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I’ll never get these Christmas cards ready in time.

I’m not done shopping.

I’ve got to start making the cookie dough.  Start!

It is so easy to let negative thoughts tumble around in your mind. The problem is that once they take over there, they start to color how you see the world.

You forget that you’ve looped a friend who is going through a divorce into a new group of friends.  That you finished rewriting a book and turned it in.  That you’ve got a really good idea for an inspirational how-to for writers.

All of that falls by the wayside.

But when you beautify your inner dialogue, you start to see what is positive.  You note what you’ve done right.  You see the talents of those around you.  You remember that they too are children of good, carrying his light into the world.

Not bad for something that started out by getting rid of some of those negative thoughts.


Didja ever read a headline and think, someone, somewhere is pulling my chain?

Like this article, that nearly sent me into a Sarcasm Spasm. It’s about a study that shows that more people will survive a tsunami if they – wait for it – walk faster.

This fine post said “Lakewood Grocery Store Closes, Disappoints Shoppers.” Well, sure, especially if you’re actually in the store. I guess you’d be stuck there forever, banging on the door to be let out! At least you’ve got Cheetos to live on.

Then there’s this gem: “Big Mistake When Posing as an Officer: Pulling Up Behind the Real Thing.”

It makes me want to commission a study to prove that you’ll live longer if you stop reading ridiculous news headlines about things that everyone already knows!

Some things really are as plain as day, and we usually know the truth when we see it. But once in a while, we still need a reminder.

Fear, lack, uncertainty… these things are tiny blips on the radar screen of your life.

If news headlines were really telling it like it is, the news would be much more encouraging.

Life seems to be spiraling out of control? Headline of Truth: God is Still in Charge and Troubles are Always Temporary.

Feeling down and alone in the world? Headline of Truth: You are Loved Like Nobody’s Business and Have Never Once Walked Alone.

Things didn’t go well today? Headline of Truth: There’s Always Tomorrow, and Guess What? God’s Got Your Back.

This message brought to you by your aunt who always encouraged you to do your best, your friends who would bail you out of jail at midnight on a Monday, and the One who brought you here to this blog today. Godspeed!

On NPR, the news report said that there had been a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. I realized I was already in a cranky mood this morning and wisely changed the channel.

But later, I looked up the story on the internet, almost as if I wanted to add to my own irritation.

Right on cue, I was agitated after skimming the article.  A guy in a uniform worked his way into a heavily fortified compound in Kabul and killed several police officers.  That angered me. The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying they wanted to disrupt an upcoming election. That really ticked me off.  The government spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said the death toll stood at six and an investigation was underway. That irked me too.  Who would name a person Sediq when the family’s last name is Seddiqi?!?  Criminy.

Soon I was hip to my own jive.  I realized I was now just looking for things to confirm my sense that there was always a reason to be in a bad mood!

The thing is, there’s always a way to change the channel in your mind, and put yourself into a good mood.

Listen to your soul’s early warning system.  You’ll get clear signals, such as feeling tight or tense for apparently no reason; being snappish with those around you; a feeling of being out of control or disconnected.

If you find yourself feeling this way, stop focusing on the thing that’s riling you up and leave the room.  Clear your head.  Take deep breaths. Life is never all or nothing, although it may seem like it when you’re really worked up. You always do this!  Or, Life never works out for me!

But you know that’s just pessimistic propaganda.

You can change how you feel by remembering that you are blessed.  God knows you by name.  In fact, he knows everything about you and still loves you.  That alone is an awesome game-changer.

Reel in your thoughts like you would a fishing line.  Don’t let your mind get too far off course, and don’t pull in what you don’t want.  So you hooked an old shoe or a tin can?  Throw it back into the lake.  Don’t get hung up on the stuff you should just let float by.

Get into the habit of seeing the good in people, no matter what attitude they bring into the room with them.

Remember that a good mood is as contagious as a bad one, and you control what you put out into the world. Be a light spirit, even when the world around you seems heavy. It makes life so much better when you look for the good in people – or, should I say:  when you look for the God in people.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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