Have you ever tried to put on a spanx? (aka….girdle)
It doesn’t just slide on quickly. There is always a bit of a fight to get that firm holding- garment in place to do its job….to tuck “things” in all “nice and proper.” I just tried it, and yes, it’s as difficult as I remember.
While that’s a battle, I believe it’s an even greater battle to do this with our thoughts.
Too often, the plan to begin the day with Bible reading and prayer can be overtaken by the thoughts and plans of everything else that is supposed to happen throughout our day. Then, while thinking of those things that are planned, our minds can further drift to all the “what ifs” and even fears of all that could happen. Even in prayer, our minds (or am I the only one?) can drift to places of planning and “to do’s” that we never intended to visit during the prayer. Sometimes I catch myself, wondering how I managed to wander there. That’s why I have found I need to pray out loud.
I often read the scriptures in 1 Peter 1:13 and Colossians 3:1-2, to be reminded of my need to prepare and set my mind… instead of letting it “flap in the breeze.” I remember first reading this scripture in the old King James version – which I’ll include below.
1 Peter 1:13-16 (KJV)
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
This girding up the loins of our minds paints a vivid picture to me of fighting to put on a “spiritual girdle” inside of my head. “Gird” is where we get the word for “girdle.”
1 Peter 1:13-16 (NIV)
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
I must determine to keep my mind on the things to which God calls me. Even then, the “muffin tops” of my mind can try to spill out. But I just need to tuck them in again when that happens.
If we begin the day spiritually preparing our minds for action and setting our minds on things above we will be much more available to be used by God- and more keenly aware of His presence and power within us.
When we take our thoughts captive (We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5) we can overcome the fears, insecurities, doubts and sins that desire to creep in. When we gird up our minds for action we learn to see others in the same way that Jesus does, and then we will seek to share with them the amazing treasure of Jesus. When we set our minds on things above we can then be filled with a peace that passes human understanding, a purpose for which we are ready to live and die, a hope that doesn’t fade and a joy that continually wells from within.
So… as you dress…don’t forget to put the spiritual girdle around your mind. God will be pleased that you did…and so will you.
Wow, how I needed to be reminded of the muffin tops and the Spanx word picture. My words even in prayer find me wondering why am I talking to God about that. A prayer list is essential to keep my mind on task and in conversation with God.
Thanks Judy. I have to remember this often. Love, Jeanie
This might be my favorite thing that you’ve written. (Great picture, too:-) I constantly think about this very topic!
Thanks so much Shari. You are so encouraging.
Jeannie, My name is Mary Phillips and I have been a christian for almost fifteen years. My husband passed away in 2011. I miss him terribly. It seems to get harder as time goes on because the loneliness really starts to settle. I am 41 and my husband was 50 when he passed away from a blood clot. I read “There’s a Turkey at my door” and was very encouraged. It helped me through the holidays this year and helped me to feel a part of the Church of Christ. I appreciate how you and Wyndham open your hearts to the church and make us feel like family. I live in Wakefield and since reading your book, I have seen wild turkeys several times. This morning two mlaes were showing off their tails. I now think of this as good luck and happiness because of your book. My mom is now reading your book and I hope she will be a christian one day. I sent your childrens book to my neice for Christmas and am looking forward to talking with her about it. Just wanted to send my love and thanks, Mary
Wow, Mary. This was so encouraging. I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how hard this is. It means so much to hear that the book encouraged and strengthened you. Let me know how it goes with your mom. Thanks again. Love, Jeanie
Oh this is just what I needed to read! I constantly drift off in prayer and my reading devotionals. I absolutely love your spanx analogy my friend! And you are just too cute to try them! Thank you for encouraging me through your wisdom and insight and sharing his truth. This will stay with me always…
Thanks for the encouragement, Christine. I needed to read this again as well. 🙂