i heard a whole sermon once about looking at the verse after. it was fascinating. this man or woman (i honestly can't remember where i heard this! was it women's retreat? was it pastor bill? my dear friend beth moore?? ok, we aren't really friends, but oh i think we would be fast friends if she lived here! :) but, ugh, i hate it when i can't give credit where credit is due. i can tell you for sure it wasn't me!) anyway, they had taken time to look up all these "famous" verses....sorry, but that makes me laugh, as if some of God's Word is less famous that others. sorry.
ok, so they had taken the ones that lots of people know like John 3:16 and Colossians 3:23 and Jeremiah 29:11....etc. anyway...they did a whole discussion on how ALL of God's world is great and relevant and how sometimes, we, silly little humans (my words, not theirs) get stuck in a rut and only focus on what we know. we constantly go back to the truths we have always gone back to, and sometimes we are missing another equally great truth right there next to it! anyway...this fascinated me and it sort of became a game. so, now, sometimes when i am studying, i will do that just for fun. it doesn't always work out to be beneficial when you get something random, but then you could always try the verse before as well. although, for me sometimes, it becomes a vicious cycle of sorts because then i find a great verse after and think "ok, now i should look at the verse after that!" i guess you can't really have a "vicious" cycle of studying God's Word, can you? :) but, often, you will be shocked at how context can truly help you better understand where your "old faithful" verse you've known and gone back to, is coming from or leading to.
well, i recently (about 10 minutes ago:) wrote all about my life verse, which is philippians 4:6-7 (ooh it feels so comfy and warm to call it that! my life verse! i don't drink hot drinks, but if i did, i would imagine that is what i feel right now)
and now i truly want to share the verse after it with you...i am sure you have heard it...but it is such a good one too...and then, friend...i am going to live it out.
phil. 4:8 "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."
i love this verse, because paul (inspired by God, of course) was covering all bases here and making sure he had everything covered as to what we should be "thinking" on. He knows me too well. for me, anything worth doin' is worth over-doin'...so i appreciate that He didn't stop at just true...or even just true and noble. He gave us a lot of other options. and also, noteworthy, is the word "think" here....also used as "dwell" in another version. it is the greek word λόγος translated logizomai. from what i could understand, looking it up...it is more of an accounting word... read this stuff i found :) "to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate; to consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on; This word deals with reality. If I reckon (logizomai) that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers more to fact than supposition or opinion."
ooh, LOVE that. it has more to do with fact.
so....friends....the rest of this blog post will have to do with all of the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things that i should be thinking about and thanking God for on a VERY regular basis.
i encourage you to do the same. take time. (i know, i know...who has time?well, um, you do.) and either write them down, and at least speak them out. be thankful and think (DWELL) on these facts. i am so blessed. and friend, so are you.
ryan. that's it. my sweet hubby...especially over this last year embodies so many of those characteristics. is he perfect? well, no silly. but he is a better person that i am. and i sure do love him and thank God for him!! (plus, he's hot! i know, i know that doesn't matter, but it is true and he's my man and i'm allowed to say it, but again, i know he's gonna kill me :) sorry baby! :)
my jacob. he is six now and getting too big. but there is still that moment first thing in the morning, when he comes out of his room to find me on the couch and he will just crash into me and stay there. letting me hold him, tell him how happy i am to see him and how much i love him and missed him overnight. pure joy there for mama of such a "big boy".
benjmain's joyful spirit. my sweet middle child and how he will run up to me and for no apparent reason say "i love you so much, mommy, i just love you SO much" or "i'm gonna take good care of you, mommy, i promise!". God placed quite a special heart in that boy.
oh sister friend. my darling baby girl, abigail. what a mess she is. a beautiful mess. just like her mama. (the mess part, not the beautiful part...trust me, i am not vain!) she is the sunlight in any room. and she flat cracks me up. and can i just say how i love that God made her hair soft golden blonde and curly. i get joy from running my fingers through it. when she stops long enough to let me, that is. :)
the way my backyard sounds when it is just me and the wind and my trees. (i know, i'm obsessed, but i wish you could see...hear...feel it, trust me, you'd get it)
scrambled eggs just the way i like them, made by my loving mom who just does all things just right for me
being served day in and day out by my dad and step-mom, who have sacrificed so much time, sleep, money, LIFE to care for my family. talk about noble.
a letter i received exactly when i needed to receive it that spoke truth and wisdom into me about how much God really loves me, by someone who i can't thank God for enough. (yes, little sister, it is you.:)
cheery yellow flowers in a happy smiley face mug...who could not love that!?! and then daises too! after all, they are the friendliest flower! :)
taking a nice warm bath, and feeling clean and sweet after days of feeling, well, not so much
friend after selfless friend who has taken time out of their busy schedule to come over and help take care of my kiddos, bring us a meal (or three!) throw the ball to benjamin, chase after abigail, drive various kiddos to school, and love on me all at the same time. noble and pure hearts you all have.
my dearest friend and neighbor who calls each and every day to check on me. who knew how God would bless us so much, after 12 years of friendship and now neighbors, raising our kids together, talk about praiseworthy!!!! couldn't be more thankful, just flat couldn't be.
not having to wear makeup for days on end and getting to wear gym shorts and tshirts daily (one for the few perks of my current situation) :)
an anonymous gift, a love offering. whoever you were, wherever you are. i am humbled and so grateful. i hope you got your thank you note. i meant every single word.
hearing that complete strangers are praying faithfully for you...can't describe how humbling that is and how grateful i am.
writing. isn't it amazing when you are in the middle of doing the thing that you feel you were meant to do? it feels right, pure, peaceful, true. i thank God for that. He gets the glory too. (but don't blame Him for the atrocious grammar, and laziness for not capitalizing, that's all me!)
ice cream. enough said there. :)
hearing from someone that you haven't heard from in forever but that you love so dearly. isn't it awesome how God can bless your day so tremendously like that!?! i mean, you just wanna jump through the phone or computer and wrap your whole self around their whole self and sit and talk for a whole day. my life has been filled with those kinds of people.
silly kid talk. hearing jacob read a word wrong but sounds so cute and "big" trying to fix it. benjamin still saying "yogret" instead of yogurt. abigail's sweet voice saying "day-du mama" for thank you, mama. don't you wish you could just trap their little voices in a bottle???? sigh, i do.
puppy dog breath. i know it sounds awful, especially cause i'm not a dog person and i DO NOT mean actual puppy dog breath, because that is gross to me, but for some reason (probably got this from my sweet friend i nannied for in college, i get lots of fun phrases from her, including "sister friend" and "love, love":) that is what i call it when my kids first wake up...they hug you and they have puppy dog breath. so innocent and so sweet.
watching each of my VERY uniquely made, very different kiddos and seeing them grow each day into who they will be. a little of me...a little of ryan....what a joy to be a part of.
a middle of the night hospital visit in the pouring rain by a true man of God, a faithful friend a faithful "tent-maker" :)
text after text with prayer after prayer from step-dad, friends, family, everyone...these truths, this support....so excellent of all of you, so needed by me
watching football with my man and having my kiddos playing all around us their own re-enactment of what is going on, taking turns...yes, even abigail, with the texas tech helmet...it is hilarious
i am just so blessed friend. i could go on and on and on. i have left out so much. the problem with this type of post is that i will remember more later and want to add on. great problem to have though. to be that blessed. to have that many true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy FACTS that i can DWELL on.
in my current trial, i can think of no better way to spend, account for, weigh to or reckon my thoughts than by dwelling on all He has done for me. I truly hope you will do the same.
enjoy your day, friend. enjoy.