.... . .... .. .... ... .. ... .... ... .. .... .. ... . ... . . . .. . ..
How thrilled I was to be the winner - in the first place... but, even more so, what a thrill this book has been to read, albeit to say, its been an encouraging, and easy-to-read, uplift to my soul! I'm still not finished with the book..with several more chapters to go and some I should probably re-read. :)
I mentioned uplifting and encouraging...especially, the chapter I'm in right now. This chapter, ironically enough, and one I read last evening, is along the same vein to what I've been posting here on my blog the past couple of times I've posted. Talking about the thoughts we think and how we tend to them...
How about a quote to get us started.
Surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought come into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.
~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Ooh, this quote, it gets me! Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow. Can I just share a glimpse into this chapter? It may seem like a lengthy excerpt. but, it's oh so good!
I mean it! I put the book down, last evening, and exhaled a hearty AMEN! Turned out the light and rolled over willing it all to settle in deep. My hubby who was already asleep -or, so I thought - murmured something about it must have been a good chapter. Yup! he was right.
I want these words to be such a "part of me".
Here we go... reading a portion from chapter 13 of Nourished, by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph
Wise delightful people have beautifully tended minds. They purposefully cultivate a rich, wise thought life through reading, prayer, good mentoring, music and more ~~ focusing their attention wherever they want to grow...
When we selectively choose thoughts that nourish us ("God is in control," "I can trust HIM to sort this out," "He and I can get through this"), we reap the emotions of peace and joy. When we are picky about the people we allow into our circle of influence, the music and movies and books we enjoy, the spaces and places we hang out, we are designing the mind garden that will not only nourish ourselves but those around us.
No amount of hard work or success, however, will provide us with a meaningful, joyful and interesting life if allow the weeds in our minds to grow wild; fruitlessly ruminating on past offenses or future concerns; fixating on a person who offended us and creating elaborate speeches of "How They Done Us Wrong"; or putting our joy on hold for some imagined perfect circumstance.
Thoughts can sometimes be deceptive. They make us feel good for awhile, even righteous and spiritual. But how do you know if a certain train of thought is a weed or a flower? Here's my (the author) experience: when my mind settles "on things above" ~~ I tend to feel more relaxed, expansive, loving, peaceful, and clearheaded. If, instead, after a bit of mental meandering, I feel angry, stressed, tied in knots, worried or afraid ~~ I know my thoughts are likely wild weeds. It's always easiest to stop a negative thought at the threshold of entry so I've learned to simply say to myself, "Not going there." or "Not planting that." Pausing the negative string of thoughts helps me to refocus and redirect.
The author goes on to share a bit about her own father...
Listen to this.
My father is one of the kindest, wisest, happiest, most balanced, and Christ-like men I know. Perhaps it is not surprising that Daddy is also one of those rare men prone to pause and savor a good moment, whether it is listening to rain on the roof, delighting in my mother's ageless charm, getting misty over a line from a song, or hugging his child or grandchild just a few seconds longer than most. He has lived his life in small moments of perpetual gratitude...
I'm paraphrasing, here, when I add...
This small, yet daily habit of mentally planting and watering blessings will yield an abundant garden of gratitude.
I don't know about you.. but this was an extremely timely word for me right now... in the current season of my life. I want this to be said of me...
Whether I'm thinking, today, about my spouse, my children, my extended family or even more extensive things... such as church, work & school related situations or social circles - mine or others...
I've been reminded to consider the roots and where they're planted.
With this.. I want to be sure that I realize anew - What I reap, that's what I'll sow.
And, to cultivate (Nourish) it all with a mixture of grace and gratitude.
My mind, my heart.. may they be of fertile soil... for the good!
The truth is... weeds are just as natural in any garden and no one plants them there on purpose. They're just there...and they must be tended to, just the same.
How does your mind-garden grow??