Thursday, August 27, 2009

...You'll do best
by filling your minds and meditating
on things true, noble, reputable,
authentic, compelling, gracious—


-the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse....
Do that, and God,
who makes everything work together,
will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
-Philippians 4:8, (The Message), Bible


The basil is fading. Each morning, before my 6:30 AM start to the deli, I ruthlessly pinch away the tips going to seed. Stay with me, stay with me, I plead with it. There are several more batches of pesto left in those stems, I just know it.

Philippians 4:8. I had to memorize that verse when I was in third grade. As a student at a private, Christian school, we were encouraged to stuff all the Bible verses we could into our brains, even though we had no idea what we were saying. I'm so thankful we did. These verses mean something to me now and come to me in snatches at the oddest of times, kind of like sudden sneezes or abruptly-remembered memories from a childhood holiday.

Think about the best, not the worst, I remind myself. The beautiful, not the ugly. Park your little mind in a space squeezed between wide loads of things to praise, not things to curse.

I found out today that my Grandmother - the one married to the Grandfather we lost last month - has cancer. Think about things to praise, not things to curse, I think to myself. God will make all this work together... He will work the high notes and these low notes into the most gorgeous of harmonies, and one day we will weep when the entire song of our lives is played.

I think that, and: Nevertheless...

22 comments:

{ L } said...

Isn't it amazing how when we tuck Scripture into our hearts it stays with us FOREVER? Those verses are lovely and this was a beautiful post.

gayled said...

Brin, I cannot imagine how heavy your heart must be with this news...but somehow this experience will make you even stronger than you already are at this point...

Teresa said...

Praise the Lord for those teachers that instilled the word of God in our hearts. How beautiful it is when it comes to us exactly when we need it. And how wonderful is it that our big and omnipotent God knows EXACTLY when we need His words. I'm so sorry that you are having such a rough patch in your life right now. But you are still an inspiration! You remind me so much of Max Lucado, you bring the Word to life! Thanks so much for what you do!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

My daughter who was educated in a conservative Lutheran school and sometimes resented memorizing verses and catechism, now at age 34 describes just what you said about those verses coming to life for her now. Her husband is amazed at her knowledge of scripture and the Bible.

I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer at this difficult time.

Shanda said...

So very sorry to hear of this news about your grandmother. That's a hard lump to swallow for a loved one.
I have been out of the loop for awhile and trying to catch up.
Congrats on selling your place.
I saw your picture and article in the May copy of the Dangerfield Bee. How exciting to have the paper interviewing you at the bakery.
Take care,
Shanda

tara said...

That used to be one of my favorite verses. I guess that it will always be.

Brin, so sorry to hear of your grandmother's cancer. What a
"Job" time in your life right now. My heart is heavy for you. As you were writing of the Phil 4:8 verse about thinking of things to praise and not curse I remembered that passage in Job when his friends told him to just curse God and die...and he held and remained true to God even when every ounce in his body probably wanted to do just that - curse him. I will pray for you to have that kind of strength. That God would heal your grandmother and that a resting time of joy will be just around the bin for you.

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

I am so sorry, and not only for what your grandmother must now endure, but for your string of losses this year. I pray that you will be given grace to endure like you have been with the last several trials. I will pray for you whenever your name comes to mind...
XOXO
Joni

Kellie said...

I lost my grandmother last September, suddenly, although she was 89. Two months ago, her husband -- my grandfather -- was diagnosed with cancer. It is hard, so very hard, so deal with situations such as these and the emotions can make one shake to the very core. I wish you and your family the best, and your grandmother peace and a feeling of wellness as she battles her terrible disease. There is light, Brin, after the darkness, and I know you will find it.

tara said...

By the way.... what a incredible wording and visual...:

"He will work the high notes and these low notes into the most gorgeous of harmonies, and one day we will weep when the entire song of our lives is played."

This is striking to me. thank you.

Feisty said...

I'm truly sorry to hear about your grandma.

Patty said...

so sorry to hear about your grandmother Brin. the scripture you meomorized though fits this time in your life. It is great you were taught to meomorize these verses and others at such a young age. I try now and can't...I'm over 50 and my meomory is just to old (I guess).
Praying that life will be good to you through these hard times and make you a stronger person than you were yesterday.

Linda Z said...

I love that verse... that is why I started blogging. I wanted to focus my thoughts on these things, thus the name of my blog!

I'm gald to know all the verses you tucked in your heart stayed! Helps me know my kids will have their own "sneezes" later in life, too! :)

Patsy said...

Brin,

As time goes on, we hopefully become wiser with each minute that passes. Your grandmother knows this and she will be just fine no matter what. God has His hand on her shouler and yours too.

Nevertheless, we become doubtful sometimes as we live this earthly life, so full of pain and unknowing. But then a chocolate lab comes up and nuzzles her nose in your hand.

Lallee said...

{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}
Lallee

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I love that verse Brin! So sorry to hear about your grandmother, so many times when one spouse passes, it's not long before the other one does too, kinda sad but kinda sweet too. Hugs!

TBS said...

Oh Brin that is not fair. I know it doesn't really make sense to talk about life being fair or not, it is what it is, but you have been struggling so much this past year and it just doesn't end.
You're a tough girl, most people would have crawled under the duvet and stayed there, and yet here you are. I pray for you, I keep my fingers crossed for you, and when I see falling stars I send them over to Texas because there's someone there, who I don't even know in real life, who needs them.
Cuddle your dog, paint your toenails red, and take care of yourself.
//Tine, Denmark

Elenka said...

Oh, I know, Brin. Despite how much we make ourselves think only about the good things, the bad things are still there trying to poke a hole in our good thoughts. And many times, they are successful.
I think good thoughts can't erase the bad ones, only balance them.
I hope your grandmother can be cured.

Lulu said...

praying for your granny...
hugs,

diana said...

even in the midst of your stress you remind all of us what is truly important. Your words are medicine for all of us.

Karen Deborah said...

oh sorry for the hard news. It may be the Lord doesn not intend for them to be apart for long. will pray for you and you posted much wisdom here.

Susan said...

I instantly thought the very same thing - that your grandmother didn't want to stay behind without her true love - I bet she can't wait to meet up with him again. How many years were they together I wonder ?

Vee said...

That's a wonderful version...

It saddens me to read this about your grandmother. She must have been under a great deal of stress and now this. I will pray as often as she comes to mind.

Keep looking up. I'm delighted to learn of all your ongoing projects. And where is that book? Don't give up on that one!