Today, I was flustered.. A small part of me wanted to find a cave in a nook of a remote island.
Cade has a series of scratches all along his arms.. Little Brendan, in anger and frustration, decided that he was going to visciouly attack his brother.
Today, I found myself correcting Brendan as violent words poured out of his tiny little mouth… How can someone so small be predisposed to violence? I think it has a lot to do with television…I try to control what he watches, but I think that nothing short of banning tv altogether would limit his exposure. Violence is inudated in our society in such a way that we barely notice or discern anymore..
And Cade.. I struggle with Cade’s deep sense of ingratitude…It seems that he is never satisfied.
Today, we were driving to Sulphur, and I noticed the beautiful clouds.. They were stacked up like marshmallows.. The sky was a deep blue, and I was in awe at the beauty that the day held..
I pointed it out to my son..and he said that he couldn’t see it.. He was so immersed in his want of a hamburger that he couldn't appreciate the beauty around him. I continually ask myself in the midst of his complaints, “how can a boy who has everything..his health, a warm bed, an abundance of legos.., food, how is it that he is seemingly never satisfied.?.
There is always a complaint.. Always a want of something more..
In the book one thousand gifts, Ann Voskamp observes.. That in the garden..our fall was related to the fact that we weren't content..we had perfection and yet we craved something other..
How often have I been guilty of not being content with what I have? How often have I centered my day more on the things that I want..rather than doing the things that God has called me to do?
Today, was a day of rushing. We had things to do, places to be.. I found myself yelling out, “do this, do that.” to tiny ears
Little feet moved slowly, reluctantly..
It felt like either no one listened or no one cared.
The enemy told me that I was a horrible mother. I started to wish I had more friends.. The enemy subtly reminded me that my phone rarely rings.. I began to feel myself slipping..
But I refused to bow down to a voice that I recognize all too well..
God reminded me that He hears my prayers for my children..He reminded me to keep leading them by example.. He reminded me to be content with what I have….
He reminded me that I do have friends..
I have the friends that I have met through my nursing home visits.. I have Rick, the man fighting and beaten down by cancer.
I have the friends that I write in prison.. ..People who would otherwise, have no one. Friends are everywhere. I have a world of friends. Even as I write this I am reminded of a beautiful girl who offered to give me her couch yesterday.. She is a friend :)
The voice of God is so beautiful. Yesterday, I logged onto facebook. Everyone was giving thanks.. It was contagious.. As I began to give thanks, even for the simplest of things, the day was full. My heart was full.
It was New York all over again… Only I was at home.
I thanked God for light dappling through shadows. I thanked Him for the realization that if there were no darkness, the beauty of the light would never be perceived and recognized for it’s value and it’s worth.
I took the boys out to eat.. I thanked God for caraffe’s filled with ice cold water..and pancakes with funny faces.
I thanked God… My heart was running over.
Today, as I was tempted toward frustration.. As my mouth was bent toward yelling at my children to listen..to obey.. I escaped to the room to find ten minutes of quiet.
How we all need the quiet..
I opened to window to see the sunshine… and I thought of the verse..
Be content with what you have…
I saw the butterflies stirring in the flowers… I noticed the yellow, the pinks, the symmetry of flowers in bloom,.. I saw leaves falling softly to the ground…I saw the day all clothed up in grace.. ..and I was content..
If every creature comfort were ripped away from me,, I feel as if I could be content with those things. With God’s immense beauty…. Dear God, if my job were gone, my money, my nice warm bed..if all I had to live in was a tent and a blanket...let my heart spill over in love and let my smile speak of your glory. You are Good. even if I have to share my tent and my blanket.. You are good...
We live in a world where gain is considered godliness and everyone strives to have more….
But God has put a cry in my heart that says,
Dear Lord..Let my life not be defined by the things that I have, but by the things that I can give away.” Father let me store up my treasures in heaven where rust nor moth can destroy nor theif can steal.. Humble Me, O God.. keep me humble
Father, let me be content in you, in your grace….
Our Father teaches us how to pray.. “Give us this day our daily bread..” He teaches us to ask for what we need, not for all of the excess..
The cluttering, cacophony of the excess…
He gives us strength and perspective to find the beauty in the things we need..
Be content with what you have and in His promise..
I will never leave you nor forsake you…
Be content with what you have…. Thus we may say with confidence, I will not be afraid, what can anyone do to me?
In this verse, God is telling us not to fear the loss of things…
It tells us that ....
If we are happy with what God has given us, then there is nothing to fear..
When we aren’t continually seeking gain, how can we fear loss?
How can we fear losing what we don’t have?
If we truly find God, then we find joy..we are content.
Today, I also thought of how the apostle Paul boasted in his sufferings. The Bible says that even though Paul endured many trials and tribulations, he still have thanks..He was still able to have joy despite the many hardships that he faced..
The other day I started to wonder what would happen if our economy collapsed? What if we lost our homes, our jobs..What if we had to start selling off our things just to be able to eat? Would we take care of one another the way God commanded? Would we fall away from our faith out of anger? Would we learn to be content with less when we have heard false teachings preached that tell us that God only wants us to have mores stuff? Just some food for thought.. Would we learn that we can truly trust God to provide our needs.. Not our excess, but our needs.. Our daily bread?
Yesterday at church, there were powerful words spoken. God moves through broknessness. A elderly man and his daughter went to the front of the church to speak and give their testimony. The man could barely speak. His daughter had to translate because his voice was barely a whisper..
He said that he had always been a gentleman, but there was a time in his life when he struggled with anger. Then something happened and he ended up in a hospital bed.. He said that he saw a light enter the room... He said that Jesus spoke to him and said.."You have always been a gentleman, now be a gentle man. The man spoke of how God used his brokenness to bring him to a place of trust. This man was essentially a good man, but it was through his brokness, that he learned surrender.. It was through his brokness that he learned humility and love and how to be not only a gentleman, but a gentle man.
The lady, who was with him, then spoke. She told of story of how shepherds once had to go and get lost sheep. Sometimes, their legs had to be broken..They were then placed over the shoulder and carried back to safety with the flock.
She pointed out that our nation is at a stage of fear. It is a deep fear that is not from God. It is a fear for our economy..a fear for the state of our nation and a fear of the unknown. She reminded us that it has been a long time since our nation had to trust God. .to really, really trust Him. Instead, we have trusted our paychecks..we have trusted our own ambitions. she said that she had prayed that morning for a word from God and the word she heard was "brokneness".. God wants to restore our trust in Him..There is no need to fear what we cannot control. God is still in control. She reminded us that our God is capable of making manna rain down from Heaven.. It is time to put our trust in Him.. She said that no political leader is going to heal this land. God already knows who is going to win the election and it is not for us to fear. Don't worry. Trust. God can lead and accomplish His purpose through brokeness.
I used to cringe at the word, Brokness, but it was when I was completely broken..that I allowed Christ to piece me back together. And as I am carved in His image, I can see the beauty in brokenness.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians chp. 9-12
One final thought..
Today, I kept thinking about the armor of God..
God tells us to put on the armour in His Word
The truth is that if this life wasn’t a bloody, battle of a mess, then there would be no need for armour..
I started thinking about armour… What if we wear our armour, not to protect our bodies our individual selves.. …but The Body of Christ..
We wear our armour against the enemy to protect THE BODY..
The enemy wants to render us useless to THE BODY of Christ.. Are we functioning as a whole? Are we a part of something much larger?