Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Letter on Contentment

Recently I got an email from a friend who was struggling through wishing she and her family were in a different place in life. She was vulnerable and reaching out for encouragement. As I wrote her I couldn't help but think that this was for more than just her. I have walked this road and walk it everyday really. These are just a few things I sent her to chew on, things I (attempt to) fight the battles with everyday. Thanks to all the ladies along the way that have poured this Truth into my life. Thank your Lord for your Word. Amen.

Here is the letter (I took out somethings in order to keep her anonymous)

As a wife and mom who has moved 6 times in 7 years, lived in three different cities, worked from home while my husband finished school and dealt with the trials and emotions that come along with all of the aforementioned, I would say I can relate with how you are feeling. I have been where you are and have learned so much along the way. I am honored to share with you what the Lord taught me during my days of wishing for root planting. (and wall painting ha!). I have to hold to the below thoughts each day to not fall prey to the Joy quenching snare of the enemy.

There is no particular order to what I am going to share; all have had tremendous affects on my heart.

1) “Wherever you are BE ALL THERE” This is a quote from one of Vernon and my heroes of the Faith, Jim Elliot. I have held this motto since I first read it in college. It has helped me in times that seem “transitional” especially. It is easy to get caught up in what is going to be and TOTALLY miss out on what is happening that very day. It is easy to hope in tomorrow or hope in the next “season” and where it will take you and completely miss what is right there. People do this all the time, especially women, i.e. when you are single you want to be married, when you are married you want to finish a degree and have kids, when you have a degree and have kids you want more kids or your own home, when you get both of those you want more time to yourself and with your husband. On and on the cycle goes, satisfaction placed in your own desires and not in what God has provided for you THAT day. Which leads me to my next though:

2) Covetousness. Yes Covetousness. I use to think this meant wanting what someone else had, and it does. But ultimately it means “wanting/longing for something God has not provided for you in that moment in time.” Covetousness when played out in this scenario might lead you to not be thankful for what He HAS provide for you. A sweet Girl, (who will grow up so fast!) a husband who let you pursue your dreams over his, a home that is affordable, although with white walls, it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, food for the three of you and great relationship with those around you. Thankfulness generally squeezes out the sin of Covetousness that we all struggle with. Give Thanks to the Lord for HE is GOOD and His love endures forever! He has not forsaken you and will not put you to shame.

3) Unrealistic Expectations. It is easy for us to think when we are in one place in life; the next place will be better. But when it comes to moving back to your home state, reality is, it will be NOTHING like it was the last time you lived there. You are different and so are all the people you know and love there. It will be just as transitional to move back to an old homeland than it was to move away. Be careful not to fool yourself that somehow God will provide more Joy for your in your next season (or wherever is next for you) than He has offered you today.

Knowing you, I am sure you know and have counseled people in this:: THE #1 REASON, IF NOT THE ONLY REASON for frustration or disappointment is UNMET EXPECTATIONS. If you have high and lofty ideals of what life will be like “someday” you will often find yourself frustrated and disappointed with life NOW. Also, when the transition does happen and you find out you are moving or what ever it is you were longing for, you are likely to be disappointed with the end result, and thus the cycle continues.

I know you are a women who fears the Lord and wants to follow Him. My advice to you in this season is to make SURE SURE SURE that your husband knows you are up for anything he feels led too. Your husband MUST, and I MEAN MUST, know that you will be joyful and loving no matter if he finishes school and moves y'all to Delaware?!?! He needs to know that you trust him and his relationship with the Lord and his ability to hear from the Lord. Your husband does not need a lot of your input on this. He will lead your family and he will follow what God has told him for y'all. You, my friend, get to sit back and enjoy it and bring your husband Joy!!!

Okay that was way long but I hope you are encouraged today friend!


Danny Dyer said...

I know this was ultimately meant for someone else but it definitely hit home. Moving away from friends and family was not a easy thing to do and I was doing good until just recently. It seems to be getting harder so this blog was refreshing to read. It has put everything back into perspective. Sometimes I forget that this wasn't any easier of a move for Danny but he is much happier and I need to recognize that daily! Thanks for the post Amber.

Laura said...

This was such an encouragement! Especially coming from someone who has actually lived out these truths...thanks for sharing!!!

Robin Oas Designs said...

Good words. :)

Amanda said...

"Be careful not to fool yourself that somehow God will provide more Joy for your in your next season (or wherever is next for you) than He has offered you today."

What a good word, friend! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts that have really helped me over the yrs. 1)We truly ONLY have TODAY (Matt 6:34). 2)We can make "plans" but don't "project" the outcome. 3)One of the best things of all for me, is to remember that my serenity is INVERSELY proportional to my expectations! 4)I must keep my magic magnifyiny mind ON my acceptance and OFF my expectations, for my serenity is DIRECTLY proportional to my level of acceptance.
5)ACCEPTANCE is THE key to my relationship with God TODAY!! I never just sit & do nothing while waiting for Him to tell me what to do. Instead I do what is in front of me to be done & leave the results to Him. However that turns out, that's God's will for me.
Amber, thanks for sharing your letter. Blessings to ALL!!!!

Melissa said...

I truly needed this today. Thank you for knowing that and texting me. Love you much girl!!!! Much much much! Can't wait for March!

Kristina said...

thank you for your encouragement, I needed to hear every bit of that too. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Your words are so true!

Kelli said...

Amber I was REALLY encouraged by this! Thank you!

sanjeet said...
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