Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tending the garden of our heart and mind..

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Recently, I was the winner-recipient of this book in a blogging friend's giveaway!


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??


7 comments:

  1. Bevy, this is so funny for me, not the message but about a book.. Just today, I walked past my bed and saw the new books I have recently bought and thought I am getting behind(which is ok) but seeing this book you are sharing, is so funny, because its on my wish list, and many times I have added to cart and then swapped it back to wishlist.. I think its a must read, especially now that you have shared some of its goodness... Nothing like an attention getter... and yes, what we reap is what we will sow... In my age, seen it, felt it and lived it many times... This post is a blessing... Thank You

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  2. When I read that piece of the Authors father it took me back to my mum and dad who were the same . I was raised on a farm by British parents who , may I add lived through world war two who raised and taught me to embrace the simple things in life and to be blessed and appreciative in and with what you have and to respect others and to stop learn and listen to all that is around you , be it rain on a roof or the sound of the winds blowing , to breath deep and take nature in and that life is to live and to live how you want to make it with the will to do so !!!!! Wonderful post , Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have been actually going through some of this cleaning out my mind and trying to nourish with goodness and Jesus. Wow.....I am going to have to check this book out. Thank you. As always I enjoyed my visit.

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  4. Sounds like a great read - thank you for sharing it!! I like your thoughts on it too!! This is the second time that, "you reap what you sow" has come to me...maybe I should be paying attention....! ;) ☼

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  5. I loved this!:

    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.

    I often find myself chewing over and over in my mind something that is a weed until it's so battered and broken it becomes just mush in my brain... when I finally realize what I am doing I do find myself feeling irritated or upset or fearful. I just LOVE the verse from Philippians 4 that tells us the things we are to think on. Someday, I am going to custom a bracelet with the verse so it is in front of me often. :)

    Thanks for the wonderful thoughts to meditate upon!

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  6. Congratulations on your win and thank you for sharing parts of the book. It sounds like a wonderful read, I will have to see if my local library carries it :-) Have a lovely day!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  7. Truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing a snippet from this book, Bevy. What a blessing it is for me to ponder this day. Hugs, Camille

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Thanks for coming by, today! What do you think? I'd love to hear from you.

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