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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Get out of the Nest- It's Time to Fly!


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Speak to my Heart, Lord ❤️❤️


Monday, January 17, 2022

Learning to be CONTENT

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:6-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

     It’s really hard to be content these days. Really hard. But I mean, with all the propaganda and posts swirling around us, there’s no wonder why it’s so hard to be content!
       Contentment is defined as, “a state of happiness and satisfaction.”  
    And satisfaction easily eludes us in our society- satisfaction with the clothes we already have, the body we have now, the season of life we're currently in, and to be happy today.
      But a revelation recently dawned on me whilst at dinner with family, as we mulled (mused, really!) over the past. Do you want to know what I noticed? I noticed that the older someone gets, the more they tend to glamourize the past. Like, back when they had that body, all they could see was its flaws but now, (after kids!) when they look at it, they see the beauty in it that they previously missed. 
   Perhaps it’s because when we have distance from something, we more clearly see the truth that we missed while up close. 
   This means that right now, we are living in a season that has hidden benefits that we will one day reflect upon with new perspective! And because it seems that this phenomenon of ‘reflection-regret’ doesn’t stop until we have left our death beds; how important it is for us to learn to smell the roses that are along the pathway to where God is leading us!

      This means learning to be present in the moment and not always looking ahead. The Bible says it this way, 
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭
     Always thinking of tomorrow, always working, always stressing, prevents us from enjoying today. When we are always worried and concerned with the future, we risk missing life altogether and instead living a life of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness. 
    I’ve noticed that as an adult, it’s much easier to fall into this trap. The days and their experiences seem to fly by, never lasting, never enough.
     As a kid, when a random snow day came, I was so full of joy. Each of those happy days seemed to last forever. Each summer seemed to lull along, full of wonder and growth, a sticky mix of boredom and excitement. I enjoyed myself so thoroughly during breaks that I was actually happy to return to school.
      But as an adult the opposite seems to happen. Our brains are constantly working in the future. Constantly preoccupied with many, many things in the present. I’ve discovered that you can miss an entire vacation thinking about tomorrow. The photos prove that you were there, but you didn’t really taste the food, see the surroundings, feel the moments. You were there, but not present. You were there, but you were not content.
     In a new season I am challenged to taste and see life. I am challenged to STOP and TASTE, STOP to SEE. To allow the flavors of my current season to sink in and leave lasting memories. To stop and look at the good in my life, right now. To go through life, aware of the goodness of the Lord!
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭34:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬
      It is not God’s will for us to live a life of stress, anxiety, and joylessness. No, God wants us to be able to find contentment, no matter what season we are in. There is ALWAYS a bright side, there are always benefits. There is always good happening in our lives, and beauty to behold in every stage, every phase. But we must choose to taste and see that. We must choose to stop the turning wheels of our mind and focus on the good. 

    “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭KJV‬‬
  Practically speaking, though, I want to be of some help. So how can we be content?
     I know that this world advocates for comparison and inner chaos everywhere we look. Propaganda, politics, products, and people declare war against the contentment of our heart and mind every single day. 
    But what I’m learning is that contentment does not simply come to us. As Paul said, we must learn how to be content. There’s an art to it. We must be intentional in seeking to find peace. And by intentional, I mean we must put our mind to it and make an effort.
   Practically speaking again, I started waking up twenty minutes earlier each day to spend time with Jesus alone. This made a big difference in the perspective I took on for the day!
     And one of the first things I did when I began to feel the side effects of social media culture on my mind, was to unfollow any person or platform that stole my peace. I modified my feed to reflect spiritual, uplifting persons and messages that add to my peace, not rob me of it.
    Yes, I will accept your friend request and then unfollow you.
 Because peace of mind is important to me. I modify my feed to protect my peace. 
     Another thing I did was choose to not log on to social media too often.
 So yes, I miss out on networking opportunities. Yes, I seem removed and distant. But I am present with my children, present with my husband. Happy and thankful for the good that God has given to us, not bitter and salty because of what I lack. 
     Oh well, if I missed all of your good moments. Life was never designed for us to live in that way! 
    Your good moments are yours to keep! And we are careful not to over share our good moments to show you the same respect.
     So, I shamelessly disconnect. And purposely reconnect with those around me. 
I use social media; I refuse to let it use me.
      Savor the moments. Savor the experiences. There is nothing sweeter than the hugs of my first grader. Looking into my big kids’ faces makes me see how fast they are growing. Listening to my students’ conversations lends me a belly laugh every single day.  Being present in the church service and clapping my hands leaves me lifted. Walking in the cold air leaves me refreshed and thankful for a healthy body. Stopping along life’s path makes me thankful to God and not bitter towards Him!
     “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8-9‬ ‭KJV‬‬
    Let’s stop meditating on tomorrow, next year, ten years- and focus on right now. Tomorrow is not promised. But God has given us today! 

-Noisy For God



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