Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.
This is our lovely cat, Maria. We call her "Kitten" most of the time. I think cats are experts at enjoying quiet. Today, she climbed on this box, which I wanted to photograph to go with today's post. Oh well . . .
Let's get back to quiet times. Why do I care about seeking quiet moments? Because it is in the quiet that I can listen. When I listen, I am tuning myself to God's thoughts through His Holy Spirit. He may bring to mind a Scripture. Or if I'm reading a book or listening to a song, I am drawn to a phrase of comfort. Another way I listen occurs while I write. I may not consciously know that God is speaking in that moment, but when I reread what I wrote, which is a form of prayer for me, I can see where God is working in my heart.
A quick way to listen, it to write down a list. Writing a list can turn a gray, dreary day into a sunny remembrance of many praiseworthy things. Scriptures like Philippians 4:8, Psalm 19 and Psalm 103:1-5 use the list as a vehicle to emphasize a truth about the spiritual bounty our loving Father bestows upon us.
Have fun in your quiet times. Today, as I thought about lists and thinking on excellent themes, I thought of the song, "My Favorite Things." I used some lyrics from the song as a springboard for my list. You could have a more serious list, but I had fun playing with the word: list.
In 30 Ways to Wake Up Your Quiet Time, Pam asks a question. Her answer inspired my quiet time today.
What can break the downward spiral to negativity?
Her answer is based on Philippians 4:8.
When you are down, spend your quiet time thinking of things that are lovely, like a rose...[or a sweet kitten, who likes to sleep on your favorite chair]
Think of excellent things . . . creating your own list of things to remember when you are tempted to complain or think impure, unkind or just plain ugly thoughts. Post the list in a place where you are often grumpy ...
If you're a visual person, you might like this idea from Pam:
. . .create a Philippians 4:8 photo album. Put personal photos of the people, places and things you love most in a scrapbook. [This is where I would use magazines and a glue stick to make a Philippians 4:8 collage!]
Whether it's written words, pictures or just a favorite place, God wants to lift our spirits. Be silly. Be serious. Be with God. He will show you ways to improve your atmosphere on those low, gray days. (And sometimes, we just have low days, where we need to take a nap, cry or rant at God.) He knows what we need in each circumstance. Trust Him and be open to His encouragement.
©Pam Farrel from 30 Ways to Wake Up Your Quiet Time (IVP). For more devotional books by Pam www.Love-wise.com