduation party.

It was back in 2008 but I still remember it vivid

I had things planned for this Grad Party:

  • food
  • drinks
  • desserts
  • decortions
  • signs and balloons
  • photos and photo-boards
  • indoor and outdoor seating.

I too was excited and a bit worked up over hosting this shindig. However, all my planning and effort for a perfect backyard barbecue celebration quickly went awry when the June storm rolled in instead.

photo of columbus clouds

We had tables decorated with colorful water-filled SOBE bottles, my son’s favorite drink at the time, and helium balloons floating above each bottle as centerpieces. The backyard had plenty of seating for everyone. “This looks great! I have a few more folding chairs coming from a few neighbors and we are all set!” I told my sisters.  They’d traveled to be the ones serving our guests.

I wanted it to be a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach and had even fussed over the flower pots on my front porch. I moved them each a few inches one way or the other then stepped back to compare which position I liked better.  It was a bit obsessive. I had balloons too and it looked fabulous. “THERE! DONE!” I decreed.

BUT…

NO ONE even sat at the tables or noticed the front porch flower pots due to the torrential downpour, each guest made a mad dash to get into our house as quickly as possible.

Instantly soaked from the storm they stood dripping in the entryway like drowned rats. They stood stunned for a moment. They were greeted and welcomed with bath towels to dry off.  It was chaos and a mess. We were soggy!

My husband and brother-in-law grilled chicken and hamburgers from inside the house as they pulled the grill as close to the back door as possible. Michael ran out into the treacherous conditions and collected hail and stuck some pieces in the freezer because they were so large he wanted a preserved memory.

Michael’s friends embraced the monsoon-like conditions. ” Let’s go!” They said and dashed out the front door FULL BOAR!  These high school kids jumped in the puddles and danced in the river that formed in the street’s gutter. Others were sliding down our backyard’s hill the way we sled on snow during the winter.

They scurried up the soaked hill and body surfed all the way down and repeated the process. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces as they hydroplaned down. They grinned even though the water-spray and grass hit them. Some closed their eyes as they flew down the hill. A few may have used the plastic sleds we own, I’m not really sure.  I do remember it was frantic and loud and CRAZY and FUN!

splash of water

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Because of the downpour and flooding, the interstate north of our house closed as the rain continued. This prevented guests from traveling to any other graduation open houses they had on their docket. THEY WERE STUCK. The result was we had a packed house as most lingered and filled both their plates and our home with food and laughter. Friends hung out in the basement where I never imagined them even being allowed. Some folks were up in our loft area sitting two to a chair…they seemed to enjoy it.

It was a great and memorable celebration and we all embraced it. It was quite unexpected. I still laugh at my fussing over the front porch and the other tiny details because I got a crash course in “DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF” and even though the graduation party wasn’t at all what I had envisioned or planned, it was one my son will never forget.

A bit of advice I’d give now:

  • lower your expectations
  • make people the foucs
  • expect to be surprised by something
  • you’re not perfect…but you are perfectly loved by God.
  • don’t sweat the small stuff (remeber most of it is small stuff)

The LORD’s plan stands firm forever. His thoughts stand firm in every generation.

Psalm 33:11

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