I’ve been doing a lot of chewing lately and I’m not talking about burgers, potato salad, or s’mores.
Maybe you’re like me….one day it’s disappointment, the next it may be weariness or lack. Some days I chew on blessings, a faithful husband, dear friends, good food, wildflowers, and sunset reflections over a beautiful lake. You can pretty much tell what I’m chewing on. It shows all over my face.
What have you been chewing on lately?
For quite a few years I saved my calendars. My favorites were always the ones featuring a Bible verse and the artwork of Ellen Stouffer. As I was flipping through some of the old calendars, I was taken with the lovely painted flowers surrounding this verse from Philippians 4:8.
Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth.
Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.
Philippians 4:8 The Voice
I took an old frame and painted it and trimmed the calendar image to fit. It hung over my crafting table as a constant reminder. Right now that picture is packed away. But, I sure could use that tangible reminder for training my mind.
The mind is a funny thing. It takes constant training and retraining. It’s kind of like physical fitness or good eating habits. All is good as long as we keep it up. When we get lax or too busy we see the results either in our fitness level or our waistlines. When we skip a few days of physical activity or we enjoy a few too many larger than normal plates of food we may not see much of a difference…at least not immediately. But, when it comes to our minds, it’s a minute by minute, hour by hour discipline to keep our minds in a good place.
This past week I have struggled. I know what I should do. But, I don’t necessarily do it.
I know that I need to spend more time in the Word and mediate on those scriptures that will encourage my heart and see God as bigger, greater, and stronger than me and my “problems.” So, instead, why did I drag my feet? Why did I allow discouragement to set in? Why did I give the enemy a pinky toenail hold? Why?
I’ve learned the why doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I actively practice filling my mind with beauty and truth. For me that means reading small portions in the Bible that tell me about the character of God and then going for a walk to notice the beauty of God’s creation. And maybe even take some photos of what I see.
What also matters is actively choosing to meditate. Choosing. That’s the biggest hurdle. Constantly we need to choose where our minds go. When we do, just like walking, running, or any other kind of exercise where we develop a muscle memory, it becomes easier for us and growth and improvement comes each time we engage in that activity.
Have you ever gotten stuck with the word meditate? I used to think that was something followers of an eastern religion did with their legs crossed.
To mediate on something is to chew on a thought or idea.
How many times have I caught myself chewing on something that I need to spit out. Too numerous to count.
You know what I was doing? I was meditating. Mediating on something that would drag me down, cause me to doubt, take my eyes off Jesus.
The apostle Paul tells us that we need to….Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.
When was the last time you purposely did just that?
Yeah. It takes purpose. It doesn’t just happen.
The upside is that when we purposely…daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute choose to mediate on what is right, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy, our minds change. We see life, circumstance, and people from God’s perspective.
It might help to have something to print out, frame, and put on our desk, work table, or wall as a constant reminder.
I don’t think Paul would have needed to remind the Philippians if this was an easy thing to do.
We can be bombarded by messages that can derail us from continuously filling our minds and mediating on the things we ought.
If you’re like me and find yourself derailed, the good thing is that we don’t need something huge to hoist us back on track. Instead, it can be a simple prayer and actively choosing to fill our minds with beauty and truth. And then deciding to spit out the yuck and chew on what is right, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy.
Sometimes a visual aide is helpful. Feel free to download the 4×6 image above, print it off, stick it on your fridge, place it in a frame, or even save it to your desktop. We need to do all we can to protect and strengthen our minds.
Raise your hand if you’re going into “training” with me.
Today is Joy Day!
I love Joy Day! It’s the time in the week that we get to look back over our week and count gifts, blessings, and give thanks for both the good and the not-so-good. And we get to do it together.
There’s a side benefit to counting, too. We get joy!
Please join me in looking back over the past week and counting ‘seven.’
Thank you God for…
- recognizing my less than positive meditation.
- discovering Queen Anne’s Lace to pick on my walk.
- being able to bless my friend with the smallest acts of love.
- row boat and paddle boat rides on the lake.
- knowing YOU ARE trustworthy.
- the love and blessing of dear kind friends.
- knowing YOU ARE my hope when doubts surface.
Now it’s YOUR turn!!
Join me in counting ‘seven.’
Scroll down to the comment section…Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts….and list your ‘seven.’
I dare you!
Want even more joy? Take the Joy Dare here.
Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.
P.S. The blue flower is Chicory. It grows wild along the roadside and is a favorite of mine for its beautiful shade of blue.
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