|This is my charm from my weekend with some incredible women.|
The hearts represent each of us with the One on the stem
being our table leader....That was a life changing weekend...
1. Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied.
The idea of being content is a tricky one...On the surface it seems like it is a noble thing. When you first hear this word your mind is probably drawn to thoughts of material possessions.......Is our home big enough... is our car "new" enough... do we really need a new purse....does my cell phone have enough bells and whistles....As a society it seems as if we are never Content with what we have...The media is always trying to convince us that we need bigger and better.
When you come across people who are just happy with what they "have" sometimes it is just hard to accept. They must be hiding something. And then you dive in a little deeper and you begin to uncover what events have transpired in their lives. What made their priorities shift from material to relational...They understand that their house and everything in it is just stuff....And stuff doesn't bring you lasting happiness - relationships do....That is no more evident than when we are in Jamaica. A majority of the population have basically very little. And yet they are some of the happiest people I have met. But as you drive along the unpaved roads you constantly see groups of people....Men, Women and Children...playing cards or just sitting together in lawn chairs...My first American instinct honestly is....why aren't they at work trying to make their lives better. But then I think who's definition of Better? I think there is a balance but I know that those people have taught me a tremendous amount about priorities..
So I get that it is a good thing to be content in our materialistic lives but what about other areas. Yesterday I attended a tour of our local hospital. I have been asked to give the Welcoming and Closing speeches for the annual Fundraising Brunch. The CEO of the hospital was speaking to us and he made a simple but profound statement. Basically it was that who they are today will not be who they are in 5, 10 or 15 years....Our hospital was established in 1924 and because of our strong community it has made some incredible advances, especially within the last 15 years. It is not only aesthetically pleasing but the care that is given here has increased 10 fold...He discussed that it would be easy now that they just completed the new Med Surge floor to sit back and say...whooo...now we are done. But he said that is that is not good in any area of life. We always need to be searching for how we can be better.
On my way home that thought just kept playing through my head. I think it is Extremely important for us to take moments to sit and breath and express our gratefulness for where God has us - for the gifts that he gives us. But then our next breath needs to be....so where do I go next??? I began to process that for myself...I am beyond grateful for the "gifts" that God has given me. My home in the woods, my Jeep that cleans up pretty good (even after 145,000 miles), my clothes (even if they are mostly from Walmart)...He has been beyond good to me. And I have also been extremely blessed with relationships. I have sisters that make me laugh so hard I cry and brothers that will always protect me. We have had our share of difficulties and our family tree may not look "normal" but I love each and every one of them all more deeply than anyone could imagine. I have had friendships that have lasted most of my life and I have met some amazing people throughout my life....My husband is the most incredible and loving man I could have ever dreamed of spending my life with and my children make me so proud sometimes it brings me to tears....(caveat....my marriage has been plagued with difficulties and my children have made many many mistakes....these 3 are not perfect people ..just as I am not....but they are MINE..and we are in this together....and I adore them with all my heart!!!!)
So if anyone would feel the urge to just be "Content" it would be me. And yet it seems that there is a constant knot in my stomach...He is constantly leading my on to a new adventure. A new journey with new people and new surroundings....Lucky for me I love adventure so the excitement makes me giddy....It's the work that is involved that makes me think twice....I LOVE the going - it is the doing that holds me back...There are so many things in front of me right now...areas where I am praying for direction...I want to make sure they are not my DREAMS but his DESIRES for my heart.
Psalm 37:4-8 (New International Version)
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
This is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. I could sit and dissect it with you for hours. It is FILLED with wisdom. It first came to my attention several years ago while sitting at a table with a group of women in Texas that I had just met. We named our group..."Hearts Desire..." I have went to this passage countless times since that life changing weekend with those ladies. For me Desire is an Action word. Desire means that you want to go Somewhere...I think that is why I am so proud to call myself a dreamer...these are my Desires.....and then I am to DELIGHT in Him and He will give me the DESIRES of my heart.....**Here is the Key**....now listen close.....the fundamental part is that the closer I am to Him.....are you listening.....my DESIRES are His DESIRES.....sigh.........But on the flip side - the more distant I am from Him....the more My Desires are strictly my own....and trust me that only causes problems in my life....
Here is just a sample of my Desires from the list that I keep...some He has blessed me with and a few that still haven't happened but I believe they will...The ones that have happened have been surrounded my many many earnest hours of prayer...rarely do Big Dreams just "happen"...they require alot of work and commitment on our part....He does give gifts to those He loves but I believe that He also needs to be assured that the one's He entrusts with those gifts will be good caretakers of them...I pray that the he is proud of how I care for the gifts that He has blessed me with...
To go on a mission trip (Jamaica....)
To help start a church in our community that would impact lives (Hidden Valley Community Church..)
To be an author...
To speak in front of Thousands of people...
For Rob and I to start and care for an orphanage....
So today my Dream (or Desire) for you is to evaluate your Desires...... But what if you have no Desires?....what if life is too busy or you are to overwhelmed...too exhausted to Desire anything....The Bible tells us that God gives good gifts to those who ask.....ASK!!!! DESIRE!!! DREAM!!PRAY!!! He created an amazing world with amazing people and amazing places....Allow yourself the freedom to Desire!!!!!
Have a Full and Beautiful Day my friends....