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?


Chicory :: Mediation on Philippians 4:8 :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


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. 


Fill your minds...Philippians 4:8 The Voice :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


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.


Philippians 4:8 :: What are you chewing on lately :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


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.


Joy Day! :: Chicory Wildflower :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


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.’

I’ll start…

Thank you God for…

  1. recognizing my less than positive meditation.
  2. discovering Queen Anne’s Lace to pick on my walk.
  3. being able to bless my friend with the smallest acts of love.
  4. row boat and paddle boat rides on the lake.
  5. knowing YOU ARE trustworthy.
  6. the love and blessing of dear kind friends.
  7. 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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  1. Debbi Saunders says

    Good morning…. I am excited to share my just 7 of my many Blessings…..
    l. For the exquisite Beauty of God’s creations all around me! Beautiful colorful birds,butterflies,bees,flowers sunrises,sunsets etc…..
    2. that I will be going on our Summer Camp field trip this Friday to the “Holy Land Experience”….just a couple of miles from our school for the first time!
    3. for lunches with Dear friends that I haven’t seen in months! Catching up and supporting each other, staying connected!
    4.that we finally got a Christian neighbor in the rental home next door!!!
    5.for the beginnings of healing of the friendship that became disconnected by hurt and disappointment with one of my best friends
    6. for the Blessing of the long awaited birth of my son, Jordan, 33yrs ago on July 2nd.
    7. for winning our Freedoms and Independence on July 4th!!! God Bless the USA!!!

    • Diane says

      Debbi…your heart overflows with JOY…..it just oozes through the screen. 😉
      Thanks for counting your seven and the goodness of the Lord in your life. 🙂
      I’ve had friends visit the “Holy Land Experience” who have been to the “real” holy land and loved it. Enjoy!
      May your week be filled with extraordinary God moments. [hugs]

  2. Gwen says

    Joy Day!
    1. I got the post!!
    2. Good reminder of the verse that I really like. It is a verse I’ve relied on many times. One such time was one month short of six years ago when I had my accident. I did not struggle as iinmightbhave because of this verse
    3. 24 hours with our three year old grandson. We had so much fun!! He’s so good!! We did Biblr atory and songs and prayed together. Such joy.
    4. Nice people
    5. We have food to cook
    6. my hubby’s help all weekend
    7. Peace

    • Diane says

      Yay! I’m so glad this post arrived in your inbox, Gwen. I do wish I had more control over this.
      I love your joyful spirit!
      May God overwhelm you with His goodness this week! [hugs]

  3. Suzi says

    Hi Diane. Somehow I lost you again and am not getting emails so I am going to try to follow on Bloglovin. We were away a few weeks so wondering if you have moved forward in your difficult journey. But I did not see any big news. So I want to encourage you by telling you something i just did. I traveled with my husband by car from Florida to Michigan. It is the first trip we have made together in over 8 years because of my health problem. And I did it!!!! Actually, God eneabeled me to do it. Never dreamed it would ever happen again. I have not been able to ride in a car for more than an hour for eight years. Shucks, I haven’t been able to sit through a church service! And Now I can. I did again today and all the way through communion. If someone had told me this time would someday come I would have said to myself, “I know you mean well. I know it can be true. But it just isn’t true for us” None of us know the mind of God but I join you today in trusting Him and in His charecter for your struggle. My seven…God brought relief and refreshment x 7!

    • Diane says

      Thanks for hanging with me and choosing Bloglovin’ Suzi. 🙂 I’m so puzzled how the posts show up sporadically. Now you won’t have to worry.
      Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story! I’m so excited with and for you, Suzi. Praise God! He has done great things for sure!
      Thanks for trusting with me. We’re still standing and believing!
      May your week be filled with more extraordinary God moments! [hugs]

  4. Virginia says

    I love your blog! It is so inspirational and uplifting – so often exactly what I need. I send many of them on to my friends and family. It has been a tough year for us. My husband died eleven months ago, and a month later my daughter was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She has been so brave and upbeat! And there hasn’t been much good news for her. Her four sisters have taken turns staying with her for a week or two at a time. She lives in Arizona and the rest of us in North Dakota. I am of very little help because of my own health, but I try to be here to offer a voice of encouragement. We are waiting now to hear if she will be able to travel to North Dakota this next week. She wants to come home and we want very much to have her here. Please think a good thought for us when you have a moment. Everyone has been so kind and supportive. I will let you know how it goes. Virginia

  5. What a good reminder to meditate on the Lord and His word. Let’s see, seven things.

    1. That my son only has Bell’s Palsy, and nothing more serious
    .2. For the wonderful relaxing day spent with my 2 youngest at Lake Erie
    2. That my husband is home after a week away
    3. For summer’s lazy days of sun and warmth
    4. To have witnessed a wonderful wedding last night between two godly young people
    5. That God’s word is true and unchanging in an uncertain world
    6. For small reminders of how much my Savior loves me
    7. For good friends who can be counted on in times of need

    Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!


  6. Mel says

    I get that ‘stinkin’ thinking’ and can struggle getting back on track. Go figure I’ve been angry about my circumstances and decided to focus on that instead of on the joys and abundance of blessings I’ve been graced with. I’ll chalk that up to being human……which is really an inconvenience, I must say. :-/ I’m not so good at ‘dereailing’ myself from that line of thinking–which is why I surround myself with people who’ll tell me the truth, who let me tell them the truth so I can get off my rear end and keep moving.
    So thank you for being human with me…..and for just saying what’s true for you, too.
    At least I know I’m not alone in that ‘dwelling on the crud’ syndrome. *sigh* Easy to do……
    But, so is counting joys!

    * I had a confused butterfly in my garden. LOL And he let me take his picture! 😉
    * We get to go to a baseball game this week. I love a good night at the ballpark–why I don’t do it more often is beyond me!
    * My neighbor chopped back my tree–it makes for a lovely breeze where there was none before.
    * I have people around me who’ll challenge my thinking…..I can get a bit muddled some moments.
    * Gluten free cupcakes–ohmygosh, I found a gal who sells the most yummy and pretty ones!
    * My sister……….she just makes me smile. She’s one who chews on life’s blessings and spits them out at me on a regular basis.
    * The beautiful flower you captured here (makes me wanna go wildflower hunting!)
    * I can get new glasses…….not everyone can afford to take care of themselves.
    * I get to be the speaker at a meeting……I don’t always remember what a privilege that is…..


  1. […] Though Cichorium intybus is its botanical name you probably have heard of Chicory root as it is sometimes roasted and used in some coffees or instead of coffee.  But what I like best is its exquisite pale periwinkle blue blossom.  It can always be found right along the roadside in the most blistering heat, and seems to bloom from late June, until nearly frost.  It isn’t the best of cut flowers as its flowers seem to wilt fairly quickly, but often if there is another bud, it will produce a blossom.  You really couldn’t make an arrangement of these, but that spot of magnificent blue is a perfect addition.  You can see more Chicory photos here. […]

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