Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice..  (Phil 4:4)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, Bless His holy name.  Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits. (Ps 103:1-2)

If you live in me and my words remain in you….. (John 15:7)

Go to bed bummed, wake up bummed.  My fight is with my thoughts.  They are the material units that make up my moods.  If I am feeling out of sorts or down, I can usually trace it back to specific thoughts.

Notice how God has us figured out.  His antidote to our moods is to double and triple our thoughts about what is good – God.   He exhorts us “Lift your countenance and thoughts up towards Me – think about what is true and good and noble and pure and excellent.”    It really is a choice.

The other morning, I woke up feeling out of sorts.  I had been reading Psalm 103 the night before.  I recognized right away as soon as I padded into the bathroom that I DID have a choice.  So I prayed, “Lord, help me to bless you right now instead of muse about why I might be feeling bad.” It wasn’t that difficult to make the switch.

Later on my morning walk, I started cataloguing WHAT exactly was on my mind.  Some of my ‘worry thoughts’  had to do with me wanting  people in my life to live their lives the way I, MARIA, thought best.  I was struck with the presumptuousness of that mindset.  What a waste of emotional energy.  Isn’t it enough that I live MY life the way I sense God is directing me?   And there is plenty of work to do to order rightly my thoughts.

I read recently that for every thought about ourselves, we should look up and direct 10 heavenward.  I don’t know if I can do that, but my life would really be different if I just managed to dwell on God AS much as I dwell upon MARIA.  After all, God doesn’t promise that I’ll bear fruit if my thoughts abide in me, but only if I dwell in Him and His words and thoughts live in me.  Fruit # 3 is peace – the opposite of waking up ‘bummed’.

Coincidentally, in my teacher training, I have heard that it takes 10 positive strokes/kind interchanges/praises directed toward a student to equalize or cancel one humiliating/negative comment leveled at him.  If that is true of interaction between folks, then perhaps it also applies in our inner conversations.  Is it any wonder that some of us are so depressed, given how we talk to ourselves?