Category Archives: Philippians 4:8

Blogging 101: The Why

Porch Lingerings

Porch Lingerings

Blogging became a sporadic hobby two years ago during the monumental summer I turned 50. I had just completed my seminary degree,  and I became a long distance grandmother. There was a truck load of emotional shifting taking place in my wild brain, things I wanted to say, ideas I wanted to explore, and the desire to connect with others surfing life like me.

So My Philippians 4:8 Life took root.

Oddly enough, I know what I want my blog to be…but I am not there…yet. I am looking for life in the Philppians 4:8 “whatevers.” Whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy…

No fluff…well, maybe a little fluff…

Real. Funny. Sometimes sarcastic with a lovely dose of snarky. Poetic. Emotional. Colorful. Honest…deep.

You know…Life…

But…

I lack the consistency in the everyday to sit, write, and post. No excuses…I need  the accountability. Blogging 101, hopefully, will help create that habit.

So who is this Philippians 4:8 girl?

I am a…

  • Jesus-girl who struggles to get it right…
  • Wife of 33 years to Randy,
  • Mother of grown sons, Justin and Josh,
  • Mother-in-love to Chelsea (Justin’s wife)
  • Grand Sugar to my one grand darling, Hadasah Noel
  • Mom to furry child, a chocolate lab named Hershey Kiss
  • 4th grade reading teacher
  • Bonafide Word Nerd, a bowerbird of words and phrases –
  • “Journaller”
  • Doodler
  • Drinker of girlie coffee
  • Consumer of vast amounts of dark chocolate
  • Dreamer of Cheetos. (Just being honest.)
  • Voracious Reader
  • Hesitant poet of the Haiku variety

I am a wild and wooly mess…a complicated soul with sparkle and polka dots.

The next month of posting is going to be good for me, but I am honestly a little anxious too.

 

 

2015: The Year of Simplicity

2015 Word of the Year

2015 Word of the Year

2015 is  settling around me.  Three weeks ago as the last of the Christmas  baubles and balls were wrapped and tucked in boxes in the attic,  I considered our family’s holiday season.

This year was quiet and by far one of the most restful holiday breaks I can remember. A strong measure  of my time off  was spent reading and  wearing  flannel pajamas and fuzzy socks.

In the carefully selected “busy” of this holiday season past, I held my ground. Carefully placed empty spaces sat on my calendar. Breathing spaces… My breathing spaces…Some dates and times could not be ignored. But some…yes, some received a polite “no thank you.”

When I pondered my word for  2015, it was with memories of my quiet simple December I prayerfully decided.

Simplicity…

My word for 2015 is SIMPLICITY…in all things. Funneling 2015 through this thought and prayer.

Lord,  help me create simplicity in areas that become complicated with things You do not desire for me.  Give me courage to let go of some things, the  strength and passion to embrace new adventures in Your name, and the wisdom and discernment to know the difference in what is good and what is best..according to Your will.

Last year I wrote about the idea of selecting a word for a year instead of the defeating practice of  trying to set New Year’s resolutions. The book My One Word : Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen is a great read.

My ONE Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

My ONE Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

Simplicity in this year…Not ease, but uncomplicated, bottom line, looking for the best and forgetting the rest…Simplicity.

As the school year unfolds, I am holding on to those carefully crafted breathing spaces and seeking to build and live a life outside of my classroom. This life is more about establishing a stronger Philippians 4:8 life in my home, in my circle of influence, and a new unknown.

Join me as I search for Simplicity in the “whatevers” of Philippians 4:8…the true, the honorable, the just, the pure, the lovely, the commendable, the excellent, and the praise worthy…

Create . . .

My 2014 word is CREATE.

My ONE Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

My ONE Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

Create?

This word settled redwood tree root deep in my mind and heart in December and January. . .

I. Knew. It. Was. The. Lord. I just knew it. . .

The whole process had a very Philippians 4:8 feel to it. 

“Whatever is true, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praise worthy….”

Oh yeah. . . 

Everywhere I turned there were blogs, articles, books,  about different aspects of the word. Sermon series on Creation in Genesis… I was reminded of C. S. Lewis’ book, The Magician’s Nephew where Aslan sings Narnia into existence. . .

OVERWHELMED BY THE AMAZING BEAUTY OF IT. . . (Heavy sigh…)

By the way…I love C. S. Lewis and The Chronicles of NarniaThe Magician’s Nephew is a must read before anyone ever reads The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. . . Just trust this 4th grade reading teacher on this issue. . . truly. . .

In understanding the impact and design for this word . . . CREATE. . . I thought. . .

Well maybe it’s about attempting to do something fresh  in the new year. Stretching and growing in something I have not tried before. . . I was SO ready for this. . .

I wanted to cast aside the same-ness – the routine – and open myself up to fresh adventures…

So with two months under my belt, what have I created?

I have  created more time to investigate… to breathe. . .

I am creating physical  space for a place to “create.”

My clutter – physical, spiritual and emotional . . . is being dealt with, trimmed down and in some ways, eliminated. This year is a time for changing and chasing dreams and growing and CREATING. . . 

NEW.

Isaiah 43:19  ” Be alert, be present. I am about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” (Message)

BUT I have learned that CREATE  looks very different than I had originally anticipated .

The Lord, in his amazing love and patience is rewiring my heart and life in ways to allow time, space, and energy for NEW and for CREATING

It has been painful at times and again…

It doesn’t feel like I thought it would… but His path never does…

It is always so much more.

When I chose the word CREATE (and in all honesty ‘I’ had nothing to do with it), I had dreams of becoming more artistic and that is still a possibility…

But He is creating art within me, within my heart…

New desires for service and ministry are growing in this freed space.

My prayer life is breathing again in a less cluttered ME

There are times that I feel as if the Holy Spirit is “creating havoc” in my heart by shifting things, remolding my thoughts and uncovering old insecurities.

Needless to say, CREATE looks vastly different to me today than it did on January 1st. But it’s not bad, it’s a welcomed change…

AND that is what I was looking for. . . praying for . . . marrow deep in my bones, truly . . .

The Whatevers…

Image 1

Seeking Jesus in the “whatevers”…

This Holly Rhodes print hangs in my lime green kitchen, and it serves as a cheerful  daily reminder of the  Philippians 4:8 lifestyle. The print cuts to the bones of this verse. It removes the whatevers…

Sometimes we get lost in the “whatevers…”

We become tangled in the immediate-ness of life’s messes and the day-to-day struggles. Whatever’s the most current political mess, whatever’s the newest fad, whatever’s the freshest heart wound, whatever’s the next activity that is screaming in my face for immediate attention…

Life is full of whatevers…Most are distractions…and they separate us from the daily presence of the only One who brings sense to our chaotic lives.

The Philippians 4:8 “whatevers” lead us to what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. These whatevers lead us to Jesus…

What are your “whatevers” today?

Refocus…shift gears…

Today, let’s be deliberate and seek truth…

The Beginning

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Jekyll Island, GA
Jekyll Island, GA

What if…

I love “what ifs!” They remind me of a brand spanking new box of Crayola 48 count colored pencils (I have an aversion to crayons…messy and lacking definition).  Back to my point…

What if…

What if a website  or online community were created with the sole (or better yet, SOUL)  purpose to give God radical praise through living a life that modeled Philippians 4:8 …glorifying him on the journey of what I call the “whatevers.”

Seeking Him in whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,  and whatever things excellent and worthy of praise…

This is my desire for this little piece of cyber space, and I believe after much prayer and study that it is His, as well.

A Pollyanna mentality…maybe.

But quite honestly, in a world that beats us down daily with the bloody, the morally corrupt, the politically divided, and the depraved I need a little Pollyanna in my day. Maybe you do to. Truly, I need more of Jesus just to lift my head and stick it out of the door each morning before leaving my house.

Why Philippians 4:8?

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is often described as his happiest letter which is ironic because he was imprisoned in Rome at the time of its writing. The purpose of the letter was to encourage the believers to grow in their faith and their service to the Lord and each other. Philippians 4:8 exemplifies spiritual maturity and growing in Christ’s likeness.

What exactly does a Philippians 4:8 life look like?

Totally? I have no idea. Honestly, I’m not sure that I know anyone who does. There are days…rare amazing days, when my life might resemble one characteristic, but truthfully, those days are miles apart.

So… by what right could I ever presume to create a blog that refers to my life as Philippians 4:8 worthy?

I have no right at all.

Just the title, “My Philippians 4:8 Life” sounds pretty self-righteous, doesn’t it?  I do have, however, this colossal desire to follow Jesus with reckless abandon.

Within the walls of this over-indulgent, worldly heart, you will find a hope and a longing for more…but it is a MORE that only God can fill.

Philippians 4:11-12, Paul writes about finding true contentment and that contentment comes from knowing Jesus in a deeper way and conforming to his image.

Philippians 4:8 Life does not give Jesus-followers permission to put on blinders to the despair and devastation around them. It does insist that we look beyond the circumstance to our great hope, that we cling to the joy that is ours in Christ, and bring light to the dark (Matthew 5:14). It demands that we serve Jesus by loving and serving those in the midst of despair and devastation.

That is My Philippians 4:8 Life.

Join me on this journey to “let our lights so shine before others” (Matthew 5:16)…

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