Thursday, January 30, 2014

content with anticipation

I can remember when I was a little girl, and the anticipation that made me sick of waiting for Christmas morning.  I remember lying in my bed, thinking about fantasizing about each present that was to be for me, and how amazing each one would be.  I would lay there all night thinking about my gifts, and thinking about my siblings gifts, that I wouldn't be able to sleep, and most of the time I would end up with a HUGE stomach ache that by Christmas morning I would be sick.

HIS Daily Teachings today was to remind me that the same anticipation that I lived with on Christmas Eve is exactly the way that HE wants me to view each day of my life.  HE is working hard on my heart that I need to understand the importance of living content with anticipation so that I will be ready for HIS next blessings that HE wants to pour over my life.

This morning HE reminded me of years ago when D and I were newly married with two little girls when we were new in our faith just how fragile I was with contentment.  We had gone to a party for our couples group through church.  I remember walking through the door with my mouth wide open.  I was in awe, as I had never seen a house so big before, or one that everything matched the way it did.  That would be the start of the discontentment that would haunt me for the next almost twelve years of my life.  

Since that day D and I have moved at least six times, and with each home we had I "tried" my best to make our home feel like I did that did in that house we visited all those years ago.  With each home we painted, and decorated I was left feeling "empty."  D would become so frustrated with me and not understand why I thought that new furniture, or things would make us happy.  I was starting to believe that he didn't want me to be happy, or us to be happy, and slowly the discontentment grew and my heart became even more bitter and sour.

A year ago this month, I began to pray that GOD would bless us with a larger home. At the time of my prayer D and I were getting ready to lead a small group, and our home at that time was very small.  I prayed that HE would bless us with a larger home so that we could host more people.  When I prayed I poured my heart out to HIM of all my hopes, dreams, and desires I had for our family.  Little did I know just how BIG HE would answer my prayers, and even as I was writing today, I failed to see just how BIG HE answered my prayers.

This morning I realized that the home I prayed for a year ago, and longed for all these years is now here.  I am living in it.  We have nice furniture, and is beautifully decorated.  GOD knew the desires of my heart, and placed so many wonderful people in our path to bless us with the beautiful things to decorate our home with. HE reminded me of my dear friend L who blessed us with most of our decor for our living room, and because of her our home looks exactly the way I had envisioned it looking all those years ago.

HE is wanting me to know that even without realizing it over the years HE has taught me to live content with anticipation over what HE is going to do next for me.  HE is telling me that I must get my heart and mind determined to be living content with anticipation.  I am learning that this means, that while it is okay for me to dream BIG, I must open my eyes to see just how BIG my dreams are already coming true.   I must see just how blessed I am.

HE is teaching me the importance of me understanding that my JOY is found in HIM and HIM alone.  I must not look to people, places, or things to make me happy.  No amount of money, or things will EVER even come close to compare to living a life content with anticipation of what HE can, and will do next.  

"The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful." Matthew 13:22

When we first moved into our current home, D and I were excited to make our house a home.  With that anticipation came the wants, the needs, the desires to make it just so.  Very quickly HE captured my heart that it wasn't about the things that would make our house a home, but rather the people in it.  Making sure that each person was content with their surroundings, and what HE was doing in our lives was of the up most importance. 

Sadly, it would take months for all of us to get on the same page, myself included.  This past Sunday we had a family meeting that turned sour within moments of it beginning.  All because I have failed to live my life content with anticipation.  Or at least going beyond saying that is what I am doing, and actually doing it.  Now there is a concept, saying what you mean to say, and meaning what you say.  Practicing what you preach.  Ouch!  

In my search for how to be content, HE has lead me to this thought, "what is it that will make me content?"  Today I am learning that NOTHING will make me content except HIM!  I must get my focus off "if only" and get it focused on choosing to living content with anticipation!

"Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15

HE is reminding me today where my treasure really lies.  That is with HIM, as I am not here striving to see all of the material things that I can possess, but rather being WHO HE calls me to be, by speaking HIS truth, and HIS word, and being the hands and feet of JESUS, and living my life with integrity, that brings ALL praise, honor, glory and power to HIS HOLY and RIGHTEOUS name!  After all, living content with anticipation is the only thing I can take with me, as when my time on Earth here is through all I will have left to take is my relationship with HIM, and because it is my #1 hearts desire for HIM to know me, and for me to be known by HIM and to hear HIM say "Well done MY good and faithful servant," then I must do what it is that HE is telling me!  I must get my heart focused on living content with anticipation!

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

I am learning that choosing to live content with anticipation means, not wanting what my neighbor or friends have, but rather being content with what I have right now, and living in anticipation of the wonderful blessings that are to come.  After all, HE has proven to me time and again just how much HE loves to pour HIS favor and blessings over my life, therefore I must get my heart, and mind focused on what HE is telling me to do, and let go of my "great expectations" that are destroying all avenues for me to live content with anticipation.

I am loving how each day HE takes HIS Daily Teachings to the next level for me.  Yesterday HE left me feeling embarrassed and ashamed of how wrong I have been in my "great expectations" for my husband and my children.   So much that I secretly wished that the blog would just be erased for that day.  I even contemplated deleting yesterday's entry, as it was all too much to face.  

Today however, I am thankful that HE opened my eyes so wide to HIS teachings so that I would be able to truly understand and put into practice how HE is wanting me to live my life.  I am thankful that HE has shown me that the PEACE that I am longing for is found in HIM.  I am thankful to know that all my HOPE, and all of my JOY is found in HIM.  I am thankful that HE captured my heart 9 months ago, and took me through a "breakthrough" just like HE promised.  I am thankful that HE has been, and will continue to transform and renew my heart so that I will leave my past life of living as a discontent, bitter, sour person.  I am thankful that through HIS Daily Teachings HE is showing me HIS plans, and HIS purpose for my life, and that HIS next plan is for me to truly understand and grasp what it means to live content with anticipation.

I used to think that Philippians 4:13 was only meant for me when it came to physical strength.  Today though, HE has revealed that it is about my emotional strength too.  For the past 9 months HE has shown me that I have allowed myself to be so emotionally lead, and because of that I have failed to realize that I can choose JOY, that HIS JOY is there, and it is mine for the taking.  HIS word today has filled me with the encouragement that I can choose to live a JOY filled, content with anticipation life!

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Today I am thankful that I can choose to live my life with HIS peace, and content as I know that HE can, will, and does meet all of my needs in abundance.  I am thankful that I can choose to seek HIS joy no matter what the circumstances are in my life.  I am thankful that HE has chosen me to live this very life that I have been blessed with, and I am thankful for the opportunities that HE has given me, and will continue to give me to understand truly what it means to live content with anticipation.

I pray today that you too will have the courage to live your life content with anticipation.  I pray that you will know that HIS JOY is there for you, all you have to do is seek HIM, and you will find HIM.  I pray for HIS favor and blessings to be poured over your life through your obedience. I pray that you will know that the content, peaceful, joyful life that you crave is there, it's yours for the taking, you just need to claim it!


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