In Others’ Words: Whatcha’ Thinking?

“We become what we think about all day long.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist & poet

I was a pretty fearful kid growing up. Sad to say, I dragged some of my fears right into adulthood.

What made me change?

My first child was born. I remember being at home with my baby boy and the lights went out. It was me — the gal who, at 23 years old, was still afraid of the dark — and an infant.

Who was gonna handle the situation?

Well, duh.

I was the adult. I was the one who had to find the flashlights and the candles. I was the who who had to comfort my son — and I certainly couldn’t worry about the fact that I was freaked out. ย Oh, yeah. I could hear the theme music from a horror movie playing in my head the whole time.

When the crisis was over and the lights were back on, I faced a new reality: Did I want my child to grow up like me — afraid? Or did I want to change who I was so that my son had a mom who was brave — or at least braver. Becoming unafraid meant changing my mind about things — choosing to be courageous even when fear threatened to overwhelm me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right: What we think about affects who we are. Or, to put it another way: For as he thinks within himself, so he is. (Proverbs 23:7 NAS)

In Your Words: It’s Monday again. Whatcha’ thinking about? When have your thoughts influenced you — for better or worse?

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28 Comments

  1. Karen S. Elliott
    March 12, 2012, 5:21 am   /  Reply

    I still, sometimes, have trouble “being the adult” but that’s just my playful nature. And now instead of worrying about how my son will turn out, I worry about how my grandsons will turn out (I’m thinking pretty good since their parents are awesome). I try not to worry about the outcome, and instead focus on the output. I think I am successful, so I must be, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 6:44 am   /  Reply

      As a woman thinks, Karen. As a woman thinks.
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. March 12, 2012, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    Today I am thinking about loving my husband in the way he needs. Not the way I think he needs. Been working on this for awhile, but I won’t give up!

  3. March 12, 2012, 7:17 am   /  Reply

    “Becoming unafraid meant changing my mind about things”–this rings so true for me Beth! I know that what I focus on grows, even a crabby moment can turn into something unintended-if I let it. It’s helpful for me to remind myself that I have a choice in how I want to react or think about something.

  4. March 12, 2012, 7:21 am   /  Reply

    I’m trying to remain calm in a sea of change. Some of it is self created, but still need to remain calm and focused.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 7:43 am   /  Reply

      Stacy,
      Thanks for sharing today.
      Now I know how to pray for you.

  5. March 12, 2012, 7:21 am   /  Reply

    Another challenging post, Beth. I definitely relate to this. I don’t like being home alone at night (I think of people breaking in, etc.), but I’ve had to deal with it several times when my husband is away on business. It doesn’t happen often, but I try to just think instead how much I appreciate him being home when he is. Also, I try to remember that God is watching out for me. Not always easy in the middle of my fears, but it does help.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 7:43 am   /  Reply

      Lindsay,
      I relate to your situation, as my husband was gone so, so often during medical residency and beyond — many, many nights on call. Psalm 4:8 became a favorite place to park my brain. I often fell asleep whispering, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep …”
      Now, do you want to hear about the time I called the police … about what turned out to be a racoon?
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Jeanne T
    March 12, 2012, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    Some years back, when I was struggling with rejection issues, God challenged me to consider where my thoughts dwelt. Most of the time, they focused on my failings, and my fears. I began praying Phil. 4:8 daily, which reminded me where my thoughts needed to be: on whatever is truth, just, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, of excellence or praiseworthy. It’s helped me a lot to focus on these things.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 7:41 am   /  Reply

      Ah, Jeanne … you focused on the truth.
      ๐Ÿ™‚
      Very wise, my friend.

  7. March 12, 2012, 7:50 am   /  Reply

    Beth, raccoons do have bandit faces, so you were almost right.
    Thanks for sharing this glimpse–God has brought you so far and taught you so much, no wonder He has you writing (fun) books packing a power punch.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 11:46 am   /  Reply

      I do believe in weaving truth into fiction, Dee — and it is often the truth I’ve learned along the way. Interestingly, I managed to tuck Psalm 4:8 into Wish You Were Here.
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. March 12, 2012, 10:28 am   /  Reply

    Just thought of this this morning–take every thought captive (Romans, right?) and I wrote a little about this (rotten apples) in my post today. Thoughts are kinda my thing. ๐Ÿ˜€ I like moving ’em.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 11:47 am   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ™‚
      And I love the way you move ’em, friend.

  9. Loree Huebner
    March 12, 2012, 11:53 am   /  Reply

    Thinking about my work week. Sometimes it makes me sad…

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 12:22 pm   /  Reply

      Loree,
      I understand. I do.
      Hoping you can find the hidden blessings in your week …

  10. March 12, 2012, 12:00 pm   /  Reply

    I’m thinking what a beautiful blog you have. ; – >

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 12:22 pm   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. March 12, 2012, 12:22 pm   /  Reply

    I used to be deathly afraid of severe weather– tornadoes and such. But as soon as the kids were born, I had to get over it so that they’d be reassured. Even though my heart rate still jumps if the tornado sirens go off, I’ve learned to give it up–truly–to the Lord so that my boys won’t take on my fears.

    And I’m thinking about writing a 5 pg synopsis. Gag. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 2:33 pm   /  Reply

      Tornado. Synopsis.
      Yeah, same thing.
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. March 12, 2012, 1:04 pm   /  Reply

    I can be a bit dramatic and my mind can start to play tricks on me. I’ve learned I shouldn’t watch/read certain things before bed if I want a good nights rest.

    To combat fear,anxiety and a plethora of other negative emotions/thoughts I have to spend time with God. He helps put things in perspective!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 2:34 pm   /  Reply

      I agree, TC. I have to be careful what I watch/listen to before I go to bed at night.

  13. March 12, 2012, 1:37 pm   /  Reply

    I had a lot of fears as a child too, and I see a few of them starting to show in my son. I love what you shared here, Beth. Definitely something I needed to hear.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 2:34 pm   /  Reply

      Motherhood — it’s all about growing up. Us, not our kiddos.
      Oh, yeah. Them too.
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. March 12, 2012, 5:13 pm   /  Reply

    I love that verse that says think on things that are pure, lovely, of good report… thoughts lead to behaviors and fear is one. I hate the dark too. And going places I’ve never been alone. I don’t want that for my kids. Thank goodness GPS helps me be brave..braver. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      March 12, 2012, 5:21 pm   /  Reply

      GPS is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I no longer call my husband and ask, “Can you tell me where I am?”
      *snort*

      ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. March 13, 2012, 6:03 pm   /  Reply

    Really love this post, Beth. You know it speaks right to my heart because of my fear issues. The verse from Proverbs is one I’m going to write on my mirror. This week I find myself influenced by my fear of reaching out. I need to find reviewers for my books, guest bloggers [you can take that as an invitation ๐Ÿ˜‰ ], and avenues for speaking, but I’m terrified. It’s affecting everything! I don’t want my kids to grow up with fear issues, either. God is pushing me to trust Him in this too, and I thank you for being His voice. Blessings to you!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 13, 2012, 7:44 pm   /  Reply

      Shelley,
      Every writer — me included — has to confront those issues. I understand completely.

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