Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
It has been so much fun to share ideas about faith, in our real lives; being in the world and not of it! I love that so many of you respond, and I am so encouraged by your enthusiasm, as we walk this journey together! (You can go to the blogspot, and hit comment, or reply to email) Clearly even when our journeys are different, there are similar themes that touch us all. One that seems to have struck a cord with so many of you is the way we chose to think about our lives and the ways we chose to walk out that life! Sometimes it is not as much what happens to us, as how we choose to let it affect us, or our thoughts.
Philippians 4:8 is an amazing filter for our thought life. I discovered its transforming power when Justin (now 14) was about 3 months old and I began to suffer from anxiety. Long story short (NOT my talent or gifting) I recovered quickly because I dove into tons of books written soley on the subject of Phil 4:8. I began with a (non-Christian) book that taught you to turn your thoughts around, with a bunch of silly concepts, however the bones of the book were excellent. I then, decided, I couldn't sink my teeth into a concept that wasn't from scripture, so I searched Christian books and Scripture for the closest I could find, then filled in the gaps with my own take on turning your thoughts around.
So, if we choose to seek what is: true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy in every situation, conversation, relationship, work or school issue, etc... we almost never get into a battle of the will (pride), and almost always can put ourselves last. When applying Phil 4:8 to people, it allows us to look lovingly to our loved one/friend as a creation of God, by HIM. When applying to health, it causes us to emphasize the positive. When applying it to life in general, we begin to look at everything as half full, not half empty. It is always the same glass of water, half full or half empty, but the way we think of it changes it tremendously.
I choose to focus my non family time on focusing on what is lovely (and often beautiful), especially in the home. My dear friend Joy recently returned home from visiting her precious mother, Ernestine, in the hospital after a cancer surgery. By the way Ernestine is a lesson in the Phil 4:8 power of seeing joy/God's peace in even seemingly dark moments, perhaps that will be it's own post one day soon! Joy said upon returning home to her beautiful and warm home (which I helped her to decorate) , where her husband had turned the fireplace on and Christmas lights, as well, she felt warm, enveloped and loved. I love that her LOVELY home encouraged her upon entry, after a very emotional and draining day. She has that calming effect on me, and I was so thankful a little designing could have that effect on her! Friendship & lovely things; what excellent things to think on! Merry Christmas & Happy Thinking!