Friday, June 22, 2012

Joyful Heart

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:22

My son, your joyful heart is good medicine to all who know you.  Your constant smiles and laughter often bring life to my bones in the midst of wearying days.  May your heart be always full of joy in the Lord and may He use your joy to lift up and bless those around you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

First Date

I never intended for it to be a date.  I was just trying to get him out of the house for a few hours to give his Daddy a break as he recovered from surgery.  His big brother and I have been going out on dates for two and a half years now, but since he's never expressed interest (how could he?), I've never taken him out.  I mean, it's not like we could sit and chat together over a bowl of ice cream.

As I buckled him into his car seat and drove away, my only thought was for his father.  Even as we arrived at the park and gardens, I wondered how long he would last before desiring to return to the comforts of home. But as it turned out, our afternoon together was delightfully lovely.

With no one to slow us down, we enjoyed exploring the gardens at a rapid pace, running down the paths and scarcely noticing the beautiful flowers alongside us.  We studied the bridges and searched for the trickles of water underneath them, inspected the stones placed beside the walkways, and danced in the fountains.  Always running, just knowing the other was there to share the moment with us, we preferred the paved walkways as they lent themselves to greater speed and less likelihood of falling from unbalanced strides.

When we were thirsty we stopped for a shared apple juice, which hit the spot perfectly.

On the way home, I thanked God for giving me such a perfect first date with my son. Spending time with just him allowed me to enjoy his speed without trying to slow him down to fit the pace of our family.  Instead of constantly encouraging him to stretch his attention span, I explored the park with him at his preferred tempo and found it to be absolutely delightful.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Godliness with Contentment

Lately I have noticed that throughout my days, at those unexpected times when I am desperately in need of God's help to face whatever is at hand, I hear the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit reminding me of the truth in God's Word and encouraging my soul.  This has come as a bit of a surprise to me, as I have felt dull toward the Word of God lately, struggling to recall what I read from the Bible each morning and feeling in general as if I am drifting.  Of course, feelings aren't necessarily a good judge of how one is doing, but I have felt as if the waters of life are swirling around me and all of my energy is spent fighting to survive.  I am clinging to the rock, trusting that it will save me, but as the waters crash against me, there is no time or bandwidth in my mind to meditate on the truths of God.  All I can do is cry out, "Save me Jesus", and believe that He will.

My arms are weary from clinging, and though I know that He will never let me go, I also know that I dare not let my grip slip, as I greatly fear the waters completely surrounding me as my head slips under before His hand reaches out to catch me.  I know that it matters not how strong my grasp, but the trustworthiness of that to which I cling, but yet, I also know that He never promised it would be easy.  So my muscles strain and my knuckles ache under the pressure that pushes me to just give up.

And then I look up at my Savior and hear His voice reminding me that godliness with contentment is great gain.  But how am I to be content in my circumstances?  My sinful heart is quick to compare my lot to those of others and find that mine is lacking.  I am often quick to become discontent with my lot in life, thinking that if somehow my circumstances were better, then I would be quick to rejoice in all things.

But God does not call me to contentment only when everything is going according to my perfect plan.
. . . 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 gives me strength. Philippians 4:11–13
Contentment in the midst of trials is not something that comes naturally.  It is not easy to cease fighting the current and trust that God will sustain me.  It is nearly impossible to not only stop foolishly flailing but also rest in the strong grip of my Savior.  It is something that must be learned.  And it comes only through Christ, who gives me strength.

According to David Mathis at,
Jesus is big enough to sustain us when we’re low. He’s strong enough to hold us when we’re at our weakest. We can do all things — not just the things we want most to do, but even (and especially) the things we want least to do — through Jesus who strengthens us.  
So when you’re at your highest, turn to Jesus in gratitude and for the strength to take the next step. And when you’re at your lowest, turn to Jesus in faith that he’ll provide for you the strength to keep going.  
It’s true — in Jesus we really can do all things — especially, be content in him in the midst of life’s most difficult, painful, and tragic circumstances. Leaning always on the Savior is learning the secret for everything.
Jesus, please help me to be content in You no matter what my circumstances, leaning always on my Savior.