Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely and lovable,
whatever is kind and winsome and gracious,
if there is any virtue and excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think on and weigh and take account of these things
[fix your minds on them].

Philippians 4:8 (Amplified version)

It is becoming beautiful in my part of the world. For the first time this spring, the trees are showing off more greenery than bare branches. I ran a couple errands yesterday morning and stopped at my first garage sale of the season. The sunshine and warm weather brought with them smiles and a party-like atmosphere in the grocery store and at the garage sale. What a difference light and warmth make in the attitudes of the people we meet.

I took the scenic route home, the road the guys don't like to take only because it adds a few minutes to their destination (can we say Type A personalities?). I, however, find the journey delightful as I travel by fields waiting to be planted, bushes and flowering trees in shades of palest pink to the deepest lavender, a few horses here and there, and the sun that has finally broken through after one of the wettest Aprils on record.

The scenery reminded me of the above scripture... whatever is lovely... think on these things. We so often forget what the world was like when most of the New Testament was written. It was a dangerous place with saints being persecuted, battles, looting, plundering, government unrest, and basically... a whole lot of unpleasantness.

All of this taking place as families made every attempt to live in peace, providing food and shelter, teaching the new generation the old ways, hoping for a better world tomorrow for their children... as parents have done in every situation and in the four corners of the planet since time began.

I was thinking how each individual can bring a little of the sunshine and loveliness that spring offers into the lives of those around us. Remember the old 1970s saying that was found on everything from mugs to posters (and made popular again by Mary Engelbreit)... Bloom Where You are Planted. I made a new commitment to surround myself with loveliness whenever a choice is possible and start "blooming".

I've decided to make this my spring & summer of "whatsoever things are lovely". It's not that I'm going to bury my head in the sand and not be aware of what is going on around me. However, it is all my choice as to what I choose to think about... that which deserves further reflection and pondering. So... I choose all thing lovely. How?

I'm printing the above scripture and placing it on my refrigerator and in my Bible.

The Psalms and four Letters (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians) are where I'm going to park myself in Scripture.

I've told my husband I must purchase a few flowers along with veggies to plant this year... regardless of budget... to feed my soul.

I'm making a list of pleasant, beautiful, inspiring, edifying, and delightful books to read, setting aside those that are deep for autumn reading.

The scrapbook journal is being dusted off and filled with daily activities, thoughts, devotions, poetry, and all that is lovely (including all those beautiful magazine pictures and prose I filed last year).

The pretty Cath Kidtson notebook I was given as a Christmas present will become my garden journal. I wish I'd started one the first spring we lived here but it's never too late for a beginning.

The house will continue to be my design canvas, the goal being how much beauty can be created with little money spent and lots of thrifting... not to mention cleaning and decluttering as we go.

Every attempt will be made to serve healthy and nutritious foods to the family while watching the budget... on pretty plates, of course.

I'll share the journey as it continues through spring and supper with the end result... peace, tranquility, beauty, faith, perseverance, hope... all things lovely.


Nancy said...

What a great idea! I will be following your adventure in loveliness!

learningtofollow said...

Excellent thoughts here, Brenda! Because we live in this fallen world, it sometimes does require great effort on our part. After all, not everyday is so prettily dressed as an early May day. Thankfully some are, and I too felt that boost this weekend with all the beautiful flowering trees and shrubs! I so appreciate your encouraging perspective. Thank you for sharing!

scrappy quilter said...

BEAUTIFUL WORDS!!! I'm going to follow you, trying to do the same thing. I want this to be the spring and summer and look back and be able to was lovely!!

You're so right, we can choose to make our surroundings lovely. I choose along with you to do just that.

Debbie V. said...

I'd love to see that book list.
If you haven't read "Cousin William" by Della Lutes you might add it. May have to request from library.

Anonymous said...

I like that thought of "blooming" wherever I am, like Walmart or weeding or church! Let's bloom the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control!

Friend Debra

freetobeme - Anita said...

I'm with you, Brenda. I'm going to try to 'think on these things' this spring.

Anonymous said...

I often ponder on this verse. I really should print it out and have it around the house. I also remember the children's song from church that said...Be careful little eyes what you see and be careful little mouth what you say etc...Cause the Father up above is looking down with love so be careful little eyes {ears, mouth,eyes etc} what you do. If we stay away from those things we must be careful to avoid what a happier more relaxed life we will have. There will also perhaps be more thought to shareing this good life and His good Word with others. For once we hear, see or say something bad it cannot be fully erased from our minds. To concentrate on daily chores and routines and the beauty of our homes and family and friends and such keeps our minds off things the world is blarring at us. Things we often wish we had never heard about. If we purposely think on Phil 4:8 and try to follow it the pressures of life will fade and what is true and beautiful in His world will emerge. Just a thought. Jody