Depression, in my family, is inherited along with steely blue eyes, long limbs and a weak chin. It’s something I write about not infrequently. But I’m not always depressed. With the help of medication and intentional acts of setting my mind on things good, true and lovely, as God’s word so wisely instructs, I have lots of good days.
Today was one of those. I received the 3 books I had ordered- Faith among the Faithless: Learning from Esther how to live in a world gone mad by Mike Cosper, Fierce Convictions: The extraordinary life of Hannah Moore by Karen Swallow Prior, and Show Them Jesus: Teaching the gospel to kids by Jack Klumpenhower. I got to spend a couple hours chewing on Romans 9 with four Christ-loving women on the Valley Life curriculum writing team. I wrote a poem about my longing for shared pleasure in Christ while I sojourn here at 5:15 am on my back patio as lightning, thunder and wind cracked and blew. And I took out the acrylics kit I picked up on sale at Walmart and spent an hour admiring and painting the loveliness that is the sunflower.
I don’t know if you live with depression or some other hard thing in life, but I hope you can find something lovely to think on today. Here are 5 for you to consider:
#1 The Sunflower
I picked up a bunch at my local grocery store today. A $3.99 pleasure. I grew a red sunflowers one summer here at our place. They were amazing. I can’t help but feel a pinch of brightness and upliftedness when I look at a sunflower. I’m glad God made them.
I can avoid donuts and candy for a long time if there’s a bowl of fresh, ripe blueberries around. This time of year they’re on sale at our local grocer. Their deep blue make nostalgic for a my imaginary country home. Their snap of crisp, tangy sweetness satisfy my need for crunch and sweet. And they’re full of those cancer fighters- antioxidants.
#3 Peaches and Cream- Whole30 Style
My husband and I are 21 days into our Whole30. We’ve done this before and have always felt better afterwards. But the last time we did a Whole30 there were no Nut Pods French Vanilla Creamers! This nut based creamer poured over a freshly cut summer peach is utter delight. Get some. Try it. You’ll agree its wonderful.
#4 Bullet Journal
I discovered the Bullet Journal about a month ago and it’s hands down the best thing that’s happened to me since switching to a French Press (which is another very lovely thing).
I’m almost always thinking of something I want to write down, or need to get, or a person to call, or an email to respond to, etc. And thus far in my life I’ve managed to get those things done and organized without forgetting. But enter my smartphone dependence at age 44- I think my brain has atrophied in the remember-things-for-yourself-and-slow-down department.
There’s a whole following for bullet journals (#BuJo) and people make pretty ones that are basically works of art. Mine’s just your basic bullet journal. And I love it. Need to get more Nut Pods- bullet journal. Remember while your driving that you want to write a letter to your mom on Sunday- use Siri on bluetooth to write a note and put it in your bullet journal when you get home or pull over (don’t write while you drive).
Seriously. If you’re forgetful, do better with lists but keep loosing the little sheets of paper you write on and want to look back and keep current on what’s going on in your life- get a bullet journal!
#5 The Next Right Thing Podcast with Emily P. Freeman
If you have iTunes you can get it here. Or you can go to her website and get it here. But either way, as Emily puts it, if you would call yourself a second-guesser, a chronically hesitant person or one who suffers with decision fatigue, this podcast is a very lovely thing. Emily’s voice is melodic and relaxing. She starts with a reading of scripture and a short meditation and then moves on to the content of her podcast which is very practical and reassuring. You should go listen to her latest “Receive” series episode called “Receive Shadows and Light” now.
May your countenance be lifted by these lovely things. And may you join with other sojourners this weekend to adore the One who makes all things new.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.