Archives for January 2012

How to Stop Negative Thinking

Source: imgfave.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

 

We all have negative thoughts.  Many of them are untrue and lead to fear, anxiety, self-doubt, discouragement, even jealousy. 

 

Perhaps you’ve looked in the mirror and said, “Look at that – you’ve gotten so fat.  You’re so lazy.  And unhealthy.  Really, you’re just not worth much at all.” 

Or, you hear a sound at night and figure that it must be someone in the house.  How far down the hall are they?  What kind of weapon do they have?  Which door should I run for and what neighbor should I go to? How will I get the kids out?  By then, fear has taken over, your heart is racing, you’re sweating and trying to figure out how to dial 911.

Or perhaps your friend says something and it makes you think, “I don’t think she likes me.  I bet she doesn’t even want to be with me right now.  I am just so stupid.  Why do I have friends at all?” 

 

I would like to say all of these are exaggerated examples but they’re not.  I’ve had versions of all of them. But they’re not the truth and we shouldn’t dwell on lies.  2 Corinthians 10:5 says

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

We have to take our thoughts captive before they spiral us into fear, anxiety, self-doubt, discouragement, or jealousy.  If we are able to capture them at the start, we don’t have to go down these paths.

I recently learned a practical way to take these thoughts captive that I’d like to share.  Think about your mind like a computer.  Imagine that your thoughts are like surfing the Internet.  Sometimes when we are browsing, we come upon a site with pop-ups.  Do we ever look at these pop-ups?  No. We simply ignore them or close them.  We know they are garbage and they’re not worth our time to investigate. In fact, some of us go to extensive measures to make sure these pop-ups don’t show up in the first place. 

That’s what we have to do with our negative thoughts.  We don’t have to look at them, examine them, read them, click on them.  Don’t follow these paths that lead to destructive lies.  When a negative thought comes in our mind, we simply close that thought and move to something else.  As an alternative, speak the truth if it’s an outright lie or find the good in the situation, even if there is bad.  Listen, I know there is enough bad in the world to think all day on it, but we don’t have to.  We can choose to think on the good parts.

Philippians 4:8 says

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.

If the thought that comes up isn’t true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy, close it!

Weekend Recap

Highlights from the weekend:

  • Both girls spent the night with Scott’s parents’ Friday night and we got to sleep in on Saturday.  Scott’s back has been hurting him lately so he didn’t do his normal mountain biking first thing Saturday.  I hate his back has been hurting but I loved sleeping in.
  • I got to do a bit of shopping on my own Saturday morning.   I got a belt at Kohl’s for $5.  I wish you could have seen my old belt. I bought that old belt from NY & Company in the mid-90s.  Ridiculous!  I also stopped at Hobby Lobby where I got completely overwhelmed.  So many ideas and so little money.  I walked away with absolutely nothing.  That’s the kind of place I need a friend to filter through all the decisions with me.

 

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  • Saturday afternoon we went to the Melting Pot with our friends Jake and Jill.  The girls had a real! live! babysitter!  We usually have family watch them but they were psyched to have a “real” babysitter at the house.  The Melting Pot didn’t disappoint.  If nothing else, you should go and have the dessert and be sure to get The Original – a mix of chocolate and peanut butter.  Yum!

 

    photo Right of picture: Lexi, Emma, Skyler and Scott in a tug of war at Discovery Place

  • After church yesterday we went to the Mummies of the World exhibit in Charlotte.  I’m not certain I have formed a solid opinion of the mummies.  In some ways, it was like a bad wreck you couldn’t look away from.  At times, I wondered why in the world I just paid to walk around and look at dead people.  Other times, it was very cool to see the hieroglyphics on some of the mummies or see how much different people were years ago.  Very fascinating.  But yes, if you think about it too much it’s very weird.  The kids loved it though and were fascinated by how the people died and how old they were.  But at the end of the day, they still preferred all the amazing activities that Discovery Place has to offer.  At this age, they can’t seem to soak in enough facts about science.

The rest of the weekend was filled in with laundry and TV (Downton Abbey! Big Bang Theory!  Blue Bloods!) and shopping.  A great weekend for sure.

I’m curious, do the mummies gross you out or fascinate you?

A Mirror, Rug and a Debunking

OK, so I’ve had a few small changes around the house.  Nothing outstanding but they make me happy and I’m all about sharing the happy.

The mirror

First up, my mom found this mirror from Celebrating Home. 

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The mirror is a perfect fit with our new curtains and I love that it brings some green into the room.  The plan is to find a dresser of some sort to go under it but clearly this decorating the bedroom thing is going to be a drawn-out process.

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The Rug

I peeked in HomeGoods the other day after I hit up Old Navy and no lie, I saw this rug for my bathroom and was taking off to the check-out counter in no less than 25 seconds.  If you know me and my indecisive nature, you know that’s a flat out miracle.

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The Debunking

And finally, the other weekend Scott and I were bored and I said, “I feel like rearranging some furniture.” Well, that started 24 hours of drama with the girls’ room.  Lexi wanted to keep it and Emma wanted them separate.  I actually like the look of the bunk beds but they were serving absolutely no purpose.  Neither girl wanted to sleep on top and it was clearly being used as storage.

 

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After a trial night, both girls decided they really like having separate beds.  Can you believe they happily spent 9 months sharing a twin bed?

Works for Me Wednesday: Winter Coats

OK, to really get this tip, you have to know I’m located in the South.  As I type this in late January, it’s 61 degrees outside.  All the rumors about us being unable to handle cold weather is pretty much truth.  Unlike my northern extended family, we don’t own a snow shovel.  We don’t own a snow blower.  I don’t even have an ice scraper in my van.  And most of all, we don’t have a place in our house set aside for all the jackets, shoes and other paraphernalia you need during the cold months.

Most of my northern family have basements.  In those basements, many of them have cabinets that hold all the shoes.  Shoes don’t go to the main level of the house.  There are also lots of hooks and cabinets for coats. 

And we?  Don’t. 

We don’t have room in our garage for this type of thing.  Our hall closet is small and packed.  So what happens during the winter months when we do need coats when we walk in the house (with our shoes) is lay them on the closest surface.  Some of my friends here have a coat closet and actually use it.  My mom has a coat rack near her garage they use.  But us?  Mine is usually hanging on a chair somewhere and the girls are usually on the floor in the playroom.

Well.

Here’s what we did to fix it.

We decided to use the outside of the hall closet.  When we were visiting an organizational store recently, I had the idea to get an over-the-door set of hooks, that I normally would have thought to use behind a door for towels or robes in a bathroom or closet, and put it on the outside of our hall closet door.  Now, it’s not that pretty but now we don’t have to try to squeeze our coats in and out of the closet, the kids can use it and it’s near the front door.  Best of all, we can take it down easily during our warmest months and stuff all the coats back in the closet for storage.

Here it is with the front door closed.

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However, our front door is usually open and they’re mostly hidden.

 

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Depending on your weather and house floor plan this may or may not work for you, but it works for me!

This post is linked to WeAreThatFamily.com

Top Ten Tuesday: Tax Time

toon642

I love tax season.  I know, you don’t hear that very often.  But let me explain.

  1. I love numbers.  For a few years there, I would do my taxes by hand but then still get them done so I could see how close I was to the right answer.  Why yes, I did give myself a test on taxes.  *sigh*  I know.  The geekness knows no bounds.
  2. I love getting extra mail.  I know!  My life is boring.  But knowing I’m getting important! mail! and often! makes me happy during January.  I normally lo-uh-ove the mail but January has a special place in my heart.  I’ve been known to call companies on February 1st asking where in the world my 1099 was.
  3. I love office supplies.  So organizing all the papers into categorized stacks and then putting one of those huge alligator clips on them makes me happy.  My kids love office supplies too but they get like 2 pieces of paper and try to use these huge clips when a paper clip would do.  But tax papers?  I NEED the big clip.
  4. I get to make lists.  I love lists.  I make lists just so I can check things off.  I’m not even joking.  They say you get a little shot of adrenaline when you check something off.  Clearly I need as much excitement as I can in my day.
  5. I get to print and highlight lists.  The geek in me loves running reports in mint.com, paypal.com and our bank so I can find deductions.  I like downloading the exports and formatting them in Excel and printing them and highlighting them.  How often do you really get to use a highlighter for a legit reason these days?
  6. Finding deductions is like a scavenger hunt.  Once I have all these lists printed and highlighted I always go back to previous years and see what I’m missing. I search my email for other deductions I might have missed.  When I cull something up, it’s like I hit the jackpot.  YES!  Another deduction.  It’s like a game!  Try it!
  7. I enjoy seeing if we met our giving challenge.  Our goal is always to give a higher percentage from the year before so I love that challenge to gather all the numbers and see if we met our goal.
  8. Call my silly, but there’s a satisfaction I receive going to see our tax office.  It’s run by a local family in town that knows everyone else in town.  It’s in an office in a house.  The linoleum has to be from 1976.  The dad and daughter do the taxes and the wife answers the phone.  It’s just so homey and small town and I like the tradition of it.
  9. But if I’m honest, the biggest reason I love tax season is since having kids, we usually get a hunk of change back.  Except for that one year I actually made money on the Internets and it physically hurt to write that tax check.  That year wasn’t fun.
  10. And just to drive home the point, the very best part is having those returns randomly show up in my bank account.  It’s always so depressing to go into mint.com and see my bank account drain every single day but during tax season?  Surprise!  Random huge deposit in your account!

OK, now I promise I’m not just a money-hungry dork.  I’ll claim the dork part but that’s it.

Tell me, do you love tax season or hate it?

This post is linked to ohAmanda’s Top Ten Tuesday.