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Saturday, December 9, 2017

5 Minute Friday (or Saturday) -- ONLY

If only...   two sneaky words that can rob each day of joy!!

Recently I read and studied author Shannon Popkin's Bible Study Control Girl.  In it, she reminded me that "Transformation begins in our thought patterns."

She continued, "When you reflect on truth, you wear new grooves in your mind."

"Thoughts are powerful.  What we believe shapes the direction we take in life.  So to change direction, we must change our thought patterns."

She tied it in with Romans 12:2 which says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

So how does that apply to the key word "ONLY" for 5 minute Friday?

Lately I have gotten into a bad habit of thinking "if only"

If only _______, then I could really have joy and/or be happy.

If only _______, then life would be fair and/or better.

If only _______, then I would really have it all together like "insert name of person I can't quite be as perfect as." 

You get the picture.  But the problem with "if only" is that I am wallowing around in the darkness and missing out on so many current experiences of JOY!  Time to stop that, and start being transformed by the renewing of my mind!

My "if onlys" may never happen.  (and probably won't).  So what is it in my present situation that I can give thanks for?  Many, many things!  There's the big stuff like...

  • my salvation
  • my husband
  • my kids
  • my job
  • my fantastic students
  • my friends
  • God's provision for my needs

Then there is all the beautiful extra blessings that happen along each day...

Such as... (I love details, don't you?)

  • Doug (my husband) putting up the Christmas light this year--they make me smile.

  • Going to the movie Coco with my daughter and loving all the great Día de los Muertos tie-ins for class.

  • Facetiming my daughter who is in college.

  • Getting to analyze an Agatha Christie novel with my son as an assignment for his class.

  • Coffee with a student from our former youth group where I had the privilege of hearing about her trip to Africa and all of her adventures.

  • A light sprinkling of snow this morning.

  • My students--I love our conversations in Spanish and English...they make my day brighter EVERY day!

  • God's voice to me through his Word as in the Control Girl study.

In conclusion:

I need to spend time reflecting on truth.

I need to stop saying if only and start living in the joy-filled NOW.  What about you?


  1. Love this! I'm your neighbor and wrote about letting Thanks Giving linger... thought I posted it last night, but appears it didn't go through. Reposted this morning and landed right next to you. "If only"! It amazes me how this worked out, and yes, I'm grateful to be "living in the joy-filled NOW".

  2. Thanks for stopping by! It is interesting how our topics were similar! :)

  3. It's so true that thinking "if only" can lead to discontentment. Focussing on the positives and remembering all the blessings we have makes a big difference.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Lesley!