• Barb Lownsbury

Surrounded by Truth

If you walk into my office or my home on any given day, you will see the normal paraphernalia laying around—family pictures, personal mementos and what not. But if you look carefully, you will also notice something else: quotes, images and lists displayed in key places. Sometimes I have a scripture or two written on my bedroom mirror; sometimes they show up on my bathroom mirror. I always have a few verses and quotes within my immediate eyesight by my office desk. My action list is always at my desk. I have a vision board, something God and I prayerfully craft together each year that is a visual representation of what He’s leading me toward. I have two very specially crafted scrolls, rolled up in such a way that only God and I know what’s written in them, but they contain the life goals God has laid out for me. All around me, I constantly surround myself with God’s spiritual truths for me.

When you’re under attack, when you’re feeling demoralized and empty, you needconstant reminders of how precious, how important, how sacred you are to God, because let me tell you—everything else around you is going to try to tell you otherwise! In the midst of all the put downs, let downs, and hard to swallow realizations, knowing the greatest presence of all is in your corner is sometimes the only ray of light in what can feel like a very small, very dark tunnel.

There have been times where I’ve read one of my spiritual truths, and have broken down sobbing, holding onto that scrap of paper or my Bible like the true lifeline it was. That truth was the only positive, good thing I had in the midst of a lot of ugly. It was the only thing that kept me holding on, to remind my of my sacred places. That’s why it’s so important!

Your truths you post should tie into what you are most wrestling with or needing consistent reminders of. So if you always strive for perfection, your scriptures/quotes/images may focus on accepting that your best is enough. If you struggle with defining yourself by how others view you, your scriptures/quotes/images may be the important reminders your need that it’s your own path you walk, not someone else’s, so you need to define yourself by God’s view of you; you have nothing to prove to anyone else. If you’re like me, they will probably be a combination of a few things.

Post them anywhere you need to in order to keep those ideas on your radar. I have even been known to place some favorite quotes or most salient goals on my car dashboard so whenever I drive, I read it and remember. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or creative, unless creating them that way inspires you. Some of mine have been crafted with absolute care; some are written on torn scraps of paper. How isn’t nearly as important as actively placing these reminders of worth and intentionality all around you.

Keeping your goals and action steps visible is equally important. How many times have you made a list you felt great about, only to misplace it and dig it out months or years later, never to have completed a single item? The enemy will do everything he can to distract you. That’s why posting them around you is so important. King David, a man who overcame intense life obstacles, understood this when he said, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways,” (Psalm 119:15). Meditation and contemplation both imply lots of time going over something again and again until it becomes deeper, richer and more tangible in your life.

Inevitably, someone always asks me if surrounding myself with positive truths actually works. In other words, do I always look at them and somehow feel instantly refreshed and faithful. Uh … no. Of course not! Most days, they’re just sort of there in the background, brief visual reminders that I’m not on this journey alone. Still, I have discovered that over time, keeping my spiritual truths and goals around me helps me to internalize them, to really begin to own them and make them mine. The scriptures, quotes, goals, lists and images around me also change and evolve as I change and evolve, and they reflect God’s ongoing refinement of my life’s vision.

Yes, there have also been times I’ve thrown that paper or my Bible down with disgust, mad and hurting, or in frustration threw my list in a drawer and slammed it shut. But in the end I always come back and pick it up again, doing battle to stay centered with my Creator. So even though I’ve lost some individual battles, I grab a hold of my bravery and allow God to remind me He will always win the overall war. And He has, time and time again.

So even if it feels silly to you, post a few spiritual truths around you in conspicuous places. We’re called to focus on, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart],” (Philippians 4:8, AMP). Keeping your spiritual truths and goals around you is an integral part of that process, and over time you will begin to appreciate their value.

For Further Thought: This week, post a favorite scripture/quote/image somewhere you will consistently see it and make a point of noting it throughout the day, however briefly. Better yet, set some time aside to meditate on it, and on what God is trying to teach you through it. Not sure where to start? A great place to find scriptures is at biblegateway.com. It’s an easy way to go search for your own spiritual truths so you can allow God to build into you.

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1314 Bourdeaux Way, Dayton, Ohio 45458

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