What I’m Reading, August 2016

WhatI'mReading

Busy month around here. My college kids are off for another semester.  Soccer season is in full swing for my youngest. First day of school and all that jazz.  I was able to get two bushels of peaches in the freezer, but not many pages turned lately.

 

Seabiscuit Buy now from Amazon

Seabiscuit

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is one my all time favorite books.  Seabiscuit wasn’t nearly as inspiring, but still a good read.

I feel sorry for the the life of a jockey.  This was my first time to get an inside look to what that’s like.  Loved the historical backdrop so vividly painted.

TheAlchemist Buy now from Amazon

The Alchemist

I found this parable to be intriguing.  More of a life philosophy than novel, there was a lot of great food for thought.  Why do we keep pursuing our dreams?  How do we keep going after loss?  What is true treasure in life?  What is worth the sacrifice?

The story is about a young man trying to make his way in life and wrestling with all of life’s big questions: love, loss, meaningful work and what really matters. Five stars.

Nest

The Nest

Well, I abandoned The Nest half way through.  I should’ve known when I saw the word “dysfunctional”.  I was intrigued by the premise of the book: a huge inheritance with strings attached and adult children clamoring for a payout. I liked the complexity of the plot with lots of characters and lots of backstory.  Even though it was more graphic than I prefer, I stuck with it until the immorality, especially the homosexual couples, finally got to me.

It’s hit home to me recently how rare traditional values are in our society.  I didn’t go to public school for most of my growing up years.  My kids have been fortunate enough to have not gone at all.  So, I’ve been out of touch with main stream American culture.  Traditional values are scarcer than I realized.

I’m wondering if I’m going to have to give up present day novels altogether and stick to reading the classics that still portray traditional morality.  I’ve heard that Beth Moore is releasing her first novel this fall.  I’ll have to check it out.  Some great writers don’t cross genres very well, but I know her stuff will be wholesome.

 

coloring-bible

Buy now from Amazon

Inspire Bible

This is the most gorgeous Bible I have ever seen.  I love the trim design.  Honestly, pictures don’t  capture the beauty of this Bible.

I have not jumped on the adult coloring bandwagon, but this Bible might change my mind.

What have you been reading lately?

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of you purchase will go to support this site.)

What I’ve Learned, July 2016: Night and Day, Change is Hard

NightandDay

Morning Tasks and Evening Tasks Make a Difference of Night and Day

In the ongoing drama to manage my life, it’s recently become clear to me the difference been morning tasks and evening tasks.

Really, managing my life isn’t a matter of managing my time.  It’s a matter of managing my energy.  It’s even more complicated than that, though.  It also has to do with managing my will power and my finite decision making ability.

Case in point:  processing mail at home.  At the end of the work day, my energy, my will power and my decision making ability were all depleted.  I couldn’t face sorting through the mail every evening so it would stack up, day after day.

Not until I switched that to a morning task–one that took 3 minutes or less daily, was I able to get on top of the paper clutter piled up in my kitchen that resulted from incoming mail. It made a night and day difference.  Ha.

Pairing that three minutes with a task I did every morning–cooking breakfast–meant I had a mental trigger every morning that reminded me it was time to process mail.  I found turning the heat down under my eggs down and setting the stove timer for three minutes worked well.  In three minutes or less I could pitch the junk, file the kids’ mail and prepare bills for payment.

Granted, I’m in a stage in my life when I’m not fixing breakfast for the family any more.  It’s every man for himself at our house at breakfast time.  I also fix eggs for my breakfast almost every morning.  This plan would still work with oatmeal in the microwave.

eggsinironskillet

I could beat myself up for not figuring this out till I was 49, but I’ll give myself a break.  During the time we lived in Mexico, we didn’t have regular mail delivery.  There was lots of other stuff to adjust to, but daily mail processing wasn’t included.

That’s more than you wanted to know about my routines, but I’ve found other people’s experience helps me.  Maybe you’ll find this helpful.  I love figuring myself and my life out and making things work better.

On the flip side, exercising consistently in the evening is working for me.  I’m shocked.  I figured the depleted will power would work against me.  I don’t know if it’s the summer schedule or what, but it’s actually working.  Go figure.

uphillclimb

Change is an Uphill Climb

Every time I try to implement change in my life, I learn something whether I succeed or fail.  Here’s a few insights I’ve gained recently:

  • Disappointments are closely tied to expectations.
  • It’s hard to set realistic goals.
  • Sixty six times in a row to establish a habit.  Not 21.
  • Trying to implement too much at once causes loss of focus.
  • Gaining insight into yourself is always a win
  • Don’t forget to reward yourself.  (I do, a lot)penguins
  • Celebrate the small wins.
  • When you’re making progress in one area, don’t beat yourself up for areas you can’t concentrate on.
  • Setting yourself up to win is critical.  Understand what your obstacles are.  Work to get the people around you on board.
  • Be patient.  There’s lots of time to implement slow change.
  • Don’t lose heart.  This is one of my hubby’s theme songs.  He doesn’t get discouraged very often and he repeatedly reminds others not to lose heart.

I’m about to launch into the umpteenth “life improvement plan” .

Gonna take my own advice to heart.

What I’m Reading July 2016

whatimreadingjul16

High temps and high humidity in northern Indiana this month.  Summer is sailing by too quickly. Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy for July reads.

Linchpin   Buy it now from Amazon

Linchpin by Seth Godin

Linchpin could be classified as a business book, but the big idea is: what are you doing to make yourself indispensable to your organization?

I find when I read Seth Godin, he’s saying what no one else is saying.  I guess that’s what makes him a thought leader.  Although he doesn’t reference his personal life much in this book, I have found from other sources an enviable simplicity and rhythm to his life.  Which might explain his propensity to profound and novel insights.

In my life, it’s hard to find quiet.  It’s hard to find time to think.  It’s hard to find time and quiet together to think, process and write.  I look forward to a day when my schedule will allow more of it.

Howtowritecopy   Buy it now from Amazon

How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards

This slim book is a quick read.  I’m ready to start over and take better notes (or just highlight it till it bleeds yellow) and put the principles into practice.

I can think of a couple different ways to use it for the bookstore.  Next, I’ll do some brainstorming for making it work for the blog.

Thanks to Michael Hyatt for recommending it.  So glad I picked it up.

 

BeforetheFall

Before the Fall by Noah Fawley

I liked the premise of this story:  why did the plane go down?  Although, for me, it dragged in the middle, that question kept me going till the end.

The characters weren’t particularly endearing.  The language and crude references were definitely a minus, tempting me to throw it off altogether.

But, I preserved, and the question was answered.

There were a few redeeming elements, but overall, I can’t recommend this book.

EveryoneBraveisForgiven   Buy it now from Amazon

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Just when you think you’ve read every possible WWII story, another one emerges.  Beautifully written.  Inspired by the author’s grandparents, but in no way based on their story.

It’s always fun to be surprised by a plot twist, and this book did it to me.  I thought I knew where it was going, but no.  A better story than I anticipated.

Although this doesn’t classify as a wholesome book, at least it didn’t belabor the immorality.

Beforewevisitthegoddess

Before we Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I found this story to be engaging, once I got into the middle of it.  The brief peek at Indian culture, both in the US and India, was instructive.

Which made the immoral content more disappointing three quarters of the way in.

I abandoned another book this month after only a few pages when it became clear that the story existed to normalize the homosexual lifestyle.  Worse yet, it was a book written for kids.  I hate to see our culture in moral freefall and hate to think of innocent minds swallowing those premises.

I know it’s not politically correct to say those things, which is why I’m so thankful for the freedom of the press in this country, to be able to say what isn’t popular and what doesn’t fit into reigning agendas.

ReadyPlayerOne   Buy now from Amazon

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline tells a great story.  Part dystopian, part gamer geek, part Charlie Bucket looking for the golden ticket, part coming of age, part 80s trivia.  Cline has a lot to offer.

The book is set in 2044.  It’s always interesting to see how people envision the future. Cline has a great imagination.  Pair that with engaging characters and some unpredictable plot twists, and you have a winner.

Although there were a couple elements that I wasn’t happy with, over all this was a great read.

UndomesticGoddess   Buy it now from Amazon

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Entertaining, breezy read.

I enjoyed all but about 4 pages of it.  The story centered around a high powered British lawyer and some unexpected twists of fate in her life.  Interesting look at British class structure.  Fun story.

 

Ifyoucankeepit   Buy now from Amazon

If You Can Keep It by Eric Metaxas

INCREDIBLE book!  So needed!  So important. A must read for every citizen.

If you are the tiniest bit patriotic, this book is for you. If you are discouraged about what’s happening in this country, this book is for you. If you need some encouragement about the future based on the past, this book is for you.

One of the most fascinating aspects to me was the impact George Whitefield had on the colonies and how those prevailing premises shaped our founding principles and documents and national identity. Why does “all men are created equal” echo in our heads today, but continues to be an unknown concept in countries across the globe?

I’ve been so sad watching the country that I love disintegrate. It’s so hard to see our freedoms eroded.  It’s tempting to despair.  But this book has given me hope for the future — ironically, by looking at the past.  Following the hand of God in the history of our nation gives me hope as the  domestic scene grows darker.

Even though I believe that all great civilizations come to an end and ours is already on the downhill slide, I also believe that God is in control.

I believe so strongly in the right and privilege of every citizen to vote.  But I was at a loss about whether my vote will matter in November.  No longer.  I will vote.  Even in the face of a disastrous outcome.

My God is on His throne.

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help me!

I’m looking for wholesome, brilliantly written novels to read.

Which ones do you love?

 

 

What Difference Does It Make Now?

americanflag

Yesterday I was angry.

Today I’m sad.

I’m sad for all the deceived masses that are ignorant of the freedoms they are losing.  I’m sad for the the Judeo-Christian values that are disappearing.  I’m sad that honor and integrity are no longer hallmarks of the leaders of this country.  I’m sad that voters no longer think that character counts.

I’m sad for my kids and (hopefully future) grandkids and the future of tyranny and oppression that they will know in their lifetime.

I’m sad for the people who made sacrifices for the freedoms that we enjoy and those that have squandered those freedoms by entitlement, privilege and neglect.

There were a minority in Hitler’s Germany who came to see him for who he was.  There were some brave citizens who tried unsuccessfully to oppose him.   Meanwhile, the masses were deceived.  Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

The founders of our country saw the pitfalls and injustices from the rule of governments throughout history.  They endeavored to establish a rule that would avoid these oppressive, dictatorial regimes.  Safeguards and checkpoints were established to diffuse power.  Freedom of the press was established to provide accountability for those in office.  The right to bear arms allowed the average citizen to protect not only what was his, but also to protect himself from an oppressive government.

I’m sad for young people who do not understand communism, socialism, capitalism and what difference it makes for them in every day life.  I’m sad for people who are immune to the suffering inflicted around the world by evil and oppressive governments.

I love my country.  This is why I’m sad.

 

What I’ve Learned: My Family Tree is Grafted and Going Slow

Linking up with Emily Freeman to share what I’ve learned this month.

Love the slower pace of a summer schedule.  Less rushing.  More time to catch up with people.  Best of all, more time for uninterrupted reading and more time for ruminating. I could get used to this.

graftedfamilyappletree

The discoveries I make while writing are its own reward.

It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve realized I have to write to make sense out of my life.  I had one of those moments this week when a phrase echoed in my brain.  It made me ponder the unique friendships we forged during the sixteen years we spent with a non-profit assigned to Mexico.  I puzzled through it for days and it finally became the post When Your Family Tree is Grafted.

It’s gratifying and satisfying to analyze and come to some conclusions: to articulate the fuzzy, to make sense of my convoluted life.

shoes

How to Make Exercise a Daily Habit.

There’s SO much I want to accomplish.  There’s SO many areas in my life I want to improve.  It’s hard to slow down and only focus on  one area at a time.

During the Spring months, I was frustrated that my exercise routine was hit and miss.  I was focusing on my morning routine.  Now that exercise is becoming a daily habit, I’m frustrated with lack of consistency in blogging.  Patience. Patience.  It’s hard to go slow.

Taking small bites is critical to my success.  I do a 15 minute walking video every day.  That’s small.  Believe it or not, the very difficult, but critical element was deciding when in the day to do it.  It finally came down to after supper.  This is challenging when we have evening plans– it either happens late at night or in the afternoon before meal prep.

My mornings were too unpredictable to add another daily habit.

And so, it’s working.  Due in part to our summer schedule. Due in part to focus and willingness to let other things slide. Thank God for small wins.

turtle

What have you learned this month?

 

 

When Your Family Tree is Grafted

graftedfamilyappletree

For sixteen years, my husband and I and our kids were ex-pats assigned to Mexico.  One of the interesting things about living as foreigners in another country is your relationship with other ex-pats.  It hit home this week when were catching up with a former co-worker from those days and I heard my kids call him “Uncle”.  It was common in our ex-pat community for the kids to call the other adults Aunt and Uncle.

But it gave me pause, thinking about those unusual relationships. My kids have great relationships with their blood relatives.  Their grandparents, aunts and uncles are encouraging and supportive in tangible ways.  So, I’m a little stymied to put my finger on what makes these relationships unique.

Maybe the critical element is being geographically far away from your extended family.  So these Aunts and Uncles step into the vacuum.  It fills that need for the family connections that go unmet for months or years at a time.  But, there also exists an element of choice.  You can choose who to get together with for Christmas dinner or the Super Bowl. You can choose who comes to the kids’ birthday parties and who you ask to help you move.  Back in your hometown, you know who your relatives are.  You know how the pecking order plays out.  There’s a clear distinction between friends and family.  There’s no blurring of the lines.

Away from home, the line between friends and family gets blurred.

I’m grateful for the people that stepped into the extended family gap that was created by the logistics of geography.  Our lives are richer because of it.

 

 

What I’m Reading June 2016

WhatI'mReadingJune2016

June makes me think of strawberries.  Mostly because Pete likes them and I often make a strawberry pie for his June birthday.

Even though the summer schedule means I’m working a little less, it also means my college kids are home and more people in general in and out for meals.  Less time for reading.  More time for making family memories.

Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy’s Quick Lit

ToKillaMockingbird Buy now from Amazon

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I made it 49 years without reading To Kill a Mockingbird, but the time had come.

I’m glad I finally made time for this classic.  It’s a good study on prejudice and the power of great sacrifice to live your principles.  Human nature is fickle and sometimes we can use that to our advantage.

Not sure if I’ll tackle the sequel or not, since reviews were mixed and many negative.

WhenBreathBecomesAir Buy now from Amazon

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This memior was written by a man diagnosed with cancer.  That’s the kind of news that changes your perspective in life.

Kalanith writes in a clear, concise style.  What makes the book extraordinary is the author wrestles with the meaning of life even before he’s diagnosed with cancer.  It gives the reader pause in the very best ways.

Here’s my takeaway:  we make plans for our lives based on how long we think we have left to live.  We make different decisions when we think we’re going to live 40 years more or 10 or 1.

Also:  at the end of life, our close relationships are what matter most.  But, running a close second is a life dedicated to meaningful work and making an impact on our world in some way.  I’ve believed for a long time that having meaningful work was a critical element for the human psyche, but I’ve never seen it so clearly before, especially in light of the importance of close relationships at the end of life.

I also enjoyed Kalanitrh’s stories of his experiences in medical school.  Interesting to see the behind the scenes snapshots of a surgeon in training.

GuernseyLiterary Buy now from Amazon

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

So many reviewers raved about this book, I finally decided I had to check it out.  Plus, it had such an unusual title, my curiosity was piqued.

I’d have to say it was worth all the hype.

I guess I didn’t read enough reviews to realize that it’s set in Europe in the years immediately following World War II.

The beginning moves a little slowly as almost the entire story is told in letters back and forth between the many characters.  Juliet is a writer who hears about the Literary Society’s unorthodox  beginning.  She is intrigued and unearths the entire story, getting to know the members initially through letters.

I loved the human drama for the very reason war stories are so popular:  adverse circumstances causes the heroes to rise to the top.

Heart-warming, satisfying read.

TheLovelyBones

The Lovely Bones

I’m very late to the party on this one, since the book was published in 2002 and the movie version released in 2009.  But, I wanted to find out for myself what the buzz was about.

The Lovely Bones is told from the point of view of a 14-year-old girl who has been murdered. She describes what heaven is like for her and keeps tabs on friends and family on earth.

The premise of the book is intriguing.  The novel is well-written.  Some depictions are too graphic for my taste.  But, my biggest problem with the book was the way it portrayed immorality.

The problem isn’t that immorality is included in the story. Even the Bible isn’t G-rated.  Lots of stories there that don’t make it into the children’s Bible Story books for good reason.  But, the lines of morality are fairly clear.  When they are crossed, judgment follows. The immorality is neither normalized or glorified.

I’ve come to believe that the way the immorality is depicted is the critical issue.  Is it normalized?  Is it glorified? I believe the moral slide we see in our culture can be traced in our literature and movies, though it’s probably a chicken or egg issue.

Interestingly enough, there’s criminal behavior portrayed in The Lovely Bones that is repulsive. Everyone is repulsed.  There’s immorality that is accepted due to extreme circumstances.  And there is immorality that is glorified. This is where I have a problem.

I believe strongly that immorality shouldn’t be normalized and shouldn’t be glorified.

I stumbled upon a post on how to find clean books to read that is full of resources for books rated for content.

Now, more than ever, I’m on a quest for wholesome, brilliantly written novels.  I know they’re out there.  Just gotta find em.

TheShack Buy now from Amazon

The Shack

I read The Shack years ago, before I was blogging book reviews, so I thought I’d add it here, on a slow month.

I keep a copy of The Shack on the shelf at the bookstore, and it always sells, so I know there’s still new readers out there.

Here’s my one-sentence summary about The Shack:  It’s not a good place to get your theology about God, but it is a good read for challenging and stretching your image of God.

When The Shack was released, it touched a nerve and became a bestseller for this very reason: it wrestled with one of the biggest stumbling blocks for people of faith, namely, how can a loving, all-powerful God allow horrific things to happen to the innocent?

The Shack is told from the point of view of a father whose little girl is missing.  As the truth becomes known, the father loses his way in life until he encounters some unusual personifications of God that help him reassess his faith.

What are you reading this month?

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow and Steady Wins

 

turtle

It’s hard to go slow.

I want a perfectly clean, smartly decorated house. Now.  The perfectly toned body. Now. The burgeoning blog. Financial goals met.  The holy life attained.  All relationships in harmony. Now. Now. Now.

Going slow highlights the discontentment of where I am versus where I want to be.

But here’s the thing:  a scattered focus means that I don’t achieve success in any area.

So, I am forcing myself to focus on only a couple of things this summer: exercise every evening plus healthy meal planning and prep (including desserts!).

In the spring, my exercise routine was hit and miss because I was focusing on being consistent with my wake-up routine.  Now that is established, it’s time to move on to something else.

So, now my blogging is hit and miss.  I’ll try to focus on that in the fall.

I’m shooting for 66 days in a row to establish new habits, based on the latest understanding of habit formation.  (Thanks to Michael Hyatt for bringing this to my attention.)

It can be discouraging to move slowly.  So I’m pep talking myself into staying the course and celebrating small wins.

Victoria at Snail Pace Transformations is Queen of slow and steady.  I’m inspired by her.  Check out her blog and see where slow and steady gets you!

Power of Habit was one of my favorite reads of last year.  Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin also tackles establishing habits.  Both books are helpful and practical if you’re working on your habits.

Stay the course, friends!  Slow and steady wins.

What I’ve Learned: Lazy Meal Planning, treating Hashimoto’s

schoolgirl

I love learning.

I like learning about myself.

I like learning how to make my life better.  It’s encouraging to put into words every month what I’m learning.  Self-awareness is so helpful, because it’s discouraging when life isn’t working.

Linking up with Emily Freeman for another month to share what we’ve learned.

pillsVitamin and mineral supplements plus dietary changes works for treating Hashimoto’s.

Since I found out I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I changed my diet by going gluten-free and added supplements. My headaches have almost been eliminated.  I also having been drinking kefir more in an effort to heal my gut.  I have seen an increase in energy, although I’d love to see more improvement there.

I’ve added iron pills and liquid zinc to my supplement routine.  Wow, is liquid zinc nasty.  I’m going to have to be really convinced that it’s helping or I won’t be able to keep up with it for long.

Make Over Your Evening with Crystal Paine.

This is the first time I’ve ever bought a course like this.  I watched all the videos in the course and read the ebook, but didn’t do all the homework.   Even though I petered out towards the end, I implemented two tweaks (#3 and #5) that have made a huge difference.  One thing I loved about this course was the time spent evaluating and assessing before coming up with a new evening routine.

Five things I’ve learned about making over my evening routine:

  1. Count the cost before purchasing a course.  This means money.  This means time.  This means focus. Honestly, I got my money’s worth with Make Over Your Evening.
  2. I’ve learned from other people’s stories:  Sarah Wright at the Orthodox Mama has impressive discipline and daily routines.  Victoria at Snail Pace Transformations has been insightful and encouraging too, especially when my blog didn’t grow as fast as I’d hoped it would.letters
  3. Little tweaks make a difference, but sometimes you have to do them with a lot of understanding. One thing that emerged was how much I hated the paper clutter on my counter.  Mail tends to stack up there and I can’t ever seem to get on top of it.  Two simple changes have made all the difference: processing mail in the morning instead of the evening plus setting the timer for three minutes.   I just don’t have what it takes to deal with the mail in the evening.  It’s too overwhelming.  Instead, I set my timer for three minutes while my eggs are cooking in the morning. (I turn down the eggs so they cook slower).  I use that time to process the mail and put away paper clutter.  Presto!  What an easy solution, but one that has eluded me for years.
  4. I also pinpointed a frustration and a resolve to change it.  It bothers me when my environment is not beautiful.  Especially when I don’t have the energy or resources to change it and I just have to put up with it.  Just identifying this frustration has helped.  Slowly I can make the changes.  One small thing at a time.
  5. Another thing that emerged was that I wanted dessert to be part of my evening.  When life is overwhelming and getting supper on the table and cleaned up is all that you can handle, dessert gets nixed.  But, my work hours are changing for the summer: I’m getting off earlier.  So, I’m planning to invest that time in making supper and dessert.  Healthy desserts, of course.  This a plan I can get into.

Get Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Evening course here.  (Affiliate link–at no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase will support this site)

foodonaplate

How to do the laziest meal planning ever:

I’ve been struggling and failing at meal planning for months now.  I used to be good at it.  I used to enjoy it.  But, lately, I haven’t been force myself to do it at all.  So here’s the compromise:  I got down our big wall calendar and wrote down the meat or protein for every supper of the month.  Then, the next day, I got out all the meat for the month from our chest freezer in the laundry room and arranged it in the bottom section of our refrigerator freezer.  Now, when I leave for work in the morning, I pull out the meat to thaw.  I don’t always know what to do with it when I get home, or what my sides will be.  But, in a pinch, I can fry it on the stove, add rice, pasta, potatoes, vegetables or salad.  Boom.  Lazy meal planning.

What are have you learned this month?

The Echo in My Head

canyonI’ve been racking my brains this morning trying to come up with some encouraging words to send to a friend who is struggling. When I’m down and discouraged I try to remind myself of truth, even when it doesn’t feel true.  A phrase that often comes to mind is “You are loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms.”  I couldn’t remember where this scripture was located, so I googled it.  Which is our default method of finding out anything, right?  Come to find out, Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love;  I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”  Hmm.  Where are the everlasting arms?  More googling.  Aah.  The echo in my head is Elisabeth Elliot’s tagline.

I woke up a couple times this week with a song from Sunday stuck in my head– Lead me to the Cross.  Love it when that happens.

But, the truth is, the echo in my head can often be a downer.  “Figures.  Just my luck.”  Really?  What is my luck?  What is the truth of the situation? That I am loved by God, but someone just pulled into the parking spot I was headed for?

So, how can we turn around the echo in our head?  Part of it has to do with what we put in there in the first place.  Part of it has to do with reciting truth, whether we feel it or not. Part of it has to do with habits and thought patterns.  Repeatedly thinking the same negative thoughts doesn’t help. Consciously putting in “whatever is true, good and lovely” helps.

The truth is we can change that echo.  God help us.