Choosing Wisely {Giveaway}

Choosing Wisely {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Congratulations to Karen Feigh and Sandy G – you both are this week’s winners and will receive a copy of Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, The Best Yes. A big thanks to everyone for leaving such great comments.  I’m praying for all of you today. Blessings! 


Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make a quick decision and then later regretted the choice you made?

I have … several times.

In fact, in today’s Encouragement For Today devotion, I share a story about getting a speeding ticket and how one bad choice lead to another and another and another. You get the idea.

Each decision was in response to a string of thoughts that eventually made a bad situation worse.

If I’m not careful, my thought life can easily get ahead of me.

If I don’t set up mental guardrails, what starts out as simple pondering can easily become a runaway train of fixation. If you’re an over analyzer, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. {smile}

The quicker I recognize a toxic thought and deal with it, the better.

I’ve learned this valuable lesson over time after making mistakes in my past. I’ve discovered that my thought life directly determines the way I feel and can influence the words I speak.

My choices, actions and reactions are also a direct result of my thought life.  Left to my own selfish nature, I can slip into a cycle of toxic thinking, choosing and then reacting. That’s why setting up guardrails are so important.

What are the mental guardrails that keep me on track? God’s Word.

Over the years, as I’ve read, meditated on and memorized Scripture, it has truly changed the way I think and understand the world around me. Not just a slight change. I’m talking exponentially.  I have more peace and joy now than ever before and it’s not because my life is perfect. Far from it. It’s because God has renewed my mind with His Word!

God’s Word places those “guardrails” on my heart and mind so that I don’t get caught up in the patterns and mindset of this crazy world we live in.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2 

Have you been renewing your mind with God’s Word? 


When you know God’s Word you will also come to understand God’s character, God’s ways and God’s perfect will.

So often women ask me, “How do you know God’s will?” and my response is simply, “By reading God’s Word.”

You may be thinking, “How do I start this process of renewing my mind? The Bible is a big book and some of it seems confusing.”

My suggestion is to start reading the New Testament in the Gospel of John. If you don’t own a Bible, the easiest way to start is by downloading a Bible app on your phone or tablet. It’s completely free and simple to use.

As God renews your mind through His Word, you’ll become a woman who chooses wisely and helps change the world for His glory!

Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I’m giving away 2 copies of Lysa TerKeurst’s book, The Best Yes, in celebration of you! 

To enter this week’s drawing leave a comment below and share this post with a friend. I’ve made it super easy for you by putting the share buttons below. If you’re reading this via email, join us on my blog and enter to win this fantastic book!



  1. Just what I needed today!

  2. Christie Grizzle :

    God’s timing never ceases to amaze me! As my marriage is currently facing struggles my mind is consumed with toxic thoughts all brought on by the enemy! I am taking your suggestions and writing out my thoughts and defining which are truly toxic. Time to erase those poison thoughts from my mind!

    Thank you for a powerful devotion!

  3. Amen!

  4. I just told a sweet friend that I need to read this book and then ran across your devotion on prov 31! Thanks for sharing;)

    • Great devotion and reminder that the words we speak, our actions, and reactions are a direct result of our thought life. I woke up irritated and disappointed at supervising authority at my workplace and their lack of appreciation for my hard work. It appears that my good deeds are going unnoticed. I am reminded that this can be toxic and must focus on the truth from the bible.
      Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

  5. This blog and devotion was so perfect! Taking my thoughts captive has been a struggle of mine for years. Whenever I seem to really grasp it, I am caught off guard (the devil is quite sneaky). I have found that constantly being in tune with The Holy Spirit has helped greatly.
    Also, I have a similar story regarding a speeding ticket that I chuckle about now. I was so bitter for so long about it and even caught myself despising the act of kindness I was trying to do for someone the moment I received the ticket. God doesn’t want us to regreat our acts of service!
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. Kathy Faircloth :

    I’m grateful to have found this site! I’m facing several obstacles in life right now. I get caught-up on past choices and know this isn’t good. I approached a new job over the past couple of weeks and realized that I didn’t give it to God. I was trying to control things. Thanks a million for this site, which allowed me to reflect on my stubborn ways. Prayers please. My life needs to be back on God’s track.

  7. Nicole Wilson :

    I’ve allowed my thoughts to control me way too long. I’m seeking whatever literature I can get my hands on to gain back control.
    I just found your ministry this weekend. Thank you. Can’t wait to read blogs, devotions, etc. daily.

  8. My thoughts are toxic and your post has been convicting and encouraging. I’m leaning on the word heavily as of late and it helps. The road is long and dark, but I see a light up ahead. I will look back on this time in my life and be able to see clearly His hand at work. I know He will see me thru and I will be stronger for fighting for joy and a transformed mind. Thank you for your wise words and encouragement 🙂

  9. Yalanda Devine :

    I just subscribed and started reading your blog last week. God knows what to place in your path to give you a sign of his presence. Every day I have did something pertaining to each subject on your blog, especially today. I was seeing this man who I thought was wonderful man I always expect the worst in ever situation and always negative. I really need some guidance from God to help me through this.What should I do?

  10. Definitely an overthinker. My emotions certainly follow my thoughts. Due to school and lack of discipline, I haven’t been going to church or spending time in the Word. I have begun seeing a counselor about the iverthinking/anxiety. Thank you for the reminder of the root cause 🙂

  11. Thank you for your blog posted on April 24th. This is me so much of the time. I dwell on my thoughts too much of the time. My prayer each day is to trust God more and me less. May God bless you each day!

  12. This reading SO guided my thought and prayers this morning. I have been studying, reading, and contemplating my thought life and choices lately (actually, God has been guiding my “choices” of contemplation lately!). This morning He lead me to your writing. Beautiful and thought-provoking. Beautiful message that God wanted me to grasp today. Thank you.

  13. Hi, Leah! Your words in this post are so very timely. My daughter turned 17 today. She is at an age where she is searching… for who she is as a woman, in society, and in God. The topic of our thoughts was something we discussed just this week, and here I find your words on the subject at 2 AM, when I am awake and worrying about her! I appreciate your perspective, and think that your book is something that she and I could share together. Please enter me in the drawing. God bless you!

  14. This is an area I’m working on. I think about the verse that says “Take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ.” Yes, reading, memorizing, and meditating on scripture focuses our minds/thoughts on the Truth!

  15. Many years ago I told a friend I was apprehensive about what God’s will would be for me. She told me something I hope not to forget. She said she felt God’s will is tailor made.
    I’ve found this to be true in my life.

  16. I so look forward to reading your book! May God’s blessing pour into your life and spill into others from you! Your sister in Christ, Steph

  17. Tonya Kennedy :

    Leah… Thank you so much for sharing this devotional! It helps to hear that other women struggle with the same things I do! Reading the comments have also been enlightening. My friend & I were having a conversation just the other day about the hectic, chaotic morning we had each had trying to get our kids ready and out of the house… she has 4 and I have 3. We were both regretful of our attitudes that morning and how quickly we had allowed “life” to get in the way of joy. I am always grateful for my Christian friends who can relate to situations with just the right scripture and/or advice. I have come to realize, unfortunately the hard way, that negativity breeds negativity and its up to me to choose my relationships & environments wisely.

  18. Donna Bourgeois :

    I am an overthinker. I am in the middle of a big decision and really needed this. Thank you for sharing so openly.

  19. Oh, HOW I needed to read this today. I have just spent my entire Saturday morning worrying and over analyzing over a conversation I had with someone yesterday. I have such a hard time not letting that string of thoughts get out of hand and letting something small end up ruining my day. Thank you for the encouraging words. It helps knowing I’m not the only one who struggles with this! I am now motivated to start spending more time in God’s Word. He’s the only one who can transform my heart. Thanks again for this post!

  20. Your blog reinforces the strength of God in my heart. I am going through difficult times and I find it hard to shut down my thoughts, the ones that keep me down. When I ask God to send the Holy Spirit to strengthen me and take those thoughts away I feel lighter, the burden doesn’t seem so heavy. Thank you for the reminder to keep reading His word.

  21. Thank you for these encouraging words! I would love to share this book with my children who also struggle with making good choices!!

  22. God’s word is what can adjust my outlook, my view , my mood at any time. Turning to certain verses and especially being able to turn to a verse because you have memorized it is so wonderful in changing outlook in a very short amount of time. Something I have to really work on is memorizing more of God’s word to always have it available. We so reflect God to other with how we act and react.

  23. Tammy Brannen :

    Thank you for your devotional and this blog. This is right on target and something I needed to hear today. The busy world in which we live can be such a distraction from what’s most important, our relationship with God.

  24. WOW! Your message really spoke to me. I deal with thoughts and feelings a lot And know many other ladies that do you also. Your message really touched my heart. Thank you for allowing God to use you in writing the devotionals.

  25. Wow! That message spoke to my heart! I struggle with my mind and thoughts even though I know scripture and I know other ladies the do As well. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you in the devotional a you write.

  26. Thank you for sharing God’s word and will! Your blog is a blessing to me.

  27. Elaine Segstro :

    I wrestle with toxic thoughts often rather than resting in God’s grace. I pray for wisdom and clarity in my life. Thank you for your post; it resonates!

  28. Ouch. Your post hit home with me. Still working on getting those ugly thoughts stopped sooner and sooner. I think I’m gaining on it! 🙂
    Thanks for another good reminder and some good verses.

  29. I was asked to teach at a woman’s retreat just this last weekend and spoke this into them. Your current word today proves I am walking in the will of God and sending this same word out. I’m blessed by this ministry and the raw easy you speak. Thank you.

  30. I love this post. God’s been helping me train my thoughts for years. Phil 4:8 is a verse I pray almost daily. As I’ve struggled over the years with the wounds from childhood, with rejection issues and with people pleasing tendencies, my thoughts have (and still do at times) lead me way off the path. I love the word picture of God’s word setting guard rails around our thoughts. Beautiful post, Leah!

  31. Each morning I get up before anyone else does in my house and have my devotion…I have a book that is perfect for busy mom’s to get in God’s Word…Daily Light for Every Day by Lotz. Every morning and every evening there is a page of verses that relate to a specific topic. It’s all scripture. A friend gave it to me and I use it every day. I make notes in the back of it of verses that mean a lot to me so I can easily refer back to them. This helps me to start my day off with God and His Words…no fluff…just His words.

  32. Jennifer Chapman :

    I have recently had a struggle with making a choice of not responding and just letting a comment go. I got angry, felt justified and let my darts fly. It didn’t make me feel better just disappointed with myself. I think consulting scriptures and simply counting to 10 would have helped immensely. I definitely need guardrails on my mind too. Thank you for sharing.

  33. Etolia Crawford :

    Thank you for this post. I know that thought process well—it is like a hamster on a wheel.

  34. Thank-you for both your blog and your devotion on Proverbs 31 today. I have found great encouragement with your blog and your anxiety cleanse.

  35. I am letting busyness get in the way of my time with God. I need to make His time a priority

  36. Thank you! I needed to hear that today. So often I let my thoughts control my day.

  37. This is a struggle I have daily. Reading your post was very timely for me. Thank you.

  38. Thank you so much for your obedience in writing this. You didn’t know I would need this reminder today but God did.

  39. Stephanie Cerezo :

    Thank you Holy Spirit for using Leah to bring me the comfort of your truth today. You know and meet my every need! This message couldn’t have come at a better time!

  40. Thank you for your devo on thought life. I think I am a bit OCD and realized through our 10 year old son’s diagnosis that I might be on the spectrum too. So to perseverate on toxic thoughts, is common for me. Until just recently, I have started memorizing scripture to help me along (Meditate on these things true, noble, pure, etc. and be anxious for nothing). However, the same toxic thought of divorce keeps creeping in to my brain. I think satan knows how to get to me. I never got married with the intention to divorce. So your devo is timely and I thank you for sharing how you set up guardrails in your mind to help.

  41. Thanks for the window into your world with something most of us have known, if not the ticket, the festering anger. It multiplies for the depression-prone, ADHD, bipolar, etc.

    When we catch the pattern, we need the Word and the Spirit to combat those evil darts. Starting the day in prayer and the Word build up the foundation. Maintaining the open communication, like on speaker phone, with Emmanuel provides the positive embrace and assurance.
    Knowing often a steady and intensifying barrage, I often stumble and crumble in the face of the assault.
    Knowing that others are so encumbered, I realize that it is my calling to pray for the many as well as for myself. We can know as well that others pray for us.
    We connect to God and trust, regardless the feelings and other input. We KNOW Him, Sovereign, Loving, Present.

    Real pain and hardship test our resolve to trust, particularly when He is silent. Knowing this, we trust for others pushed beyond their own limits, finding endurance for ourselves, even in the face of noisy suffering.

  42. Thank you so very much for sharing! I’ve been wanting to have a more clearer and positive way of thinking. I need a renewing of my mind. I have been having the book of John on my heart to read. Thank you for the confirmation!!
    GOD bless!!!! :))

  43. Thanks for sharing, this was needed in more ways than one. I’m thanking God for true Sisters in the kingdom of God.

  44. Alysia Gauthreaux :

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING!! I can fixate and over analyze things daily, and the mental guardrails is such a great way to help me! Beginning January of this year I have begun 2 daily devotionals and am doing a P31OBS this month (FIRST BIBLE STUDY EVER). I am soaking in as much of the scripture and encouraging messages each day. After 4 months I know my life is changing and can’t wait to continue on this journey with a stronger and deeper relationship with the Lord! I would love to win THE BESY YES.. In the past I have always over committed myself, and always afraid to say no. This caused me to live an extremely busy and stressful lifestyle and lead to anxiety. The best yes will be a great read and am sure there is lots to learn from this book!!
    – Alysia

    • Alysia, congratulations on your very first Bible study! You certainly picked a great one to start off with and I hope you’re enjoying the fun and silly Melissa Taylor and Nick Koziarz. I pray that God continues to draw your heart closer to His through the pages of Scripture. You are in for the adventure of your life, sweet friend. Enjoy!

  45. This was a very powerful message today, thanks for sharing! I really needed this I have trouble with an over active mind sometimes & it can really get me in trouble! Thanks again for the reminder!! God Bless

  46. Good stuff!!!

  47. I am grateful for your willingness to be transparent. This devotional is a reminder to me that God knows and cares deeply about my struggles. I have had the same experience with toxic thinking. One seemingly insignificant incident can quickly go from being just that to causing emotional damage of epic proportions. It’s like a tornado ripping through my soul leaving in its path a wake of total chaos and destruction. I’m left feeling disoriented and full of doubt. Then the “Red Cross” shows up on the scene. But I’m not talking about the first responders of this world. Jesus is the First Responder. When I cry out to Him, when I lay my hurts and disappointments at the foot of the Cross, His blood washes over me and floods my soul with peace and hope. God’s character is such that He knows the deepest desires of my heart, longs for my affection, and for me to be constantly focused on Him. Although this life pulls me in many directions and I can become easily distracted, I have learned the importance of reading His Word. Asking for His Wisdom and guidance throughout my day, and for opportunities to reveal the Glory of God to others, by His Grace, through my conduct, is what neutralizes those toxic thoughts. This is my daily prayer: Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to “Your Word.” Luke 1:38 (italics mine)

    • Renee, I can tell by your words that you have a close relationship with the Lord. You are absolutely right ~ Jesus is our First Responder and Red Cross this world so desperately needs!

  48. I really enjoyed your devotional this morning. Thank you!

  49. My 12-yr old daughter and I have a strained relationship. She’s going through the typical pre-teen rebellion! I hate it and have toxic thoughts and reactions constantly. So of course she doesn’t like it which makes my job all the more difficult. Please pray for both of us. I would love a copy of this book.

    • Kara, I can remember my sons going through a tough time when they were 12-13 yrs old. Those middle school years can be so difficult. Now they’re amazing young men and I give all the credit to the Lord.

      I want to encourage you to keep loving your daughter, continue praying God’s promises over her and trust the Lord will produce a beautiful harvest within her.

  50. I have been subscribing to P31’s Everyday Encouragement for about six months now. I can look back and see how immensely God’s favor and plan have unfolded in my life — just as you said, “exponentially.” Thank you so much for your contributions to the P31 Ministry. They’re truly a blessing!

  51. This is such a hard spot for me… it’s so easy to choose the negative thoughts and it usually isn’t even a conscious decision to. One of the verses you shared about not just hearing the word but doing it and not forgetting really hit home today, even though I’ve heard it many times before. Thank you so much for sharing!

  52. God totally spoke to me through your message this morning. I had just worked myself up into a tizzy over my husband’s lack of employment when I came across your message. You talked me out of that dangerous spiral into the negative thought abyss and kept me from lashing out at my husband. So thank you!!!

  53. Your post was just what I needed to hear today. Just last night I found myself not sleeping because I was replaying a conversation w a client from work who I found out had lied to me. I kept replaying how to confront her w my thoughts getting more toxic, the more I thought about it. I couldn’t sleep until I caught myself and had to pray for my own judgment and ask for forgiveness. Then I turned it over to God. Thank you for speaking to something we all do

  54. This is just what I needed to hear today!! It’s amazing how the Lord works these things out for those He loves! Blown away 🙂

  55. Thank you!

  56. Little by little I feel God leading me through your gifts at Proverbs 31 ministry. Thank you for sharing your lives and giving great examples of how to deal with the everyday issues that each of us face! God Bless! Where are the giveaway winners posted?

    • Mary, thank you for leaving such encouraging comments on the blog today. I wanted to respond to your question about the giveaways. A winner will be selected early next week (Monday or Tuesday) and I’ll post the names right here on today’s post. The winners will receive a personal email from me next week letting them know their names have been chosen.

      Thank you for asking – it’s a great question. 🙂

  57. Melanie Stanfield :

    This fit perfectly with something I’m experiencing in my life right now. I love how God uses others to bring His wise words to my heart just when I need to hear them. Thank you!

  58. Oh, how I can relate to your post. My mind spiraling out of control and the toxic thoughts is something I am really trying to work on right now. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone!

  59. I often my thinking becoming toxic…not only to myself but then in osmosis to my children. And then I feel awful about that, and the cycle begins all over again. Thank you so much for your message today. Finding peace in scripture is definitely part of the solution but so is surrounding yourself with non-toxic people. It’s so awesome that God gives us both if we just seek them out.
    Peace. mya

  60. Praise God! This is so powerful! Thanks for writing this post, Leah. I used to be super negative, filled with doubt, anxiety, racing thoughts, depression. I can still get negative, but it’s temporary. Glory to God! Like you said, it’s His Word that sets us free. I had a vision of our weapon against the enemy~ Our Sword of the Spirit – God’s Word~ as I was reading your post. That’s what Jesus did, too. When he was attacked by Satan lies, He covered it right away with God’s Word. Praying now the Lord helps us remember to fight all the negativity and attacks right away with His Word. One that I love to use is Romans 8:28, it helps to know that know matter what happens, good or bad, is for my best.

  61. Alicia Anselmo :

    Needed this today. I thank you for your kind honest words

  62. Thank you for the opportunity to win an interesting looking book!

  63. Thank you Leah. More confirmation on where God has been speaking to me all week, through the Bible, Joyce Meyer asking if we are assisting or resisting the devil and now you.

  64. Good word!!! I needed ti be reminded of these wonderful scriptures and the importance of choosing our words and actions wisely…..God’s way!!!

  65. Linda Roetman :

    It’s amazing how so many of us can relate to having toxic thoughts, especially from our family backgrounds. It’s a difficult habit to overcome, but with Christ ALL things are possible. He cleanses our hearts and therefore our minds no longer want to think toxic thoughts. I praise Jesus every day for all He has done for me and continues to do.

  66. Katie Kovalyak :

    Such a wonderful passage for me to have read this morning. I’m dealing with some choices right now and making the wise one not the toxic one. Thank you.

  67. I like and shared this not only for the giveaway- which I would LOVE, but also because I think women especially fall into the trap of negative, stinkin’ thinking and I have learned and re- learned, it is clinging to God’s word is the only surest way to recover and to refocus on good positive blessings- it is a joy to live in His will!

  68. I seriously would appreciate some guard rails in my world. I feel so u anchored at this in- between stage of life .

  69. Charlotte Meadows :

    I have found the Proverbs31 devotional every day to be such a source of encouragement and heart examination! I am so grateful! This one written today is the struggle I have been having recently. Choosing to allow the negative thoughts to grow or allowing Gods Spirit to take over and renew my mind and Heart to think of the things that are true, noble, right pure lovely and admirable! To really live Phil. 3 and 4! To press on, forgetting what is behind! God has lavishly blessed us! May the Lord strengthen me to focus and meditate on these things instead of what the enemy wants to whisper in our ears!

  70. Thanks for sharing this opportunity . I’d be blessed to win.

  71. Thanks for the reminder that how react can set the mood for the whole day for the whole family!

  72. Sharon Vaupel :

    Thank you for your insight. I will be praying for wisdom as I often find myself letting negative thoughts spiral out of control. God Bless You and Your Ministry.

  73. Jane Phillips :

    I love how the Lord used your words today to reiterate what HE’s been teaching me through my daily quite time with HIM. It never fails, what I need most in my life, the Lord provides….I’m just learning I need to first ask and then look and have faith that HE is there and LOVES ME! It’s too easy to listen to the “father of lies” instead of capturing my thoughts for Jesus.

  74. Stephanie Rudash :

    Wow. How many times do we try to justify ourselves to God when there is no justification for us? Thanks for the reminder to keep our choices in perspective with God’s words!

  75. Very good post and reminder! Toxic thoughts are so consuming at times. Especially coming from toxic life and turning around generational sins! I needed this reminder today.

  76. As I continue to work on my walk with God, I seek out all the encouragement I can find – thank you for this today! God bless!

  77. Another reminder of how allowing my thoughts to either re-hash past events or attempt to meticulously plan out potential future events keeps me from living present in His Presence…I long for the day when my more natural thought is to see His Perspective in the present first.

  78. Thank you for the reminder that we can CHOOSE our reactions and that my bad thoughts don’t have to rule me. Yesterday I got some.bad news about a family member and I’m struggling to see the good in the situation but I’m praying and asking God to reveal truth to me . I’ve been wanting to read this book. A coupper months ago I finished Unglued and it was very helpful. Thanks for this post!

  79. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m nervous about layoffs that will be happening in the very near future. Thank you for the reminder that God is in control and He has a perfect plan for my life. Thanks for helping me focus on the positive things and the blessings that He’s already provided and will continue to provide…even during the stressful times.

  80. Mariah Barnhart :

    Thank you so much for this message! It came at the PERFECT time for me.
    God bless you!

  81. Thank you! My sweet hubby annd I working on that…esp after he endured 35 years of bad life “junk” and is now growing in the Lord learning freedom in Christ, but still having to learn how to take thoughts captive that were forced into him when he was abused growing up. Praise the Lord for His healing Power!!!

  82. Leah, thanks for sharing this message. It was timely and definitely on target for me. I’m working on responding instead of reacting, so this is a great reminder for me to choose wisely.

    • This also comes to me at a perfect time. I have a big decision to make and not sure what to do. I am going to start praying more about this. My husband passed away and I am angry about lots. Thanks for the inspiration. God bless you.

  83. Hi Friends! It’s me again 🙂

    I’ve updated the graphic and changed the colors for a little fun twist. I’m apologize if you’ve already pinned the original graphic with the typo. Hopefully, it won’t inconvenience you too much to delete it from your Pinterest boards and upload this revised graphic.

    I’m so grateful for each and every one of you! Have a wonderful weekend and know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers!

  84. Your blog post today was something I needed to read.
    One teenager left at home, I’m a single mom and go through trials daily.
    I dropped him off at school Wednesday, and on my way out of the school, continuing to work, I got flagged down by an Officer traveling the opposite way. I was going 10 miles over the speed limit. Late because my son refused to get out of the bed on time, I was more than frustrated. After the Officer flagged me down, rolled down her window and TALKED to me, she let me continue. I was and am so grateful to God. I realized that just because I’m stressed, frustrated and late, that doesn’t give me the right to throw caution to the wind. Other lives matter just as much as mine. We are all in this together.

  85. Letitia Stanley :

    I often feel the Proverbs 31 devotional so are written to/for me but this one was timely and in my face accurate for my choices lately – not horrible choices but worse – the “un”choice of passivity and the dwelling on toxic thoughts, hurtful moments and the too busy side of life. Thank you for your on target devotional – it woke up my passive state of wrong choices!

  86. Thank you for this! I needed to be reminded about the choices we make in life.

  87. Aubrey Miller :

    Work on this day doesn’t seem stressful anymore at all because you know God is here. It’s all about the mindset and Faith.

  88. Thank you such for your authenticity and transparency….it is refreshing and liberating! I appreciate your words – they are very relevant to my experiences. Thankful for the knowledge of the power in His word to renew my thoughts that have paralyzed me in the past. I’m getting stronger in this area each day and information like this in conjunction with His word empowers me!

  89. Good morning, growing up in a toxic family, it was evident, that, when I gave my life to Jesus that I could no longer live in and with this toxicity. With a lot of help via the Holy Spirit, Bible study, therapy, fellowship, and self control, God began to grow in me a spirit of new thinking which made me so much healthier…one more fit for His kingdom. I love your devotional this morning, Leah…thank you. It’s easy to fall into toxic thinking and easy for it to take hold. I praise God for His Holy Word, that we do have a choice and we can be ‘transformed by the renewing of our mind…’ I hope and pray that i have, at the very least, begun the work of breaking this chain of toxicity in my family’s history…the generational curse. This would be my legacy…Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord…Son of God, Healer, Rescuer, and the Best Friend. I would like a copy of Lysa’s book…i was supposed to see her in NH last Sat but other family commitments took priority…
    Thank you for your ministry.
    In Christ,

  90. Tracy Hensley :

    I have always felt that I need to dig in more but never really knew where to start. So John here I come. Thanks so much!

  91. Stress and bad decisions can grow like weeds when we let them and fill our minds just like they try to fill our gardens. With God’s word we can over come even the toughest weeds! Thank you for this reminder today!!

  92. Julie Dilley :

    Thank you for reminding me that choosing wisely means choosing our relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ over the world; and remembering that life is infinitesimally smaller than we give it credit for. By letting the Word guide us, we will make wise decisions and choices and quit letting the little stuff bother us.

  93. Thank you for this post! Sometimes life gets overwhelming and stress and negativity come at you from all sides—it’s easy to let it take over! Your encouraging words seem to come at just the right time. Never thought of “guardrails” but LOVE the analogy! It’s exactly what I have started doing recently. It’s a work in progress!

  94. This was great! Thank you for reminding me how very important it is to read (and memorize) God’s Word!

  95. Hi Friends,
    I’m sitting here with a cup of hazelnut coffee and my favorite Bible as I read through all your wonderful comments. I’m always amazed at how God uses His Word to speak specifically and individually to the hearts of His beloved daughters. He loves each of you so very much!

    Just a quick note: I’ve temporarily taken down the graphic because a couple friends brought to my attention a typo in it {confirmed instead of conformed}. Oopsie! Once it’s fixed, I’ll upload it again. I guess that’s what happens when I try to create a graphic at 11:30 at night. Lesson learned. Yes, I’m still a work in progress. 🙂

    • You’re so sweet, Leah! I think typos are so cute. It helps me to see them and make them to remember only God is perfect. Enjoy your coffee, it sounds good and comforting.

  96. Whew! Over analyzing leads to unnesecary worry and that leads to a world of anxiety. This effects our thoughts, actions, perspective, desires, feelings, and everything else. And the ones we love normally get the lashing out from the above feelings. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’ve heard it’s wonderful!

  97. Such a great article… I never thought about how my thoughts affect my actions… Or the whole needing guardrails what great ideas.. Thank you

  98. This is my first devotional through you and I loved it! So fitting for my first day to be today…. I dealt with a mild case or road rage this morning. Or rather the opportunity to have road rage. This blog was just what I needed fresh in my mind. Thank you so much!

  99. Just what I needed this morning as I’ve already made some poor choices. I want to be able to give my Heavenly Father, my earthly family and other ministries that God has given me the best yes that I can.

  100. I am so the classic over analyzer, over thinker and dweller of what I should have differently or done differently. I guess I just caught up in rethinking the moment and then it completely spins out of control. I also have anxiety and some panic attacks from all this worrying about it. I love Lysa and reading stuff written by her. I know I could use this book.

  101. Melissa Albright :

    Right now the “Christian” side of my father’s side of the family (my grandparents and my Aunt) started a “war” that is tearing our family a part. It has been in the making for probably 15 years now. In the beginning I sided with my dad and stepmom with their worldly views and how right they were in their rude stand against my grandparents but as holidays have passed and visits to both have been excruciating, I have begun to look to God for wisdom and the Bible for answers. My toxic thoughts and angry heart have turned soft towards all involved and my heart deeply yearns for peace and love to return to our family.
    I think the hardest part for me to swallow is that everyone was at my wedding in September of 2014 but it grieves me to say that my grandparents and Aunt’s family refuse to come to my sister’s wedding in May. Trying to stand firm in my Christian faith and attempting to be Christ-like to all involved has been difficult, to say the least. Watching my family’s toxic thoughts in action has been extremely hard.
    My husband and I now pray often that our thoughts remain Christ-like and our actions pure to everyone. Out of all of the hardships and heart wrenching experiences this truly has been the hardest life event to go through. Every day has been a challenge to not have toxic thoughts and feelings. I would appreciate anyone’s prayers. Thank you for reading my story. God bless you and your family.

  102. thank You for this! I battle this daily and I’m seeing how my thoughts turn into my attitude/action. Working on impulsivity.

  103. I have Lysa’s book, so I am not entering to win a copy, but I did want to say thank you for the time and thought you placed into writing this devotion. Your words have spoken greatly to my heart. My thought life is probably my greatest struggle right now in my walk with God. What started as a spark has grown into a full on derailment in my life. I want victory in this area. I want to be made whole in my thoughts so that I can glorify God foremost, and secondly have the joy and peace you talked about. Thank you, Leah. Sweet Blessings to You!

  104. Overanalyzing is definitely something I struggle w daily! Spending time w Jesus helps to keep me grounded & keep healthy guardrail my life!

  105. Thank you for this wonderful example of how to renew our minds. I have been hearing this a lot lately, but not with clear direction. As someone else said, ‘This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning!’ So thank you again!!

  106. Thank you so much for your blog – it’s awesome! Thankful to God that I found it!

  107. Choosing Wisely (Giveaway): These words are very fortuitous as I am speaking this with my child. He is at the crossroad and is facing Goliath: He must choose his action or inaction wisely. Thank you for your post which I have shared!

  108. Thanks for this! Much needed!!!!

  109. Thank you for this devotional today.

  110. Thank you for these wise words of advice. I need to hear them daily.

  111. My Grandmother taught me to always be in “the land of Praise & Blessings” she used to say “if your minds wrapped up in these things – you’re on to the right thing” I try so very hard to follow her example!

  112. Thanks, Leah, for letting me know I’m not the only one who lets toxic thoughts lead me away from choosing wisely. Love the idea of God’s word as a guardrail!

  113. I can’t tell you how much I needed this today. Thank you so much! ♡

  114. Heather Gratz :

    I liked the visual of putting up “guardrails” in your life through being in God’s word. Thanks for that reminder. I would love to read The Best Yes.

  115. I used to be a classic over-thinker and worry wart! I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for so many years because I always went the worst case scenario. I still struggle to rein in my thoughts daily. Most times my initial reaction is to freak out but now instead of stewing in my “stinkin thinkin” all day, I turn to God’s Word. It’s becoming easier to turn to Him for peace and to depend on Him and His promises for me. Since I already know how to meditate (that’s what “stinkin thinkin” is pretty much) I choose to meditate on His Word. I like who I’m becoming because of my conscious decisions to follow Him. I’ll never be the same and I’m happy about that.

  116. This verse about the renewal of our minds comes to me about the third time this week, and considering the events of this week already, I guess it is a clear sign that it is time for me to renew my mind and re-accept God’s view on things in my life. Thank you for the encouragement!

  117. Thank you for this devotion. I too have found my thoughts can easily send me down a slippery slide, ending up face down in the mud if I allow my thoughts to run wild. I have use Phil. 4:8 as a guardrail to a step back and asked, “What is true, right, lovely, of good report?” This helps to change my perspective to His and truly does renew my mind. Thank you again and blessings on our day.

  118. “God Wink” just think what could have happened to us down the road if I was not really paying attention an speeding.
    God is good.
    Consider it a bought lesson.

  119. This devotional was just what I needed today as I’ve been letting toxic thoughts cloud my heart and my judgment. Time to get into God’s Word! 🙂

  120. Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes I feel like I’m caught in my own head. Knowing that I need to change channels, but allowing my thought to get stuck & cause myself so much trouble. Learning how to align my thinking with God’s word is the only way I can break free of the trap. It has been a battle this week. When I saw this message I immediately knew it was for me.Thank you for the help , encouragement & hope that I am not alone in this battle.

  121. One of the worst things I do is stew in my head all day…it leaves me frustrated and angry and my husband confused! Thank you for this reminder to spend more time focusing on God’s word to combat the temptation to become selfish and angry.

  122. I tend to over-think and over-react. Thanks for the good word!

  123. Thank you for this reminder. Your words directing us back to scripture to direct our thoughts and direct our lives. Thank you. God’s in put will change our out look!

  124. Just what I needed. Thank you.

  125. I prayed for guidance from this very thing and then was led to this. Thank you Father.

  126. Thank you so much, I needed to read this today, I have been in such turmoil this week with a decision weighing heavy on my heart.

  127. I am my own worst enemy! My “thinking” too much about things is something that I have been trying to work on. This could not have come at a better time. When you talked about how it started as a spark and then grew ….I can relate! Eventually, that “toxic thought” takes away from the good things I cannot “see” or experience or experience because it consumes me. God’s events! I need to start saying “Devil go away! My God is taking over!” Thanks for sharing:)

  128. It’s so cool how God brings such encouraging words and practical ones after a difficult night of toxic thots. Thank you!

  129. I am such an over analytical thinker that sometimes I feel I can’t shut my mind off!!!

  130. This book keeps popping up in my path. I am believing that God has a message in it for me to read. Can’t wait to read it now!!! Thanks for sharing your message.

  131. Susan Messina :

    This has was my situation yesterday at work. Great things were happening and then one negative that set a course in my head to go down a short dark path. After really thinks about the whole thing I quickly decided to put those thoughts out of my mind. I know I cannot change the people that say negative things and that I just have to pray for them. I focused on how God was blessing me and thanked him for all he has given me. Somehow we can quickly loose sight of his love. I can’t thank God enough for everything he has blessed me with and for all I mkow he is going to bless me with.

  132. Such a timely word for my heart and mind!

  133. Abby Breuklander :

    Thanks for sharing, I needed this today!!

  134. Latresa Bellinger :

    Devotion blessed my heart today! The battle of negative thoughts has attacked me in recent weeks! But God!!

  135. Powerful word for today, thank you for being obedient to share. Blessings to you!!

  136. Oh how the powerful words of this are so convicting-as a full-time grad student, part-time RN and full-time mom- by the time 6-7pm rolls around, all my happy has been used up! It’s not justified- but so true.
    My tone, my attitiude needs an kick in the rear for sure! Thank you for the timing of this post- God’s timing is always perfect…Traci

  137. So I just signed up this week for the Proverbs 31 daily emails and your writing today spoke directly to my heart and situation. God is showing up in a BIG way in my life right now. Your post today was so what I needed! I have been saved for over 20 years but I need to hide in HIS word and know it. I need to make time in my day to be in HIS prescence and to listen to him!

  138. Thank you for sharing this. This really spoke to me.

  139. Thank you so much for your message today! I have been controlled by my wayward thoughts lately, wondering “Am I DOING enough for His Kingdom?” “Am I in the right job?”, “What about time with family?”. Tired and exhausted… I get in a crazy loop. Then, as I spend “TIME WITH HIM”, reading to His love letter to me, He tells me how much He loves me and not to worry, be grateful, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks (sometimes really, really hard). I am so blessed by my loving Heavenly Father!

  140. This is such excellent timing! My family is experiencing many fiery arrows being shot at us by the enemy. While my husband claims to be a believer, he does not go to church with our family – even after almost 26 years of marriage. BUT….he did agree that we should be praying and reading the Bible together as a couple, and we started with the book of James. We are praying for wisdom, and I think I will read this blog post as part of our Bible reading tonight. Thanks so much for this post!

  141. Lisbeth Lytle :

    One simple incident can snowball into a full-blown blizzard in no time- we have all been there I am sure. What we do next is a matter of choice- do we listen to the devils incessant chatter and fall deeper and deeper into despair? Oh I’ve been there! When I find myself going down this miserable path, I pause, ponder then PRAY! 1. Stop right there! 2. Are my feelings /thoughts leading me to desolation(the devil) or consolation(Christ)? 3. If desolation, then I call on the name of the LORD and rebuke Satan! “Submit yourselves therefore to GOD, resist the devil and he will flee from you”[James 4:7]

  142. Your words are so stirring. Thank as they call us all to desire Godly guidance by getting rooted in God’s word.

  143. One year ago, a friend shared your daily devotional and since subscribing many speak directly to me in Gods perfect timing ! Early this week , I felt called by God to walk along side a family member and am hesitant to take that first step. Yesterday, 4/23/15 ; I woke up to read ” Did I hear God wrong?” and today, 4/24/15, “Breaking the cycle of toxic thoughts” is exactly the push I needed to share the word with this person. Thank you Leah, your timing has been perfect !

  144. So much of what you said resonated with me – over analytical. After years of over working I struggle with thoughts of “I can’t do any more” instead of relying on God’s guidance and not my feelings or my plans. Live changes appear daunting in the near future and I am fearful. I used to be better at putting up guardrails (I used Phil 4:8-9 as my go to). Thanks for the encouragement to get back in scripture and start memorizing.

  145. I really enjoyed today’s devotion.. I so often choose to dwell on bad thoughts and I am just starting to work on channeling those thought toward God. It is amazing how Satan can bring back old incidents even when I thought I was over them,

  146. I really enjoyed this devotion. It was needed.

  147. Oh my goodness…I went through the same thing; and felt the same way…angry, justified, and like a loser! Thanks for this reminder!

  148. April Anstey :

    A great message to start my day with. Thank you and be blessed.

  149. THANK YOU for your wisdom. You wrote your heart so well… touched mine.
    I read your words and they are going to transform the way I look at my issues from now on. Jean

  150. Satan’s playground is the battlefield in my mind….The Holy Spirit whispered that to me over twenty years ago.Long before a book was written about it! This is a daily struggle of flesh vs spirit and how we choose to walk.Choose L’Chaim…Choose life!

  151. This book would help me as I am trying to figure out how to declutter and say no moRe

  152. Thank you for the guardrail analogy – been struggling emotionally for quite some time after a number of great losses. Beyond the appropriate grieving, I’m learning that the battle is in my mind. Your encouragement today to memorize and use his word to refocus my thought patterns is huge — I can get caught for days in the what ifs that suck me in. Thank you for the ways you daily bring new insights to us (or remind us of things we’ve known) and point us to Him and the word. He promises us joy in the morning – now need to search for that verse and others!! Blessings

  153. I know I have been struggling with this for a while. I let the bad thoughts overwhelm me. Thank you for the encouraging words and reminders.

  154. Thanks for this devotional today and for the entry to win the book. I could really used it! I feel as if I am making one mistake after another and am stressed all of the time. Thanks so much!

  155. Stayce McClain :

    I’ve been struggling with some decisions & wanting to go my own direction. Thank you for the reminder that freedom comes from choosing God’s perfect wisdom! Your words & James 1:25 are what I needed to hear this morning!

  156. Denise Michael :

    Thanks for the reminder of choosing wisely….I made a quick decision yesterday that wasn’t good and after thinking I had to return the very thing I thought was the answer. Thanks so you for the bible verse and words ……

  157. Deb Althouse :

    Our son at the age of 27 instantly went to heaven on January 26 ,2015. I have found God’s word to be most helpful. A dear friend recently had told me about Proverbs 31 and I wake up to a wonderful start each morning now that I receive your devotions!
    Thank you for making such a difference in my life!

    • Deb, I’m praying for you today as I can’t imagine the heartache you must be experiencing – longing to see your son again. A couple months ago, I taught a series by Pastor Chip Ingram called, Heaven: It’s Not What You Think. It was filled with Biblical truths about Heaven and what our loved one are experiencing now that they are with the Lord in Heaven. You may want to check it out online. Even if you just watch the videos, I believe God will use it to encourage you.

  158. I am grateful ! As someone special said, ‘God help me want the things I want to want ‘ ~ Gods will in all
    Your words are sweet reminders to a weary soul – the perfect medicine Gods divine Word
    Thank you

  159. Thank you for this reminder. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. I love the book of James!

  160. Wow, thank you for sharing this. My mind is my own worst enemy. Thank you Jesus that he can set us free.

  161. Thank you so much!! Just what I needed this morning!! Toxic thoughts are a real struggle for me ! I pray that God would help me to be an overcomer! May the Lord Bless you!

  162. Thank you! Definitely needed this today to keep my mind on the right road.

  163. I love the idea of Scripture being mental guardrails…..I also am guilty of letting my thoughts snowball out of control. My new favorite way to memorize scripture is to save an image containing a verse (such as the one above) on the lock screen of my phone. Seeing it many many times a day makes it easy to memorize and it also serves as a great reminder!

  164. Thank you for sharing this today. I awoke very early this morning focused on something that happened yesterday. I am conflicted between obedience and surrender and safety and not obeying The Lord. It is a good reminder that we are not to be of this world just in it

  165. Choosing wisely is very hard when so many things need to be done – many are good and how to choose? I am learning I cant do it all.

  166. Thank you, this is such a dailey struggle for me!

  167. I have recently allowed negative feedback dictate my thoughts and then have indeed made decisions, taken action and entertained further negative thought patterns. Instead, I need to seek God’s desire for me through this experience, and especially to accept all things as from Him, for my benefit. As I choose to submit to His working in all situations, rather than allowing anger, fear or indignation further grow in my thoughts, and in my heart, I can truly benefit from an unhappy situation…He draws me closer, I submit and accept His comfort…I am blessed.

  168. I was sharing this message last night in a tear filled conversation with my junior in high school. It is such a tough world on these kids. One wrong choice can bring so much sadness. I’m going to read this with her later today. Thank you for great thoughts!

  169. Needed this today! Been struggling with toxic thoughts for awhile. God, you are so good! Your timing is perfect and this is a great reminder you know the plans you have for me!

  170. Thank you for this reminder!

  171. Exzactly what im trying to teach my high school daughter. This is for her

  172. Oh, I needed this reminder today! I love how you use the word picture of “mental guard rails” because my anxious or angry thoughts so easily wander off the road of whatever is best–I need to remember Philippians 4:9 on these occasions!

  173. I have even making note cards with scriptures about the battle in our mind… perfect addition to them!

  174. Thank you!

  175. Mental guardrails….. I love this analogy. Thank you for the reminder. I can’t control life but I can control my thoughts!!

  176. Thank you for this devotion! I struggle with the “confusing” parts of the bible and unfortunately do not read the bible when I know I should. I’m struggling with a decision on whether I should change jobs or stay where I am. I too over-analyze everything and want to follow God’s will, but allow these toxic thoughts to run wild. Thank you for the suggestion on where to start in the Bible. I have downloaded a bible app and have made a commitment to start reading the gospel of John today and everyday. Thank you so much for encouraging so many of us in need. You have truly made a positive difference in so many lives.

    • Tara, I’m so excited you’ve downloaded the Bible app and have made a commitment to start reading the Gospel of John! I’m praying that God will speak clearly to your heart so that you know without a shadow of doubt He is with you.

  177. I like the idea of guardrails keeping us on the right track, although I must look like I am in a bumper car!

  178. Thank you for this reminder. Your words directing us back to scripture are spot on and just where we should be. Thank you. Our in put will change our out look!

  179. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. God is forever good in His timing.

  180. Yes Lord daily fill me with you through your Word..

  181. this was a very timely message and something I’ve been trying to do. Thanks for your input.

  182. Thank you for the reminder to keep my thoughts guarded by God’s Word! I struggle with going down the rabbit hole of negative, toxic and obsessive thoughts. I too have found that I must address such thoughts early and bring the light of His Word to them. Sometimes this is easier said than done and I have to repeat His Word of truth multiple times in rebuke, but I have found that God is always faithful and His Word brings only good, shining light on the darkness of my thoughts.

  183. Thank you for your encouraging words!! Your encouragement to chose wisely is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I look forward to starting the process of renewing my mind! Bless you and thank you!!

  184. What a great post! This is definitely an area that we all struggle in. I need to continually go back to God’s word when I begin to struggle with my thoughts. I’ve also learned that speaking scripture out loud is so very helpful! Satan can’t stand it!

  185. This message is exactly what I needed. I desire wisdom in my job situation where everyone is very negative and instead of reacting in the flesh I am asking God for direction.

  186. Thank you so much for your words this morning! Very timely. God certainly used your words to speak to my heart. Proverbs 31 is such a blessing!!!!

  187. Romans 12:1-2 is my life verse. I too struggle with the cycle of toxic thoughts.

  188. My my my! What an on time word for me on this morning! This one was so on point! Wow!

  189. What a reminder to listen, and obey, that still small voice. I desire to choose today, in the midst if noise, to hear His voice and obey. Thank you for the wisdom directing us to our Source of wisdom.

  190. Timing is everything. I so needed this reminder today after such a long & challenging week at work. It is too easy to slip into and get sucked into how the world views and reacts to life. Time to buckle down and get back to memorizing God’s word to stay focused on the important!

  191. I never thought of my “thought life” needing “guardrails”…love it! More importantly, it so true! Thank-you for your encouraging words. Blessings to you! 🙂

  192. What a revolutionary thought:putting up the guardrails! And the guardrails are God’s word 🙂 I think it’s a nifty way to re-approach over analytical (and often toxic) thinking! I am that person, and the toxic sludge that has formed daily in my mind has been evident in my quick temper and impatience towards those around me. I have seen evidence in God’s powerful word working in me these past few days, but it’s a long and slow road for me. My bad thought choices (dwelling, replaying scenarios) combined with life circumstances have been making me overwhelmed and resentful. God’s word is the guardrail against this!

  193. I needed this today after my yesterday. I choose to place my thoughts on the things God what’s me to think on. If I place my trust in him, I can let go of hurts from today and yesterday because I am resting in him. Thanks for the reminder to not allow my mind to go t”there”. To give my thought to him who has over come all things.

  194. Jennifer Coca :

    I have allowed my current situation to dictate my attitude. My marriage has been hard and hurtful for so long that I have become hard and hurtful. I have failed to rest in Christ and His Words. Some days are better than others but I fail to check my thoughts and actions with God’s Word and I act out of my hurt. I am hopeful that I will in Christ let go and trust and just do what He is asking and not live by how I feel.

  195. Monique Ruiz :

    Thanks so much for sharing! Always a good reminder!

  196. Thanks for sharing..Ive have felt like that so many times..Ive done good things in my life and sometimes I think Why am I in the place Im in….? Then I renew my mind with his word and know our hope of good things really good things are in Him only…………………….

  197. Jennifer,

    I know how you feel and I’m at the same point too but with a different situation. Its painful and sometimes very difficult to see where God is taking you with all this but one thing I can assure you is that He does not and will not fail us. Today I was in that train of thought of is this ever going to end? Am I going to make it? Will I heal from this? I too have been living by my feelings and its made life very painful for me without trusting Jesus to be in control even though I continually believed that he was. Today I got this verse to remind me again that He does care and he hasn’t forgotten me, you either, so take heart. Psalms 10:17 Here are a few more promises – Isaiah 50:5-7, Hebrews 13:6, Psalms 32:7-8.

    God bless. Nothing is impossible with Jesus. His intentions for us are always good and full of blessing. Stay strong in him. He will not fail you.

  198. Leah,

    Thank you again my blessed sister for these wonderful words and truth you have brought to light at the time I needed it most. Romans 12:2 wraps it up so well. Yes, His word is all i need and that too was a powerful reminder to me to get back on track in that area to be able to really know what He wants for my life and to know the next step He wants me to take.

    Love and bless you in Jesus name.

  199. Judy, thank you for sharing these additional Scripture verses on the blog today. We can never have too many promises from God. His Word stands forever and great is His faithfulness.


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