Perceptions 

I have been working on my life mission. This is part of what I have come up with. It is a long read but very, very relevant. Hang with me to the end. You will not regret it. 
Do you have a life vision, or are you winging it?
Life as we perceive it. Oh what a difference the right perspective can make. 
Let’s think about how we want our days to look versus how they really are.
I open my eyes and savor the peaceful feeling that surrounds me as I start my day. I am refreshed, well rested and ready to embark on an extraordinary day. 

Or

I hit the snooze button as many times as allowed, I obsess because my body aches and I grumble and moan as I roll out of bed. I feel defeated before I have even gotten out of bed. ___________ 
I spend quiet time with my Lord, writing or reading my devotions. I let God fill me and listen as He gives me guidance for my day. I willingly absorb His plan for me, I feel well equipped to journey forth into what He will allow into my life today. 
Or
I make a list of things I have to get done today. I let the overwhelming feeling engulf me as I think to myself that there is not time in this day to get all this done. I start planning shortcuts and excuses for my inevitable failings. 
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My husband and I spend our enjoyable and beneficial morning time doing a devotional. We pray together and ask God to take the cares we have, to delegate our tasks and responsibilities effectively and efficiently with the ease and confidence born only from Him. 
Or
My husband and I tolerate each other this morning as we try to get a grasp on how in the world we are ever going to make it through another hectic and chaotic day. We take our places in two separate rooms so that we can drown our already numb minds in the worldly events playing out on our favorite news shows. 
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Breakfast is a healthy assortment of grains, vegetables and fruits, with the occasional hearty traditional meal of eggs and turkey bacon. We enjoy the energy that eating right gives us and have a feeling of pride in taking care of our bodies. I have spent time organizing a healthy diet for us and thank God for the gift of healthy food to eat each day. 
Or
As soon as it can be decided which of us is running to the local fast food joint for our GreasyMcMuffin we sit down to brown paper bags of fast food. Or we grab our favorite box of sugared cereal and milk and pride ourselves on the fact that at least it isn’t GreasyMcMuffins again. 
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I head to the gym and exercise my body. Whether I have chosen to walk, swim or work on machines, I enjoy the good feeling of stretching, sweating and strengthening my body every day. I bask in the knowledge that I have developed discipline and willingness. I have treasured friends that I connect with at the gym and enjoy our relationship as we share stories about our health, our lives, our children or just about anything that is on our minds. I love relaxing in the hot tub after my workout and I thank God for the gift of excellent health. 
Or

I drag myself kicking and screaming into the gym. I think about my options for a workout this morning and carefully calculate which one will be easiest while looking like I have given my absolute all (without really doing so). I keep my eyes on the ground as I head to my destination, I certainly don’t want anyone interjecting themselves into my exercise bubble. It is hard enough to get here and to subject myself to sweat but to have to deal with other peoples sweat is asking just a little to much. 
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As I am driving to work I listen to praise and worship music or a message from a favorite pastor.I am filled with peace and feel His presence. I am looking forward to my work day because I enjoy making a difference in my clients lives. 
Or
I am driving to work and am yet again having to deal with the maniacs on the road with me. Stop lights are a challenge as it is hard to stay in my car and not jump out and put these bozo’s in their place. The horn gets a good workout on my morning drive to work. How dare they think they can drive like they do when I am sharing the road with them. It is hard to keep my eyes on the road when I have to finish putting on my makeup and stuffing my face with the last bit of GreasyMcMuffin. I have to get fifteen texts off to my kids to make sure they are organized for their day and get one last phone call into my husband to tell him to try to have a great day even though it will be a challenge. 

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My work day progresses smoothly and without incident. I feel confident that God is with me and I am confident in my abilities. I am well equipped to handle the responsibilities my employer has entrusted to me. I feel pride in what I do. I feel love, compassion and empathy for those I help. I feel comfortable with my co-workers and feel the mutual respect we hold for each other. I enjoy the give and take relationship I have with them and it gives me confidence in my work situation. 
Or
I steel myself for yet another trying day with the clowns I work with. If only everyone was as smart, efficient, and overly qualified as I am. I make up my mind that my work day is going to go as planned no matter what I have to do. I make sure that I have my arsenal at my disposal, grit my teeth and get on with another dreary day at work. 
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Before going home I give thought to my husbands and my needs so we can enjoy a God filled, enjoyable evening together. I stop at the grocery store for an enjoyable yet efficient grocery run. I select a nutritious variety of foods for our supper, savoring the thought of cooking for the two of us. I thank God that I have an endless supply of healthy, nutritious food. 
Or
I give fleeting thought to what hubby and I will need to endure yet another mindless night at home. I decide that it is survival of the fittest and skip the grocery store. It is filled with morons at this time of day anyway. If hubby and I end up in a stand off we can always visit one of the fast food joints stored in our GPS. He is a big boy, let him forage a bit. We will only end up in our separate rooms watching our separate television shows anyway. 
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Our perceptions can make or break our lives. We are what we think. Our actions reveal our minds. Take some time to visualize your days and your life as you would like them to be. Then write it down, re-read it as often as necessary. I praise God and realize what a privilege it is to make every decision based on an awareness of God’s love for me and the knowledge of His presence in my life. I CHOOSE TO thank God for His presence in my life and I bask in His goodness and mercy. Life is Good if I CHOOSE to perceive it that way and if I perceive it that way, I make it that way. 
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I CHOOSE TO 

LIVE FROM THE ABUNDANT PLACE

THAT I AM LOVED
Dottie

……….and so I ride

Another Problem, the same deceiver

Another problem-The same deceiver
Satan is so very good at deceiving us. He will use anything he can but one of his favorite ways to bring us down is to use our own minds against us.
I love God, I am heavy. Nothing about those two things has changed very much for very long. I struggle with both at times but at the end of the day, both remain with me.
These struggles, God and weight,seem to come together in certain ways. Satan loves to plant a little seed in my mind and watch as I take that seed, give it all the water and food it needs to go from seed to full blown vegetative bush that bears rotten fruit.
Let me give you an example. I have let my weight be a deterrent to sharing the Word of God. In my mind a good evangelist has to be thin. To be an overweight evangelist seems counter productive. I may be talking to someone about the joy of what Jesus has done for me but in my mind I am thinking that this person is never going to listen to me because what this person is looking at (an overweight me) proves that I talk the talk but do not walk the walk. My mind is throwing out erroneous thinking at a break neck pace. She must not believe in what she is telling me, has she never heard that self-control is a virtue, did she miss that one in her bible reading?
Oh Satan is good, don’t forget he can use everything available to him to fight for what he wants, even scripture. He will distort your thinking. Believe it because he is doing it every day.
He has used Romans 12:1 in that way in my life. I pounded the part of the scripture that told me to take my everyday habits, sleeping, eating working (emphasis on eating for this purpose) and use it as an offering to God beecause embracing what God does for me is the best thing I can do for him.
All it brought was shame because I could not seem to get my eating under control and my weight climbed and climbed. How could I offer to God my eating habits when they were in deplorable condition?
Somehow I never saw the second half to that verse. I had blinders on and you can bet those blinders were manufactured by Satan.
I completely disregarded that sound advice that followed. It says to look up before we look around. We are told to quit conforming to the things of the world we live in. God will tell us what He wants from us if we look for it. Most importantly, He wants us to fix our attention on Him and let His healing change us from the inside out, not the other way around. This scripture also offers the biggest blast of fresh air and good news to those of us who hate ourselves from the outside in. We are reminded that God brings out the best in us.
Scripture does speak clearly to us about honoring our bodies and how wonderfully we are made. It is a beautiful verse.
Psalm 139:13-16
Let’s take a minute to read this. “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out’ you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God- you are breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration- what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body’ You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth’ all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I had even lived one day.
So tell me, are we taking God’s word for who we are or are we applying social conventions for what society thinks should be the proper size and what we should weigh?
I know it is hard to undo the detrimental thinking that has ingrained itself in our minds since childhood. However, society buys into the lies that Satan peppers our path with. Society not only buys in to his lies, they have made it big business.
Satan says- You are fat, you are worthless and every word you say is tinged by those things.
God says- You are marvelously made. I know you inside and out because I made you. I will bring out the best in you……………if you let me.
Digging deeper into Psalm 139: 13-16
In our mother’s womb what was formed first, our inside or our outside? __________________________How and why is this significant in your life? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
We often berate ourselves for how we look on the outside and what the scale says. Take the part of the scripture that says “I am marvelously made” and thoughtfully, slowly, methodically and truthfully name each part of your body and why it is a marvelous and miraculous creation of God’s hand. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What does it mean to you personally that God knows you inside and out and knows every bone in your body?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why do you think it was important enough to mention in scripture that God did not throw us together in assembly line fashion but rather created us “bit by bit from nothing into something” ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth’ all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I had even lived one day.” Taking all that you have just worked through about the way in which you were created, name your book. __________________________________________
Dottie