(btw......i got a new music player. and on this one, you hafta push play)
(just in case you wanted to hear a good song, or two)
it's the book that i'm reading, for a bible study i'm so graciously indulging in on wednesday nights.
after just one night........after just one chapter.........i've quickly realized it is everything and more i've been needing. it's everything and more that i've been lacking in. it's the Lord, working in me, and it's the most amazing feeling ever.
i couldn't wait to delve into chapter 2 just moments after finishing chapter 1. but when i still had to answer my questions, and memorize my verse, i decided......i'm going to stay on schedule, and just indulge in one chapter a week.
so yes. each week along with reading the chapter, we are being challenged to memorize a verse. the verse is found within the chapter :) and i'm so excited to begin memorizing. i've actually experienced quite the blessing my lifetime.......for 9 years (kindergarten through 8th grade) i was required to memorize a bible verse each week of school. you see, i went to a private/christian school growing up, and that was part of the curriculum. however, it saddens me as i've come to the realization, that i've lost so many of those verses somewhere up in my mind.......they aren't easily flowing from my lips..... but now. as an adult. i can relearn them. and they will be the treasures of my heart. golden words that will flow into the hearts of my children. (so yeah. i better get memorizing.........or the only thing that will be flowin is my rootbeer smelling breath. because, you know, i like rootbeer. and i have rootbeer floats. a lot)
back to the b-study.
calm my anxious heart. wow. just the title speaks volumes.
now is the part of the post where i wanted to link to all the anxieties i've been struggling with lately, but then i realized, i would be here til at least midnight (and its only 7:23) trying to link them all. in other words. anxiousness has consumed me lately, and its not good people.
as i look at my past. i would NEVER, yep NEVER say that i've dealt with anxiety. i've never been much of a worrier. but then, as i examined further........i realize that the Lord has blessed me with such an overflowing abundance of blessing, that i haven't been challenged to confront worry. i haven't been challenged to confront anxiety. i haven't had to. i haven't had to work towards contentment. i've been content. because the Lord has, so far, set a life before me which has been quite easy to be content with.
i am facing a battle with contentment. and i'm not winning.
however, just when i felt as if i was slowly drowning in discontentment, just when i felt like i was rounding the last curve of 300 hurdles race (which, if you haven't ran one, is brutal.......especially that last curve), the Lord swept in.
it's my intent. (notice i say intent, not plan) to post a weekly digestion of each chapter in my book. and as my heart is transformed. as it becomes content. i hope yours will too. but really.....in all seriousness........i'll pray that you, my readers, will find your contentment in him :)
ok. so that was my intro.
let's get down to business.
el chaptero uno.paul (the author of famous books such as philippians) writes (the memory verse):
"i am not saying this because i am in need, for i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. i can do everything through him who gives me strength. philippians 4.11-13
did you know he wrote that as someone who's been imprissoned. in a dark and dreary dungeon, chained to a guard. (amongst being beat, misunderstood, and deserted)
i challenge you to learn that verse. tape it your mirror. do it!
the thing with contentment is that its something we can learn. we have to make it a happen.
contentment is infused into us through His word. if we are in his word, we become more content. it will consume us. we'll be infused. (dillow says its like a tea bag sitting in your mug, the tea gets stronger as it seeps in)
how do i find contentment when i battle with such control issues? its funny isn't it, as we look at our lives. we want control, but the amount of 'uncontrollables always out-weigh the controllables'. i laugh as i think about how i find this a fault in my life. you see.....when i work with students at school, one of my goals is to channel their focus onto the things they can control..... can they control that their parents are divorced and their mom and step mom are always fighting? no. but they can control how they handle this situation in terms of their reaction and how they get through it. sooooo.......its just funny. that i preach it. but i can't do it.
i am control hungry.
i want to find the perfect childcare.
i want to finish the year and then stay home with the baby.
i want to raise the baby doing this and that and this and that.
what i've realized is that through most things i can trust god. i can surrender. BUT when he seems to be moving at too slow of a pace, then i try to step in a oragnize the situation a bit, you know, make a few phone calls, miss a few prayers, take a few things into my own hands. the author, linda dillow, has helped me realize that when i'm tweaking things 'a bit' and trying to 'help god along' that i'm developing my anxious heart. i'm basically saying, and i quote her "god you're not doing what i think needs to be done, so i'll help you out!"
JI Packer says.......contentment is accepting what God sends because we know he is good, and so it is good.
i've been trying to trust. to surrender. but i'm mixing my own strength and desire in, and its not working.
when i pray, i do ask for the lord to do his will........but deep in my heart, is where my desires resinate. asking for only his will to be done is something i pretend to do, but not really do. really, what i'm usually saying is, 'lord show me your will, your plan, for our child and who will care for him. show me your will for me in my career..........but please let your will be for me to be home. ok thanks god'.
why do we think our contentment is related to circumstances? i do it all the time.
however, i learned that true contentment is seperate from our circumstances, its a state of my heart and not of affairs.
i know i've blabbed on.......
and its been quite the helter-skelter blabbling post.........
i want to leave you with something quite concrete.
actually 5 things.
5 things that make up a prescription for contentment, straight from linda dillow's book:
- never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather
- never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else
- never compare your lot with another's
- never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise
- never dwell on tomorrow.....tomorrow is God's, not ours.
i can't wait to nestle into chapter 2.
i can't wait to experience transformation.
i'm on my way to contentment.
i'm on my way to a calm heart.
(baby steps, people, baby steps)
this will take years.........but i've gotta start somewhere :)