Lately, I’ve needed this verse:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
When I had to memorize this verse around age 10 for my very strict boarding school teacher, I learned the order of the virtues by saying “Just Pure Lovely.” Ever since, whenever I start to get down or negative-minded, I remember the words “just pure lovely” and change my thoughts to things that are more pleasant to think about.
This is not only the Year of Health (said with a booming voice, a bit of drama for effect) for our family, but for me personally, 2008 is also the Year of the Just Pure Lovely (see those 3 in the above verse?).
This can be lived out in so many ways:
Figuring out what drags me down, and filtering it out of my life. One way I’ve done this: My FreeHomeschool group has become a burden lately; I receive complaints no matter what I do with the postage rates. So I’m making it a 100% free group now, which will of course make a few upset that they can no longer charge postage, but it was either that or close the group down.
Figuring out who brings me up and who drags me down. I will of course be friendly to everyone, but I need to be discerning about choosing positive people for the bulk of my outside-the-family time. I need friends who move forward in all areas of their lives, and who motivate me to do so also. I need friends who easily forgive since we are all speaking and acting from our own perspectives and cannot always know our friends’ perspectives. I need friends who are true. And I need to be that friend, not only to them but also – especially – to myself.
Figuring out which extracurricular activities we should add. This is an area I have worked on for years, so feel like it is already positive, but it’s an area I must always protect. It’s too easy to get excited about a new activity offering, start something new, or get overly busy running around. But are those things so great that they are worth leaving home to do? That’s what I have to decide.
Figuring out which TV. shows, books, and movies are positive, and watching only those. This is a bit tough with movies because I guess action movies aren’t “just pure lovely,” yet I like to watch them with my husband to spend time with him and enjoy something together. So I hope you know what I mean when I say that I need to determine which TV. shows, books, and movies are “positive.” Those that add something of value to my life. Some TV. shows may not teach us anything educational, but they are relaxing or give us something to share as a family. Other shows not only do not have “take-away” value, but they also don’t relax me. Those shows don’t need to take my time. And books –books that teach me something, that are creative, or relaxing…those are the books worthy of my time.
Even online, going to sites that teach me something or are, well, “lovely!” Those sites that add something of value to my life. Not sites full of gory news stories or arguments or “twaddle” (a Charlotte Mason term, meaning things of little to no value – this is my interpretation of “twaddle” anyway). I’m adding more Crafty Blogs to my list of Favorites and more inspirational sites. More photo blogs and more uplifting music sites have been added, too.
I’m excited about a Year of the Just Pure Lovely! It’s kind of like I’m finally giving myself permission to do things like spinning and weaving and sewing and reading crafty blogs and time in my rocking chair soaking in the sunshine while watching birds. And, imagine what our family life will be like if I only speak in a positive tone to my husband and our children!
I’m writing all of this down for myself, for a record, but thought I’d share it with you, too. Let me know what you’re adding or removing from your life this year!
by Lori Seaborg 2008
p.s. After writing this article, I started a new blog called “Just Pure Lovely” to fill with things that inspire me, like photography, art, and crafts.