Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Philippians 4:8 MSG
Anyone else have spring fever? Ready for spring break? Hitting that low point between the holidays and a break in the weather? (My southern friends might not relate as well..)
So this time of year is, well, it’s just hard. I find it hard to remember that spring will come. That the snow will eventually melt. That the season will change.
I’ve had seasons of life like that too. Where it seems a situation will never turn. Someone’s heart will always be cold. A relationship will never come back to life. I’ll never break that bad habit.
During those times, I find I need to intentionally focus on the good around me, no matter how small it may seem. It’s still there, but it often gets overwhelmed by the challenging or frustrating that can loom so large.
A few days ago I went for a run. It was the first time I’d been able to run outside since the marathon in Florida in January. It was only 19 degrees outside. My nose was running the entire time. I was continually fussing with the scarf covering my nose and mouth which also made my sunglasses fog up.
All of that was true and frustrating. I could have focused on those things for 3 miles. And I would have been even more miserable. Instead, I zeroed in on the fact that I needed sunglasses. The sun was shining! That’s so rare for winter in Michigan. Not only was it shining, it’s rising earlier and going to bed later. The birds were chirping. I felt good, and I’ve stayed relatively healthy this winter. I have the ability to run pain-free.
All those things didn’t make the weather warmer or my scarf cooperate or my nose stop running. But it changing my focus changed my attitude. And attitude is everything.
That’s a fun and simple illustration. It’s easy to practice on something like a run. It’s harder when there are other people involved and the situation lasts longer than 3 miles. But especially when you’re running a marathon, attitude makes all the difference. Focus on the good you do see, the blessings, the gifts. If you haven’t read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I highly recommend it as a read that will encourage you to see the gifts in every single day no matter what circumstances you are facing.
So what are your good, lovely and pure gifts today? What are you focusing on? Here’s a couple more of mine. I’d love to hear about yours!
This was our blue sky the other day:
Flowers I bought at the store:
This spot in my office that gets the late afternoon sun:
This picture texted to me from my sis-in-law in Alabama from her local bookstore, and the stories so many have shared of how this book is encouraging them and helping them reach out to women in their communities.