Friday, December 12, 2014

Garbage In...

I *may* be a bit hard-headed.
I *may* be a bit stubborn.
I *may* struggle with an issue that I KNOW has a fairly "easy" solution for WAY too long because I just won't give in.
I *may* also have learned something in the past and still slip back into a bad habit, negative way of thinking, etc..

That *may* be true of me right now....

Ok.  Forget this *may* business...

My name is Tracye and I'm stubborn.  I can be staring directly at a solution for WAY too long, but just too hard-headed or "weak" to submit to it.

That has become SO very apparent in my thought life.

I firmly believe that what you put in your mind is what's going to come out.  What you feed your heart is what's going to come back out in your life.  That is the reason we are SO very picky about what our children watch or listen to, what they are exposed to, and what we feed their hearts.  Even more so, that's why WE continue that same level over into our adult lives.

Find yourself in chaos, hard times, overwhelming stress and just in general---weighed down by life---what you've fed your heart and mind is what is going to come back out.  Most especially during times of pressure.

Garbage in. Garbage out.

It's why I flood my heart with worshipful music.  Why we have raised the bar so high on what we will watch on TV, in the theater----in public or behind closed doors. 

It's also why I've forced myself to step away 24/7 Facebook access.

I've mentioned many times before how it has drawn me into a place of anxiety, depression, bitterness, anger.  I've walked in to the door of discontent, comparison, etc..  Simply put:  it's been a poison to my soul.


I love it.  I love the connection.  I love the encouragement from multiple sources.  I love "seeing" others outside my four walls.

Because it's the ONLY way many family members and far away friends see our family and I see theirs, I couldn't just walk away. 

I find it necessary on MULTIPLE levels.

But, I was an addict.  There you go.  It's the truth. 

I may not have spent long periods of time on it during the day, but my countless few seconds here or five minutes there ADDED up immensely. DRAMATICALLY!

I needed to step away....

But in today's media world it's nearly impossible to cut it off completely.  It IS in reality a form of communication that many people use on a regular basis.

So, I had to come to a compromise and it's working.  I don't keep it open all day and I have GREATLY reduced the amount of time by only purposely using it on mobile devices instead of mindlessly filling in every second of downtime and waiting (which was my downfall!).  I only give myself a certain amount of time to check in to see if anything is going on.  I specifically go only to certain pages to check for updates instead of scrolling through newsfeed every time (sick friends, those that are posting updates about specific prayer needs, etc...). Lots of little details that have balanced out the time I spend and therefore how my emotions have been affected.

Let me be blunt:  we often say we don't have time to read the Bible, send a personal note to a friend, spend time in prayer, sit in the quiet and LISTEN, spend some quality time TALKING with a loved one, etc....  It's a lie.  A flat out lie we tell ourselves or a lie that we believe from satan.  It IS true that life is a whirlwind speed, BUT we honestly waste so much time in big ways and little ways that add up.  We DO have time for what we decide is important.

Because my heart has been struggling with countless issues, I KNEW I had to step away and refocus.  It's come in the form of social media. 

I also had found myself watching more "tv" on my kindle (we don't have cable and our TV is so old that we seldom sit in front of it to watch anything).  Though I wasn't watching anything "bad" by normal standards, I had found myself drawn into "binge" watching shows/series.  It was affecting my time AND my emotions. 

Time to step away again.

Along with reading books that lead me towards spiritual growth, I've with great purpose been instead spending my time WRITING positive thoughts.  All those COUNTLESS positive pictures with quotes/scriptures from facebook/instagram/pinterest that I had been saving as screenshots on my phone, have now been written down in a journal (though I still have 100s left!).  It has freed up space on my phone and computer, BUT more importantly it has filled up my heart.  The process of writing them down and then having them in ONE place has been remarkable. This notebook has now become "my" place of redirect.  If I'm having a bad day, need encouragement, find my thoughts going down a path of negativity or anger, need to relax, etc....  I can pull out the journal and either read what's written or add more.  Sometimes they are convicting reminders.  Sometimes they encourage me to not give up.  Sometimes they just make me laugh.  They all point me back to Him.

The result....

My heart is GROWING in the direction it needs.
My thoughts are centering around positivity.
I can HEAR God more clearly at work in my heart and it's MUCH easier to get my heart in a place to connect with Him.
Conflicts at home in regards to parenting and marriage are not nearly as volatile when my heart is in a good place.  It's easier to forgive, compromise on solutions, and "let it go".
I'm more full of joy, affection, laughter, and at peace.
I can more easily find myself thinking of others and seeking to encourage them.
Hurtful situations don't cause the same amount of distress.
The ability to handle stress is increasing.
The downward spiral is decreasing.

Even the physically difficult days (which have hit HARD and FREQUENT with the weather changes and some SLE imbalances!) are easier to handle.

All because....

Of what I'm stepping away from and instead replacing.

So many people think it doesn't matter what you put in front of your eyes.  What you read doesn't matter.  What kind of movies and TV shows we watch don't matter.

But it does.  Oh it does!

I'm being spiritually fed and coming alive again.  I can sense His presence more often and easily---though still a work in progress.  My prayer life is reviving.  I'm reviving.

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