Sunday, August 3, 2014

Just For The Record...

... it's very difficult to Philippians 4:8 your way through Walmart. 

So said your friendly neighborhood blogger  nonblogger recently.   At the risk of stating the obvious, I was referring to this passage of scripture:

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, 
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on those things. 

At the risk of stating yet more of the obvious, I'll go ahead and spill it that I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Maybe you figured that out.  It has been quite a while since I posted regularly, and most of my recent posts don't exactly call to mind the words,  Rejoice in the Lord always.  (Also found in Philippians 4, by the way.)

The reasons for my recent trip to funky town can remain unyakked  for now.  As reasons go, they look a little bit more like excuses, anyway.

The truth? Things haven't been completely bad around here. Yes, we've had some major hurdles. The Duchess had her final surgery, and the hospital is just not fun. She's home, though, and  getting stronger every day.  A mom on the mend qualifies as good stuff, not bad stuff, doesn't it?

Yeah, I think so too.

There has been other good stuff as well.  We're basically  finished with not one, not two,  but three big house projects, projects for which we have waited a long, long, time.  On top of that,  Sir Lotsa Hair and I enjoyed an epic anniversary adventure thirty years in the making. 

So no. I don't really have a stuff problem.  
What I have is a fluff problem. 

As in the fluff  between my ears.  My problem, you see, is that I think way too much. 

Don't let the hair color fool you, folks, I'm actually quite the thinker. My thoughts are my constant companions. I wake up in the morning ready to think, and when I try to fall asleep at night, it's the thinking that gets in the way.    

You wouldn't believe the thinks  I can think. 
(Then again, maybe you would.) 

Maybe you believe me because you're a thinker too.  Maybe you're even more than a thinker.  Maybe you're a fellow ruminant.

Maybe you understand this scenario:

It's morning. The birds are singing, and the sun is shining. You jump crawl  out of bed ready to face the day. It's is a brand new morning, you say. Today is the day to start something different. Today, I'm climbing out of this stupid Think Tank.

And then, you turn on the news.
Or maybe you sit down at the computer.
Or get a phone call from just the right  wrong  person.
Or you take a trip to Walmart... 

The next thing you know, up comes the cud, and you start to chew.
And you chew. And you chew. And. You. Chew.

Until you have chewed yourself into a hot mess.    
 Can anyone relate? 

Please say yes. I really don't want to be the only cow in Blogland. 

A week or so ago, I decided that I had had a bellyful. .Life is just too short to waste on rumination, and besides, it wasn't making anything better. It was making everything worse. It was around this time that I got the same piece of advice from both a visible and an invisible blog friend.  

Focus on Philippians 4:8, 
they said.  

Now folks, that is really sound advice for a more sound-minded person. Need I remind you, though, that I am a hot thinking mess these days? Frankly, I needed something more concrete than that, something a bit blonder maybe.. something cut into bite-sized pieces.  

So that's exactly what I did.  
I cut it into bite-sized pieces.

I took that passage and diced it into individual words, words like finally... which more rightly means from now on.

From now on, folks,... think on these things. 

See? It's getting better already.

And then, there's the word think.  Some versions translate it meditate,  which is better I suppose. Still, it's not as good as the tasty Greek morsel that Paul used. That word means to reckon, to calculate, to count up.  It carries the notion of adding things together. You know, almost like a building a collection

Kind of puts a whole new spin on the phrase collecting your thoughts, doesn't it? 

It did  for me, anyway. Reading it that way turned Paul's good advice into a concrete, thought collecting mission.  Why, you might even go so far as to call it an adventure. 

So that's exactly what I called it.  

I dubbed it Debbie's Word- Of -The- Day Thought Collecting Adventure.  Then, since everybody knows that an adventure is  more fun when you share it with others, I invited friends and family to come along with me.

Every day for eight days, we focused on just one of the remaining words in Philippians 4:8. Then, we collected thoughts to go along with that one word only.

We started at the beginning of course. 
Whatsoever things are true...

Sir Lotsa Hair collected his thoughts from the road. The Farm Sister collected hers at the farm. The Duchess collected them too, even though her she can't go anywhere at all. Miss Whimsy and I collected them together.

And throughout the day, we shared those collected thoughts, one with another. We sent texts. We sent emails. Some thoughts were so good they deserved an entire conversation.

Over coffee.

Because it's a well known fact that good thoughts are made even better when shared over coffee.

By the end of the week, I had a pretty impressive collection of positive thoughts living inside this head of mine, thoughts that were true, and honorable, and right, and lovely. 

You wouldn't believe the thinks I could think. 
(But then again, maybe you would.) 

Maybe you're a Philippians 4:8 thinker too. Maybe you're something even better. Maybe you're a Philippians 4:8 thought collector.

But maybe, you're not, not right now anyway.  Maybe you're a struggling ruminant like me just trying to make it through the day, one troubling thought at a time. If so, may I suggest that you grab some friends and family and give the Word-A-Day Thought Collecting Adventure a whirl?

What do you have to lose?

Just take it one day at a time, one word at a time, and you, too, can be a Philippians 4:8 thought collector.  One word of caution, though:  You might find it goes a little easier to collect positive thoughts if you just steer clear of Walmart.

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