I’m one blessed sister friend, that is for sure! This past Monday, I published my 100th blog post and received my 10,000th “view” here on this blog (that means it has been viewed over 10,000 times in one year)! When I started writing here last January, I had no idea how or where this would take me or what God had in store. But I guarantee you, I never thought it would be read over 10,000 times.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. For your support, your kind comments, your encouragement, for sharing this site with others, and, MOST importantly, for simply showing up a couple times a week. It has meant more to me than I can say. Your fellowship along the way has clearly served to validate what I felt God was leading me to do; namely, to show others how to make scripture applicable to daily life by talking about how it applies to mine. Thank you for listening; I pray you will keep coming back in 2014!
2013 was a year for me to learn to trust that when God puts something on our hearts, He will see it through with such blessing that our sweet heads cannot even imagine. For 2014, I think God is asking me to try something new: to “learn” to be content – no matter WHAT my circumstances. To become a bit more like my Bible buddy, the apostle Paul. Listen to this:
“I have learned to be satisfied with what I have and with whatever happens. I know how to live when I am poor and when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of how to live through any kind of situation—when I have enough to eat or when I am hungry, when I have everything I need or when I have nothing. Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do.” Philippians 4:11-13, ERV.
It’s a concept that has been percolating in my soul for a little while now – figuring out how to be content with exactly where I am and what I have right now. It’s not being “resigned” to live this way while hoping for something better. It’s not “putting on my big girl pants” and complacently marching on with a fake smile on my face and an internal yearning for something different. It’s not about enduring “trying” seasons with a grimace and the feeling that I was made for more than “this”.
What it IS about is this: It’s about knowing (with my head AND my heart) I HONESTLY have everything I need because of Jesus. It’s about realizing that receiving blessings is like getting yummy icing on an already super delicious cake. It’s about letting God melt jealousy and envy right out of my soul and letting Him replace them with a contended spirit that doesn’t have to live life with a “If only I had/could/would…” attitude. And it’s about moving my mind up and out of the negative places in which it has no need to live.
It’s about living the life God has given me with grace and mercy, steeped in joy and peace, knowing I have exactly what I need – and that what I have is GOOD. As in – God’s definition of good. And let me tell you something: I firmly believe that God’s “good” is waaaaay better than anything our sweet little human heads can dream up!
What I find super interesting in that short passage above from Philippians is that Paul uses the phrase “I have learned…” twice. (It’s usually a good sign that God wants us to really pay attention when something repeats itself so close together in scripture!)
“I HAVE LEARNED…”
In other words, this contended life I seek (and maybe you do too?) is something we have to put some time into figuring out out, work through it, turn it over a few times, and move the knowledge of it from a logic standpoint to an integrated spot in our hearts before it can really change us. Learning IS a process, right? It takes discipline, desire, humility, focus, practice, (and even a skinned knee a time or two along the path…) to create change in your life.
And I want change in 2014. I want so much to move my mind UP! Even if it takes work. Even if I have to learn to let some things go. And even if I have to learn to endure a little difficulty along the way. Will you join me? A content life sure sounds like a blessed life, doesn’t it? And after all, that’s what He came to give.
So, what’s this learning curve going to look like? I’m so glad you asked! Next week, I’ll be posting our new Bible study series that will begin the last week of January and take us right on into May! I’m so excited about it! Everything you’ll need to join us will be explained next week. But for those of you who are as excited about moving your minds up in 2014 as I am, here’s a sneaky peek and a couple things you’re in for!
And so, to you – my personal “10,000 Reasons” for blessing this past year – I once again thank you for doing life with me in 2013 and I pray you will rise up and walk this next season right alongside me in 2014.
Happy New Year! Here’s a little link to my current favorite song, titled (rather appropriately, I think) “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by the wonderful Matt Redman. Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM.
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: RISE Up with Stringing Pearls with Wendie!!!!