Tag Archives: new choices

Soft Hearts vs. Hard hearts

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday; thanks for all your good wishes. And I got what I asked as my birthday present, but it’s been quite a road this week, quite a learning experience.

I don’t even remember asking for the new heart God gave me two weeks ago, just realizing that I needed it because mine was hard. But after I gave Him my anger and resentment for confronting me instead of my husband, things changed dramatically. I was amazed. I thought and felt completely different. Maybe it was just toward him, but it seemed that in everything I felt and thought completely differently. What a difference a soft heart made!

Even he said I was so different, so much nicer to live with, and usually if I share about a healing I’ve had, he tells me that it hasn’t made any difference. I’ve always blown that off because it feels different inside. When I learned how much God wants to heal us by telling us the truth for our lies, 16 years ago, I was amazed at the difference each one brought. Now, asking for His truth has become so commonplace I often don’t notice the feeling change. That’s sad. I should take more notice (at least 30 seconds!) of those good changes.

But this new heart thing–wow! What a difference! For 9 days I felt like all of my motives and feelings and actions were coming from a different place. It was like having an emotional heart transplant. Almost like being a different person.

And then we hit a rough patch. We were redoing our kitchen counters and backsplash, and I even did the hard measuring and cutting parts while he was at the gym because I know how he hates that part, and we had done so well working together, I didn’t want to risk it. We decided the counter needed sanding as recommended, but we hadn’t read that the sealer needed 7 days to cure, and it went through to the primer. So far we’re ok, until I try to fix it.

I knew it should be done one way and he knew it should be done another. I had painted it so I KNEW. He used to be a painter, so he KNEW. Of course it ended up that we were both wrong, but the way we handled it was not good. He got angry and I got hard.

That is how I have always coped with his anger. Step back and do what I know is right. It’s good in theory. It has helped keep me in our marriage, but the cost to our relationship and my heart has been terrible. It had almost become like stone with rightness. (Self-righteousness!) What a revelation that has been!

In one day’s time I went to my old ways of thinking and feeling. Talk about sad! I was despairing. “What happened to my wonderful soft heart, Lord?” I didn’t want to hear that I had hardened it, but that is what I heard.

Then I became intent on getting it back. I spent all the next day asking for a new heart again. I knew He would give it. It’s in scripture. Also, that anything we need He will supply if we ask.

Plus, 33 years ago I had visited my friend’s church, and someone had come off of the platform and prophesied over me that God would take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). I didn’t know or trust these people, and, frankly, was insulted. Everyone else said it was a long beautiful prophecy, but that was all I heard of it–probably because my heart was hard with fear!

So now I know what it means to have a heart of flesh–a soft heart! And He told me on my birthday it was my gift. But I also know how easily I can harden it again. Choices are so important. We, mostly, have no idea how important.

 

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I want a new Life

 

Talking about new life is great, and wanting it is better, but it requires new choices.

Are you ready?

Focusing on the negative gives you more negative. We get like what we focus on. What gets our focus grows.

So how do we change our focus?

Nothing changes until it becomes real. You may have heard that before. First you have to look at your life and actually admit that it needs some work.

Define the area where you need it most: is it physical, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual? There will be overlap because they are all connected. But which one comes up first?

Since I don’t have your immediate input, I’m going to go with the first one–physical–and maybe I’ll make it a four-part series. Physical is easy to write about, because I’m writing a book about it, Love Losing, hopefully out next month.

Are you taking care of your body?

I know you want to. Here’s some incentive: you have to feel good to be happy. Your body has to feel good. You have to be treating it right, using it well, for it to feel good. When your body feels good, it is so-o-o much easier for your head to work well, your emotions and spiritual self to be healthy.

Don’t feel guilty about taking time to exercise if you’re a mom with little children. Preferably something you enjoy–walking at sunrise, jumping on a trampoline in the moonlight (mini ones start at $20), swimming, biking or golfing. Anything to get started. Starting is the hardest part. Once you’ve made the decision, don’t talk to yourself about it, just do it, otherwise you’ll talk yourself out of it. Start with a short time (5 minutes on a trampoline) or something gentle, if you aren’t used to exercise.

And PLEASE don’t feel guilty about saying “No” to yourself or your children when they want something their body doesn’t want.

Do you know what your body doesn’t want?

It would love you for quitting sugar. I’m not saying all sweets, just refined white sugar and anything that has sugar in it. It is toxic to your body with no redeeming value. If you need incentive here and you have children, get my book, Tommy Tortoise Gets the Sugar Blues, and read it to your kids every day for a week. They love repetition and you may benefit from it.

Sodas are one of the things it would love for you to quit. Diet sodas are as bad or worse. Aspartame has been linked to many diseases. But your body loves water! So put some fruit in your water, or put a drop of stevia in it to make the transition. My favorite is Vanilla Creme.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything at once. Start with one thing, and when you are comfortable with it try giving up another.

But one thing you can do to really help your body is add some things: fresh fruit and vegetables. Start simple. Add fresh fruit to your breakfast. If you or your kids get hungry in between meals give them a piece of fruit. That will digest before dinner and not take their appetite. (Candy loads them with sugar and chemicals and steals their appetite.)

Add salad to your dinner, make it different every night but go to deeper colors in your greens. We love spinach or romaine and strawberry-goat cheese salad.

The most important thing is listen to your body, because everyone is different. Notice what makes you feel more energized, lighter, feel good, and what makes you bloated and headachey or sluggish and fatigued.

My clients tell me that the first three days of change are hardest. After that feeling good makes it easier.

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