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Cleaning Out Your Mind With a Good Book

Little House in the Big Woods book
Little House in the Big Woods

I've been reading the Little House books to my children at night. They are ferocious readers on their own, but they love listening to a story right before bed.

Little House in the Big Woods. We just finished this tonight, the first in the series. It was my favorite set of books growing up, and my parents bought them for me on my 11th birthday.

I used to daydream for hours about the Ingalls family and imagine life in the late 1800s. I made dollhouses and doll clothes based on the Little House stories.

My favorite impression of the lives and journeys of the Ingallses is the simplicity of life. While the work was very hard, the books describe life free of clutter and junk, free of the junk attitudes of pointless anger and selfishness. I love thinking of life that way.

Tonight's reading capped an evening riddled with anxiety for one of my children who couldn't shake a frightening thought.

We opened the Bible to Phillipians 4:6-8 which tells us not to be anxious, then goes on to say exactly what to keep in our minds: those things which are true, honest, just, lovely, and so on. I explained that we have thoughts all the time that come to us, and we have to decide if they are good or bad. Throw out the junk, and put something good there instead.

Easier said than done. I'm still working on that, and probably will be for the rest of my life. Take every though captive.

Then we opened Psalm 27, and I had both children read that.

Back to the Little House books: after this anxiety episode, we read more about the Ingalls. The stories are engaging and calming, and Kal and Kara are sleeping better tonight than on nights we haven't read aloud to them.

I'm a firm believer in ending the day on good thoughts. Watching a scary movie, or just the news for that matter, ends the day on a sour note.

I clean out my head at night by reading Scripture, any uplifting book, an easy-reading book, or even a comic book such as The Far Side. All that helps replace the bad with good.

Just like we have to clean and sweep the house regularly, our minds need regular cleaning and sweeping.

For me, it's a nightly reset to clean my mind.


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