I remember as a kid my parents lovingly-teasing me that I had diarrhea of the mouth. Gross yes. But I was a motor mouth. And still can be today. Unfortunately for my parents back then (and my hubby now) I can let whatever I’m thinking roll right off my tongue.
In many ways Philippians 4 keeps coming at me from all different directions; a book my friend Lindsey loaned to me, in my daily read of Savor (soooo good devo by Shauna Niequist) and then from Bridgetown sermon this past week (I’ll soon do a post on this podcast but check them out if you haven’t listened to John Mark Comer out of Portland). Yeah so from like everywhere….
…Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Ph 4:8-9
It was a typical Tuesday morning of doing dishes left from the day before (yes, I like to wash dishes by hand) and I had to scurry to pause my podcast, back up and play that part again. “Feelings follow your thinking. We can’t control our feelings but we can control our thoughts,” was the rough paraphrase from John Mark’s words that I jotted into my Google Keep.
This is what God is having me sit and dwell on. My thoughts. Taking a look at each thought and running it through a rinse of this Philippians Filter, how many things would actually be approved and allowed through? Whew. I might not be rambling such streams of conscious thoughts and slow down a bit to consider how these thoughts let my emotions run wild.
It takes practice. True. Honorable. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. Worthy of Praise.
I’m learning to swim as a 35 year old woman because the exercise is killer for my back and I really only ever splashed around in a pool up until now or just laid out. Now I’m embracing my super pale skin and not fighting it to get tan only to burn and freckle like crazy. It is important that you have proper gear such as a swim cap, goggles, the RIGHT swimsuit, but most important is lap after lap to build that endurance.
The same is true with asking God to teach me how to fix my thoughts. Lap after Lap. On most days it feels like drowning. Once in awhile I have a day that I can kick away that thought of anxiety, I can pull off that stupid looking swim cap and know the thoughts under that wet matted hair are not gonna be perfectly pure, just learning to fix them to that filter over and again.