Sunday, January 29, 2006

Loving God more Than Chuch

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Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it. By no means is this post in support of not needing the local church. That you can love God and find God all on your own without the support of a local body. See I love church and when I was single it took being in bed with pneumonia to keep me from attending. I love worshipping with other believers, I love hear the word preached and discussing it with others afterwards. Since being married I have enjoyed debriefing as husband and wife over the message and seeking to apply it to our lives. Since having children I have delighted in seeing Taylor learning God's word on Sunday morning and going over what she was taught that morning. I love it so much that as of late is has been an idol in my heart. Our church is undergoing a lot of construction and it is really exciting to see all that's happening but one groups of people affected is those with children under one. Particularly those, like me, who have children under one walking. So I have spent many Sunday's this past year in the lobby unable to hear the preached word. The Lord in his kindness has used this to bring about contentment in my life. I have learned to trust God to meet me in the lobby- to be thankful to have the opportunity to be around other believers. As of recent months my two children have taken turns being sick. So I have had to forego the lobby and stay at home. Being home has made me thankful for the lobby :-) We all made it in good health last week and I thought we had made it through the sickness trial. So much to my surprise and well disappointment, Taylor was up last night with a runny nose and slept into 9am making for yet another Sunday morning at home. So as I struggle with my sin I am faced with the question- do I love God more than attending church? Do I love God and therefore will delightfully submit to his will for me to stay at home while Chris and others meet together? Can I embrace that loving God means caring for my children and trust that he will meet me,Tara, at home on this Sunday morning? I pray that I would be found faithful!

"All I hath needed his hand will provide. He's always been faithful to me"

Friday, January 27, 2006

Quotes on Contentment

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Here is a list of quotes that I used over the past few weeks.

Watson Defines Contentment: “ It is a sweet temper of spirit, whereby a Christian carries himself in an equal poise in every condition” Contentment doth not appear only now and then as some stars which are seen but seldom: it is a settled temper of the heart. It is not casual, but constant” The Art Of Divine Contentment, Watson pages:31,34,35

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every situation.” The Rare Jewel OF Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs

“What is contentment? It is having a satisfied mind in any situation. It is find inner satisfaction in God alone and in his provision for you. It is experiencing his peace and confidence in difficult times. It is consciously enjoying the fact the God is good even when your circumstances are not.” Learning Contentment In All Your Circumstances Robert D Jones pg 53

“ This sin of discontent I find very skilful in it’s apologies, which I shall first discover, and then make a reply. We must lay it down for a rule, that discontent is a sin, so that all the pretences and apologies wherewith it labors to justify itself are but the painting and dressing of a strumpet” Watson p51

“Your sufferings are not so great as your sins: put these two in the balance, and see which weighs heaviest; where sin lies heavy, suffering lie light. A carnal spirit makes more of his sufferings, and less of his sins… The carnal heart cried, Take away the punishment; but a gracious heart cries Take away the iniquity. One saith, “Never anyone suffered as I have done, but the other saith, never any one sinned as I have done.” Watson p82

“ It is Satan’s policy, either to keep us from seeing our sins; or if we will needs see them, that we may be swallowed up of sorrow. Watson

“ Friends are as brittle glasses, we may use them, but if we lean too hard upon them, they will break” Watson p69

“Murmuring is no better than mutiny in the heart; it is a rising up against God.” Watson p30

“ God’s friendship is nothing else but compassion; for there is naturally no affection in us to desire his friendship, and no goodness in us to deserve it; the loadstone is in himself. When we were full of sin, he was full of compassion; when we were his enemies, he sent an embassy of peace; when our hearts were turned back from God, his heart was turned toward us. O the tenderness and sympathy of our Friend in heaven!” Watson p72

A Contented Christian carries heaven about him; for what is heaven but that sweet repose and full contentment that the soul shall have in God? Watson p104

“ The trade of sin needs not to be learned, but the art of divine contentment is not achieved without holy industry” The Art Of Divine Contentment Watson

“ The humble man is the contented man; if his estate be low, his heart is lower than his estate; therefore be content. If his esteem in the world be low, he that is little in his own eyes, will not be much troubled to be little in the eyes of others. He hath a meaner opinion of himself than others can have of him. The humble man studies his own unworthiness; he looks upon himself as less than the least of God’s mercies and then a little will content him. He doth not say his comforts are small, but his sins are great. He thinks it a mercy he is out of hell, therefore is contented!” Watson p211

God sees in his infinite wisdom that the same condition is not convenient for all; that which is good for one, may be bad for another. One season of weather will not serve all men’s occasions; one needs sunshine, another rain: one condition of life will not fit every man, any more than one suit of apparel will fit every body: prosperity is not fit for all, nor yet adversity. Watson p41

Discontent keeps a man from enjoying what he doth possess. Watson p44


Though God had carried him (Paul) into various conditions, yet he was not lifted up with the one, nor cast down with the other: the spring of his heart was not broken, the wheels of his affection were not destroyed, but kept their constant motion towards heaven- still content Watson p26

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Concluding Thoughts on Contentment

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Sorry for my absence... the two weeks of sickness lead to one dirty house that needed my full attention. I am also trying to finish a drama for our Ladies event next week! Anyways back to contentment :-) I apologize for how long this is. I could've broke it up into two sections but for fear that it might be another week before I have time to sit and write I went ahead and made it one entry.

How to find Contentment?

Meditate on the Cross-
Think about the cross daily and how it has affected your life. Let the truth of the gospel affect how you live. We can be content and should be content in the work of Jesus! God never meant for you to find lasting joy in anything other than Christ!

Repent & Pray-
If you come to see that discontent is a sin in your life repent before the Lord. Receive forgiveness and pray that God would grow you in this area. Pray in trials and difficulties that you may learn contentment. Recognize Idols in you life- ask yourself What is it that would make me content?

Cultivate Thankfulness-
A contended soul is a thankful soul.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks.

Let's give thanks in everything. Every trial, every circumstance we face- give thanks! For God is at work!
When I am face with an opportunity to complain, I try to instead be thankful. As I put this into practice I am amazed at how much there is to be thankful for! And also amazed that you really can take any situation and find something to be thankful to God for! Thank you Lord for this trial, for the chance to be sanctified!
I think another good way to practice cultivating thankfulness is in our conversation with one another. Share you thanksgiving with one another. Point out evidences of grace in one another to help cultivate thankfulness in their life! Psalm 105:1 O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name make known his deeds among the people!

Purse humility-
Often I get myself into trouble with discontentment when I start thinking of myself more highly than I ought. When I start thinking thoughts like " I deserve" such and such. I deserve to have Chris treat me a certain way. I deserve to be noticed for my hard work! These thoughts are all proud and arrogant.

" The humble man is the contented man; if his estate be low, his heart is lower than his estate; therefore be content. If his esteem in the world be low, he that is little in his own eyes, will not be much troubled to be little in the eyes of others. He hath a meaner opinion of himself than others can have of him. The humble man studies his own unworthiness; he looks upon himself as less than the least of God's mercies and then a little will content him. He doth not say his comforts are small, but his sins are great. He thinks it is a mercy he is out of hell, therefore is contented!"

And that's the key- we deserve hell, God's wrath. Not a life of comfort and ease. Instead we have God's grace. Let the truth of this humble you!

Live for the Eternal World, Not The Earthly One-
A contented Christian carries heaven about him; for what is heaven but that sweet repose and full contentment that the soul shall have in God? Waston

Matthew 6 warns us to no to store up treasures here on earth that will fade away but rather store up treasures in heaven that will last for all of eternity!

Chris and I took a trip to Prescott last week to visit the campsite for our winter retreat. My parents went with us and on our way home we stopped by the Prescott Country Club where my grandparents use to live. We followed my dad to their house and all stopped and stared for a few minutes. I was a young girl when we made our trips up there almost every weekend but I still have many memories of this house. One was the open backyard. There were no houses behind my grandparent's house and my brother and I use to run around in the back with Grandpa. The other memory was that the house was green. A dark, grassy, color green. When we pulled up to the house I didn't recognize it at first because they had fenced in the back yard and painted the house brown. There was one thing that was the same, the driveway was still made of gravel. When we pulled away the sound of the gravel beneath the tires triggered another memory. Every time we'd leave my grandparents would stand at the front of the driveway and wave goodbye until our car turned out of the cul-de-sac. As Chris drove away this memory came back and I couldn't keep the tears from falling. Yes they were tears partly because even though it's been almost ten years I miss them and selfishly wish they were still on the driveway, waving goodbye! Thankfully being believers in Chris I have the hope of seeing them again. At this moment the Lord helped me see how all to often I live for things that will not last or that in comparison to eternity, in comparison to seeing Jesus face to face, really doesn't matter that much. See my grandparents were no longer there. The clothes they owned, the beautiful china, and antiques were no longer in the house. The money that my grandpa worked so hard to earn was all gone. All that was left was a house that looked completely different. But what has lasted is the memory of my Grandparents reading the word and loving Jesus. Grandpa praying over meals! Things that matter in eternity.

When setting your heart on eternity in heaven it's hard to be discontent with the world! Suddenly things like will I ever get married, will I be have children, will we make enough money to live comfortably? These things don't even have a place in my heart when I have an eternal perspective.

Conclusion:
Contentment comes from pursuing Christ, our ultimate example of contentment. Christ, who for the joy set before him endured the cross! All of our needs, wants & desires have been meet at the cross of Christ. Pursue Christ with all that you are and you will be pursuing contentment. Contentment can be achieved but it will not be something that happens overnight. It is learned through the trials and circumstances the Lord gives us. Our sanctification is a process! Join me in praying that we too may be able to say with Paul " I have learned what it means to be content in everything!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Signs that You Might Be Discontent

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Warning Signs That You Might Be Discontent:

1. Grumbling/Complaining
This for me if a huge sign that I am not content. When I find myself complaining about a circumstance that I wish would change, I need to dig deeper and see what it is that I am discontent. Ultimately my complaining is a way of saying that God's provision is not enough for me.

Watson says " murming is no better than mutiny in the heart; it is a rising up against God."

I appreciate that quote because all to often I think that my complaint is against a person but if I really believe that God is sovereign over everything in my life, including the people he has put in my life, than my complaint is against the Lord. Once I began to realize this truth my fight for contentment increased. See it doesn't sound quite as bad to complain against my husband or my children but when I say " No Tara, you are complaining against a Holy God, it makes me step back and go " what a minute" I don't want to offend The Holy God whom I love and who has saved me!

Again Watson, " The murmur saith interpretatively, that God hath not dealt well with him and he hath deserved better from him. The murmurer chargeth God with folly: this is the language or rather blasphemy of a murmuring spirit- God might have been a wiser and a better God.

The book of Numbers provides a great example of people who never had enough. The Lord provided Manna for Israel, but the complained and wished for something more.

Number 11:1 And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, " Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks , the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at"

What is the manna in your life that God has given you for your provision that is just not enough anymore? Job, singleness, school, children etc?

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or complaining.

Put a watch on your complaints. Remind yourself who you are really complaining about- a Sovereign God, not man.

2. Jealousy/Covetousness

How often do you notice what others around you have that you don't? Then you noticing turns into wanting. You thought you were content until you saw what God has given someone else and now you wanting turns to discontent. Again this is an easy trap for me to fall into. It could be something like visiting a friends house and realizing that my house is not as nicely decorated. Than coveting items that she has.

Watson " God see in his infinite wisdom that the same condition is not convenient for all; that which is good for one, may be bad for another. One season of weather will not serve all men's occasions; one needs sunshine, another rain: one condition of life will not fit every man, any more than one suit of apparel will fit every body: prosperity is not fit for all, nor yet adversity.

Again Watson " Discontent keeps a man from enjoying what he doth possess"

I know that do not want to miss out on what God has given me to enjoy because I'm do busy being discontent over what I could have or desire to have.

Psalm 16:5-6 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Indeed we have been given a beautiful inheritance. The lines may fall in different ways for different people but for believers, we have a beautiful inheritance!

I will finish up with concluding thoughts tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Objections Continued...

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This is a continuation of the study on contentment for the singles retreat a few weeks ago. The following are some more objections to why one may not be able to find contentment.


You are lonely and in need of friends. Friends, maybe even Christian friends, have let you down.

Paul knows what it’s like to be alone. Here at the end of his life, writing his last letter in 2 Timothy 4:9-18 That he had beenabandonedd by many. Vs. 16 says there was no one to come to his defense but all deserted him. He had Luke alone with him.
Paul learned contentment through being betrayed by believers and his loneliness

Watson has a great quote in the danger of putting more hope in friends than in God.
"Friends are as brittle glasses, we may use them, but if we lean too hard upon them, they will break”

We should not look to friends to meet and satisfy that which only God can satisfy! I know with my own husband I can be tempted to lean on him more so than the Lord. This not only puts my husband in an idolotrous place but also unrealistic expectation upon him. God alone meets my needs. Yes he may use Chris, but I still look to the Lord and not my husband first.

Here are a couple reasons why Christ is the best friend of all. Theses are not exhaustive but just a few examples.

1. He is a loving friend

1 John 5:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
God loved us so much that he gave us his only son Christ to be a sacrifice for our sins. Because of God’s great love for us we now have forgiveness and the hope of eternal life with the father. No other love of a friend can compare to this love from the Father.

2. God Cares for you


1 Peter 5:7 Cast your cares upon the Lord for he cares for you

3. God is a faithful/constant friend

Lamantations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His merices shall never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is thy Faithfulness oh Lord.

The Lord is also faithful in our sanctification. Rom 2:4 It's his kindness that leads us to repentance!

4. God is a compassionate friend

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then wconfidenceence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Watson “ God's friendship is nothing else but compassion; for there is naturally no affection in us to desire his friendship, and no goodness in us to deserve it; the loadstone is in himself. When we were full of sin, he was full of compassion; when we were his enemies, he sent an embassy of peace; when our hearts were turned back from God, his heart was turned toward us. O the tenderness and sympathy of our Friend in heaven!”

I pray that we will always be a group where you can find loving Godly faithful friends but I pray that you will not base your contentment on finding these kind of friends when you have in Christ the best friend of all.

Singleness:


Paul himself learned contentment in his singleness. He facpersecutioncuation alone, without the companion or comfort of a wife. He even got to the place where he preferred singleness.

This could be your biggest temptation when it comes to discontement. It was for me when I was single. But I was surprised to find discontentment creep back in when I was married. I wanted to be married with children. Then I found more discontentment than ever in my heart when I had children. So beware in thinking that your struggle will go away when you are married therefore you don’t fight this sin with all you’ve got. Be warned, discontentment can take on various forms. Discontentment isn’t a sin of circumstance, it is a sin rooted in the heart. So I say fight it hard in your single years and when tempted to be discontent when married you will have more resources to put the sin to death!

I'll finish up with warning signs that you may be discontent and ways to pursure contentment in a day or two! The whole Daukas household is officially on antibiotics starting today. Poor Trevor has been miserable for a week now. I was told last week it was a virus but it turned into a double ear infection/pink eye/sinus infection. Than Chris and I have the same junk going through our bodies as well. We have been quite the pitiful family these past few days! Ah but still content! God's grace has been there...and now antibiotics will be there as well :-)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Objections to Contentment

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There are often times objections in life, reasons why one can't be content. But God's word and Paul's example leave us with only reasons to be content! Here are just a few circumstances that can sometimes challenge ones contentment.

Financial difficulty


I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked” 2 Corth 11:27

Paul knew what it was like to face finacial difficulties and through this trial he learned contentment.

Chris and I have had many opportunites to trust God in the area of finances. While attending the Pastor's College there came a point where we simple had no more money left. We had only two months to go and weren't sure where the money would come from. There was definetly a temptation to worry and and be anxious. But we prayed and trusted that God would be faithful. And he was, amazingly random check after random check would come in the mail from those who knew us and even a few who hardly knew us at Covenant Life but the Lord had laid us on their heart.

Sometimes it's not as much finacial difficulty as it is I wish we had more. I wish we had more money so that I could buy the nice cute clothes at JCrew rather than the cheaper ones at Ross. Or maybe if we had just a little more I could finally fix the blinds in our house that seem to keep falling off one by one ( we inherited these plastic vertical blinds). Whatever it may be concerning finaces I have no reason to be discontent!


Matt 6:25 says,
25 e “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

He knows what we need. When we are anxious, we are saying that God doesn’t know what we need – no, God is worthy of our trust in him for financial provisions. We can embrace the opportunity to learn contentment through this trial.

Physical Illnesses/ Sufferings

2 Corthians 11:23-29 we learn that Paul was beaten with whips five times and rods three times.

Many scholars believe that Paul’s thorn in his flesh, as described in 2 Corthians 12:7 was a chronic physical ailment. Through this Paul learned contentment.

The temptation for me when I am sick is thinking that I could be more use to the Lord if I was healthy. Look at the souls I have to train, the laundry that’s piling up, the support I want to give Chris. Thinking all of this arrogantly of course, as if I have anything to offer to God, or that I know better for myself. This particular objection is something the Lord used in my life this year to learn contentment as I stated in my ealier post. The Lord showed me through lack of sleep how reliant I was upon my self and not the Lord for strength. I am so thankful for this trial/testing of my faith.

No sometimes that Lord wills for us to redemptively suffer and even in our suffering we are still doing better than we deserve.

Ponder with me this quote from Watson

“Your sufferings are not so great as your sins: put these two in the balance, and see which weighs heaviest; where sin lies heavy, suffering lie light. A carnal spirit makes more of his sufferings, and less of his sins… The carnal heart cried, Take away the punishment; but a gracious heart cries Take away the iniquity. One saith Never anyone suffered as I have done, but the other saith, never any one sinned as I have done.

I think this is what it means to be cross-centered in sufferings!



Memories of a sinful past:


We all have sinful pasts, some more painful than others. I have friends who have lost their virginity, done drugs, and all of us have lead proud lives that went against the Lord at one point or another.

1 Timothy 1:12-17 says that Paul had been a blasphemer, persecutor, and violent man- even a murderer.

However,instead of being discontent with his sinful past and burdened by guilt he saw his former sins as constant reminders of God’s forgiving grace and mercy. Paul learned contentment through his sinful past. This is how we should view our pasts!

Again Watson “ It is Satan’s policy, either to keep us from seeing our sins; or if we will needs see them, that we may be swallowed up of sorrow."

I have a stack full of 10-12 journals that I began when I was 12. Some of them are absoulutely painful for me to read. In my early teen years I was not living a life pleasing to God. I was proud, arrogant and the whole world revolved around me! In my single years I had a strong desire to be married, it was an idol. ( Singlness is will be the next post) More than that I thought I knew who I was suppossed to marry and couldn't figure out why the Lord wasn't making it happen. I was discontent (big suprise!) My first instinct when I go back and re-read these journals is to shred it up into tiny pieces and burn them. Let's face it's not something I really want someone to get there hands on. But I force myself to keep them on our bookshelf so that at any time I can be reminded of God’s Grace in my life and the sin that I have been forgiven of!! And if someone was to get there hands on them I hope that God's grace in my life would be evident!

More objections to come later.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Contentment Part 2- For I Have Learned...

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Reading the definitions of contentment one might wonder if that is contentment what is discontentment?I know I was encouraged to learn that discontentment is a sin and nothing more or less!

“This sin of discontent I find very skilful in it’s apologies, which I shall first discover, and then make a reply. We must lay it down for a rule, that discontent is a sin, so that all the pretences and apologies wherewith it labors to justify itself are but the painting and dressing of a strumpet” Watson 51

Discontentment can be tricky. Sometimes I may not even realize that I am not trusting in God's provision for my life, therefore discontent but a few days will go by and I will begin to notice complaining coming from my mouth over a circumstance. Or I can get caught up in the lie that I have a right to be discontent. My situation is just that bad (lie, lie) and if you were in this situation you would be discontent too. I thank God that though discontentment is a sin, I don’t have to labor to make pretences to justify my discontentment. I don’t have to fear calling discontentment a sin for God has given us a cure for sin! God died on the cross for the sin of discontentment. Therefore I have hope! I have power to change!

Paul writes in Philippians 4:11 "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."

Emphasis on learned. Contentment does not come easy to the natural man. Left in our sinful state we will be discontent. To have "... a sweet temper of spirit, whereby a Christian carries himself in an equal poise in every condition” can only happen by the work of the Holy Spirit! Again Watson says, “ the trade of sin needs not to be learned, but the art of divine contentment is not achieved without holy industry”

Now the Apostle Paul writes this verse from jail. Right in the middle of a trial he is writing this to the church. I have learned to be content. I assure you that this is not what you would hear from me if I was thrown in jail! I still have much to learn.

"Though God had carried him( Paul) into various conditions, yet he was not lifted up with the one, nor cast down with the other: the spring of his heart was not broken, the wheels of his affection were not destroyed, but kept their constant motion towards heaven- still content" Watson p26

Paul had many circumtstances throughout his life to learn contentment. Very similar to the ones people face today. Finacial difficulties, physical sufferings, persecution, memories of a sinful past, he even learned contentment in his singleness! I will get more in depth on these topics later on this week. This study on contentment has helped me view my circumstances as the means by which God allows me to learn contentment. Rather than my often wrong thinking, that circumstances just get in the way of me being content.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Contentment Part 1

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The singles retreat was a success! It's so encouraging to see how eager everyone is to hear from the Lord! Chris had asked me to put together a talk on contentment for the ladies and I thought that over the next few days I would share some of my notes from my study.

Discontentment has been something that I have always struggled with. Call me the "grass is greener on the other side" lady. The Lord, in his grace, has grown me in this area as I have fought to put it to death for many years. I actually got to the point where I thought that it was no longer something that I struggled with. How arrogant of me :-) Then my son Trevor was born. Oh I love my little man! Let me make that known before I continue! But I also love sleep- who doesn't really? And little man and sleep didn't go together until, well recently. It's still very rare that I'm not up at least once with him. But it was more pronouced for the first eight months of his life! He would wake up at midnight then again at 3 or 4. Sometimes he would go back to bed other times he just cry for an hour. For the first few months it really wasn't a struggle. I actually treasured my nights being up with him and would take time to pray for him and my daughter Taylor while I was up. But as the months turned into more months, I well, grew discontent. Sleep was no longer something I loved but an idol in my heart. I would wake up to him crying at 2:00 am and get so angry! What is wrong with my child? I would yell inside. Why won't he sleep through the night? It didn't help that there was a baby boom at our church around the time his was born and the ones born before him and after him all slept through the night and had for a few months! Quick side not, don't compare you child to others. God made each child unique in his image. I had to learn that lesson. Well the sin continued to poor out over this issue and I also saw how discontentment began to spread to other areas of my life as well. A dear friend of mine, knowing my struggle in this area, let me borrow her book The Art Of Divine Contentment by Thomas Watson. It was deeply convicted as I read this book but not hopeless. It constantly brought me back to the gospel! I leave you today with some definitions of contentment that I found during my study.

Watson Defines: “ It is a sweet temper of spirit, whereby a Christian carries himself in an equal poise in every condition” Contentment doth not appear only now and then as some stars which are seen but seldom: it is a settled temper of the heart. It is not casual, but constant” 34,35,31 The Art Of Divine Contentment

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every situation.” The Rare Jewel OF Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs

“What is contentment? It is having a satisfied mind in any situation. It is find inner satisfaction in God alone and in his provision for you. It is experiencing his peace and confidence in difficult times. It is consciously enjoying the fact the God is good even when your circumstances are not.” Robert D Jones, Journal Of Biblical Counseling article on Contentment

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gearing up for the Retreat

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Birthday Celebration over for now, it will resume for a night on sunday when we celebrate with my family. Chris and I went to the Keg where I had a free steak & lobster dinner card! Perhaps some of the finest food I've eaten in a long time. Then we returned to Gainey Ranch and recounted all the ways the Lord has been faithful to us this past year. But enough about my birthday we've got a singles retreat to prepare for people!! I've got loads of laundry going, on my way to by enough smores' for 180 people ( no we don't have that many people coming.... it's just in case we want seconds or thirds), putting the finishing touches on my contentment breakout session, and praying that the kids don't get sick in the next 24 hrs! Chris is faithfully studying and writing his sermons out on our big comfy chair, a place he has spent most nights as of late! Yes the long awaited singles retreat is almost here, ok at least it's been long awaited in this household! I think our neighbors are excited for it to be over- we've still have all of our christmas decorations out and they don't stand a chance of coming down until monday, our trash can is outside, should've been brought in on monday and well if anyone was to crash us right now it wouldn't be a pretty sight and once again it doesn't stand a chance of looking pretty till monday :-) Pray for us this weekend. On a blogging break until we return!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Celebrating 27 & 6 years today!

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There is really nothing significant about being 27 other than I thought I was 27 all year. Seriously if someone asked me how old I was this year, my first thuoght was to say 27 not 26. I wonder if 27 is going to be that age that I stay at for the rest of my life! Yep- I'm getting old! Not as old as Chris, so that helps :-)

Tonight Chris will take me out for my birthday to celebrate. We will have a nice dinner and then return to a familar place with fond memories. See it was six years ago today that Chris purposed! Wow- hard to believe it was six years. Chris took me to a place called Gainey Ranch. It's a Hyatt resort in Scottsdale AZ. We had dinner, took a Gondola ride and then made our way back to a fireplace where we sat down to open presents. Chris had given me presents all throughout the night leading up to one final present, or so I thought. He gave me a card with Phantom of the Opera tickets for us to go see. I was thrilled. Then he said that he had one more gift for me but it was a spiritual gift and that I needed to close my eyes. He then began to read from John 13 where the disciples washed Jesus' feet and he washed mine. All the while telling me how he wanted to live his life being a servant leader for me. ( being the dork I am, I thought this is great stuff he should save it for when he purposes). Well it was then he stood me up and got on one knee to ask me to be his wife! I was estatic to say the least. So yes it may be my birthday but it was six years ago today that my life forever changed. And that to me is worth celebrating & praising God for!

10 Questions for The New Year

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Don Whitney has an excellent post on 10 questions to ask yourself at the start of a new year. Be sure to check it out as you gear up for all your New Year's resolutions!

http://www.spiritualdisciplines.org/newyear.html