Miles Walked: 365
Miles Remaining: 635
Days Remaining: 221
You may have heard that probably due to our mild winter weather, the yearly flu outbreaks are running a couple months late this year. Usually, the flu peaks in December and starts fizzling out in February. This year, it’s peaking in February. If you have never had the flu, and especially if you have had the flu, you do not want to get it! My daughter has had it twice and I’ve had it once.. It pretty much stops your life for a few days and makes you feel like a feverish, coughing, walking bruise.. everything hurts.
So, just a reminder of flu/cold courtesy… Keep it to yourself :). Seriously though, Please don’t go out spreading your germs on purpose… Even Kristen has been suffering with the flu and has been SICK!
Obviously I’m not going to dedicate my entire blog to germ courtesies.. I have some other contagious concerns on my mind. Maybe it’s just me, but there are some other things spreading as fast or faster than this flu. Contagious attitudes, moods, and personalities. It’s quite unpleasant and may make you feel as bad as the flu but there are ways to cure this problem. It’s up to the owner of these attitudes to just decide that they want to fix it. If left untreated it can cause sometimes unrepairable damage to your life or those around you.
On more than one occasion, I’ve been told by friends that I tend to be “annoyingly optimistic”. Is that a bad thing? The friends that said this are, more often than not, a little grumpy or they actually like to complain about things regularly. Do they notice my positive outlook because their’s is so negative?
Let me share my devotion for today.
Guarding Your Heart – Proverbs 4:23 says to guard your heart “for it determines the course of your life” (NLT). Think about that. Whatever is in your heart is eventually going to show up in your everyday life. Whatever’s inside will eventually find its way out, where anyone and everyone can see it.
That alone makes it extremely important to monitor the things we allow to shape our hearts. I don’t want something nasty, sinful, and selfish finding its way out and damaging my relationships with others, and I doubt you do either.
A large part of guarding your heart means learning how to control your thoughts, your words, your disposition and your general outlook. What you think usually comes out in what you say. What you say affects how you feel, and that shows up in your overall attitude.
In the course of everyday life, this is what determines how you handle your circumstances, whether you’ll have peace or fall apart in a stressful situation. It governs how you respond to others, either with compassion and understanding or with judgment and arrogance, especially when you disagree with them!
You can try and keep your inner thoughts from altering your words and attitudes, but I find it’s much easier to have godly thoughts to begin with. Spend time in God’s presence, and let the Holy Spirit fill your heart with His goodness.
Wow! That says pretty much everything that I was thinking of on my walk this morning when the idea for this blog popped into my head.. how funny that it’s also my devotion for today! If you’re a Grumpy Gus, a Debbie Downer, or a Negative Nancy, maybe you should evaluate yourself, your thoughts, and your life. Maybe making some changes in your life can get you out of that puddle of pessimism. If you’re not happy with yourself or your life, why would anyone else be happy with you?
I’ve known people who enjoy complaining and being in a bad mood, and they are perfectly content to stay in that bad mood. I can’t imagine it. They want to complain about their life or even other people’s lives and they have no problem dragging you into a bad mood with them. How selfish is that? I refuse.. sometimes politely, sometimes not so politely but I won’t join in. I will guard my heart against it.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. ~ 1 John 4:1
The Spirit who lives in you is greater and can overcome a negative life if you ask and let it! You don’t even have to do it all on your own because that’s what has you in that grumpy mess in the first place.
I may be genetically optimistic but it’s gotten even worse since starting this walk with Jesus (and that’s not a bad thing)! You may be wondering what reasons I have for being so positive. Why the annoyingly optimistic lifestyle? Am I blessed? Heck Yes!!! We all are! Do I have an easy life? It is what you make it, right? Do I have problems and worries weighing me down? Not when I give them to the one that can handle them!
We’ve probably all heard this verse but one day it just clicked in my head and made a huge difference in my outlook.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33
The battle is already won. I”m a child of God and He has already won the battle. If I believe this, then what is there to worry about? Not a thing. Worrying won’t change a thing. Being negative about everything won’t help it go away… but it might help some of your friends go away because no one enjoys being around a Grumpy Gus. God loves us and wants us to enjoy the life He gives us. You just have to make the most of what you have. Live your life with Joy.. What do you have to lose? 🙂
I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! ~ Psalm 34:1-8