Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think about things that are true, noble, right and pure. I am convicted by this verse in scripture for most of what we see coming out in the news or social feeds currently do not fit into this category. I have been trying hard to stay positive and that means taking my thoughts captive( 2 Cor. 10:5) and reorienting my thinking towards what is uplifting to my spirit.
How am I doing this, you might ask. First, I am turning off the negative. I am spending more time reading scripture and in quiet meditation. Gardening satisfies my creative interests and reading gives me positive reflections . I have been inspired by stories about women of faith. One example is “A Passion For The Impossible”by Miriam Huffman Rockness. It is the story of the life of Lilias Trotter, a missionary to Algeria during a political time of unrest at the turn of the 20th century, who inspired the hymn “Turn Your Eyes On Jesus.” Another book is “Nine Day Queen of England” by Faith Cook. It is another biographical story about Lady Jane Grey, who lived during the Protestant Reformation and was martyred for her faith. Their lives model for me how to live during devastating trials and times of hardship.
In television programming, I look for shows that are upbeat and make me smile. Paula Deen’s cooking videos on YouTube inspire me to try new recipes using what I have on hand during the quarantine. Her laugh is contagious. I love her southern accent and her hospitality feels like a warm hug. She welcomes viewers as old friends and invites them to come and sit in the kitchen with her. Another program is Garden Answer. I could watch gardening videos for hours. Laura Leboutillier inspires me to try different plants and combinations in my own garden. Her energy level seems dauntless but it is her enthusiasm and love for gardening that shines through. It is the quickest way to soothe me after a stressful day and helps me fall asleep with peaceful dreams.
These are a few tips that I have tried to stay uplifted during this depressing time in our nation. What are some ways that you have found to help you stay encouraged?