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Weekly Meditations to Prepare Your Heart for the Holidays

paraphrased from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi

  1. With wisdom and discernment, grow in love for others. 1:9 “Love…Knowledge…Discernment”
  2. Be sincere and blameless, approving all that is excellent. 1:10 “Sincere…Blameless…Excellent”
  3. Seek unity and a shared purpose. 2:2 “Family Unity Matters”
  4. Look out for others’ best interests, not only your own. 2:4 “De Tocqueville’s Advice for Widows”
  5. Do all things without grumbling or arguing. 2:14, 15a “Complaining Won’t Change Things”
  6. Welcome others; be hospitable. 2:29 “Extending and Accepting Hospitality”
  7. Let go of the past; embrace the future. 3:13b, 14a “Advent: A Season of Hope”
  8. Don’t be anxious; instead, be thankful when you pray. 4:6 “Don’t Worry; Be Happy”
  9. Think of things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good reputation, excellent and praiseworthy. 4:8 “Seeking Peace in Troubled Times”
  10. Be content, whatever your circumstances. 4:11b “Bloom Where You Are Planted”
  11. Claim God’s promise that you can do all things through Him who gives you strength. 4:13 “Mrs. Claus Throws a Pity Party”
  12. Be generous in sharing with others. 4:18 “Gratitude > Generosity > Joy”

[su_quote cite=”Philippians 4:19 NASB” url=”url here”]And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.[/su_quote]


Keys to Joy thumbnail

I turned to Paul’s letter to the Philippians in those still, quiet hours after Lev died and found there both the comfort and the practical advice I needed to move forward. The principles listed above have guided me ever since and form the basis for my book-in-progress, RECLAIMING JOY: A PRIMER FOR WIDOWS. I first listed these 12 keys on May 18, 2015, shortly after I began my blog. As I do every fall, I focused on gratitude in order to find joy during the Christmas Season, and I returned to these keys to meditate and write for three months. I hope it inspires and encourages you, too. I have added blog titles and links to make the list more meaningful and interactive. In addition, I created a slide show with the 12 Scripture memes. Click on the dots below the photos to scroll through. EWP 2/26/16

Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

Agree or disagree? Why?
What would you add to the list?
Any personal experiences to share?