Saturday, May 30, 2015

Maintaining a Circumspect Mindset

A person's mindset determines everything.
Where our mind is set determines where our actions go, where our words may go, our influence, and so forth.
Have you ever once thought to yourself . . .
. . . Why is it that I am able to stay awake during a thrilling adventure-packed film or a sappy romantic chick-flick and yet doze off once or twice throughout a  pastor's sermon? 
. . . Why do we spend so much time working on our outward appearance and yet trying so little to work on our inner self and building spiritual character? 

. . . Why can we so willingly read a fanciful fiction novel and revel in it for hours because it seems like such a tedious burden to pick-up the Bible instead?
. . . Why is it that folks respect the laws of this world and readily accept their responsibility to obey them and yet try to disprove the law of God and show little regard for His authority today?
Are we trying hard enough to focus our minds on Christ, or leaning more towards satisfying the flesh?
In Romans 8:6, the Apostle Paul writes, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
A Christian is to be spiritually minded, which means their mindset is what it ought to be.  Paul again states this concerning our mindset, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5).
Christ had the proper mindset!
In Colossians 3:2 we are told to “set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth.”  In order to set your affection, you must have the proper mindset.  This simply means that you're keeping God, people, and things of this world in their proper place in your mind, maintaining a balanced and controlled mindset.
You may ask, why is this so important?  You might think that you're getting enough spiritual balance in your daily walk, but have you really stopped to consider how much more you might be focusing on carnal and self-pleasing activities?
In the Bible, Jesus stressed the importance of having our hearts (minds, intellects, emotions) in the proper place when he said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). 
According to Jesus, where your mindset is will determine where your treasure is, which will in turn affect the way you live in this world.  Paul stated the same thing when he told us to set our affections on things above.  It is important that our mindset is in the right place.
“Once your mindset changes,
everything on the outside will
change along with it.”
Has your mindset become like your Savior’s?  If the answer is yes, then that means your affections are on things above.  Those around you will notice a change in you because your dress, speech, and actions will express it in how you live your day-to-day life.
Choose to maintain a circumspect mindset and your very attitude towards God’s Word will reflect those things which are pure and holy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Married Life

People may ask me . . . "so how is life working out for you, now that you're married and all?"

And nearly every time, I might respond with certain accuracy of what it is like:

For me, being married to the love of my life is sheer happiness.  Each day I am learning more and more about what being a committed wife entails, and the process is deeply rewarding.
I can't describe how much I enjoy serving and submitting to my husband.  As head of our household, Andy does a great job regulating and taking control of every difficult situation, and I dearly enjoy being his helpmate through every struggle we go through.  Throughout each day I am blessed to be able to serve my husband by taking on the responsibilities of being a housewife.  There's just something gratifying about it . . . even though it's work, I dearly enjoy it.  Doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, keeping things tidy, decorating, etc.
I love being able to provide a fully prepared supper for my husband when he returns home from work, and at this time we've been blessed to live close enough to his job so I can make a meal for his lunch break as well.  I've made breakfasts, too, of course, but I won't be ashamed to say that Andy has spoiled me in the mornings, on more occasions than one, with breakfast in bed. ;-)  The gesture is so sweet and thoughtful every time.  My hubby is the sweetest.

 Being able to share these kinds of moments and experiences each and every day with my beloved spouse is an incredible thing, and I am so blessed to have entered into such a wonderful and rewarding stage of life!

 One thing that I really cherish about wedded life is the personal 'one-on-one' time Andy and I are
able to share.  Each day we grow closer together as a couple, and even more so, closer to God.  Just being able to share in precious intimate moments like these are what fills this heart of mine with joy and contentment. 

Married life is nearly everything I expected it to be.  It can be a rollercoaster at times, unanticipatedly shifting from joyous to distressing, frustrating to relieving, then exhausting to rewarding . . . the downhill standpoints can be very tough, and the both of us have gotten to experience some of those more this past week than before . . . but even so, I am thankful for every moment that Andy and I are able to share together.  The trials may be tough and testing, but we are always able to get through them together, and each distressing hardship only makes us stronger as a couple.
Being able to handle stressful and exasperating situations together as a couple is what adds to making us so compatible. 
Life is definitely easier when someone you love has your back.
I thank God all the time for this wedded miracle.

(P.S. this is my 100th blog post - woo-hoo!!)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Practicing Eucharisteo

    Eucharisteo: n. a Greek word, meaning thanksgiving, to be thankful.

    I'm writing this post here today to bring to surface a struggle I have had in the past (and, occasionally, continue to have).

    . . . thankfulness, or, eucharisteo.

    Now don't get me wrong, I find joy in even the simplest of things and tend to thank God daily for all the little blessings He bestows. But at times I must question myself, why am I only thanking Him for the blessings in my life?  It is true.  When something negative occurs in my life I often times forget to thank God for the trials and tragedies I have to go through in order to build my character.  I often fail to realize that each bad experience is only making me stronger and a little more able to withstand the next trial that may come my way in the future.

    In the Bible there are numerous examples of godly men being thankful in the midst of trying circumstances:

    -  Psalm 28 depicts David’s distress. It is a cry to God for mercy and protection.  After crying out to God, he writes, Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.  In the midst of hardship, David remembers who God is, and as a result of knowing and trusting God, gives thanks.  
    -  Job had a similar attitude of praise, even in the face of death: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”  (Job 1:21).
    -  Paul was heavily persecuted, yet he wrote, Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.  (2 Corinthians 2:14). 

    -  Peter gives a reason to be thankful in 1 Peter 1:6-7, where he says, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."

    I have been guilty of lacking a spirit of thanksgiving in the past, and that is an area I am continually growing in, because lately, more than ever, I have come to realize that I truly am blessed with way more than I need, or even deserve.  We as children of God should be thankful people, realizing how much we have been blessed with.

    We should be thankful because God is worthy of our thanksgiving.  It is only right to credit Him for every gift He gives.  When we are thankful, our focus moves off selfish desires and off the pain of current circumstances.  Thankfulness is not only appropriate, but it is actually healthy and beneficial to us.  It reminds us of the bigger picture, that we belong to God, and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. 

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."  (Ephesians 1:3)

    Truly we have an abundant life, and gratefulness is fitting.

    May we all make it a point to be more thankful . . . for the good and bad in life.


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Random Questions Tag

I would like to thank Heidi over at Along the Brandywine for tagging me with this delightful little tag.  Tags are such fun. :-)

The rules?
- Paste the button onto your blog post.
- Leave a new list of questions (or just pass on the question list you answered) and tag a few people of your random choice (and say why you tagged them, if you have time! Be original and nonsensical in your question-creativity - make the blogging world a cheerful place :-) And be disastrously random.)

Now for the fun...
- Write down three facts about you - one of them is WRONG. Let your commenters guess in the comments which one is wrong (and tell them in the comments after a while)
- Answer the questions of the person who tagged you - make it all super random and interesting!

Here are my three facts: 
 (Remember, one of these is wrong . . . so try to guess which one it is!)

1). I've fallen off of a horse and injured my lower back greatly.

2). I read 100+ books last year.

3). I have traveled outside of the United States.

Guess which fact is wrong and I'll reveal the answer in a few days. ;)


And now . . .

 Heidi's questions:

Do you love the color pink? 
A few years ago my answer would have been no, since I was rather fond of bold colors back then and things less-girly. ;P  But over the past couple of years I have acquired a new-found taste and love for more feminine colors; pink being one of them.
Although I prefer a softer pink, like the pastel pinks in this lovely photo:

Your favorite book set in ancient times?

Ohhh, that's a tough one.  I am rather fond of Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South, though.

What color is your bedroom? 

Well since I am recently married, my husband and I are working on decorating our new room in our wedding theme; which consists of pastel beach colors, including: salmon, shell, sandy tans, and soft turquoise colors.
The color theme looks somewhat like this:

{Our bedroom looks nothing like this, but this is the color theme we're aiming for.  The progression in vibrancy is lovely, isn't it?}

Do you like traveling?

Oh, do I!  Traveling is wonderful and I wish we could do more of it!  I'd love to go back to the beach . . . *sigh*

Your favorite animated film?

Disney's Frozen.

The shortest you’ve ever cut your hair?

Shoulder length.  Sometimes I contemplate cutting it again, but I'm rather fond of my mid-back length locks and want to see how long it can grow before it vexes me too much. ;-)

Your thoughts on butterflies?

They are flittingly lovely and peaceful.

Do you enjoy putting together puzzles?

Although I rarely put puzzles together, I do enjoy it every now and then.

Do you get excited when the daily mail arrives?

It's not very often that mail arrives for me, so no, not really.  But I get this sort of gleeful happiness when I check the mail and notice something addressed to me specifically. ;-)

A favorite spring-ish period drama dress?

Ooooh, that's a tough one.  Although there are many that I simply adore, one of my favorites would have to be Rose's tea dress from Titanic.

It's so lovely!

 I also am rather fond of her other dresses from the film, including this gorgeous day dress during the breakfast scene with her and Cal:

And I know this film isn't really considered a "Period Drama", but The Longest Ride's character Ruth has some dresses that are really sweet and springy.  I love this simple pink dress she dons in the photo below. :)


Thanks again for the tag, Heidi!

. . . just to note, I'll be passing on tagging people today.  But feel free to tag yourselves or answer the questions in the comment box!  I'd love to read your answers. :)

Have a blessed day everyone!