Today I got up from the table in the breakfast nook and noticed a small famed graphic that usually sits on the generous chair rail there. We had been eating out on the sun porch since Spring and except for dusting the chair rail, once in a while, I hardly noticed the picture there. Isn’t that just the way it is? We stop noticing things sometimes, even things we think are important or beautiful. It’s sad, really.
I’m sure you’re wondering about the picture that I once again noticed. It originally was from one of my favorite calendar artists, Ellen Stouffer. Are you familiar with her? Every year I would purchase one of her scripture calendars. Maybe two. Always a big one, and if I didn’t dilly-dally and got to the store before it was too late, I’d get a small one as well. One day I was going through my collection of old calendars. (Don’t you save your old ones?) I was looking for something to put on the wall in my studio, in my previous home, when I came across a lovely floral design with this verse:
…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. Philippians 4:8 NIV
It was just what I needed. You see at that time my husband had not yet found another position. It had been more than a year, and we were getting pretty anxious. The verse wasn’t one that was new to me. But, it was the daily visual reminder I needed to not let my mind go places it shouldn’t. Instead I would choose to “think about such things.”
So how about you?
Are you in a tough patch right now? Do you struggle with a critical spirit…with yourself, or maybe towards family members or coworkers? Do you struggle with comparison? Are suffering with health issues? Are there relationships that burden your heart? Maybe there is another issue? Maybe for the first time in a long time life is good for you? Wherever you are on life’s path I think you will find that meditating on this verse will help.
I discovered that when my mind started going in a direction that was not good for me, this verse would pop into my head. Of course, I needed to intentionally choose to change my thinking, right then. But if I did, my countenance would change and seemingly the world would look just a wee bit brighter.
What about you?
Do you know this verse?
Do you use it to help you put your mind on the right track?
Or…is this verse new to you?
Do you think it would be helpful?
The New American Standard Bible translation says, “dwell on these things” rather than “think about such things.” I like dwell. For me, dwell means to inhabit or live in it. I love the idea that I could someday get to the point where I don’t need the reminder of this verse to “change” my thinking. But, that my mind would all the time, every day, dwell on that which is right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. That would be extraordinary!
Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary!
Living an extraordinary life is living life to the full. When we allow our minds to run over and over on something that irritates or troubles us, we aren’t living life to the full. Instead those thoughts strangle us and steal our joy.
I choose to “think on such things.” I choose joy. What about you?
Will you join me each day in October for…
This is the 11th post in a series, 31 Extraordinary Days. Click here to see a list of all the posts, updated daily. If you would like to receive these bits of inspiration in your email inbox, subscribe now.
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