Taking Every Thought Captive

The words in our head
floating unseen,
whirling almost silently.
But, alas our innermost being is listening
to those words.
They can help us view life as beautiful.
They tell us to stop for a moment to observe the dew on leaves
or the smell of roses,
or notice the expression on our children's faces as they learn something new
and smile.

Or, those words in our head
can get us into trouble
serious trouble
and the downward spiral begins.

We quit.
We give up.
We loose our motivation.
We find it hard to create,
or maybe even get out of bed.
And when we crash we have no idea how we got there.

Sometimes it's as simple as noticing the poor patterns in our thinking;
the lies.
Now, you might be practically perfect in every way.
Or you might think I'm talking psycho-babble,
after all, who needs that self-help goofyness?
I know
But what I'm talking about, is "taking every thought captive".
Which, albeit hard work, is better than finding yourself stuck in the muck!

So from time to time I'm going to stray off my familiar path
sprinkled with homeschool goodness,
quilting & project madness,
family stories
and lovely - & sometimes weird  - pictures
to take a few steps toward healthy thoughts
which will help me be more creative in the long run
and a nicer wife and mom.
And maybe it will help you, too,
unless you're the 'practically perfect in every way' lady!

So here's one.
One of those floating, lingering, mysterious
combinations of simple nouns & verbs
that can shape our destructive thoughts:

All or Nothing Thinking -
Because I didn't do as well as I would have liked,
I am a failure.

Unrealistic words, right? Unrealistic because life is rarely perfect. Only Christ is perfect. All else falls short of that perfection. Even the best meal we can cook, quilt we can create, or the best day as a parent or wife that we can have, falls short of perfection. (Did you know that all those people out there that you think are the perfect parents, wives, crafters, musicians, writers, etc. are not perfect either? We just don't get to see their ugly side so much, and they do have one.) So, what do we do with our inadequacies?  I find that if I can view my imperfections with the perspective that there is always room for improvement, it will lead me on toward growth. (And I can't even do that perfectly, either! Ha!)

I recently made a tunic that I was seriously disappointed in. I spent a long time choosing the fabric and even spent a little more money in hopes of selling it in the end. When I finished it, I was extremely unsatisfied. It was not good. Even my sister made an unsolicited comment that she thought it looked like a hospital nurse's uniform. Snap. That's just what I was thinking. After a while, I noticed it really affected my mood. My husband and kids noticed my mood, too. Oops. After a gloomy while, I realized I was doing the 'all or nothing' thinking. Because I didn't do as well as I would have liked, I told myself I was a failure. Quietly and sneakily, of course. It was more like a glumpy tangled feeling thing at first. But once I identified that my thought process was not at all truthful, I began to engage in an argument with myself. Yep. You might think that sounds a bit crazy. Maybe it is. But, leaving lies about ourselves floating around in our brains is what's really crazy, for we can find ourselves depressed when our perceptions do not conform to reality.

Well, I finished the argument.  I won. Woo hoo! Just because this  tunic didn't turn out to my liking, and even if I never sell it, I am not a failure. Rather, I am a student with much to learn. Besides, the Leonardos, Mark Twains, Bill Gates and even the Denise Schmidts of our world made mistakes. The difference is, those mistakes did not paralyze them. They were not defeated by their 'all or nothing' thinking.

Ok. I am not a therapist. I admit. I'm just a regular girl that needs to fill her head with truths so I can be more effective and happy in all I do, including loving my family and friends.

Oh.  And just one more thing. Although I'm practically imperfect in every way, God actually sees me as perfect because of what His Son did. That is perfectly amazing!


  1. Thanks for your amazing encouragement today. And I totally appreciate you sharing a specific example that is SOO applicable to me and probably every person in the universe. I do love love love your insights.

  2. Thank you Tina. Very well spoken. Our inner thoughts are of great importance!
    I look forward to your series.
    We need truth spoken into all of life!

  3. loved this post! God's perfect timing led me here to it today to hear what HE needed to tell me and He used YOU.
    What a blessing to ME!

  4. annie12.6.10

    Amazing post! I love that God used a tunic to teach you something:) I do have to say that I you should borrow one of your daughters thick leather belts and model it for your shop! It might just be someone else's favorite shirt ever!

  5. Thanks as well. How easily we forget the truth.


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