Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 5 - Content with Relationships

Hebrews 12:15
"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."

This week's chapter was about being content with your relationships by FORGIVING people who wrong you. Finally, something I am actually doing right, I think. I am thankful to find something in this book that I'm currently doing, of course, I can always improve as I discovered while reading these few pages. 

Often times, I have had a lot of people ask me how I am able to forgive and move on so quickly. I am not sure other than to say by God's Grace. I am not able to "forgive and forget" on my own. I use God's Grace. God forgives me and extends grace and mercy to me on a daily basis. I never deserve it and I do not always ask for it nor am I always thankful for it. So if God is forgiving me and extending me grace even when I do not deserve it, the least I can do is extend it to others as well. 

This chapter discussed how holding onto anger and resentment allows us to grow a bitter root and it'll cause trouble for us later. You ever hear the saying "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." How true. 

God has instructed us to forgive one another, just as he forgave his disciples for falling asleep in the garden when he needed them the most or when he forgave Peter for denying he was with Christ or when he asked forgiveness for those who put Him on the cross. We are to forgive one another as many times as it takes. Matthew 18:21. When you think you've forgiven someone enough, do it one more time just to make sure ;) 

So you may be thinking "okay I can forgive them but I'll never speak to them again." Well, that is not necessarily what we are called to do. Yes, we are asked to forgive but we need to extend love and grace to others. Love is a verb so we need to show acts of kindness and love to those who have wronged us. We have to make a conscious choice to not only forgive but to forget and to keep on forgetting even when someone may try to bring it up and suck us back into the argument or dispute. 

We aren't able to control others in our lives but we can control ourselves and how we forgive and how we forget. In order to be content, we cannot have bitterness and resentment in our lives. Life is fleeting and can be over in the blink of an eye, practice forgiving now.

Remember, as Christians, we are suppose to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (the one I struggle with the most). These are all useless unless you exhibit sincere love which binds them all together.

Colossians 3:12-14

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Week 4 - Content with my Role

Week 4 of this book study and I wish I had read this book years ago. It is crazy to see how discontent you could have been without realizing it. I remember when my husband and I were paying off debt to buy our first house and all I could do is keep wishing for time to pass and hurry. How often do we wish for things to be different and forget to give thanks for the things we currently have? Contentment and gratitude go hand in hand. I do not think you can truly be content until you are grateful for all the things you have.

This week's chapter was about being content in your role God has given you. One sentence that stood out from Calm My Anxious Heart was "We need to see our cup as a gift, not a cross." Wow. How many times do we say we "have to do this" and see our circumstances as a "cross to bear" rather than an opportunity from God? We have been given a "trust" from God. A role, purpose, relationships, spiritual gifts, etc. and all God wants us to do is be faithful with what He has entrusted us with. This verse really stood out to me

1 Corinthians 4:2
"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must remain faithful"

God has given us a role for a purpose. God created us for a purpose. We may not always like where are roles are taking us but in order to lead a life of contentment, we must make the choice to focus on the positive aspects of our role. If we are constantly comparing ourselves and complaining, we will live a life of discontentment.

Another verse that stood out to me in the study was 

Matthew 20:28
"Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Are we glorifying God and serving others with our role?

No crazy revelations this week. Just a message that hit home as I am trying to be content with the role I am currently playing in my life. It is so hard to be patient when your heart is desiring something more. However, God doesn't expect me to always be perfect in my role, he expects me to be faithful.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bible Journaling

I recently have embarked on Bible Journaling. It is a great way to spend time in the Word while exploring my crafty side. I am not the best drawer and I do not have the nicest hand writing but that is okay. I am doing this to learn more about the Bible and to spend time reflecting on God's Word. I have included the various passages I've done thus far below for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 3 - Content to be me...

Sorry for the delay in posting this. Part of the reason for the delay is the fact that I have just began Bible Journaling. It is so much fun and it is taking up a lot of my time :) 

Last week, was week 3 in my "Calm My Anxious Heart" study and it was about being content with yourself. Psalms 139 was the focus point of this chapter. Women tend to be the hardest on themselves. We compare our bodies, homes, cooking skills, baking skills, Pinterest skills, careers, etc. to one another. When constantly compare ourselves to someone else, we are missing our own individual beauty. If we always focus on what we do not have, we will miss what God has given us. We should always be thankful for the personality we have and use it to glorify God. 

How refreshing is it to realize God made you the way you are for a purpose? No one can fulfill God's purpose for your life except you. Wow. Before we were even created, God had our days numbered and knew us. This to me is fascinating. We are told to cherish and love ourselves. For we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." I see that sign and decoration in many Pinterest Nurseries but when was the last time we truly said that about ourselves, not just our children or other children? We, too, are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. 

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." <---- Created for a purpose. He prepared our days before we were even born.

The Proverbs 31 woman is often mentioned. You know THE woman illustrated in Proverbs 31:10-31. She is such an amazing woman. I have read this passage many times; desiring to be like her and constantly comparing myself. However, this past week, I read it with fresh eyes. This woman is not praised for all of the activities she does for her family; she is praised and valued for her spiritual character. Her relationship with God was central which allowed her to be this Godly woman her family loved and adored. How encouraging. 

The most encouraging and inspiring sentence I read this past week was that learning to become content and grateful for all of our circumstances is a "LIFELONG joint process between us and God." I often get discouraged when I feel like all of my bad habits should stop overnight but this gives me hope and encouragement that it is a lifelong process. God hasn't given up on me yet :)

I am not the greatest artist but I enjoy reading and doodling in my journal Bible so I have included the picture below inspired by last week's study. I have added the two journal entries to my previous two blog entries as well for your viewing pleasure.