How I Learned to be Content

img_9633

 

My Problem

In my haste to satisfy the pride of life, I have diligently fed my flesh by trying to be one step ahead of my season. What I found, instead of joy & contentment, was feelings of failure, frustration, unmet/unrealistic expectations, & a restless spirit that settled so deep in my heart I couldn’t see my way out for trying to fix the way I was approaching life.

The gentle nudge I started to hear echoed Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

I quickly clung to my abilities, meek as they are, and hoped to do better. I can be steadfast, I thought. I can work on a pure heart.



What I Didn’t Do

As I didn’t do much struggling or wrestling (that would have required actual effort, and unfortunately, I trying to just do better weren’t going to work for me), I settled with trying to rest on the areas of my life that seemed natural. Once I was working out of my strengths, and even comforts, I could hear the whispers that could only be heard in a stillness.

I cannot, after He has clearly spoken to me about how my outset is not working, continue to work so fervently to be a step ahead of where I am in my life as a woman, wife, mom, or any other aspect of my roles.

Then it presented itself like a blooming plant that is emerging from the blossom that has rested, filled with nutrients and all the perfect setting up for a beautiful, bountiful expression of nature. Contentment. I knew the minute my soul was filled with this, alluring to some, actual manifestation of the Spirit.

It’s not an emotion. It’s not a feeling. It is the culmination of hope, mercy, grace, and trust.

I began thinking “this is so good…I need to write this down.” That pride of life crept back in and then I exclaimed in my heart “this IS good, thank you LORD for getting my soul to a place of understanding, rest, movement, and finally the acquisition of contentment.

Finally, A Looking Glass

It began with anxiety and panic that I wanted so desperately to be ahead of my season, onto the next step, planned/prepared/ready, and without a shred of help from others. The deep sorrow I felt after not feeling prepared and ready when a new phase of discipline was necessary in the heart of one of my children, left me feeling the way I mentioned in the introduction. The trepidation was almost more than my person could handle.

With the newfound contentment, I could almost hear “this is the next step…look at this Scripture….look how God led His people here….look at Paul’s admonishment here….who are you right here…..what the goal for this season…..what is hard right now in your heart….” questions that I haven’t left lurking like I used to when I thought I could move forward and fix the questions with my approach instead of listening to His guidance.

Moving Forward in Understanding

The joy and contentment found in resting in His guidance for where I am now, ABSOLUTELY does prepare me for the NEXT season.

If I am not walking so closely with His guidance, direction, hope, and correction right now, then I will surely suffer more when His planned suffering/trials/chastisement enters because I haven’t absorbed the gentle preparation He was providing all along.

The discipline of the Lord is love. An example from my life would be when He tells me to slow down. Before, I would have rebuked that thought that I don’t have time to slow down because I need to be ahead of my children’s needs (discipline, health, homeschool, etc) or that I need to be working diligently throughout the day to make sure we are ready for dad to get home to a peaceful place (which never happened when I was pushing out the Spirit’s prompting and pushing hard at home). The result of my efforts was stress, anxiety, discontment, and anger. Meeting the words “slow down” with obedience, speaking gently to those around me, opening my heart to the needs of others, always works in great motion towards whatever my future holds.

The sufferings and trials are not big and small in His divine wisdom. They are specific to the days ordained of OUR individual lives and He is faithful and just to give us all of Himself to walk through them.

I learned to be content, by recognizing His ability. That ties up so much in my heart that is lacking trust, faith, hope, and an acknowledgement that He’s in control.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Advertisements

what we learned from a prostitute last night

Image

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart

September 5, 2013

Week 1

Read Joshua 2

Rahab is a prostitute.

The  New Testament references to Rahab indicate that she was an immoral woman. The Greek word used to describe Rahab is “porne” the word from which we get “pornography.”

  1. Rahab makes a choice.
  1. It involves a risk.
    1. Her family
    2. Her security
    3. Her life
  1. The spies make a covenant with Rahab.

What are the responsibilities of both parties? Rahab? The spies?

Rahab waits…..

  1. How God uses Rahab
  1. She is obedient.
  2. She believes God.
  3. She is an example of how God knows us.

She suffered some unknowns in her steps of faith.

Rahab stepped out on faith. She was not from a culture who believed God and trusted Him. God met her where she was and walked with her after, giving her a new future and a new hope.

The waiting is over. Rahab’s impact on believers.

  1. She saves her family.

Her first priority was acting what she knew of God. Her second priority was saving her family.

  1. She is a gentile.
  1. She is in the lineage of Christ.

Read Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:30-31, and James 2:25. Rahab and Salmon had a son, Boaz. Boaz was the father of Obed; Obed, the father of Jesse; Jesse, the father of King David. And from the line of King David of the tribe of Judah came the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.]

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Rahab (and our) response to the Lord – where she has been exchanging her body, now she is exchanging ownership of her body for righteous purposes.

How have you exchanged your body or self for a relationship?

Remember our discussion on boundaries?

I’m going to trust God can bring me better than what I can do by exchanging my body or by giving up what God has called me to hold fast to in this world.

Adventures in Healing::He speaks

I cried out to God with my voice— To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron. (Psalms 77:1-20 NKJV)

20130624-125114.jpg

This is a picture of our monitor. I pleaded with The Lord for a nap time for both boys, at the same time. Although I FEEL as though He hasn’t answered any of my prayers lately, I won’t stop asking or believing. I will choose to acknowledge that He answers…but I have to be honest in my prayer. I’ve asked Him for His will. That’s what He’s doing. Just because my flesh seeks to determine and control His will, doesn’t mean His will is not being done. I love how honest Ps 77 is and how raw it is. Asaph is plagued with doubt-yet he still takes his all to The Lord. Sometimes the pain, physical or emotional, seems too much for us all. But not depending on Him & not trusting Him is so much more painful. In this passage, though…he moves. He doesn’t stay in this place of hopelessness & despair. Verse 11::he remembers. He made a choice to remember & meditate. His will followed. (“A Deeper Kind of Calm-Linda Dillow)

It may seem small. But my pleas with The Lord for a nap time was my desperation for time with Him. I needed a word. I needed quiet. I needed to release. He may not have healed my husband today, but He is healing & redeeming my heart from the disappointment and hurt of watching him hurt. I know if He can do that, He’s still in the business of healing….in all ways. I will continue to believe. So, he was in control of a successful nap time that I committed to Him. I could have been cleaning or on Pinterest or sleeping. But I desperately needed moments with Him. Have you spent moments talking to Him (its okay to be honest with Him, He knows your heart anyway).

If we have difficult conversations with our loved ones, don’t we also love on each other after the fact? The Lord wants that too.

Adventures in Healing pt 2

20130623-102711.jpg

Today, while we are coping with disappointment, we turned to a bit of creativity and change. He is working through the pain, and trying to deal with no answers. If this is the new normal, the pain, he wants desperately to live in freedom and in a way that allows him to be himself.

This doesn’t mean we give up or stop believing. This means we continue walking, with hope greater than our comprehension, with a God who doesn’t do things the way we want, expect, or THINK we need. We walk with a hope and plea so desperate that we are needy for Him. He is the only healer, provider, and sufficiency. Even when our miracle doesn’t come in a timely way or in a tidy wrapped up packaged testimony that seems perfect & praiseworthy.

Provision. It never comes in expected ways. Sometimes it’s spiritual healing, growth, understanding, etc. Sometimes it’s financial. Sometimes it’s emotional. Sometimes it’s interpersonal. Sometimes it’s all of the above.

Today our provision came in the form of financial blessing & interpersonal. We received a monetary blessing and were poured over with texts and Facebook messages.

The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. (Proverbs 11:25 NKJV)

And just like Solomon, all we ask is for wisdom. Understanding is your greatest gift aside from salvation. Please pour it over us now. 1 Kings 3

I am praying daily, without ceasing, for healing. Whether it be by miracle, through modern medicine, or both. Lord give mercy in healing and grace in the wait.