There’s something going on that I don’t like one bit. I really want to change but sometimes I have limited success. You know that darn jackrabbit brain of mine I tell  you about? Well, that seemingly innocent bunny has a dark side and once in a while it causes me to have some tough days. Let me tell you what it does to me. Maybe it has even happened to you.

One day this week I was running around doing my usual day to day things and I started it off in the usual way, going through my brief morning devotions in my wonderful little book Jesus Calling. Throughout the day I seemed to have a grin tattooed in place and I saw the world through eyes only able to see beautiful things. Anything else was magically filtered out somehow because everything seemed perfect.

Seriously. The sky was cerulean blue, the grass was emerald green, the flowers were intensely fragrant and beautiful, the birds sang like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and everyone I encountered was wonderful, pleasant, kind and friendly. I even liked my hair and didn’t think I looked fat. I glided through the day happy and  full of love. It was a great day. Nothing got to me. Life isn’t like that very often but that day it was real and it felt amazing.

But,  let’s rewind to a day a week or two before that, to the same Betty. I started out the day doing the usual things, beginning  the usual way. Only that’s when all similarities ended. I felt shredded that day. That’s the only word that I could use to describe my ugly outlook. When I looked in the mirror, I saw ugly. I was dissatisfied with everything I owned, wore or did that day and I have no recollection at all what the weather was like. Everything and everyone annoyed me and I felt like a bad person, a failure and completely unworthy. It seemed very real and it was amazing, too, but in a very dark way.

 How, I wondered, did a woman who loves God and knows Jesus get to feeling this way? Let me quickly tell you that days like that day are rare for me but still they happen- and usually not for an entire day, but those ugly feelings pop up for a spell now and then and when they do, I am shocked and find it strangely difficult to turn the ship around.

Our mind is the ultimate battlefield between the power of good and evil. Satan works very hard to derail believers and the is the biggest and worst liar there is. He loves nothing more than to shake our faith and our confidence and loses no opportunity to do it. Joyce Meyer has written a best-selling book about this called Battlefield of the Mind. She has sold 3 million copies so apparently this is not just my problem. Her message is we have to “think about what we think about” and teaches that when these feelings come around, we need to turn to God’s word and battle our way back. What’s more, staying close to God by reading scripture is as essential to our well-being as eating right or getting enough sleep.

The Bible abounds with reminders that we must constantly work to control our thoughts and it takes real dedication, focus and effort. Here are a couple of my favorites. Romans 2:12 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  And  I love this one, too. Phillipians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice and  the God of peace will be with you.  Sounds like a great plan to me!

 

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Betty Streff

Betty Streff began her career as a customer service representative for a large corporation in Omaha. Four years later she found herself to be a farm wife in a small rural community with limited opportunities for women. After a humbling self assessment, she listed her assets as talents for sketching, sewing, and the natural ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Using these and her optimistic nature, she began stitching up some bibs and pillows for a craft show, who wouldn't? Over the next 25 years she became a serial entrepreneur obsessed with studying faith, spirituality, leadership, motivation, and management as she developed her businesses. Betty has spent the last few years working in corporate America in the hospitality and manufacturing world and she continues to immerse herself in the study of what makes people tick. The explosive growth in the relatively recent science of positive psychology fascinates her. Betty devours everything she can find on the subject and is especially intrigued with people who thrive no matter the circumstances and in discovering ways that happiness and optimism can be learned. She is currently exploring ways of sharing and cultivating the exciting possibilities with both individuals and businesses. She and her husband Steve have been married 45 years and are blessed with 2 incredible daughters, 2 fantastic sons-in-law and 6 amazing grandchildren.

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