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  • Writer's pictureErin E. McEndree

Have you ever correlated your home with your mind? Which are you?

  1. Is your home and mind neat and organized?

  2. Is your home and mind scattered and disordered?

  3. Is your home used effectively, but your mind is impeded?

  4. Is your home a mess, but your mind is arranged effectively?

I admit I am a number 2 with my mind is sprinkled with brilliant clutter.

I have a mistaken belief that if I get my house clean first, I will be able to focus on writing my book or my Life Coaching services. I know this notion needs to be expunged. This pic is not my house, but it could be.

Have you ever seen The Incredibles? Bob gets another call to save the world and angrily yells, "No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. I mean... Sometimes I just want it to stay saved, you know? For a little bit."

I catch myself saying, "No matter how many times you clean the house, it always manages to get dirty again immediately. I mean... Can't it just stay clean for a little bit so I can focus on my passion and heart's desire?"

I hope you are a number 1. Maybe a number 3 or 4 would be easier to change. Lately, I have been doing a couple of things that help. Maybe you can implement some of these to help you get back to doing what God has been telling you.

  • Decide what God has been telling you to get back to it. Is He wanting you to use your life experiences to help others? Is He nudging you to write a book or blog? Is He saying be the best mom you can be? Does He want you to volunteer? What is God placing on your heart?

  • Look around. What is impeding you from doing life with God? My attitude is a big thing. Even doing laundry, dishes and bills, I can do life with God. Those things don't have to be separate; I can involve God in the dishes and laundry and toilet cleaning. What hinders you?

  • Ask for help. I am not good at asking for help.

  • Do what is in front of you without making excuses. Quick! Say okay and start doing it before your mind and Satan make up a stupid excuse. You have about 1/2 a second.

  • I put a tub in the kitchen and began to really evaluate everything. I determined how often I used the thing, if I really loved it, if it was just collecting dust and if I could part with it. Right now I have filled up my tub completely several times and plan to donate it. I could plan to have a garage sale or join a garage sale, but I'll have to store all this stuff, so I am donating it.

Make a list of how you can declutter your mind, body and soul. What can you eliminate? What can you implement? You may think making lists and thinking about these things never helps. Maybe your 2022 goals never panned out, but if you never plan, if you never make a goal, I guarantee, you will hit that. Doing something different is the only way to get something different.

How nice and clean and peaceful this looks. Let's both strive for this in our homes and our minds.

My goal in this chapter is to explain what might have contributed to shaping your brain’s pathways and give you strategies to repair the broken pathway between the automatic systems in your brain and the logical, thinking part that helps you respond appropriately to drama, stress and disrespect others exhibit. I want to give you coping skills that make the ‘jump’ from involuntary reactions to intentional actions that are shorter in duration and less intense.

The human brain is so much more complex than a computer because we can pull from the past while living in the present and it affects our future. That is why being content and settled is so hard, we can’t put aside those bad experiences in the past. They affect our thinking, our actions and reactions.

Adoption is one of those circumstances that can lead to so many feelings and questions. Many times, even the answers and facts can’t satisfy because they cannot erase the previous feelings and long held beliefs. Logic from our neocortex does not help override the emotions we have created.

I have a very wise friend who deals with several mental illnesses who said, “Prepare your mind in the stable times for the unstable moments. Fill your mind with good things like scripture, music with positive messages, books that encourage and TV shows with wholesome messages. What you put into your mind,” she says, “will come to the forefront in times of panic and mania.” She practices surrounding herself with good people she trusts that understand how to help, encourage and support. She is open and honest with those people. She spends time with them volunteering, eating, shopping and worshiping together.

Reimagine your adoption by saying this below. Write it. Post it on a sticky you can see easily. Take it to heart. If you have learned emotions from your previous experiences, whatever they are, you can also avert them, recreate them and refocus on different ones, too. Try it 30 days!!

Adoption is a fact in my life. Adoption is not a guide. Adoption is not an obstacle. Adoption only has the power I give it.

  • Writer's pictureErin E. McEndree

Don’t be deceived in 2023. See it differently.

Is rest one of the things you long for in 2023? Is your mind racing with work responsibilities and tasks at home? Are you trying to figure out how to put in more 'self-care'? Are you planning to exercise? Do you strive to pray more or read more? Do you want to fit in a walk in solitude? Well, I want to help you see 2023 differently.

I believe that REST has nothing to do with how much activity you have going on at work, home or in your mind. Rest does not have to accompany quiet, walking in the woods, a bubble bath or a sleeping baby. You can rest at work, getting dinner ready, in the car pick up line at school and in the committee. Rest does not have to depend on your work load, your location, your list to check off or that long moment when no one needs you.

Rest is like joy in the sense that we talk about joy even in trials. 2 Corinthians 8:2 says, "In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity." You can also have rest even in the busy, in the trials and in the chaos. James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

Rest can be achieved in any situation when you relax and find contentment regardless of circumstances.

Proverbs 19:23, "The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble."

How can you be untouched by trouble?

We are called to imitate Jesus. He is humble and gentle and learning those characteristics would serve us well. Matthew 11:29 says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Learn the art of humility. That means you are considerate of other's perspective. It means not getting offended when others express something you don't agree with. Oh how peaceful it is when you do not allow yourself to get offended. It destroys any power they may have over you. It is the ability to relax while someone is passionately telling you why you are wrong or why you should believe what they believe. It is having confidence in what you believe regardless of any outside pressure. We want to fit in and be validated and accepted so much, but being humble in disagreement lavishes peace and contentment over your spirit and rest for your soul. Jesus took this to the extreme and was humble when being beaten, spit on and nailed.

Learn the art of being gentle. This means you are not harsh or violent. You can be kind in any circumstance. But don't think being gentle means being a doormat or pushover. Actually the opposite. Being gentle in overbearing situations is actually the sign of a mature person who can show self-control. Being gentle when every fiber of your being wants to lash out is actually stronger and harder than giving into the explosive behavior. Think of it this way: It's more impressive that a bomb does not go off after the fuse has been lit because it does not happen often. It's like lighting a bottle rocket, running away in anticipation and nothing happens. It was a dud. The situation is totally defused and unimpressive.

Being at rest is easy when you are at the beach, on the porch swing or on vacation, but more impressive is finding rest during disagreement, disrespect, disappointment and discouragement.

I challenge you to pre-plan your responses by writing down a list of your most challenging situations and people. Then, write how you will react, respond and the words you will use that are humble and gentle. When you learn to act counter-culture, counter your feelings, you will truly find out what it means to be free; free of fret, free of regret and free of grudges. And that allows you to rest, relax and be content in a world that is nothing but the opposite.

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