We are told to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30)
The past two days the book focused on the heart and the soul. Today mind and strength were squished into the same chapter. My guess is because it takes almost all your strength to love the Lord with all your mind.
I know that such is the case for my mind...
I told a friend today that I think my body is physically displaying the inner feelings I won't let myself express. Since Nathan has left, I have hardly been able to sleep, though my body is completely exhausted. The added stress and lack of sleep has caused my face to break out worse than any teenage girl I have ever seen. And I have dealt with another medical issue I do not care to share publicly, though my momma knows what I'm talking about because I must have called her ten times to ask her questions about it...oh, how I love "Dr. Mom!" :)
I can fake strong to anybody. I can be nothing but supportive when I see that someone else is hurting. I can carry on a casual conversation and laugh heartily and give a genuine smile. But don't let that fool you about the worries that are truly on my mind: My husband is gone. I miss him terribly. I wonder why we call it a deployment when we really should just say "gone to war." I wonder if he will come home safely. I wonder if his buddies will come home safely. I wonder what we would do if we lost one of them. I wonder how I will be able to hold down the fort when he is away. I wonder if I will be able to take care of my fellow-spouses when they need my help even if I am knee-deep in my own dilemmas. I wonder if my face is ever going to clear up. I wonder if that is what everyone is looking at when I talk to them. I wonder if Nathan is going to notice it when he gets back and think I am ugly. I wonder if all of my late night snacks are going to make me fat. I wonder about how I can squeeze a jog into my already jam-packed day so I don't get fat. I wonder what I am going to cook for dinner. I wonder if it is okay to have poptarts for dinner, because the kids hardly ever eat what I cook them anyway...
Go away you NEGATIVE, UGLY thoughts!
Today, the book challenged us with this verse:
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
So here I go!
Whatever is true: The book says these are things you can depend on in life.--
True, lasting love. I love my husband. My husband loves me. God tells me that "love never fails" (1 Cor 13:8)
Whatever is noble: The books describes this as focusing on the godliness of common things.--
A pleasant conversation. Today I had the opportunity to talk to my daughter about salvation through Christ. We were listening to Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home" and Sammi asked me why Carrie was sad. I told her she was a little sad because someone was dying, but she was also a little happy because after he died, he was going to be with Jesus. I told her that if we ask Jesus to live in our hearts, we get to be with Him in heaven after we die. Sammi said, "Jesus lives with me in my heart. I took Him with me tonight to eat hot dogs and cake." :)
Whatever is right: The book says if you are acting according to the will of God, you are doing what's right.--
Volunteering. Galatians 6:2 says "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Yesterday I offered to help my new FRG by volunteering to fill one of the many open key caller positions. I know how burdensome an FRG can be at any level...so I am going to help for better or for worse!
Whatever is pure: The book says pureness is on par with holiness.--
Babies. There is nothing more innocent, perfect, or pure than a newborn baby. We are all created in the image of our God, and newborn babies are God's latest and greatest masterpieces. I have been surrounded by so many of them lately, and I love it. (Though my husband probably doesn't because it is giving me the baby fever like crazy!)
Whatever is lovely: The book says to translate lovely as "enjoyable."--
The moon. I have been taking the kids outside to play after supper every night and with winter weather around the corner, we are often greeted by shorter days and the setting sun. Jack's new favorite thing to do is to spot the moon when day turns into night. He calls the moon the "night night" :) Lately, the "night night" has been so bright and round and full. We spend a good half hour swinging in the swings of our backyard playground and marveling at the moon.
Whatever is admirable: The book says this is "something you admire in others that is worthy of talking about."--
Sacrifice. I mentioned this on Facebook yesterday, but I is definitely admirable enough to think about again, in my opinion. My husband and I have been very, very, EXTREMELY fortunate to be able to talk on Skype several days a week. (I do not take for granted for a second how lucky we are to get to do this.) After missing our chat time for the last several days, I was very much looking forward to getting to talk to my husband online...really talk to him...hear his voice...see his face. But when I jumped onto the computer to log on I was greeted by this email: "Well, its going to be one more night without talking on skype. Got one of the young Soldiers from Alpha here. His wife is having their first baby today. She was induced this morning at 0900 El Paso time. They dropped him this morning from one of the small COP's. Right now he's in my room on my computer skyping with his wife in the delivery room. Figured that is definitely a sacrifice I can make . . . one night of not being able to talk to my beautiful family so that he can watch his child be born. I love you babe - tomorrow - I promise. Can't wait to see you, goober and the little man again." I love this man so much more than I could ever say...there is so much to admire about him.
If anything is excellent: The book calls this motivation by God's greatness.--
A Hymn. "The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty. Let all the earth rejoice-All the earth rejoice.
He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide. And trembles at His voice-Trembles at His voice.
How great is our God, sing with me. How great is our God, and all will see. How great, how great is our God!"
If anything is praiseworthy: The book says this is celebrating the goodness of what God is doing.--
Right Now. I am not sure exactly how or when it happened, but by the end of writing this, I am feeling happy and at peace. (I hope you are too!) Hooray for the power of positive thinking!
...I think I shall go to bed now and try to sleep :)
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt. 11:29-30