Attitude organizing hacks, a conversation with Virginia Lee
No matter what the topic each week, on my podcast you’ll be redirected to focus your attention on Christ, on faithful stewardship and obedience, and on doing the right next thing – whether that’s in your own head, in your homeschool, or in your house.
But we’re kicking off the year with a conversation Virginia Lee Rogers and I had about keeping our attitudes organized in the midst of real life.
Virginia Lee and I are going to be chatting about how we keep truth in our heads because so often the self-talk that’s going on in our heads, like what we’re telling ourselves, because we’re kind of always narrating our life to our self in our own heads.
What we really need to do is be paying attention to that kind of running commentary that we’re always doing and make sure that it’s aligned with truth and not just whatever we happen to be thinking, whatever happens to pop into our head doesn’t have to be what stays in our head.
So, one of the ways that we can make sure that we are being intentional about the words in our head is by putting truth in there often. So, Virginia Lee, what do you think? How do you do that?
Virginia Lee: I think what I’ve learned over the years is that keeping the truth in my head has to be something that is not too complicated because it has to be done often, all the time, or everything else that’s in my head will start drowning out the truth. And so, I have just a couple of things that are pretty simple, but they seem to work really well and consistently being able to be done.
I have what I call “warm-up books” to get my mind focused on truth that I’m going to be reading. And so right now the two warm up books that I have going are J.C. Ryles’ Expository Thoughts on John and then I have also been slowly reading through C.S. Lewis’ Reflection on the Psalms.
So, I read a bit of those to get my mind warmed up and attuned to getting ready to get in the Word. And then once I feel like I’m there, I switch over to the Bible (our church is going through John right now and so I have been reading there), and then I’m always, always reading the Psalms because they are what keep me sane. And so that combo really helps me. And then not every day but I’ve been doing that for a few days in the week, I get out an index card and I put into my own words the key thoughts that will encourage me or just remind me to keep Him in my sights for that week.
So, not even actually Bible verses, it actually helps me for the index cards and what I’m writing on them to be more like my reflections on what I’ve been reading in the Word so that they may be a little more personal or instructive for specific needs in the week.
I also use the Notes app in my phone where I write down a few specific Bible verses that I can specifically pray when I sort of hit the “I know I should be doing this but I don’t want to” and really that’s what I do. Just those warm-up readings to have other commentary and thoughts, the Word itself that ties in with those warm up readings that I’m doing, and then the reflection process on the index cards and the Bible verses themself when it when the going gets really bad on my phone.
I found just that combination of being in the truth, but also having reflection time, and some of the reflections written down, really helps me to keep that truth focused in my head. Even just sometimes having the Bible verse I think we can get busy and distracted and even just read over the verse too quickly.
I found that reflection portion on the index card helps me put it back into, ‘Okay, when I was having my Quiet Time and I read this word, this is how God spoke to me with it, and this is truth that He showed me that I can use to do what I should be doing to glorify Him this week.’ And so it helps me to have a little bit of both of that.
Mystie: Yeah, those are good. I love index cards.
Virginia Lee: For awhile I actually didn’t really like them because I felt like it was just another thing to keep track of, but I have found that having everything in your phone is not always right there in front of your face the way it needs to be, so it’s worth keeping track of the index card to have it right there in front of your face without getting on an electronic.
Mystie: Yeah, I have a couple taped in kind of strategic places. And I’ve changed them up because when they start becoming invisible, you know, because they’re kind of up in a place that’s supposed to be visible that I see throughout the day, when I become blind to them because they’re just always there then I change them up. So, they’re kind of rotating.
Virginia Lee: And I sometimes change colors of index cards too because that helps me. So sometimes if I’ve been using … you know, honestly, I just buy whatever’s on clearance, but I will purposely buy the crazy-looking neon yellow ones because sometimes if I’ve been using the white for a while, it helps me just to jolt in my mind to have a different color that I haven’t been seeing. I think talking to ourselves, not listening to ourselves…
Mystie: Right. Because it doesn’t have to be extensive or take forever. We kind of build up things in our head and then say, “Well, I don’t have time for that, so I don’t have time for anything.”
Virginia Lee: Yes.
Mystie: But just looking at an index card, even the size of it communicates “it’s just this” like, “just look right here at this small thing and remember this.” Okay, I can do that.
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