Taking My Thoughts Captive

2 Corinthians 10:5 “…and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

I was thinking about his scripture a couple of weeks ago. I actually think about it often. Like my subtitle says, I am a thinker. Sometimes my thoughts become my reality or I project my thoughts on to others. If I think it, it must be true, right? Not so much. Then I ask myself, how do I take my thoughts captive? My thoughts are like leaves blowing in the wind. Can you visualize a beautiful fall day with huge trees lining a street? The orange, yellow, burgundy and brown leaves create a carpet of colorful patterns on the ground. As you walk through those leaves, a gust of wind blows through and the leaves do a dance in the air. They twirl around and around enjoying the opportunity to show off their dance moves. Now imaging trying to catch those leaves in the midst of the dance. It seems impossible to me. How to you capture every leaf?

I contemplated this on my drive to work. When I arrived to work, I stopped to talk to some coworkers and told them what I had been thinking that morning, taking thoughts captive. We looked outside of the window at the leaves covering the ground. Then it came to me. You capture the leaves and the thoughts one at a time.

Advertisements

Box

Your box is your safe haven
I don’t care what anybody else says or does
You stay in your box
It surrounds you from the north, south, east and west
You can close it to hide from the dangers of the world
It was given to you to protect you from all the scary things
It’s your box
Embrace it
Take care of it
Most importantly stay in it
Do not use it to stand on to make a point
Any points you have can be made from within the box
Do not stand on it to see above the crowd
There is nothing to see except a sea of other people in their boxes
No, you may not decorate your box
It should look the same as everybody else’s
If yours is different you may stand out from the crowd
Your box is your haven to be used for your safety
I understand it’s hard to go from place to place while in your box
That’s the point, to keep you right where you are
You don’t need to see the world
Your world is your box
Do not add wheels to your box
What’s the point?
A box with wheels is the same as a box without wheels
But instead of remaining in one place you will have the opportunity to go where you won’t go
Knowing you can go but knowing you won’t go will create unnecessary frustration
Just stay in your box in your spot allowing contentment to be your blanket of comfort
Remember, it’s your haven created to keep you safe
Stop thinking outside the box
The person who said there was something wrong with status quo is a rebel
We all know you can’t trust a rebel
Get comfortable and relax
Lay down if you’d like
Watch TV
Play on your phone
Download some more apps
No book are allowed they cause you to think
Thinking about anything other than what’s in your box will create frustration
Frustration leads to action
Action lead to things I refuse to discuss
You were created to be passive
Play your part
Stay in character
Live the life that has been handed to you
Mediocre is not a bad word
Those all have four letters
Safe haven, protection
Stay in your box
Relationships are acceptable
As long as they are in their box
You may combine boxes or move into a bigger box
As you have children and they begin to grow
Teach them about box life
Tell them the benefits of living in a box
You don’t want your children to become rebels
You want them to think like you
Live a life just like yours
A life inside of a box
Created specifically for them
Teach them what your parents taught you
Pass down the tradition, belief and life you love
Don’t discuss anything other than your opinions
Any other opinions might cause them to dream
A dream means death to a box village
It takes a village of box dwellers to keep a child in their box
When you die, you get the ultimate box
You can have any color you want only you won’t be here to pick the color
It’s cushioned and lined with nice fabric
Although you will never feel the fabric
Just remain in this plain box until you get your last box
When people remember you, if they remember you, it will be as the person who followed the rules and remained in their box
Which of course is not a bad thing

The Building of the Fire Pit

Last weekend I asked the Teenager to put together a fire pit I purchased when I was preparing to move into our house. I had visions of us sitting outside in on a cool evening or morning drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the fire in the pit and each other’s company. Then life happened and two falls and winters later, I finally made it a priority to put the pit together. I sealed the deal by asking friends over. You know when you invite kids over to roast marshmallows and  make s’mores you’d better be ready.

The Teenager is my designated Mr. Fixit/ handyman. Sometimes we need to challenge our children beyond their current capacity. I had Honeygirl and Little Dude bring the box in and The Teenager went to work. He pulled out the directions, at this age he doesn’t know the man code about not reading directions, and began putting the pit together. He experienced some frustrations at one point and called on his siblings to assist him which they willingly did. Hold this! Lift that! Then I heard he yell out, “you never do anything right!” I called him into my room at this point to have a conversation about that statement. I started out by saying, “one day you will become a father and as a father one thing you don’t want to tell your children is they can never do anything right.” I asked him to imagine me saying that to him. He was having a difficult time but I never yelled at him or took over the project. In teaching our children, we sometimes learn lessons ourselves. I am definitely learning patience and temperance. He apologized and they made up. He also understood my point. I hope he builds his children and my children up instead of tearing them down. The power of our words is just powerful.

Most of what I do with him is intentional. He turned 14 a few weeks ago and at this point I have fewer years of influence and teachable moments ahead of me. I told him he was putting this pit together for several different reasons. I want him to have a sense of accomplishment, I want him to learn to ask for help, I want him to work with his siblings, I want them to work with him, I want him to be the man his wife will depend on to make things happen, and I want him to experience frustration in a controlled environment, I want him to know I am here for him and I want him to know he can do anything. I didn’t just start this journey, it started when he was a baby but now we have moved on to bigger things that have bigger rewards.

I ended up going in to help him out. He was almost done but needed an extra hand and words of encouragement. When he was done, we all oohed and aahed at the fire pit and then began the task of getting wood to burn in the fire pit.

fire pit

As I said before, I bought the pit a couple of years ago. Last year I bought wood to burn in the pit. It has been sitting in my garage waiting. I thought the wood was too big to burn in the pit so I decided the boys and I needed to go to the local hardware store and buy and axe. One our way there the Little Dude had a mild session of wigging out. He said he didn’t want an axe in the house because he was afraid he would get chopped into little pieces. I am not sure what he has been watching on TV but I assured him that was not our short term or long term goal. We merely wanted to chop some pieces of wood. I asked the kindly gentlemen which axe I should buy for the task at hand. The said a 3lb axe would do just fine. The teenager and I both decided to go with what he said. He was the expert right? Well let me tell you that a 3lb axe doesn’t cut through a thin tree limb. The Teenager must have chopped that piece of wood for quite a while and never made any progress. He did receive lots of cheers from his siblings. Thankfully, earlier in the day, I had purchased a fire log that catches fire and burns easily. Oh, the axe did cut through that thing.

The Axe

The friends showed up, it was a cold enough evening with a few sprinkles and they were all excited. The Teenager made everybody stay in the house as he attempted to get the wood to light. I have never lit a fire before in my entire life other than on a gas stove. My ex lit the fires in our fire place and I now have a gas burning fireplace. I did know we might need some paper, smaller pieces of wood that might catch quicker and then the wood. Again, I am thankful for the fire log because it saved the day. The kids roasted marshmallows and ate their s’mores.

As the younger ones went back in the house The Teenager pulled up a chair with me to enjoy the fire. He then began to talk to me about things that have been on his mind. I love when my kids share their heart with me. All in all I would say the building of the fire pit was a great experience. We learned, we laughed and in the end we still had respect and love. What more can you ask for?

Life is too short

How often do you hears someone say, “life is too short to…” do or not do something?

I found myself saying it recently to someone. After wards I decided to make a list. Add to it if you’d like.

Life is to short…

to spend your life doing work that is unfulfilling

to love somebody who doesn’t love you back

to pretend you are happy

to eat food without flavor

not to dance or sing

not to laugh out loud

to remain in a box

to not face your fears

to get married just to have kids

to get a divorce because you grew a part

not to walk the talk

to run from commitment

to live with an abusive person

not to travel

to allow somebody to dictate your life

to not have great friends

to spend your life dieting

not to say thank you

not to say I miss you

to live in misery

to not have hope

to spend your life avoiding responsibility

to not embrace the life you have

to not live in the moment

to not dream

to not live your dreams

Life is to short…