Taking Every Thought Captive

By May 2, 2013Book Clubs, God Time

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Everything begins with a thought. Every feeling, every action, and every belief originates in the mind. And we’re continually thinking. So, I knew that the battle to transform my mind would take diligence. It wouldn’t happen by accident. it wouldn’t happen if I coasted. I had to fight for the sound mind Christ died to give me. – Lara Williams, To Walk or Stay

So, today is the day we talk about our thought life. Lara shares in chapter three of To Walk or Stay, “I taught in church. I claimed to love God and love my family. But I tore my own husband apart in my mind. That wasn’t love.

Married or not, we can all relate to this feeling of hypocrisy. And when our mind is filled with dishonor, bitterness, envy, or pride (or maybe that’s just me…our only hope is the truth and freedom Christ gives.

The truth from His Word, and freedom through His work on the cross.

I thought long and hard about this post, about what I could add to the discussion. Lara so wonderfully pointed us to our great need to take every thought captive in Chapter 3. So, I put together a quick little video to help us soak in the truth of God’s Word when it comes to our thought life, and Christ’s work on our behalf.

Email readers click here if you can’t view the video.

As we meditate on God’s Word rather than our volatile feelings, hope arises. As we choose to ponder the Truth of His character rather than our fleeting circumstance, peace falls. He gives us this one life, these few days. May we not waste them with futile thinking. – Lara Williams, To Walk or Stay

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Let’s discuss:

  • Do you find your thoughts are more feelings-led or Spirit-led?
  • Have an example of how your thought life has affected your attitude?
  • How do you take every thought captive, through the truth of God’s Word?


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You can find the rest of this book club series here and grab your own copy of To Walk or Stay here.

Recognize Your Emotional Affair, Restore Your Marriage.

If you find yourself truly struggling to take every thought captive, as a married woman, Entangled: Recognizing Your Emotional Affair and Restoring Your Marriage by Amy Bennett comes highly recommended.

  • Have you long since given up on the fairy tale of your marriage?
  • Wondering if your husband wasn’t your soul mate after all?
  • Have you found someone else with whom you’re emotionally connected?
  • Do you wonder what an emotional affair really is?
  • Or are you wondering how to get out of one?
  • Is your marriage in a good place and you want to keep it that way?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’ve been right where you are. I know first-hand what an emotional affair is but more importantly, I know how to get out. Guaranteed.

If you’re ready for an honest, detailed look into an emotional affair from a Christian perspective this is the book for you. I experienced an emotional affair six years ago and my marriage has been completely restored by the grace of God. Journey with me and see what one looks like, how to get out and how God can meet your deepest need for the love you’re seeking. -Amy Bennett, Entangled: Recognizing Your Emotional Affair and Restoring Your Marriage

Entangled is just one of the many marriage resources in our Ultimate Bundle, on sale this week. 935762_457017357718236_761572628_n

Buy-Now-Paper-Clip-ButtonAffiliate links are present. HelloMornings may receive a commission from sales made from these links. Thanks for your support!


  • […] 1 :: Lara Williams at “To Overflowing“ April 25, Chapter 2 :: Crystal Stine May 2, Chapter 3 :: Katie Orr at “Hello Mornings” May 9, Chapter 4 :: Kayse Pratt May 16, Chapter 5 :: […]

  • […] 1 :: Lara Williams at “To Overflowing“ April 25, Chapter 2 :: Crystal Stine May 2, Chapter 3 :: Katie Orr at “Hello Mornings” May 9, Chapter 4 :: Kayse Pratt May 16, Chapter 5 :: […]

  • […] 1 :: Lara Williams at “To Overflowing“ April 25, Chapter 2 :: Crystal Stine May 2, Chapter 3 :: Katie Orr at “Hello Mornings” May 9, Chapter 4 :: Kayse Pratt May 16, Chapter 5 :: […]

  • […] 1 :: Lara Williams at “To Overflowing“ April 25, Chapter 2 :: Crystal Stine May 2, Chapter 3 :: Katie Orr at “Hello Mornings” May 9, Chapter 4 :: Kayse Pratt May 16, Chapter 5 :: […]

  • […] Each week a different blogger will host a discussion on one of the chapters. Discussion on chapter 3 is over at the HelloMornings website today. I don’t need to tell you about HelloMornings because, well, I do it a lot already. :p Summer session is about to get started. My group is full, but there are lots of other groups too choose from. Join us! Head on over to the post and join in on the discussion: https://www.hellomornings.org/taking-every-thought-captive/ […]

  • […] 1 :: Lara Williams at “To Overflowing“ April 25, Chapter 2 :: Crystal Stine May 2, Chapter 3 :: Katie Orr at “Hello Mornings” May 9, Chapter 4 :: Kayse Pratt May 16, Chapter 5 :: […]

  • […] Chapter 3 :: Katie Orr at “HelloMornings” […]

  • Leigh says:

    I am hurting. I fell in love with this amazing man and planned to spend my life with him. He started to,change. He never wanted to be there for me and demanded things of me. I lost myself. We broke up on April 4. Last night his new girlfriend messaged me on Facebook. Apparently they have been dating probably since before we broke up. When I let this man know his response was I had her do that so you would know I moved on. I feel discarded. I wasn’t dealing well with the breakup but to be instantly replaced is even harder. I suffer from panic attacks and they are really bad now. I am afraid I will be alone forever. I gave this man my heart and I don’t know how you turn off loving someone. I am hurting. I am grasping at anything I can to make it through this. Thanks for listening

    • Lara says:

      Leigh. I am so sorry for your pain. Oh sister. Those emotions are both real and raw. It’s difficult to express my deep concern through the Internet . And I know that my words can never heal your pain. But here’s what I pray. One, I hope that you are seeking out tangible support through your healing process. (And it is a process. And there is healing to come.) I pray you have a friend or pastor to call during your especially low moments — someone who can pray with you and speak truth into your life. And two, I pray you cling so tight to God. And I mean that. Those are not just words. To cling to Him means when each one of those painful emotions come, you cry out to Him. I am telling you this not only because the Word testifies, but because He has carried me through some deeply painful seasons of rejection. You are seen. And His plans are truly for your good, not for your harm. Praying for you right now.

      • Leigh says:

        Thank you for your words. The emotions hit me like giant tidal waves and I feel like I am drowning. The tears keep coming when I thought I didn’t have any more. I do have a great best friend who is walking through this with me. I am so unbelievably sad.

  • […] 1 :: Lara Williams at “To Overflowing“ April 25, Chapter 2 :: Crystal Stine May 2, Chapter 3 :: Katie Orr at “Hello Mornings” May 9, Chapter 4 :: Kayse Pratt May 16, Chapter 5 :: […]

  • Late for this chapter but when I read it again last night, I am so blessed that I join this book club. God totally revealed to me my thoughts of my husbands. I need to make those 2 cards. Praying God will continue use this discussion to draw hearts to Him.


  • Amanda Cross says:

    I hope this is ok to share. I get daily prayer emails from Moms in Prayer. Today I got an email with a link to a free mp3 about being a fearless mom. She shared some very practical things and it will just build your faith. It’s the first one and all you do is hit play and then you can save it. http://www.momsinprayer.org/news/media

  • Sara Jensen says:

    So I am a little behind in the chat on chapter 3 but its the story of my life!! I enjoyed this chapter very much! I think I am a feelings-led person too. Since reading the chapter I have been trying to be aware I’d my thoughts and if they are negative towards my husband I am trying to stop and pray. I am realizing sometimes my attitude is horrible and I just don’t want to pray or change my thinking! Wow has that been an eye opener! So I always need to be praying for that!! But this book has been incredible for me right now. Not that my husband is having an affair but we are both at a place where I am sure we have had affairs in our thoughts!! Marriage is hard!!!

  • Erin P. says:

    I think my thoughts are often emotion lead my thoughts. Its funny though because I teach/counsel about this very subject regularly with the teens I work with at my job. In my marriage it seems so much harder to watch my thoughts and let them be spirit let verse emotion led. It affect my attitude in how I treat my husband. We have recently had a very difficult situation arise that has had a huge impact on our marriage. I admit my thoughts have not been good and I have thought about leaving. I have had to fight these thoughts because they are emotion led and not spirit led. I have been trying to take my thoughts captive by having more consistent quiet time, having Godly women surrounding me who hold me accountable and seeking wisdom from my church leaders. It is still a battle but gets better as I work on my thoughts and my relationship with God.

  • I usually am more feelings-led. I have felt this peace all day today. Just an ease to trust God. He gave me an outlet early this morning. I could’ve chose to bear my sole to my dad of some struggles and anxiety my little family is facing. But through my honesty, I just could not mouth those words. All I could muster up to say was how He is faithful and has always provided. What gives me the nerve to doubt now?
    My thought life has taken advantage of awful circumstances the last year. Shame on me, and I need to ask many many people for forgiveness.
    The challenge for myself is to hide His Words in my heart so I can recall on them when faced with such “life…”

    Also, when I finished this chapter (again, highlighter went nuts!!) I found myself needing to stand up and applaud Lara and God for this breakthrough. We’ve heard all of our lives about these visual, in your face sins… Never about the thought that leads. Our culture is so feelings-oriented. What a great responsibility we have as believers in this age. So many distractions, so many opinions. I’m so thankful that I have stumbled upon spiritually mature women that I can learn from and gain som perspective. I’m so thankful for your heart.

  • sarasamomx5 says:

    Do you find your thoughts are more feelings-led or Spirit-led?
    I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle right now. I have noticed more Spirit-led thoughts (no other way to explain remaining calm & not reacting like I normally would). The more I get into Scripture and really study it the more it becomes the latter than the former. I still do struggle with things from the past though. People with whom I have no contact except maybe seeing a post on FB at most. I need to remember to pray for those people when I get those feelings instead of the anger I have over the cruelty of the past.

    Have an example of how your thought life has affected your attitude?
    When I am focused on Christ and His view of others I think more kindly of them. When I focus on me and what I want from others it’s pretty nasty.

    How do you take every thought captive, through the truth of God’s Word?
    I liked the idea of memorizing Scripture. It’s so important to have a good knowledge of God’s word so it can remind us what’s important in the moment we need it. I’ve started with portions of Ps 1.

  • This is on a completely different subject per se than the blog post…
    On the RSS feed there is the link for the free download Exercise Tracker, when you click on the link it goes to a error 404 page. I have a member who would like to get the tracker if at all possible.

    Is there another link where one can be downloaded or is that no longer a feature?

    Thank you so much for your help.
    Melissa Donovan.

  • Joyce Moy says:

    Generally, my thoughts are more feelings-led. In the past 2 years, as I have started to memorize Scripture, my thought life has become better, but it’s so easy for my mind to wander when it is not filled with His Word. Sometimes, we think that it’s not so bad because we only thought something about someone, or thought these other thoughts about being this way, etc, but thinking things do affect my actions, and how I treat someone. Thank you, Katie, for the visuals of the verses.

    • sarasamomx5 says:

      Do you use a “program” (for lack of better word) for memorizing or do you just pick what you’d like? I’d like to get better at this so I’m curious what others do. Thanks.

      • Amanda Cross says:

        I’ve personally been memorizing Scripture with the Siesta Scripture memory team on Beth Moore’s blog. She has suggested finding verses that are meaningful or that speak to current struggles. You could also find verses that deal with doctrines that you don’t have a good handle on. There is a Christian organization called the Navigators who also encourage Scripture memory. They have a schedule of verses to memorize. Also Do Not Depart does Scripture memory. 🙂

      • Joyce Moy says:

        sarasamomx5, I didn’t know where to begin when I first started memorizing again, but I was lucky to have found Do Not Depart. The first passage I memorized with that group is still with me, and has helped me a lot with HelloMornings too (Psalm 143). There is a great community on FB that stemmed from Do Not Depart, called Hide His Word. Some of us memorize the same verses, some memorize their own. https://www.facebook.com/groups/HideHisWord/

  • Lindsey says:

    I wish I would have read this book sooner. I had horrible thought life of my husband. Now it is too late to fix anything. We just had an absolute horrible and expensive divorce. But I can really feel God working in my thought life. Every time satan pits a bad thought in my head about the abuse and neglect I can feel God put a positive thought in my head to just pray for my ex

    • sarasamomx5 says:

      🙁 so sorry to hear what has happened to you but what a great witness to the change God is making to you that you can pray for him. As one who has been in several abusive relationships I know getting to that point requires a great act of God. Praying that as He continues this work in you that all around you will see the change and will bring Glory to God.

  • Melanie says:

    I definitely know that God is trying to teach me this lesson because not only was this week’s chapter about it, but so was the chapter I was reading in another book, and the sermon on Sunday was about living in God’s strength and not of our own power because we will fail every time. I still fail in trying in my own strength and I have victories (small victories), but I still struggle with this so much. Believing what God says is true…I look around at the circumstances and I’m trying to live in God’s power, but I don’t see anything changing. I am so tired. In the midst of an emotional battle…I go to the scriptures and it’s like words on a page and it’s not sinking in. I want so much to be Godly, gentle and quiet. But UNFAIR keeps screaming in my head.

  • This was one of my favorite chapters in the book (I will probably say that every week, so please ignore me!). I have found that I can think my way into a good day or a terrible one. All of it begins in my mind. I LOVE LOVE the idea at the end of the chapter about the index cards. I think giving myself a visual of what floats around in my mind daily will prove to be both scary and productive. My five year old daughter and I have had a lot of talks lately about thought life. This chapter comes a great time!

  • It sounds as if I’m not the only one who allows her feelings to lead her. I really was shocked at the amount of negative thinking I do and wasn’t aware of until I began reading this book and asked God to show me my thoughts. It’s ugly and destructive and I don’t want to be that girl anymore. So, I’m choosing not to. I am praying daily and often hourly, minute-ly for God to transform my thoughts. I’ve started putting reminders of Truth on my cell phone. I set alarms to go off to remind myself to read them throughout the day. I’ve also recorded myself reading scripture and making positive confessions to begin to re-train my mind and spirit to think on the right things. It’s a battle, but I’m determined to not let the enemy control my mind anymore. I do have the mind of Christ and I will fight for my marriage!

  • Amanda Cross says:

    You know…it seems like every human being is susceptible to some kind of untruthful thinking. The areas may all be very different, but they are still untruthful. We can come away with a pious attitude because we don’t feel our struggle is as bad as others. Also, when people are struggling they believe others around cannot possibly be struggling. That’s just not true. It’s just that the struggle of others may not be spiraling out of control as much. One thing I have done is made 3 x 5 cards of verses on fear, courage, and peace along with some others. Fear is where I struggle the most. I have to constantly say to myself, God says not to worry about the future and He says for me not to worry about my life. I will not hold my life so dear to myself. I have also taken a sheet of paper to help identify what my thoughts really were about because sometimes they can get out of control. I began with what was true about God asking the question: What is the truth? Then as I began writing down how He is the Creator and how He decides when the world will end. I realized that I was fearing this year and the end of the world. I was also fearing dying. When I identified what the thoughts were about, I could then answer these thoughts with what God has said in His Word. After doing this, my feelings began to line up with the truth. I felt confident and peaceful. Since I began reading the Bible every day last year, my thoughts are not as out of control, but I still have to be watchful especially during times when my 3 year old is acting out. Anger and stress of being home long hours makes me vulnerable. My body begins to act out too by feeling fatigued and my mind interprets this as be afraid because something is seriously wrong with your health and you are about to pass out or die. In reality, I need to see this as I am fearfully and wonderfully made and God wants me to respond differently and rest. All of these comments today should make us all aware that we are not alone in the struggle of bringing our thoughts under Christ’s control.

    • I definitely agree–I allow my children’s emotions to effect mine, instead of controlling my thoughts and emotions and being more consistent in those areas. May these times during the day remind us to cling closer to Him!

    • Joyce Moy says:

      Amanda, I love your idea of using the 3×5 cards. I need to do that too. Reading His Word has been so helpful to my thought life too. I was not so watchful during my own 3yo’s acting out today. She is most like me when I was young…what can I say? :p

  • Heather S. says:

    Recently my thoughts have been “hamster- wheeling it” in a more self centered direction– my weight. Oh my, if I stay on this thought too long It brings me down? A few days ago hubby and I went out to a nice dinner and had a wonderful time! At close of our meal we asked for bill. The waiter, who was very kind and jovial, asked me when I was due. Let me repeat, not if I was pregnant, but “when I was due?”! . I smiled and said no, but the damage was done. That was Monday and I am still struggling with the thoughts. I have had to remind myself of Psalm 139, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I am His. He knows every hair on my head. I remind myself of these promises. At the same time, taking steps to benefit my health:).

    • Rachel DeRue says:

      HI HEATHER!!! Love to you sister, my encouragement is to keep those thoughts Christ centered.

    • Heather, I have been right where you are. Once, when my daughter was young, I overheard a little girl on her soccer team ask her “Why is your mom so fat?” That broke my heart and I prayed it didn’t do any permanent damage to my daughter. Since that time, I’ve lost weight…and gained weight…and lost it again, you know the drill. But recently, God has shown me how beautiful I am to Him. And so, now, when those feelings of not being good enough arise, I remind myself “I am a beautiful, valuable child of God”. In fact, I’ve recorded that on my phone and I listen to it every morning. I read it every day. I tell myself often. And now, I say it to you, dear sister: Heather, you are a beautiful, valuable child of God! You have great worth b/c you are a child of God. He loves you more than you could ever know. Rest in that.

    • Erin P. says:

      Heather You are a beautiful Godly woman inside and out.!!

  • This chapter was a huge eye opener for me! It has made me aware of the negativity lurking in my mind. I’ve entertained so many negative thoughts about my husband, myself, and others. Taking my thoughts captive and replacing the negative with God’s truth has made such a difference! I still struggle but now I’m aware of my thoughts and can catch myself before letting them run wild.

    Thank you so much for including this chapter, it has taught me that my thoughts really do matter and that they need to be pleasing to the Lord.

  • Lauren L. says:

    In re-reading chapter 3 this morning, the Spirit said, “Yo, girl. This whole depression thing… Pay attention.”

    Like lots of people (and most of the women in my family) I struggle with cycles of depression. On the hard days, feelings of unworthiness, guilt, and shame are like conductors waving their batons over the marching band in my mind. I choose to sit and do nothing, because shame tells me it’s pointless. (And then there’s a really sad oboe solo in my mind’s soundtrack to accompany my pity party.)

    I loved the part in this chapter where Lara spoke of that sound mind that Christ died to give us. I want that. Going to write that 2 Timothy verse all over my house now. (Well, after I clean my room, which was on that “What’s the point?” list earlier this week.)

  • This is so good. I don’t want to live on feelings, I want to live making CHOICES that honor God, whether I FEEL like it or not. So thankful for Scripture. I want to daily put my trust in the ONE who is faithful. Nothing is impossible with God. I want the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be pleasing to the Lord. May the Spirit fill each of us and lead us in our words, actions and choices today.

  • I would say that my thoughts are usually more feelings-led. Ick. I want them to be Spirit-led, but since we’re being honest and not idealistic (I can get that way too) I have to tell the truth. My mind gets wrapped up in how I’m feeling about things, or how I think that someone else should feel about what they said or did that made me feel however I do. It could go on forever. When I can’t think on good things or true ones, I can be mean. Even if it never comes out, I know that I am stomping around or rolling my eyes or not listening anymore. My husband definitely gets it the worse, because I’m the most affected emotionally by his words and because he’s the closest.

    I went to a women’s retreat last year (Lara was the speaker). I learned a little exercise there to help me deal with my thoughts. It was based in fear at the time, but it all tends to roll together. I write down what I’m thinking, then write down the truth. It’s easier to see the difference and to remind myself of what is true instead of focusing on my fear or worry or feelings (especially when they are completely invalid). I keep the truth cards in my car to reread whenever those ugly thoughts creep back up again.

    • Lauren L. says:

      I love this. It reminded me of Philippians 4:8.

      Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

    • Katie says:

      I’ve done that exercise a few times since reading Lara’s book, and I always get so much more out of it than I expect. It’s amazing how far off my perspective of events and people can be from God’s!

  • Amy says:

    I have to echo Lara…thought life is so important! It did drag me into an emotional affair and it probably could have been worse. So, so important to let God transform our minds. Thank you for adding to the conversation–it can’t be emphasized enough!

    • Yasmin says:

      Oh my goodness, I feel like I can relate to everyone today! I can so relate to that emotional affair. If it weren’t for my confessing to my wonderful sister in Christ and our prayers to transform my mind, God knows where that would’ve led. Thanks so much for being honest, Amy!

    • Lauren L. says:

      The freedom in the Spirit to be honest is so beautiful. I went through a period in my marriage where I was convinced I’d chosen the wrong guy and would be stuck in a miserable marriage forever. To use Lara’s words, I was tearing my husband apart in my mind. It took private counseling for me to understand that the problem was in me. As a teenager, I’d developed a pattern of sucking the marrow out of a relationship and then walking away from it emotionally unattached. (My counselor actually called me a “player.” Yup.) Nothing had changed in our relationship, yet my stinkin’ thinkin’ (as my husband calls that kind of stuff) was changing it. I think I began to emotionally lean on other men in my life during that time, too. That part is really hard to admit, but your comment, Amy, makes me remember that being open might help someone else come to terms with their own sin.

      Praising God today for picking me up and setting me on a new path. I’m now so grateful for who my husband is and who God is making him to be.

      • Amy says:

        Lauren, love this testimony and love that you pointed out that it is freedom. I felt like you, sure that I was stuck in my marriage. Turns out I was just in bondage through my thinking. God has give me new freedom and shown me the truth. So thankful and good to hear you and your husband are doing well.

      • I felt the same way as you both, Lauren & Amy. It wasn’t until I started reading this book that I realized that I was still giving myself the “option” of leaving when the kids were older. Ouch! Now, I’m really focusing on the thoughts that I have about my husband and taking any negative thoughts captive. It’s hard. It’s constant but I know I can do all things through Christ Who is my strength!

  • Toot says:

    Often I do find that my thoughts are more feelings led than spirit led. This is a daily struggle for me, but I also know that I can choose to allow negative thoughts to take over my mind or I can choose to meditate on good and holy things. I of ten notice that when I think negative my whole day is negative but when I choose to be positive I have a positive day.i think that constant reading the Word and meditating on it daily are the only ways to truly transform your mind. Reading books like this one are very helpful also, because it allows us to see that we are not the only ones dealing with this struggle and it is possible to transform our thoughts. Thank you Lara for sharing this amazing book. I will be more and more aware of my daily thoughts and conversation.

  • 1. I am definitely more feelings-led. It is a honest struggle every day to put my feelings aside and try to think differently, to not let how I feel about my circumstances run my life. It doesn’t come easily to me, and while being feelings-led has helped me a more empathetic and sympathetic person, it’s also caused more harm than good.

    2. I nearly lost my job over this, actually. Late last year I let my feelings run my attitude. I was feeling left-out, ignored, walked-on, and overlooked. I began to let my perception of the situation become my reality, and I began to create a work environment where those things, were, in fact truth because of the way I was acting. It took being given 90 days to turn it around, to prove that I wanted this job, for me to turn to God and ask Him to fill my heart & mind with His thoughts and not my own. I still struggle, a lot, but God has been so gracious.

    3. Most of the time I can see when my thoughts are going down that rabbit trail. Lara has her “chicken” story and mine is very similar – something happens, and before I know it my over-active imagination has created an unrealistic scenario where the enemy convinces me I’m alone, I’m not worthy, no one “gets” me, etc. I have to be IN the Word to be able to combat those lies. I have to SEE the Word to be able to have it take root and replace the lies. Lately I’ve found that I have to WRITE the Word to focus, to make it stick and to slow down to really dig deep into it.

    • Yasmin says:

      Crystal, I’m the same way! I used to get in this zone with my thoughts and it would consume me and take over my life to the point that my perception was most definitely my reality. But focusing on God’s promises really helped me. I even bought a little book of God’s Promises for Women and it really helped. Writing the Word down also helps me to slow down and reflect and let it really sink in. You are NOT alone in your struggles! Praise God that He gives us eyes to see and ears to hear. It’s when we don’t realize our problems and think we’re doing perfectly fine that there really is an issue.
      So you are doing great, keep working on your thoughts – ask God to help you and He will. Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened (Matthew 7:7). He has thoughts of good for you (Jeremiah 29:11). He is for you (Romans 8:31)!!
      God bless!!!

    • Lara says:

      I just love you, Crystal. Feelings are so real. And can be really good. And they are a gift from Him! But. BUT, our feelings are fallen in the flesh. And just like you said, when we allow them to define truth, it steals life from us. He’s so gracious with us in the process. So. Gracious.

    • Crystal, although we do not know each other in person, we cross paths so much online we might as well be neighbors sipping sweet tea on my front porch. It sounds like from your work testimony above that God has and is using you and molding and changing your heart!
      I just think you are fantastic. I really do. Just want to throw that in there 🙂

      • Crystal S. says:

        Oh girl, what I wouldn’t give to be on that front porch. Sweet tea & porches are my love language 🙂 (ps you’re pretty awesome yourself)

    • Joyce Moy says:

      Crystal, you are not alone….in the whole thought life thing, and also feeling of being left out. That happened to me recently, and really, I don’t think I got all the facts, and the facts I did have, I didn’t get straight…it did affect my thoughts, and my attitude toward my friends. Not cool. It definitely is a struggle because we’re human, but the more I focus on God and surround myself with those who are good examples for me, the better my thought life is becoming…easy said than done. He is our strength.

      • Crystal S. says:

        It’s one of the reasons I keep signing up for HelloMornings (even though I’ve never gone a full session without skipping a week..or two..ahem). That time in the Word, on Twitter with my sisters, being encouraged and reading Truth is so essential to how I start my day!

        • Joyce Moy says:

          Crystal, I think no matter where we are at in life, we are always a work in progress. If not, there would not be a need for Jesus in our life, right? I’m thankful for our online community, which has been such a blessing to my real-life community. 🙂

  • keltrinswife says:

    Most of the time, my thoughts are led by feelings, not Holy Spirit. (I don’t believe Holy Spirit puts negativity in my life) 🙂 It is a struggle daily for me. I need to not entertain those negative thoughts and think on the good and the blessings. I need to more thinking along the lines of Philippians 4:8.
    Whenever I entertain the negative, I bring down my marriage—and dishonor God. When I think on the good (in any situation) I know that I am more of a pleasure to be around and see that life isn’t as bad as I thought it was. Amazing, right?! 🙂
    Thank you for hosting this week and be blessed ladies:)

    • It IS amazing Keltrinswife!! God’s word says that what is in our hearts is who we are (Luke 6:45). So we need to constantly feed our soul and our hearts the Word of God. Good and positive Bible verses so that when the moment comes, the Holy Spirit will bring those words in our minds – it makes such a huge difference!

      Here’s a great verse that I’ve been trying to commit to memory:

      “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” ~ Ephesians 4:29

  • This is one of those “simple” truths – makes so much sense, but hard to “apply”. We know it it is true, but we just don’t do it many days.

    I am convinced that focusing on God’s Word is a battle for a reason. The enemy wants to defeat me there first, because if he can, I’m done in.

    • This is SO very true. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone. A. Not alone in my walk, because HE is with me every step of the way. B. Not alone in my struggles, because this is something that obviously lots of women deal with. C. Not alone in the desire to change, because accountability makes a huge difference!
      I feel so blessed to have been lead to this blog by a friend!!!!

    • Yes! I think we need to remember that focusing & digging into the Word isn’t easy for most of us…the enemy even uses that lie, that we’re not good enough/Christian enough/etc. to keep us trapped in our emotions & away from the Truth.

    • Lara says:

      YES! We wrestle against a very real enemy, out to destroy our hope and peace and rest in Christ. Thanks for the reminder, my friend.

  • Christy says:

    I often struggle with my relationship with my mother. It’s not a positive one, and it breaks my heart to see a woman that once led me to find my relationship with the Lord so far from His will. BUT, I let my feelings of hurt and pain over situations with her get in the way of everyday life. Too often, feelings of upset and anger with her take over the small moments I have with my own daughter, such that I miss out on things she is doing bc I’m so busy worrying about something my mom said or did that hurt me or made me mad. This morning’s post really convicted me of that. My mind is often filled with these thoughts, and I need to work more on focusing on what God would have me to focus on, not what I feel.

    • Sarah (theGIRL) says:

      Hey, Christy – I’m praying for you and for your relationship with your mom. I know first-hand that it’s so difficult not to let the disappointment of one relationship affect other relationships…especially within families. Praying the Holy Spirit will lead your thoughts and help you embrace your time with your daughter.

      • Thank you. I really appreciate that. It’s been a struggle for several years now – first in my marriage, and now with my daughter… mainly because these thoughts are so all-consuming. I need to learn to focus on God and His all-consuming love when my mind wanders from the present, but that is such a challenge. I will take all the prayers I can get. I recently was convicted of this issue (on Tuesday in fact) as we took my daughter’s first train ride at our local zoo… and I caught myself thinking about my mom and the latest issues instead of enjoying the moment. I told myself I am not going to let her or our negativity between us get in the way of these beautiful times with my almost-one-year-old!! It’s a struggle, but I really want to make this change.

  • Lara says:

    So I know I’m repeating myself (especially if you read the chapter) but learning how to engage the battle for my thought life was and continues to be vital to experiencing victory. Because my mind can too quickly run wild (watch this video to see what I mean https://vimeo.com/65266246 )

    1. Now I can say that my thoughts begin as feelings-led but He has taught me to recognize when they don’t line up with truth so I can seek Him to transform them into “Spirit-led.” The space of time between crazy, false, fearful, critical thinking and the Spirit-led thoughts has decreased — which is good!

    2. That video I linked to above in my comment shows an example of how my thoughts affected my attitude in less than 10 seconds. Seriously. From chicken to thinking my husband doesn’t love his family.

    3. I preach to myself. When I notice my thoughts straying, I start preaching His Word to myself, usually while I’m locked away in the laundry room alone. I also sometimes call a friend so she can speak truth to my soul — especially if I’m in a particularly low pit. Community is key.

    • Amen Lara!!
      I used to pray to God to change my difficult, unsaved husband. But the Holy Spirit taught me I was praying wrong. He taught me to praise God in all circumstances, and thank Him for them! So now when I’m having a difficult day, I try to handle it in love and patience (looooong-suffering!) and then when I have a moment alone I just begin to praise God for my husband. I think wonderful and amazing thoughts about my husband and I thank God for the work He will do in my husband – and it has made all the difference. Taking hold of all your thoughts is truly a life-changing topic and I’m glad you wrote about this. Thank you for sharing your heart and for sharing helpful points and ideas. You are a blessing and I’m grateful for you.

      • Lara says:

        Thank you, sister. I love when you said you “thank God for the work He *will* do in my husband.” Love that. Prayers made in faith. Bless you in your own battle for the thought life today, my friend.

  • […] I want to hear from you! Katie Orr is hosting our discussion today over at the HelloMornings blog. Click here to come on over and discuss this week’s chapter and/or to read what others have to say. I can’t wait to […]

  • Amanda Cross says:

    Just yesterday, I messaged some ladies and shared some personal struggles with anxious thinking and that I needed to be more diligent to answer untruthful thinking with God’s Word. I have become lax and have noticed my focus lacking and more anxious thoughts rolling in. I’m so astounded by God in the ways He confirms, Yes Child, this is what you need to do…so be diligent and do it!! I really wasn’t wondering, Lord, is this what I should be doing, but I just see how involved He is with me making sure I understand. 🙂

    • keltrinswife says:

      Girl, I hear ya about anxious thoughts. They can be crippling 🙁 Love that God meets us where we are! Going though that now

    • Lara says:

      He’s so good to His children — faithful to lead! I’m always humbled by that. Even His discipline is a gift in love, because He sees how things steal life from us. Like anxious thinking. It steals peace; the peace Christ died to give us. Thanks for sharing, Amanda.

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