"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 worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8
We would still date in the valley. Each other, of course.
Our dating life from the very first TCBY scoop of ice cream back in 1996 to the charcuterie board in downtown Des Moines in 2014, had proven our togetherness was lovely.
We have always loved being together.
And when I wanted to hate him and pull away and think on all the separation of faith and horrible things that came with spiritual deadening, by God's grace, my thoughts would dwell in loveliness, and we would come together the next day or week, and I'd live in the loveliness.
Our life was Lovely, from the first moment of to have and to hold. Our marriage was worth the effort to have and embrace. Our togetherness at it's very essence, was worth thinking on. And worth embracing. It was worth the effort. The very definition of Lovely.
During this pandemic, I am fatigued and fed up more than I am willing to have and embrace. How about you? Unfortunately, there are so many unlovely things to move toward. So much strife, division, indulgences, toxic engagements. I have tripped up more than once, trying to fill up on the decay instead of going to the true nourishment offered in Philippians 4:8. The effort to have and embrace is difficult, but even more necessary than ever.
Just because the world has nearly stopped, I cannot stop along with it.
Often, I had thought of Lovely things as inanimate objects, bobbles to keep our minds from straying into the mire of life. But, digging deeper into God's word, knowing His heart (a little), I can't imagine that perspective is the most accurate. I believe whatever is Lovely is living, breathing having and embracing.
Lovely things are not really things at all, are they? Whatever is Lovely is relationship that is worth the effort. Date nights aren't a night on the town anymore, but carved time on the couch with a movie and a snack. But, in God's grace, He has positioned the Lovely in my life for such a time as this. He has established the pursuit of Lovely. Effort-worthy having and embracing. In my children and my husband, my friendships and my devotions. They are worth the effort. The pursuit is Lovely.
Who is worth the effort have and embrace in your life? Think on the Lovely that the world can never provide in the full, but what God offers in every new second of the day--in attitude, in posture, and most of all, in relationship.