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To Get To: Thankfulness in All Circumstances

Hello Dear Friends!

Can it have been a year already? I hope that this post finds you and your families well. It has been quite some time since I last posted to my website. For that I do apologize. Thank you so much for hanging in there with me. If you have frequented my page before, you know that I write from the overflow of Biblical perspective or wisdom that God gives me at any given time. Thus, I do not post regularly to attain followers or "up the algorithm". I truly only post when God gives me a word to share with others. I am always so grateful for my friends who understand that aspect of my writing and are ever so patient with me.

This year, I feel as though God had a great work to do within my own heart. Yes, there were the tangible things going on in my life like starting the year with a new baby, a new job for my husband, new family rhythms and a new blended homeschool routine; but there were a lot of thoughts and feelings swirling around inside of me as well. I think God used this year to help me work many of those feelings out.

Th biggest thing I struggled with was contentment in my role as a homemaker. Oh how I love caring for my family and running my home. Many of you know that I don't believe in the term "stay at home mom" at all. I believe in "working moms". Some moms work outside of the home full or part time, but ALL moms work inside of the home. Working inside of the home is a full time job, its hard work, sometimes thankless and it can be mighty dirty. Done in the right is precious Kingdom Work to be sure. I know that!

But at some points throughout the year, I longed to jump back into outside ministry. I combed the job listings to see if anything struck my interest. I listened out for any ministry opportunities. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to do more ministry work or wanting to get a new job. But, I longed for anything that made me feel as though I was doing something quantifiably valuable...that I was contributing. This created a distraction and discontentment throughout my days. Admittedly, I became quite inconsistent in many areas of my life, especially my Bible-reading.

To make a long story short, one day the Lord prompted me to jump back into reading the Bible every single day. I felt pulled to find an easy doable daily Bible study that would make it easier for me to be consistent, I started waking up earlier (more on that in a post coming soon), and I pulled out one of my many planners and converted it into a journal. Despite my need to have "all the things" before I actually start something, the Lord was telling me to "just start" with what I had. I read somewhere, that the antidote for discontent is gratefulness. Sensing the discontentment within my life, the Lord led me to start a "grateful" journal. I actually had a new journal for recording things you are grateful for that I tried to give away earlier in the year, but no one needed it. In retrospect, I guess I was the one that needed it. No matter what happened throughout my day, I would record at least one thing that I was grateful for. Some days it was hard to think of something, and I would write something very basic like, "I'm grateful that I am physically able to wash the dishes today." Other days, there wasn't enough room on the page to write all that I was grateful for.

These two practices really impacted me this year, and my heart began to change. I was reminded of the great ministry that God had placed right in front of me..the awesome task of raising these children to love the Lord in a time such as this. I began to realize just how important, valuable and necessary I am within my home. I began to see my contribution to the world, which may not be anything I do personally...but may just be who I raise.

I was also filled with incredible thankfulness and gratitude! I was so grateful that "I get to". I get to take care of my family. I get to wash these clothes or do these dishes. I get to share with a neighbor. I get to fellowship in church. Things that sometimes feel like a chore, all of a sudden become a privilege and a gift. Paul said,

"...I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

~ Philippians 4:11-13

This post was originally supposed to be up around Thanksgiving time, but I think I had a bit more figuring out to do. This has been my own personal spiritual journey throughout this year....battling discontentment...surrendering to what God has for me in this season of my life. With God, I've been conquering the lies of the Enemy that tell me that what God has ordained for me today may not be good enough. Francis Chan said that "the root of all sin is pride". Oh how I have been humbled in this year.

In this overall season of thankfulness, let there be a lesson here for you today. Be grateful that you "get to". Whatever circumstances you are in, be grateful for where God has you today. Be grateful that you get to do whatever you are doing in this moment. Even if it is a tedious, exhausting or challenging task. Even if no one thanks you for what you do. Even if no one sees all that you are facing. Even if you have less. Even if you are in deep suffering...there is something to be grateful for today.

If it is hard to see the blessing in your circumstances, then consider cultivating a heart of gratitude by writing or praying about one thing you are grateful for that day. Paul's statement in the above scripture suggests that contentment and gratefulness are learned heart postures. We must take the time to foster these traits within our lives. We have to practice, practice, practice. I still have a long way to go on this heart of mine, and I pray that you have been encouraged to work on your hearts as well this holiday season. May the Lord fill all of us with divine gratefulness.


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