–verb, to break down the courage of completely, as by sudden danger or trouble; dishearten thoroughly; daunt:
–noun, disappointed feeling; distress, filled with consternation
I realize I’ve been gone for several weeks, but to be honest, I just couldn’t write in my state of mind. (If you’re not into transparent relationships, then you probably shouldn’t read on…) For the past few weeks, I’ve been in a state of complete dismay; I’ve been plagued with the poochy lip*. I didn’t want to write about it because I believe in the old adage that if you don’t have something nice to say, then you should say nothing at all. But as of yesterday, I’ve began to march out of this disappointed state of being.
As you know, my family is planning on leaving for the mission field in early January; unfortunately, at this time, the January 5th launch date looks bleak. This is the beginning of my dismay. I’d written earlier on how hard it is to live bilocationally, but now it seems I will be forced into this living arrangement for a little longer, unless a miracle occurs.
Not only have I been disappointed by situations, I’ve also been dismayed by people in my life. By nature, I tend to place more value on certain relationships than the other person does. What means a lot to me doesn’t mean as much to the other person. I often find myself putting faith, and to some degree, dependency on other people—whether this be work relationships, family relationships, my friendships, or even my marriage relationship. Unfortunately, when things don’t go as I planned, I’m disappointed and spend much of my thinking time focused on “what went wrong?”, “could I fix this?”, or simply just “why?” I wear myself out with this kind of introspection!
But last night in an epiphany, I realized that my ability to rise above my dismay rested solely on me. Two scriptures immediately dropped into my head. “Set your mind on things above” (Colossians 3:2). For the past few weeks, my mind had not be set on things above but rather on “things amidst”, “things surrounding”, “things behind”, and “things ahead.” Now that I knew what I was doing wrong, my new dilemma was“Well, what DO I think about?” The second verse sprang to mind: “Summing it all up friends, I’d say 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” (Philippians 4:8). Honestly, I’d wasted weeks focusing on the worst, the ugly, and the cursed. No wonder I was in such a state!
So I changed my thinking and for practical application I will let you know how. My mind is dwelling on…
• Truthful thoughts– God has called me to a grand adventure for Him. I will see and experience things beyond my dreams.
• Noble thoughts– God has graced me with the ability to be obedient to a very scary and self-sacrificing mission.
• Reputable thoughts– There are so many ways I can encourage those around me because I am surround by amazing people with amazing talents.
• Authentic thoughts– I serve a God who is REAL and whose love for me is genuine and He NEVER DISAPPOINTS!
• Compelling thoughts – My heart yearns to get to Ecuador. I can’t wait to share Christ with those who’ve NEVER EVEN HEARD about His amazing love!
• Gracious thoughts – So many people have been generous and genuine with our family as we’ve traveled from church to church. I am truly blessed!
Today my life is moving out of the dismal and into surviving and thriving simply because I’m choosing to change my mind set. It’s not easy though! I’ve used these verses and the previously mentioned “beautiful” thoughts to battle the “ugly” that’s been consuming my mind and attitude. My poochy lip has returned to its proper place, and I’m determined to see it curve up into a smile no matter the disappointing situations around me.
*The following song was one I’ve sung many a time to my children:
The poochy lip will get you if you don’t watch out!
The poochy lip will get you if you start to pout!
So here’s a little tip:
Control that lower lip
And chase away the poochy lip today!