Friday, May 22, 2015

My Journey to Contentment

I read this book a while ago by Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart.  It's a book I continually come back to and skim when I know I need the reminders within it.  Recently I wasn't able to find it and it was one of those days I just wanted to reread some of the things I had highlighted.  Since they have helped me a great deal, I thought I would share some of the lessons she has on learning to be content.

She talks quite a bit about being heaven minded and just getting outside yourself realizing that you are not the center of it all.  I often forget that because, society teaches the exact opposite... The story she tells is about a lady who lived a really hard life and never really seemed to be upset by it or never seemed to wish for something that wasn't what the Lord had given her for that day. She shares her recipe for contentment:

  1. Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather.
  2. Never picture yourself in any other circumstance or someplace else.
  3. Never compare your lot with another's.
  4. Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  5. Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that [tomorrow] is God's, not ours.
"Her eyes were fixed on eternity.  Her tomorrows belonged to God.  She had given them to him.  And because all her tomorrow were nested in God's strong arms, she was free to live today."

She talks about building that habit of contentment through that recipe above.  I would imagine based on her story there were several things she could have complained about however, she chose to remember that the Lord was in control.  Of everything.  Always.  Nothing went through his hands that was not planned.  And when it did (or didn't) happen, his timing was always perfect.

She ends by telling this story of two monks which I love and can't read enough:

"I need oil," said an ancient monk, so he planted an olive sapling. "Lord," he prayed, "it needs rain that it's tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers." And the Lord sent gentle showers.  "Lord," prayed the monk, "my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray thee." And the sun shone gilding the dripping clouds. "Now frost, my Lord, to brace it's tissues," cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died. Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. "I, too, planted a little tree," he said, "and see! It thrives well. But I entrust my tree to it's God. He who make it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. 'Lord, send what it needs,' I prayed, 'storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost.  Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.'"

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  
Psalm 16:5-11

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ann Voskamp's Blog on ISIS after her visit to Iraq

I can't stop forwarding this link...  Instead, I've decided to just post it and hope it will reach more people this way.  And then I pray you read it and let this rest on your heart.  Reading this is hard, but it's short and I promise will be worth your time.

Click here to read: Ann Voskamp's blog on ISIS

I first heard Ann speak at IF:Gathering.  She wasn't my favorite, I'll be honest, but you have to admire her passion.  Her zeal.  The demand she puts on people to get up and do something.  Anything.  For the love get outside of yourself and meet needs.  Heal people.  Do what you can where you can.
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