A whole lot of whatever

Last Saturday, I woke up and did not know what to do with myself. School was finished and I had absolutely no responsibilities. It was such an odd feeling. It took me 3 hours to decide to actually go outside for a run. This Saturday, I woke up and did not know what to do with myself. It took me 3 hours to decide to actually go outside for a run. This has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I just thought I would share the similarities. You’re welcome.

 

This was a mixed feeling Saturday. The older girls have school on Saturdays. Yes, that is right, 6 day school weeks. As a middle school teacher, I would like to thank my school for not having Saturday school. Half of the house had to get up for school today, while the other half had Saturday lazy morning syndrome. I finally decided to get my day started and was able to rack up several “Italian” experiences to share. Let’s just make a list:

 

  1. I went out for a cappuccino this morning. I can get them with soy milk. Blows my mind.
  2. I went for a run, on a run/bike path, with lots of grass. Blows my mind.
  3. I ordered a Chai Tea latte. With soy milk. What is this place?
  4. I paid for something with a credit card. Easily. No hassle. Amazing.
  5. I went to a park. It had a lot of grass and a lot of turtles. Benji also caught one of those turtles. 

 

If you have never spent time in Naples, you will not understand any of my list. If you have spent time in Naples, I understand if you need a moment to sit down and process what I have just said. 

 

Let’s make a list that actually has to do with experiencing Italy period:

 

  1. Nothing compares to Italian coffee. It’s rich. Robust. Clean. It’s just pure, thick coffee. 
  2. Italians think I am Italian. No shocker. I pretend that I am and just make sure my facial expressions match theirs if I don’t know how to respond.
  3. When you walk down an alley in Italy, you experience more smells at once than your senses can interpret. Rich, warm smells of whatever is on the stove or in the oven. Roasting coffee coming from every other door because coffee bars are in abundance. (amen) Unbathed, smelly, rotten body odor masked by way too much cologne/perfume. Just to share a few.
  4. Italian is my favorite language to hear. It’s hard consonant sounds, mixed with melodic inflections, passion, and intensity is just great. Don’t forget the facial expressions and hand motions that must accompany every word. Doesn’t get any better. 
  5. I don’t have a number 5, but I am OCD.

 

There, now that I have given you some of my day in action, I will give you some more of my day in thought. 

 

“Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worth of praise, dwell on these things.” 

Philippians 4:8

 

I often have to remind myself to be thankful for the many many blessings God has put in my life and not to dwell on those things that I feel are missing. In fact, I often have to REMIND myself of many things, as we all do, because this world is sinful and surrounding us. In preparation for World Changers coming in a few weeks, I have been reading through several things and came upon this verse today. It brought to mind many thoughts. 

 

As Christians, we know that we should be seeking those things which are pleasing to the Lord; to be as David was and desire that “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable” to God. We know that we ought to dwell on those things that are good and true and pure and honorable and lovely. We know that we ought to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” These things we know. 

 

Today I was reminded of how much the words in this verse ought to be a constant flow in my mind. When I don’t understand what is happening around me, dwell on whatever is true. Truth will stand. When I am face with conflict or difficult situations, dwell on whatever is honorable. He will guide what I say or do. When my sinful, rebellious, and angry nature wants to creep up and take over, dwell on whatever is right. I can’t fight the goodness of God for long. When I am surrounded by the filth that so penetrates our cultures and days, dwell on whatever is pure. For the smallest amount of dirt will dirty the entire cup of pure water. Dwell on the lovely creation that is all around us, because it reminds us of a perfect and beautiful Creator. Dwell on the better choices because the bad ones lead to bad things. Dwell on that which is excellent instead of choosing to only see the negative. In other words, be proactive.

 

Intimacy with God does not just happen. We must be proactive in seeking Him and walking towards Him. His response will be far greater than our attempt, but we will grow closer. There are things we KNOW we ought to do, but we MUST DO them. 

 

“The more I seek You,

the more I find You.

The more I find You,

the more I love You.”

 

Oh that we would seek Jesus fervently; and as we dwell on those things which are of Him, would all other things fail in comparison. 

 

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