By normal circumstances- today was a harder day for me. Nothing dramatic. I’m tired, shaun’s out of town, dirty house, allergies, a few other details I will spare you (obviously this is not the point of this post). At the end of the day I discovered that my default conversation with shaun was mostly complaining [and rather emotional too]. Which is sad, because I didn’t have a long time to talk to him anyhow. I don’t want to let these habits continue. I want to choose to have joy and learn to be content. I want to be excited about what Christ has given me and thrive in all seasons.
I’ve been reading Susie Larson’s book, Growing Grateful Kids, and boy, have I been convicted. Here’s just a few quotes from the chapter on discontentment:
- “I made the mistake of comparing my messy looking ‘insides’ to their perfect looking ‘outsides’…The sin of comparison triggers two kinds of responses from us: pride and/or despair–both of which lead us away from our rightful posture of holy confidence and humble dependance” (p. 122).
- “Contentment (or lack thereof) has little to do with our circumstances and everything to do with what we tell ourselves about those circumstances” (p. 124).
- “We can learn to be content with much or with little when we live with open hands and a heart that trusts in God. He gives. He takes away. He’s always watching out for us. And He loves us beyond words” (p. 129).
So I want to take an opportunity to do just that this evening. Learn to be content after a difficult day. So here goes. I am thankful for:
-sun! We had so much sun this week which really helped the kids rest well during naptimes and play well when they were awake. This is really a blessing from the Lord when I am on my own with the kids. Plus I was able to dry all our clothes on the clothes line each day this week. Another benefit to this beautiful weather provided by the Lord.
-the beach. This afternoon I took the kids to the beach. Augustine really enjoyed sticking his feet in the water and Jane playing in the sand. It is a luxury to live 5 minutes away from such gorgeous atmosphere, and I often take it for granted. This is one of the first times it has been warm enough for Augustine to use his swimsuit on the aberdeen beach- what a blessing to experience these “first” memories with them today!
-friends. I am so blessed by this community of christians. Even just a few minutes ago, a friend offered to give me some of their extras from dinner this evening for me to have tomorrow. The Lord is so good to give me such encouragement through the body of Christ. And it really was the perfect timing to my weary soul. Additionally, I was able to see friends from church and the surrounding area over the past few days. I honestly cannot say I have been lonely (which is such a testament to God’s generosity as we have only lived here for 2.5 years!).
-unexpected homemade broccoli soup. I walked home today from town and was rather exhausted/alleriges/etc. I prayed that the Lord would help me and asked for his blessing. I opened the freezer to start to make chicken soup and I saw a bag of frozen broccoli soup I had previously made that had completely slipped my mind of it being there. I warmed it up and it ministered to me physically as well as spiritually by knowing that God was listening to my plea for help and heard my request. What a nice treat to avoid having to prepare a healthy meal from scratch!
-A long shower and a cup of tea. I am thankful to have these luxuries to turn to at the end of a long day. There are so many people who do not have homes, running water, much less hot water- and I was able to indulge in a down pouring of this relaxing treatment while the kids took an early bedtime and retire to write this blogpost with a warm cup of flavored tea and milk. What a privilege to have money to buy groceries and even special products like tea and fresh milk. I am also so thankful for sleeping children. It is nice to have an evening to reflect (and possibly time to clean) when many moms are holding crying newborns or unhealthy children. I am thankful that they are resting in a safe environment and that we can afford a home that suits their needs.
-A godly husband. During my sins of complaining. Shaun listened to me without a reactionary response or a defensive rebuke to my words of discontentment. He gave me compassion and offered words of scripture, love, and affirmation. What a gift from the Lord himself in creating and using this man for God’s glory! Shaun is by far more than I could have ever imagined in a husband and friend. He shared the passage in Lamentations:
The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. Lamentations 3: 24
He told me of his desire to be home and that he had purchased me a new tea that would help my allergies. What a thoughtful and kind gesture. To take my sin of grumbling (and instead of responding in sin) and turn things around into righteousness and generosity. humbled. I am humbled.
I really could go on and on and on. It was so easy and enjoyable once I took the time to do it. Plus- that really didn’t take long at all, and I have a completely changed attitude!
Praise the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit- ready and willing to help me in my time of need and my growth in sanctification. I love you Father and leave amazed by your goodness to send your Son on my behalf.