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23 July -Soccer morning!

This morning I was up early. It was cold and still dark, and to be perfectly honest a part of me wanted to stay in my nice warm bed. But being a mum with two boys we were off to early morning soccer games. I’ll admit however these early morning soccer excursions are  a “work in progress”. For most of the season I have stayed snugly in bed, letting my lovely husband do the soccer run.  However on contemplation, and my sons requests I have decided I need to think differently about these soccer games. I’ve had to have a change of mindset and attitude about early morning winter sporting activities. That’s a decision I have had to choose to make. I had to decide to either embrace being a “soccer mum”, and be blessed by my kids enthusiasm at me being there, or I can be grumpy and want to stay at home. I’ve discovered the key to this process is changing the way I think about it all, and understanding that God has made me with the ability to do just that!

It  was only a few years ago that neuroscientists believed that the brain was like a hardwired machine. Any damage or trauma experienced to a persons brain was seen to be incurable, and function rather than restoration was the aim of health practitioners.

In the last few decades however science has made the discovery that our brains are in fact changeable and malleable. Instead of us having brains that are “stuck” in certain thought patterns, mindsets, negativity, damage, trauma or even predispositions, our brains are in fact changing moment by moment every day. This change and adaptability is called nueroplasticity.

This nueroplasticity is exciting as it means regardless of what has happened to us, or how we may currently think, we can change. We can change the physical makeup of our brains through our thinking and choices. Plus everynight while we are sleeping, baby nerve cells are being created so that when we wakeup each morning they are at our disposal to replace any negative toxic thinking, to learn, and to rebuild healthy thoughts. The birth of these new baby nerve cells is called neurogenesis.

We may not be able to control everything about our day, but we can definitely control our thoughts and consequently our reactions.  Each morning those new nerve cells can be shaped and used to replace any thoughts we don’t care to have. Science is agreeing with what God says. We can be transformed, healed, set free, and given the ability to start each new day afresh.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Today check up and observe your own thoughts, and change them if you need to. Are they in line with how God wants you to think? Are they full of love, hope and joy?

Be encouraged by how God has created us. We aren’t stuck with the way we think, or the habits we may struggle with; even if we have thought or reacted in certain ways for years. God has wired and created us to grow, develop and change! Reach forward and towards the person, and way of thinking and living Jesus has called you to. Read the Bible today and put to good use those new baby nerve cells to think thoughts of love, hope and faith.

As reknowned nueroscientist Dr Caroline Leaf says, “If you wired those toxic thoughts in, you can wire them out.” So if I wired the negativity about soccer mornings in by my grumpy thinking, I can also choose to wire it out, and be an amazing enthusiastic soccer mum with new positive loving thoughts!

But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” ( Philippians 3:13)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

Prayer: Lord thankyou that you have created me with the ability to constantly change and develop. Help me to observe and change if necessary the thoughts and habits I have so that I can be the person you made me to be. In Jesus name Amen.

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