I don't think I realized how far I had gone in "Battlefield of the Mind" without posting. I ended talking about chapter 7 and now I am on chapter 15. Here is a recap (it may be long) of Part 2 and how it has affected my life.
First of all, the title for Part 2 is very significant for me. I think the condition of my mind is my main obstacle. As I read these chapters, God is speaking to me and I am just soaking in His wisdom and presence.
Chapter 8: When is my Mind Normal?
Joyce Myer explains that a busy mind is abnormal while a rested mind is normal. Wow, I think I have an abnormal mind! All the things a normal mind should not be filled with (reasoning, worry , anxiety, fear) are the things my mind dwells on WAY too much. 1 Kings 19:11-12 explains that God's voice is a still small voice. If I am to hear His voice, my mind need to be at rest, not busy where God has to compete for a place! My mind should be peaceful and alert so that my mind and my spririt can be in balance. This is my prayer Lord, that you will help me in this area. This is a tough one. Life seems to big at times that keeping my mind at rest is the last thing I think about. I think this is why I love being in the presence of God at church so much, that is a place without distractions where I can put my mind at rest and stay alert to hear God's Spirit filling and speaking to me.
Chapter 9: A Wandering, Wondering Mind
Lack of concentration is caused by a wandering mind. As a mother, this should be normal right? Too many things going on at once. But Joyce Myer explains that this is NOT normal and can be changed with some practice. This chapter made me think of #1 and his issues with academics. After struggling through elementary school, we decided to place him on medicine to help him to concentrate rather than have his mind wander during class. Praise the Lord that he only had to take it for 6 months and now he is in Middle School and is doing great. But it made me think about the fact that the mind is a powerful tool that CAN be trained with God's wisdom and guidance! It isn't easy but it can be done! Joyce explains that instead of wondering, I should think positive about every situation! In Mark 11:23-24, Jesus tells us that whatever we ask for in prayer and BELIEVE (not wonder) that it will be granted to you. Wondering brings forth doubt (that is talked about in another chapter). I want a mind that can concentrate on the task at hand, especially when it comes to godly things; and I want to think positive instead of wondering about things in my life and my families lives!
Chapter 10: A Confused Mind
James 1:5-8 shows me that I have an invitation from God to ask for wisdom and guidance. But, I cannot ask and "wonder" if He will do it! I have to believe or it is for nothing! God does not respect a doubtful, confused mind. This chapter spoke to my situation personally. It explains that reasoning can lead to confusion. I have a very antilitical mind and reasoning comes very natural for me. I do believe this hinders me from receiving from God sometimes! Right now, DH and I are at a place in our lives that is unknown territory. My desire to put my family first has made me want to look for part-time work. We cannot afford for me to work part-time so after much prayer and communication, we have decided to put our house up for sale and I can start looking for part-time work. Our money issues (large amount of debt) are sin that we have allowed ourselves to get in over our heads. We have asked God to forgive us and help us to change our ways. We are trusting God that although this season of our lives will be a trial, we will not be alone and his grace is sufficient!
The struggle for me is wanting to make sure this decision is not a selfish one. I DO NOT want it to be all about what I want! Yes, I am unhappy at my job, but I truely believe that it is more than that. I can try to get another full-time job if that is what I need to do! But when I think about being available to take my boys to their sporting events and fixing my family supper each night, I have a peace. I feel this is what I should be doing as a mother. When I think about the financial implications and reason that this is a crazy idea, I get anxious. This chapter showed me that following the spirit doesn't always make sense in the natural. I believe that in the end, this decision will bring my family closer together, my marriage closer. As I continue to take this issue to God in prayer, I continue to ask God to show me if this decision is purely selfish or a leading of His spirit. Proverbs 3:5 tells me to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my paths. In this time of change, this is my prayer Lord!
I will continue this later!