The last two weeks have been absolutely crazy! We passed around some sort of cold/flu virus that landed Buddy in the hospital overnight with difficulty breathing. Everyone is feeling better now, but WOW! I think that is the most drained we have ever felt.
While trying to pass time at the hospital (with Buddy sleeping and me unable to sleep!), I started reading a book called Calm My Anxious Heart. I had gotten it free during some sale or special with the e-book version, and (like most other free e-books I grab) it just sat out there in the “cloud” waiting for me to finally find time to read it.
I figured the title sounded appropriate for the day. Me? Anxious? Never. (That’s sarcasm, folks.) 🙂
I have still not finished the book – it’s amazing how much less time I have to read now that we’re home and not sitting around in a hospital bed with nothing to do!
What I have noticed is that this book was exactly what I needed, even before the hospital happened. I find myself so worked up about everything that I can’t hardly get through the day.
(I have a habit of biting the inside of my cheek – something I started when I had braces at 15 or 16 and have continued to do without realizing it most of the time. This whole Summer I have been doing it so often I feel like I am going to bite right through my cheek to the outside! It’s a disgusting habit, I realize that. I do try to NOT do it, but I don’t realize I’m doing it sometimes until my husband tells me to stop.)
Things just haven’t gone the way I thought they would. I thought we’d move out here to the “country” and just have a nice, quiet life. I figured we’d rent out our townhouse for the six years we could with the rental company and then sell it. I thought we’d work on saving money for all the “what if’s” and eventually take a vacation. I planned to sign up the kids for one sport or activity this Fall/Winter just to get them some exercise and learn something new.
None of that is actually happening. And I have been angry. I thought I was just angry at the economy for sucking. I thought I was angry at our County and Village for raising taxes and being astronomically high! I thought I was angry at all these other things. But, honestly, I was angry at God.
It didn’t seem fair that everyone else we met/saw/heard of was getting to take vacations. They had their kids in multiple sports or classes. They had college savings accounts they regularly added to for each child. They had a steady income from their rental property. And the list goes on.
I never thought I cared THAT much about money, but I apparently…OBVIOUSLY….I do. It is sad. We have enough to have food, shelter, and clothing. That should be enough! But it wasn’t, and I was angry.
Last week, while lying in bed with Buddy at the hospital, I started reading this book. Maybe because there weren’t any distractions or maybe because my heart was finally ready, but I really took in the Biblical truths it was giving me.
It’s strange, though. I already knew all these things; I was raised on these truths. I grew up on them, could probably quote every verse to you, and yet I was not living them out…at all. I was more concerned with stewing over such insignificant things. Money. Talents. Anything I didn’t have.
It’s embarrassing how little I was relying on God. I’d say that I trusted Him, but everything about my thoughts and actions proved the opposite.
One thing that I have read in Calm My Anxious Heart was a rule a content woman had given herself – Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
I had wanted things to be different, but in order for things to be different my whole life would have to have been different. And as I’m lying there with my two year old boy, I couldn’t imagine NOT being with him or having it be different just to satisfy my discontent. I was shocked at just how far I had let myself get carried away with wishing for something different.
I have asked God for forgiveness and for guidance in how to be content daily. It’s so silly because I feel like I could just make myself content. But I am in such a habit of complaining about how things are that it is an hourly struggle to see all my blessings.
So, I’m not finished with the book. I am not finished with mastering contentment. We are all home and healthy now. I wish I could say that now that everyone is back to healthy and things are going well I have learned to be content.
I long to be able to say what Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13…
“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 in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
I may never know what it is to really be hungry. But I do hope I know what it is to be content in ANY situation. I don’t see how I can accomplish anything for Christ if I am not content. If all I am focusing on are the things that I want and don’t have, my priorities are off and I am doing nothing for the Kingdom of God.
So there’s my life for the past two weeks. 🙂 God is showing me a lot of things I need to correct, and I hope it doesn’t take me my whole life to learn these lessons!
Here is what I do know:
1. God has given me everything I need to serve Him. There is absolutely nothing else needed in order for me to do the things He has already asked of me.
2. Jesus knew ahead of time that He was going to give up His life for a bunch of sinners. A bunch of discontented people, whining to God for more. Yet, Jesus was content with that plan.
3. God willingly gave His Son to die for me. And I had trouble thanking God that having breathing treatments was all my son had to do.
4. I am a wicked sinner…..saved only by God’s grace. There is absolutely nothing I have done to deserve this, but I have accepted fully this awesome gift because I know God loves me and I want to spend eternity with Him.
5. My children will be exactly who I am to them. So, if I want grateful, God-fearing children…..then guess what I need to be portraying to them???
6. My God shall supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)……that verse doesn’t say “wants”, it says needs. And that is already more than I deserve.
7. Just because I fail doesn’t mean that’s it. I get to start anew each day.
8. Today will be a good day! And my heart WILL be content. 🙂