Welcome to the online home of Audra Jennings, a book publicist and crafter. Here I share about both. I hope you'll find books you'll want to read and crafts you will want to order. I live a rather boring, single life. At times I would like to think I am humorous. The kids I teach in Bible class tend to think so. I also blog about current seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I don't know why, I just do.
Hearts anchored in God don’t sink
2 of an interview with Tracie Miles,
of Unsinkable Faith:
Strategies to Transform
the Way You Think, Feel,
you’re floating through life and everything seems fine. Other days, you’re
barely holding on in the midst of a storm and negative thoughts threaten to
sink your attitude, steal your peace, and rob you of joy. But just because life
is hard doesn’t mean your heart and mind have to become hardened.
knows it’s possible to overcome a pessimistic mindset and rise above your
circumstances to find the positive—by changing the way you think, feel, and
live. In Unsinkable Faith, her stories
and insights will help point readers to God’s truths so they can rise back to
Q: How is choosing
joy, no matter what, different from a “Fake it ‘til you make it” mindset?
There are days
when we are just not going to feel happy. Nobody can be happy every second of
every day; it’s just not realistic. I do believe, however, you can choose joy every
day. It will take some effort, but it is possible. We can’t just pretend our
problems don’t exist or deny our feelings when we’re hurt or upset, essentially
putting on a fake smile. But when we ask God to help us purposely focus on
having a glass-half-full mentality, we start feeling more uplifted. It’s truly
amazing what can happen when we invite God to change our hearts and minds and,
in turn, our lives. Happiness and joy truly are a choice. We don’t have to live
a joyless life unless we choose to do so. Circumstances don’t determine our joy;
our faith and outlook do.
what process does what we think become who we are?
talks about this. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks
in his heart, so is he.” This simply means whatever we think about internally
will have an impact on who we are, who we become and how we live our lives. Our
internal thoughts drive everything we say and usually
dictate our outward actions. What we think about becomes who we are.
I think many of us are under the impression
it doesn’t matter what we think because nobody can hear those thoughts unless
we say them aloud. However, our thoughts are literally what control our lives.
Choosing to be the captain of our thoughts and transforming our minds to be
generally optimistic becomes the determining factor not only on what kind of
person we are, but how other people see us.
Q: While our
thoughts dictate our feelings, which in turn dictate our actions, how do we cross
over and begin living by faith rather than feelings?
transformation must begin with prayer and surrendering ourselves to God. Of
course, using the God-tools we talked about earlier will equip us for the
journey. Living by faith instead of feelings is difficult, so that’s why it’s
important to make our faith a priority.
Q: How do our
thinking patterns actually change the physical function and structure of our
Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in communication pathology,
wrote a popular book titled Switch On
Your Brain. In it she reveals that because we are constantly reacting to
circumstances and events, our brains become shaped by the process of thoughts
and reactions. If we think positively, the physiological aspects of our brains
change in healthy ways that help us move toward a positive quality of life. Yet
if we think negatively, our brains are changed in unhealthy ways, causing us to
feel and act negatively and steering us toward a more negative quality of life.
also found people who regularly meditate on Scripture and have developed a
disciplined and focused thought-life have increased intelligence, wisdom and a
feeling of peace.I
love how this research supports what we are told in Scripture repeatedly: We can
transform and renew our minds if we choose to (Romans 12:2). For all who
struggle with negativity, pessimism and even depression, this is good news!
Although in many cases there are physiological reasons for depression (and
therefore medication is beneficial and necessary), sometimes depression can be
minimized when positive thinking becomes the norm instead of the exception.
Q: What are
some of the “God-tools” available to help us fight for control of our thoughts
Corinthians 10:4 (The Message) says, “We use our powerful God-tools for
smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth
of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure
of life shaped by Christ.” These God-tools are within our grasp to fight the spiritual
war taking place in our minds. These tools are God’s Word, prayer, the prayers
of others on our behalf, holy strength we can tap into, the ability to
persevere, peace even when life isn’t peaceful and worship. All of these things
equip us to push back against warped philosophies and the lies in our minds
that do not line up with God’s Word.
tactics don’t stand a chance against God’s power, but until we intentionally
decide to use those tools to fight for control over our own thoughts and
emotions, he will continue to have the upper hand in this battlefield of the
Q: A strong
theme throughout Unsinkable Faith is
surrendering our fears and negative thoughts to the Lord. Is this something we
can just do once, or is it an ongoing process?
only it were that easy! In every difficult circumstance I face, I usually catch
myself thinking something negative again. That’s simply human nature and the
power of emotion. However, as God walked me through the journey of mind
transformation, especially in the writing this book, I began to form a habit of
noticing negative thoughts when they occurred and immediately trying to reject
those thoughts, replacing them with something positive and more true.
the whole year after my separation, I had to go back to God time and time again
to ask for His help in controlling my thoughts. I would do good for a while, but then another
problem or emotional situation would rage in, and my thoughts would plummet
into negativity yet again. Thankfully, God is gracious to forgive us when we
stumble, and He knows we are just human beings trying to survive in this badly broken
world where it’s often challenging to think positively. The transforming of our
minds is a process where we’ll never fully “arrive,” but when we commit to
change and practice changing how we think day in and day out, we soon notice
our lives are changing for the better. We become happier and more at peace than
ever before. It’s a journey, but every step of the journey is worth it.
Q: You offer
practical ideas at the end of each chapter, including journaling topics,
actions steps and Bible verses for meditation. How vital are these steps to making
lasting changes in how we think?
can read infinite amounts of information about how to do new things or learn to
improve on something, but if we don’t apply those tips to our lives and put
them into practice, we’ll never achieve success. Just like anything new we set
out to learn or master, we have to apply what we learn to everyday life practically.
That’s why I included many practical tips, opportunities for personal
reflections and ways to apply the book to their own life, complete with
biblical backup. Each chapter also includes a powerful challenge to the readers
to help them really jumpstart their new lives.
Q: What other
resources are available to go along with Unsinkable
have a wonderful study guide that accompanies the book and includes all of the
challenges, reflections and chapter activities from the book, but also includes
bonus challenges so readers can take their quest for optimism even further. The
guide offers more room for writing and journaling thoughts and prayers. There’s
a really fun activity for each chapter with background information about the
famous people who wrote the quotes used in the book. They were all wonderful
role models for positive thinkers who overcame adversity and allowed God to
transform their minds and their lives. These bonus activities help the reader
delve deep into their own thought patterns and feel encouraged that they too
also have a free 5 Day Optimist Challenge readers can sign up for on my blog, www.traciemiles.com. The
challenge will get them started on the right foot in their own personal journeys
toward living lives of optimism. There are lots of other resources available on
my blog as well.