Discernment

I was able to salvage the post I’d lost the other night from a previously saved version on WordPress’s website. So thankful for that nice new (to me) feature!! Here it is:

Junk food is bad for your body. Not much of an arguement there. Consider the Big Mac and fries. They usually tastes fabulous to me, but give it about 20 minutes and I start to feel gross. Entire documentaries are dedicated to the harmful effects of fast food on our bodies. If I want a healthier body I have to eat healthier food. That’s so much easier said than done when junk food is so readily available, I’m accustomed to eating it, and it tastes so darn good! As I was indulging in a cheese coney from Skyline this afternoon I was considering how our minds are much like our bodies. There is a direct correlation on my emotional and mental well-being based on what I feed my mind–what type of music I listen to, what type of television I watch, and the type of things I read. I’d like to think that I’m intelligent enough not to let music, television or reading material with negative overtones affect my beliefs or my character. However, I don’t think it really has anything to do with intelligence. Toxic information is incapable of being processed as anything else. Much in the the same way that our bodies are incapable of metabolizing junk food into proper nutrition. Back biting, disrespect, hate, malice, discontent, the sensationalism of teen pregnancy and casual sex. I know it’s hard to turn away from the entertainment value of these train wreck shows when it seems like that’s all that’s on. But when I watch them I am grieving and contradicting the Holy Spirit that lives within me. The Holy Spirit will always be there, but if I feed It junk, I’m lessening Its power. By lessening the power of the Holy Spirit unbelief sets in, “Maybe this is all just coincidence.” Disbelief will short circuit your faith before you even realize what happened. If someone hoping to get in good shape is feeding their muscles lard instead of protein, they are lessening their physical power. Lard contradicts the rebuilding of muscle tissue. Eventually heart disease and other problems set in. A slow and gradual process that one doesn’t even notice happening until it’s too late. In these days I need every bit of strength available to me from the Holy Spirit.

I started listening to a Christian radio station (K-LOVE) awhile back. I was sick and tired of the same old songs on the other radio stations. Now that I was riding around with kids in my car Sir-Mix-Alot and Snoop Dogg were no longer appropriate travel companions. I was prompted to hit the “scan” button in hopeful search of undiscovered territories on the FM dial. This was in the days before Pandora was invented. K-LOVE advertises their station as being “positive and encouraging” and hey, what do you know!! It really was! It was actually kind of refreshing to hear songs that breathed hope and affirmation instead of one night stands and relational discord. I didn’t have to worry about what the DJs were going to say next when my kids were present. It wasn’t like a switch was suddenly flipped and I made the decision right then and there to only listen to Christian music. I listened to it here and there when I was in the mood but still favored my Downtempo Pandora station (after Pandora was invented *wink*).

A few days after my world came crashing down into tiny splintering shards I needed that Christian radio station like I needed air to breathe. The perfect song at the perfect moment… There were so many of them. They are prayers set to music when I felt like I didn’t know or have the right words to say. Throughout my pregnancy it was the only thing I listened to at every possible opportunity. Now it’s just habit and it’s honestly my first preference.

I don’t mean to imply that everything else is “the devil’s music” (shaking my fist in the air at damn kids in my yard) . I just want to point out the direct correlation between the mind and what it is fed. A simple bit of discernment can make all the difference in the world, be it music, TV, magazines, etc. I’m not talking about discernment out of obligation or guilt either. Discernment because I want to! I like the joy that resonates after I’ve read or watched something uplifting. I don’t get that from reading tabloids or watching Honey Boo Boo. I savor the hope that resounds from the music on K-LOVE. I don’t get that from mainstream music. Again, I’m not knocking mainstream (or alternative, etc.) music. If it were food it might have a disclaimer on its label, “Not a significant source of spiritual nourishment”. I can ingest it. It “tastes” good to my ears. It’s not always necessarily bad for me, but it’s just empty calories. So obviously when I am in a broken state, as I was upon receiving the news that my unborn baby was “incompatible with life” (haha!!!) I needed every bit of hope and encouragment that I could possibly glean. If I were medically compromised in some way, diabetes for example, I would have to alter my diet in such a way that would benefit my physical health. Really not much difference in altering my spiritual health when I’m mentally and emotionally compromised.

When I am discerning about what I listen to and read, I strengthen my faith and gain a true sense of joy in my life throughout ALL circumstances! I’ve made that conscious choice and I know that my life is better because of it. You might feel that you can handle everything just fine on your own right now, just as I once did. That it’s not important to be discerning about what you consume. If you can only know one thing, know this: NONE OF US ARE IMMUNE FROM TRAGEDIES AND HARDSHIPS. There will come a day when you just can’t take another breath on your own. The Holy Spirit is right there in place to kick on as a backup generator–to give you supernatural strength that you cannot possibly give rise to on your own. Do you have the right fuel?

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:13 NIV)

And now here’s Nornor:

“Oh hi! I like baffs! Have I mentioned that before?”
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“And afterward I had a party at my crib!”
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“Only for a few minutes though because I went and got all tired.”
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“I put in an order for some milks at the baff house. I was FILTHY from my nap and needed another baff.”
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“I’m so happy when these little people get home from school. My eyes light up when I hear them come home!”
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“Thanks for checking on on me! I love you!”

12 thoughts on “Discernment

  1. So glad you found the post; great one. Not sure you realize what an encouragement you are to so many? Amazing again to see how God is using your circumstances to teach so many about Him and His kingdom. Thanks for being willing to use your voice to teach us along the way. And the pictures ….. Icing on a very sweet cake.

  2. I absolutely love K-LOVE … it is breath of fresh air in my car and my home! I made the switch to Chirstian only radio about a year ago and I am still going strong – most of the time!

  3. Thank God it could be saved because it’s worth reading. The comparison with junk food is perfect. I think most Christians are very normal people, we live very normal lives: work, family, friends…
    Once I read a sentence that , in my opinion, perfectly sums up what a Christian should be:
    ” Living in the world without being mundane”
    ( read it in Spanish so the translation may not be the best one) meaning that we shouldn’t be contaminated by the bad things while we live our normal lives.
    Speaking of ” mundane” stuff: I absolutely love the comforter and the cushion on Nornor’s crib, hehe.
    Muuuuaahhh :)

  4. I really appreciated your comment on discernment, junk food, music, etc. It is so true and you gave some great points. Glad you were able to salvage it. Enjoyed pictures of little Nora. Life is great with baths and milk, and my siblings. Thanks for your fathfulness in keeping us up to date.

  5. HI NORA AND ALEISA, THANK YOU SO MUCH ALEISA FOR THIS WONDERFUL BLOG. GOD KNEW IT SHOULD BE SAVED SO WE COULD READ THE FULL CONTENT. YOUR BLOG HAS BEEN SO MUCH HELP TO ME (AND MANY OTHERS). I JUST HOPE SOMEDAY THAT YOU WRITE A BOOK, I FOR SURE WOULD PROBABLY JUST NOT BUY MYSELF ONE, BUT SEVERAL FOR MY FAMILY MEMBERS. WHAT A GREAT GIFT THAT WOULD BE. I HAVE BEEN WITH YOU FROM THE BEGINNING, BUT I WOULD READ IT FROM COVER TO COVER. I LOVE NORA’S QUILT AND HER PILLOW. DID SOMEONE MAKE THE PILLOW FOR HER. IT IS REALLY PRETTY. SHE HAS GROWN SO BIG, AND GETTING VERY STRONG. I LOVE THE WAY EVERY MEMBER OF THE FAMILY MAKES OVER HER AND SHOWS HER SO MUCH LOVE. SHE IN RETURN SHOWS THAT LOVE RIGHT BACK. I LOVE ALL THE PICTURES AND AM SO THANKFUL THEY WERE ALL SAVED. THIS IS VERY WEE HOURS ON THE 28TH, AND I HOPE YOU ARE ALL GETTING MUCH NEEDED SLEEP. AS YOU ALL WAKE UP LATER THIS MORNING, I PRAY YOUR DAY WILL BE WONDERFUL. LOVE YOU ALL. GOOD NIGHT AND GOD BLESS.

  6. Absolute truth and a wonderful reminder! Still checking on you and praying for you all the time Nora, I love getting to see you grow so big and strong, you are amazing and so very cute!

  7. I have been reading your posts almost from the beginning and haven’t commented until now. I accidentally stumbled across Christian music 8-10 years ago and have never looked back. We love Air1 at 90.1 This music has helped me through so much and been a constant source of support. I know God calls us to be perfect as Christ was perfect, but come on…who is…BUT at least with my music selection I know I am never offending God. It’s a no brainer! I can be “perfect” in one small area of my life! I love your analogy to junk food. It makes my heart sad to see people pumping their minds full of some of the junk that’s playing nowadays. Music is so powerful! Sometimes I feel like my life is one big musical or music video! Ever feel that way? That you can find a song to match every occasion :) I appreciate your blog and your generous heart to share your family with us. Be assured of my prayers! God Bless

  8. I just wanted to say hi. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year. We have a mutual friend, Maggie Busam. I was her roommate in college. She told me about your blog as I had started my own after our own life changing moment when our oldest daughter who was five died suddenly and unexpectedly. I felt called to start a blog to share our story and God’s immense love and hand in our lives. When I read yours I see so much similarity. Seeing our Creator in it all. Thank you for your continue praise and wisdom of our good God. Keep on soldiering. I know we would be able to talk for hours about all He is doing and has done. The good, bad, beautiful and ugly. Finally, wanted to say hi.

  9. I agree! I am so glad you found the post! What beautiful and true words you write. Nora at the end…saying “Thanks for checking on me. I love you!” So sweet. It really makes me (and probably all of us) feel like she is speaking directly to us. Life has been very busy lately, but I try almost every single day to check in on Nornor. :)

  10. And we love you, too, Nora!!! <3 Wise post, Aleisa. ALL I listen to is KLove!
    As the kids we see out and about are humming the latest pop song and shaking their hips
    to the flirtatious and often suggestive lyrics, my kids are humming, whistling, and singing the Top 100 on the contemporary charts! I LOVE it. And even better, love it when one of them says that something in their day made them think of a certain song, since the words came to their minds!! Your junk food analogy was right on! Our bodies are temples, right? Only the ''best stuff" should go IN!!!

    You're always in my heart and prayers,
    Lisa

  11. Love this. Brings tears to my eyes. I listen to 90.1 and its for the same reason. I NEED it! In this world I don’t want to hear anything but the truth and these radio stations deliver it tastefully and its enjoyable for everyone. :-)

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