Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Look Back, Remember, Meditate

Let's look back at chapter eight, "Look Back: Forget Not His Benefits, O My Soul". If you want to look back at the thoughts of others, go to Lelia's. (Jennifer Rothschild's quotes in brown.)

"The real power of any moment is fully realized when it is remembered. The experience might have been painful or pleasant, but its intensity and meaning grow when we remember and reflect upon it."

As Jennifer explains, our thought closet is like a library in our heads, holding the stories of our lives, with both good and bad books. We should look back only on what is profitable. Jennifer defines profitable when it:
♥Adds to soul wellness
♥Prompts maturity and growth
♥Contributes to personal and understanding
♥Challenges broad thinking
♥Can be pleasant or painful
♥Assigns meaning
♥Protects from repeating mistakes
♥Guards from needless worry
♥Becomes stepping stone

"Even hard times in our lives can contribute great wisdom to our thought closets."

Painful memories allow for some great soul talk. They provide reflection on what the pain brought: peace, trust, gratitude, and meaning. ...Beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair... Isaiah 61:3

"If you don't label a painful memory with meaning, it will retain a negative connotation. It will be stripped of its potential profit." What a revelation. Imagine if we all began to add meaning to our painful memories. We'd have a closet full of profitable memories, instead of ones that pull us down with anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. If we see meaning in our pain, we can even release from our closets all the negative effects and feelings created by the pain and transform the effects into positive and profitable.

Forget me not. Forget Him not. Forget not what He has done. Forget not the good He has brought in the worst of times. "Remembering the good things of God sometimes causes you to reflect back on the bad things of life. But don't shy away from those painful memories because in those dark, difficult places, we often become more deeply acquainted with the good and comforting presence of God." Amen, sister! Is that not the truth?! In our darkest of times, we find the unimaginable comfort from God. Unimaginable. It is in those times, we see the greatness of God. Without the bad in life, we cannot experience the depth of good from God.

Though we are prone to forgetfulness (from what I hear starting at 40)...
Let us promote "forgetting not".
Let us choose to remember.

I will remember my songs in the night.
I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit ponders...
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds. Psalm 77:6, 11-12

I will. I shall. Remember. Meditate.

"Meditating on the past is a form of remembering, but meditating on the future is a form of worry. Ever thought of that? Are you good at meditating?" Well, yes. Unfortunately, I have a resounding yes to both forms of meditating. I desire to increase the remembering and decrease the worry.

Not true yet. Oh how such worry can come from three little words. How can we so easily worry over something that is not true yet? How can that be? God specifically tells us to not worry about tomorrow. If it's not true yet, then it's worry over tomorrow. If it's worry over tomorrow then it's not true yet.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25, 35

In her interview with Jennifer, Alicia Britt Chole (a former atheist) says "Meditation on untruth is unprofitable for the soul. So if it's not true, or not true yet, I won't allow myself to go there." Alicia shared how she has to train her brain to not dwell on the unprofitable, not-true-yet thoughts. Want to guess what she does to combat those thoughts? You got it...praying for other people and reading God's Word. Surprise, surprise. Are those not the two strengths in life we have for everything: prayer and God's Word.

I leave you with a final thought of Jennifer's. "Remembering can turn even the most difficult milestones into stepping stones on a path of gratitude, contentment, and peace."

I have definitely learned to label the worst and most painful milestones in my life as a spiritual marker. If it were not for this extremely difficult heartache being a spiritual marker of God's, I'd never survive. I gleam such encouragement and hope from knowing that my pain has purpose and from my tragedy and heartache there is so much 'spiritualness' to be gained and nurtured.

God kept speaking this verse to me.
Finally, brothers, 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. Philippians 4:8

Remembering Him and Meditating on His,

© Copyright 2008


Liz said...

Wonderful insight, Paula. I am learnong to make some of those painful memories into spiritual markers. I think the most difficult one to do is the one I am in. Your Philipians verse was my memory verse a couple of weeks ago. I found it perfect during the reading of this book too!
Yes, I will see Lelia on Friday. She will be in the area on personal business and we are hooking up for a visit. I am so excited!

grey like snuffie said...

Excellent post...it is a great chapter to stir up pondering. I love the scriptures you chose to share...

On Purpose said...

Choosing this moment to know and make a marker note on my heart that "even this" has purpose. Love to you my friend! May this post be used to reach His childrens hearts and speak words of love and grace!

Abba's Girl said...

Such a great post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Runner Mom said...

Philippians 4:8 is one of my favorites! Love your insight from this study! Hope all is well, chickadee!!
Love ya,

Laura said...

Hey, there, friend! This chapter was so timely, was it not? As we enter Lent, I am looking back...I am remembering His faithfulness. It's not so easy for every memory, is it? I know you have some bittersweet ones. It's hard to label those milestones when you are waiting, I know. But what I have found is that, when I look back, I will find Him. I just have to look. He is always there.

Love you, lady!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...


Love your blog....

"The real power of any moment is fully realized when it is remembered. The experience might have been painful or pleasant, but its intensity and meaning grow when we remember and reflect upon it."

I love this and have thought about it for the last hour.

I think we share the same last name....

Beth in NC said...

Wonderful post! I believe every trial we go through and overcome becomes a stepping stone towards our destiny.

Bless you Paula!

Sue said...

Hi Paula,
I read the chapter at work today, and then got interrupted while writing my post. It was good for me to read your post, because you picked up on some things that didn't soak in as I was reading.

Thanks, and God Bless!

Tonja said...

It is in those hard times that I have really learned what 'faith' means. It is in those scary and stressful times that 'the peace that passes understanding' really begins to take on meaning. It is easy to say the right words about what you believe...it is another thing to LIVE it, and be sure of it because it has become REAL to you.

Enjoyed this post! So true!

Sharon said...

You did a great job on this, I love the scriptures you chose, and you are so right with every trial we go through and "over~come" it does become a stepping stone towards our life of destiny.
Oh yea about the 40~~~forgetfulness
Hahaha Mine didn't start till this past year!! I will tell you later how old that is, Just other things go downhill after 40. Hahaha
I am so enjoying reading this with you!
The other night(sunday) I was sooo tired I don't think I absorbed all of the last post like I normally do, so I will go back to re-read it again.
Thanks for my Paula fix, I needed a good word this morning.
Have a Blessed and Joy filled day!
Love Ya

Tracy said...

Wow, is this a profound Word! So much to ponder here. Makes me want to do this study, Paula! It is indeed such a comfort and encouragement to know our painful experiences are NOT wasted...that they serve such a rich purpose in drawing us ever closer to the Lord. That's truly reason to rejoice today. Loved this post.

I'm so happy to see your smiling face in that photo...you're quite lovely! = )

Love, prayers & hugs,

Jill said...

I so needed to stop by here today and be reminded not to dwell on what is not true yet! I've been stuck at that place for awhile now and know I have to move beyond, thanks for encouraging me to do so.
Blessings, Jill

Pam said...

i'd have to agree! memories, even painful ones, can be used to bring glory to God for how He has been there with us through the darkest days... we've had too many havne't we sister... pressing on towards the sunrise!!

Carol said...

Hi Sweet Pea Paula,

I've yet to post, I read the chapter but with Brinn sick, I can't say my mind was fully absorbed.

Your post brought back much of it for me and now my thoughts are formulating.

We are sisters from another mother, I too am a worrier about things that haven't even happened, like I shared last week. Learning to take the negative from the past and relable it so we don't keep it as a negative source that's a tough one isn't it.

You are such a living testamony to this chapter, how you are turning and praying for others, openly letting God lead you in this trial you endure, and share how much you love and trust in the Lords plan.

I continue to pray for you my friend. I love you girlfriend.

Big Hugs,

Oh had to laugh at the memory going at 40, not just that bu the eyes too. Take it from me. :)

~Trina~ said...

Excellent word in your blog today. I was blessed.