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Think of it This Way ...

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 (NIV)

"Yes, but think about it this way ..."

Recently, I was presented with this respectful challenge. It was intended to encourage me to view a difficult situation from a different angle and see God's goodness in it.

Doing so eased the heartache.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite celebrations.

But this year will be my first without Dad who passed away March 17th.

My childhood home was sold soon thereafter to another family who are gutting the interior. The lonely, silent house won’t be enjoying a traditionally robust Thanksgiving gathering since it was built in 1968.

If trespassing weren't a punishable offense, I'd picnic on the lawn to keep the house company.

Seriously, I would.

If I allow my mind to linger on these thoughts for longer than two nano seconds, sadness seeps in … which rolls into waves of anger, then bitterness … thoughts which are outside the parameters of true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.

Instead, I thought about it this way …

Dad is enjoying a heavenly banquet with Jesus and Mom—minus the post-meal indigestion, and, praise God, the house wasn't razed. It stands as a testimony to future generations of the legacy of love and faith I share with my siblings.

Jesus wept after Lazarus died. (John 11:35) But he never wavered from seeing the situation as anything less than true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Jesus recognized the situation as a ripe, teachable moment before a captive, confused, and grieving audience.

Jesus wept because of their lack of faith in his ability to do immeasurably more than they'd asked. They were unwilling to elevate their thoughts out of the pit of despair, see the excellence in his ways, and trust his goodness even in death.

My lack of faith leads my thoughts away from what's true, excellent, and praiseworthy.

In our endeavor to be optimistic and trusting—thinking of things this way—let's be honest about the effect hardship has had in our lives. A world in need of the compassion only a suffering Savior can give will benefit from our authenticity, not plastic smiles we too often wear to mask what hurts.

Painful emotions serve good purpose and should be acknowledged. Trauma and loss and hardship is real, even life-changing.

But we must pay attention to what we’re paying attention to.*

Is it true, noble, and right? Is it pure, lovely, and admirable? Is it excellent or praiseworthy? Are we refusing to move past the sorrow?

How might we think about things another way?

When prayers go unanswered, could God be protecting us?

What character might God be developing in us through our difficulty?

Attitude is everything. Let's choose a good one—especially at Thanksgiving when we, like Jesus, might have a captive audience.

☀︎ What helps you to see the good in difficult situations?

☀︎ What's your response when something doesn't turn out as you'd hoped?

*Inspired by Dr. Curt Thompson's latest book, The Soul of Desire.

Thanks for reading!

If you were inspired by today's post and know others who would enjoy it, I'd be super grateful if you'd share.


1. Sweeter with Youbook 2 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.) is with the editor in chief. It could release as early as THIS month!

2. A Steel Rose, a contemporary romance novella set in central Washington, is part of a multi-author project (MAP) and releases March 28th, 2023.

In January, we'll launch a Wild Rose Ridge Reader Facebook group. To follow the journey and get in on tons of GIVEAWAYS, I invite you to sign up for my quarterly author newsletter.

Until next time,


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✏️ This I Promise You (Gardenia Press)

Prequel to The Heart of Moreland Manor series.

What if finding your heart's desire means entrusting it ... just once more ... to the one who broke it?

Book #1 in The Heart of Moreland Manor

What if you didn't want your inheritance but it led to your greatest dream?


A tool to help develop the practice of asking, "What truth did the morning bring?" Perfect for those who want a breezy but soul-stirring message to jump start their day.

4 comentarios

Katherine Pasour
Katherine Pasour
12 nov 2022

With age and trials, I have become better at looking at things a different way, but it's been God guiding that change. He answers our prayers when we call for help and I'm not so stubborn as a I used to be (still have lapses, though). I feel your pain of loss and the house being changed from the way it was when your family lived there brings the pain of loss even closer. We learn to grasp comfort from the fact that our loved ones are with Jesus, but the pain of loss remains. I think the depth of our grief is a reflection of the strength of our love. Praying God will bring comfort to you. Wishing you…

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Mary A. Felkins
Mary A. Felkins
12 nov 2022
Contestando a

It’s true that the depth of our pain is associated with our love for those who have passed on. Thus my pain is deep. I'm grateful to you for sharing your thoughts here and being a compass that points me--and so many others--toward the true north of Jesus. Happy Thanksgiving, Katherine!

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J.D. Wininger
J.D. Wininger
11 nov 2022

"The Firsts", as I've come to call them through the years, are difficult times indeed my young friend. Remember please that it's through change that things improve. Remember also that grieving is something we must all do, but we don't need to dwell upon it. Acknowledge it, accept it, respect it, then move out smartly. Know that you are covered in prayer as you work through your year of "firsts". That pain won't go away, but it does get easier. It will not always be "high tide" my sister. God's blessings.

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Mary A. Felkins
Mary A. Felkins
11 nov 2022
Contestando a

I’m crying like a baby! Thank you for your anointed words and faithful prayers. Firsts are hard as well as cause for rejoicing—all depends on Who we trust in high and low tides.

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