In The Atlantic Community
Welcome to another week!
Wasn’t last Thursday’s snow pretty? I was surprised to wake up to a winter wonderland. My kids were thrilled.
I’ve been meditating on Philippians 4:4-9 over the past few weeks. Verse eight is the kicker: “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” (NIV).
I’m a worrier, and it’s hard to stay positive sometimes. Last week’s shooting in San Bernardino, ISIS attacks, and the Paris attacks are all over the news. I can’t get away from it.
Thanksgiving morning I decided to follow my own advice from my November 23 column and wrote a thank you note to God. Now, you know I’m a writer, so I probably wrote more than others might have, but I wrote six pages of things I can be thankful for. Answered prayers, healing, improved relationships and the like filled me with joy and peace while I listed all the reasons I have to thank God in 2015. I’ve told my husband that I’m incapable of meditating on what is pure, admirable, and praiseworthy because I worry so much. He pointed out that I was focusing on the good while writing my letter.
People have recommended keeping a praise journal and living an attitude of gratitude more times than I can say. But this has always been a stinging piece of advice. It makes me feel guilty. I don’t always feel grateful and happy about life. Writing that letter, however, centered my thinking on the good.
Instead of waiting until New Year’s Day, I challenge you to make a Christmas resolution. This Christmas season I will try to focus on what is pure, lovely, and praiseworthy. I’ll start by thanking God for sparkling snow and Christmas lights that brighten dark nights. I’ll praise God for Nativity scenes that remind me that Christmas is really about Jesus’ birth. Christmas carols fill me with joy and hearing them in department stores reminds me that Jesus is still part of secular Christmas celebrations. I can bask in the beauty of Christmas trees and smile at cardinals gliding toward my birdfeeder.
What are you thankful for or looking forward to this Christmas? You can make a list and ponder these things. I’ll do the same.
Have a wonderful week. Blessings!