Eight Things

2013-07-02 13.39.40

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.

–Philippians 4:8

Sometimes, I am drawn to darkness.  We all have times when we need to dive into the darkness and work through the issues that put us there, in order to truly heal and put things behind us.  But I am prone to forget that some of it is in my control.  I can lead my heart and my emotions with what thoughts I allow to have space in my mind, and what kind of thoughts I seek out.  But Paul writes a directive in Philippians:  “think about such things.”  As in, think about them on purpose.

So, I have spent a few days collecting eight things, one for each descriptive word in this verse:

Something true:  I have never heard of Emma Woolf before stumbling upon this article on The Daily Beast this morning.  (The Daily Beast = how this modern, frugal girl usually reads the “morning paper,” even though I do love flipping through and folding and writing on an actual newspaper!)

“So, last year, I set myself the biggest challenge of my life: I decided that I would overcome anorexia. I would stop living on fruit and yogurt, and start eating normal food, like a normal person, in a normal way. I would give up starving myself. I would start to shop and cook and eat with the rest of the world. I would find something more addictive and compelling than hunger.”  (emphasis mine)

Isn’t that the most true thing about anything obsessive, compelling, dare we use the word addictive?  We (at least, those of us who struggle with obsession, who spend our days fighting with ourselves) are obsession-prone creatures.  Among the many things we may need to win a battle with our compulsions, we often need “something more addictive and compelling.”

Something noble:  This one was hard for me.  When I hear “noble,” I think aristocratic and royal.  So unless I wanted to write something about Duchess Kate’s coming bundle of joy…  After several days of pondering the word “noble,” I went to my concordance.

In this verse, noble comes from the Greek word semnos, which means worthy of respect.  Something worth respecting.

Christine’s writing about her interactions with her kids is definitely noble, worthy of respect.  Welcome To My Brain is one of my favorite blogs to read.  I love the way Christine writes about her kids using the pronoun “they” for everyone.  From her stories, we can’t tell if she is talking about an adopted or birthed child in her family, or a boy or a girl.  I don’t even know how many kids she has or how the boy/girl ratio falls in her family.  It allows the reader to hear the story and learn the lesson, but respects the privacy of the child in the story.

Something right:  In the book The Host, by Stephenie Meyer, one character is trying to kill another character by throwing her down a hole into a boiling hot river.  The victim is fighting to get away, but when the floor gives way and the attacker nearly falls into the boiling pit, the victim holds onto him and saves him, even though letting him fall would have saved her own life.  (Forget your opinion about Twilight, good or bad, and read this book!)

Something pure:  “Om Namah Shivaya, meaning, I honor the divinity that resides within me.”  –Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.  In my language, that’s the Holy Spirit, or that still, small voice that has so much to say if I give it space and quiet to fill me.

Something lovely:  Photo tours of apartments!  Apartment Therapy is a fun website.  I recently rearranged my living/dining area, and now I’m feeling the itch to add some more splashes of color to my apartment…

Something admirable:  Doing something that is more effective, even if it’s harder.  Doing something with long-term benefits, even when it has short-term difficulties.  Resisting immediate gratification.  Resisting the urge to show anger or vengeance, even in small, polite, socially acceptable ways.  Resisting the urge to choose fairness over generosity, kindness, and mercy.  Giving up tokens, stickers, stars, and prizes in the classroom.

Something excellent:  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.”  –Romans 8:38-39

Something praiseworthy:  Once again, my perfectionism is addressed and challenged, this time by The Organic Sister.  “Make and follow a plan.  Just don’t marry the damn thing.”

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