"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." ... Hebrews 12:11
But. We also head-out early on Saturday mornings because of the kind, funny and thoughtful people we'll meet and chat with in all those yards.
And this weekend? Oh my, I think our city must have spiked the water with extra Kindness Juice. At each house, folks were extra helpful and as sweet as God can make people.
I love New York, always have since April 28th, 1993, the day Naomi and I flew out here to reunite with Tom who'd arrived 10 weeks prior.
Yet here's the thing.
Each weekend, Tom and I expect that, everywhere we travel, we'll meet thoughtful, happy New Yorkers. And afterward, we often discuss their kindnesses toward us and God's goodness in placing us in such a friendly area. We let gratitude well-up in our hearts and then swim and splash around in it.
Well, kinda. As much as it's possible to do something like that.
Do you remember when the Apostle Paul said this?
"So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified." ... 1 Corinthians 9:26,27
The discipline and training part? Well, that's what I try to do with my head.
This is huge to me. Most likely that's why I often speak of our mind/thoughts in this blog (in case you wondered).
I'm strict with my mind and I get tough with my thoughts when they whine and ask to go to these places:
Fearing What's Ahead Alley
Dread the Small Stuff Diner
Worry What Could Happen Way
Concentrate on What's Gone Wrong Court
Offended at People's Words Off-Ramp
Around 1994 I began yanking my mind out of those places over and over (even 1000 times) until they stopped being my brain's default places. It's like my thoughts realized, "Hey. Debra's just gonna drag us out, so it's useless even going there. She and God will burst in like they always do and pull us out by the napes of our necks."
How much better to remind myself how good God is rather than how bad the world has become.
This year-after-year discipline was like teaching an old dog new tricks and this old dog will continue the learning, the minute-by-minute discipline because it's leading her to a serene, more peaceful place. Even now, even here on this sad planet where worldly circumstances and situations will not get better with time.
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." ... 2 Corinthians 10:5
"And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." ... Romans 12:2
"It's not necessarily "what" you go through in life – but "how" you go through it." ... Paula White
Speaking of yard sales, I found those stars above the table, the two pillows for the bistro chairs, a tiny welcome sign in the middle flower pot, the tile-topped stools and the sign in front of the little center bench which I, last week, spray-painted blue along with the swirly plant holder and the cool little clay pot on the table (also a yard sale find).
I found this wildly interesting:
Tom, Naomi and I visited Bodie, CA , the first people there that day. I'll always remember the town sprawled below us, the bright morning sun glinting off the windows, gold and sparkling in the heavy silence ...
Some *live* ivy might be pleasant ... heh