Friday, October 31, 2014

The End???

They say it takes 30 days to make a habit.

As I said in my first post of this series, I'm not sure who they are... but that's what they say.

And I think they more or less may be right.

The thing about a habit is, it may replace another habit.  Give up cigarette smoking? That's a bad habit... and it may be replaced by overeating... which is another bad habit.

You may have quit smoking for years... and then smell one cigarette and want it so bad you can taste it.

And then, you pick up that cigarette... that one cigarette just this once because you are so stressed out...

And next thing you know, you're right back where you started at... if not worse. That pack a day habit has become two packs a day.

I started this #write31day challenge with the idea that I didn't like my way of thinking.  My negativity affected those around me. Caleb was feeding off of it.  I wasn't as enthusiastic about my work.

Stinkin' thinkin' was killing me.

In this challenge, using Philippians 4:8 as a guiding framework, I attempted to take captive my thoughts.  I attempted to flip the negative to a positive and focus on the good... on the true, honest, right, pure, lovely, praiseworthy, virtuous, and of good report.

Some days it was easier than others.

Some days it was like the Heavens opened and sunshine and happiness reigned.

And other days, I was faced with difficult people and difficult situations who, as Lysa TerKeurst would say, wanted to "bump my happy."

Somedays, I let them....

But I'm slowly realizing that the only person I can change is me... Oh, hopefully I can change your outlook on things, too, by presenting a new outlook, but ultimately you have to make the decision to stop your own stinkin' thinkin'.

And somedays, on those really difficult days, I'm not even able to really change myself.. it takes Jesus.

As Wallace quotes to his students a lot, I need Jesus.  Every day.  All day long. On the good days, and especially on the bad days.

This habit thing is hard. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, right? And it's easy to slip back into the complaining... if I'm not intentional.

So maybe this 31 day challenge is over, but I can't let it be the end. 

I have to keep pursuing. Keep learning.  Keep seeking God, and staying in His Word.

Today, I'm thanking God for new beginnings, for His guidance, for His correction.  I'm also thanking Him for The Nester who came up with this challenge, for the fabulous facebook community of 31 dayers who have encouraged me and taught me through their words.  I'm thankful that I can write, that I am a writer, and I'm thankful for small steps toward the next big thing... even if I don't know what that looks like.

Because He is Philippians 4:8.  He is the Word made flesh, and HisSpirit now resides in me. Through Him, all things are possible,a nd I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me...

Because I know what is true.  I know what is right. I know what is pure and lovely and praiseworthy.

And even on days when I doubt it, it doesn't change.

He doesn't change.

Go forth, fellow 31 dayers... and change the world.. one word at a time. 


  1. Great reminder about making something a habit! Congrats on completing the challenge!

  2. Great final post for 31 days! I feel the same way. It might be over, but it can't be the end.

  3. Oh I love this so much! I can attest to the fact that God can come in and change your natural bent from one of worry and doubt and fear... or negativity and worse-case-scenarios to one of peace and hope and faith... of positivity and expecting the best! Keep at it... you know how it goes... whatever is true, honest, lovely... Congrats on finishing strong!

  4. I have really enjoyed your series. This was a great last post. :)

  5. Lauren, I've so enjoyed reading your thinking as it works to hold every thought captive! And this, "So maybe this 31 day challenge is over, but I can't let it be the end." is EXACTLY how I'm feeling. (I'm also looking forward to a binge session of some of my favorite TV shows!) Congratulations on seeing it through!

  6. I have seen a common message as I have read everyones final posts and I agree it's a new season, but I think we've all been changed and renewed in so many ways. It's not the end at all. I can't wait to hear more from you and see what else God has in store.

  7. I am working on memorizing Philippians 4:8 and beyond! I am not necessarily a negative person to others or around others but I am not so kind to myself and I will allow myself to get spun up about the craziest things so I need a go to verse to combat that! Great post sweet sister - so glad you are going to keep writing! God is using you for sure!