Saturday, January 21, 2012

Contentment

Have you ever been in the company of a woman who seems to bemoan her circumstances?  It's a drag isn't it?  I have noticed women these days in supermarkets, department stores, salons and so forth, talking about what they're sick of or hate or can't stand. Their speech is met with knowing nods of approval and reverberated by their listener. Not only is this a very unbecoming and unladylike manner of speech, but worse than that, it is ungodly and foolish. 

I believe that soft, content, godly women are becoming rarer to find. The generation of women today are brazen, unladylike and spikey haired with razor tongues to match. 

Godly femininity is soft.  As woman seeking after God, let our contentment spring up from a heart of gratitude.  This doesn't mean we can't share a sorrow with a trusted friend, or pretend that we're thrilled when we might be genuinely sad about something.  But rather, when a woman's heart is thankful for the Lord' provision for her, her general countenance will radiate contentment with her life and her means.

When finances are lean and resources limited, contentment can seem elusive to grasp hold of, especially in the company of other wives whose economic troubles seem nonexistent.

First of all, our conversation with others bear witness of what is going on inside of us.  Our words will convey either envy of others or sufficiency in Christ.  When we have resolved to be content with whatever we have been provided with, we will be able to come through conversations with relative ease.

It is in bad taste to talk about personal finances with anyone other than our husbands who work hard to provide for us.  Doing so is a slight on him and considered to be gossip. 

Psalms 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

Everyone has such varying circumstances and means that sharing either economic woes or triumphs can leave others feeling awkward.  But invariably, some women are unaware of certain social graces so in those moments, it's wise to employ a skillful but subtle change of subject. 

A thankful heart is a blessing to the Lord and to others and we can be thankful no matter what our bank book looks like. It's a fact that we think thousands of thoughts on a daily basis and times of weakness will reveal the thoughts of our hearts, good or bad. 

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.



And since conversation among women tends to bring out that weakness, it's important to have a guard on your lips.  Keeping your mind focused on the particular provision God's given you rather than on the things you want, but don't truly need, is key.

Psalms 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.


If your basic needs are met and you have a roof, some food and clothes (raiment), then you have everything you need. 

1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.



Have you ever noticed that some families seem to suffer from one ailment after another?  While ailments do have their legitimate causes, I can't help but wonder if a thankful and cheerful heart is lacking.  Thanking God for what he's given us, however little or much it may be, has a major impact on health.  Being merry, God said, is actually medicinal!  A merry heart goes hand in hand with contentment.  I have heard of illnesses that were driven away by the deliberate pursuit of joy and laughter.

As keepers of our homes, we can cultivate laughter into our daily lives and weave firmly into the fabric of our homes.  In our home, we are in the habit of playing games, making jokes, remembering funny stories and telling them to our children.  If we hear a funny line from a movie or book, we often repeat it at just the right moment and laughter ensues.

Let joy reign in your home and have a merry heart before the Lord. You might just find that your family's health takes a turn for the better!

Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

Emphasise the good, the positive, the right and the beautiful as often as you possibly can.  Christians are living in a dual reality: we are aliens in a world that is not our home and it's growing darker.  Yet God put us here for such a time as this and we have the light of Jesus Christ within us and he has called us not to trust in riches and to let His light shine and trust him in ALL things.   Our riches are not here.  Our true riches are stored up in heaven.  

Proverbs 23:5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

So let your heart be merry and your smile and joy be so contagious that it will spill over to your children and husband.  They may even rise up and call you blessed!

Others will be blessed just to be around you - wait and see.  Let your contentment be evident with those things that God has provided you with and let those you know be encouraged and inspired to do the same.

Galatians 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Unthankfulness is like rottenness.  There is just no other way to say it. It is such an ugly state of heart.  I cringe when I find any unthankfulness in my heart or attitude.  That is when I fill my mind with all the amazing blessings that the Lord has promised me. 

If we grumble and complain as the Hebrews did wandering in the wilderness - even if it is silently in our hearts and not out loud - we are prompting God's hand of correction.  Just as children who are mindful to obey promptly, so giving thanks in all things is a preventative measure.  :-)

The Lord chastens (chastises - disciplines - disciples - guides - prunes) those whom he loves.  He'll prune branches from a believer's life and if you are familiar with the hows and whys of the pruning of a tree or plant, then you will understand that what the Lord takes away (prunes) from our lives, is for our good.  If you complain and lament when something in your life has been "ripped" away, you have foolishly positioned yourself as the pot rebuking potter. Not wise.

When you find yourself discontented, simply repent. Turn from the ugly attitude and then tell the Lord "thank you!" for his care and wisdom in guiding your path.

Colossians 1:10-12 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

It is God's glorious power strengthens us. I can trust in and lean on that truth. I believe that as women and keepers of the home, discontentment can creep up on us. But we can step away from it with a simple and immediate attitude adjustment. 

Have you ever stepped in something icky? I just stepped in something sticky and gross as I got out of my car the other day in a Department store parking lot. When we watch our step, literally and figuratively, we can avoid pitfalls of the foot and attitude! :)

Truly, God is benevolent and his blessings are extravagant upon those who seek first him and his kingdom.  

Being challenged financially is an opportunity for creative uses of resources and family ingenuity.  It builds closeness and bonding like nothing else can.  I really believe that children who are brought up with excess and never experience want tend to be naive and ungrateful adults. 

So I encourage you to take your eyes of the pruned branches that lay at your feet, and raise them to heaven in gratitude and thanksgiving.  The Lord is your provider and he will guide you. He is looking for hearts that seek His kingdom and not earthly riches.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Feed a Cold

This morning my oldest woke up feeling poorly, and his symptoms indicate some bronchial trouble.  When someone in our family gets sick, I relegate them to their bed so their germs stay confined to one area instead of all over the house infecting every member. I also wiped all the doorknobs this morning with a clorox cleaning wipe (followed by drying them with a paper towel). An easy but effective measure to take to prevent the spread of germs.



To start with I gave him some fresh orange juice and some hot chamomile & thyme tea. Thyme has properties that break up mucus so if you have some in your cupboard, remember it if you're ever dealing with bronchial or upper respiratory issues! :)

For his breakfast, I made him scrambled omega-3 eggs (cooked in a little grapeseed oil), whole grain toast drizzled with with agave, and an applesauce cup w/ cinnamon. Cinnamon is wonderful at fighting off infection so adding this to as many foods and drinks as possible is an excellent treatment.

His morning supplements were 1 capsule each of Cod Liver oil, Valerian, Dandelion, Cayenne, Vitamin C and Kelp.  Each of these have properties that offer significant benefits to improve his condition.

It's been an hour and already he's joking with his brother and sitting up in bed. :)

For lunch, I'm giving him some tuna mixed lightly with mayo, served with no-salt saltine crackers, an orange, and a green salad lightly dressed.

For his dinner, I plan to make sweet and sour lentil soup.  The sweet will come from honey (a natural cough suppressent plus it contains many other trace minerals) and the sour will come from Bragg's apple cider vinegar which is also excellent for fighting off infections.  The lentils are high in fiber, iron and protein and easy to digest making them an ideal food to feed someone feeling under the weather.

I remember the day when our children were little when I'd call the doctor for every little thing.  But studying up on how the body heals itself and natural foods and herbs that help it to fight infection has helped me to "doctor" my family in times of illness by myself. 

Having said that, I also believe there are times when doctors are needful.  In fact my husband went to see a doctor yesterday for something that home remedies weren't working.  They took some blood samples for testing and those results will help determine what direction to pursue. 

We are praying for wisdom and help from the Lord in the matter of good health.  It seems we are living in a world that is making healthy living more and more of a challenge.  But the Lord is our help and strength and gives power to the powerless.  I trust him completely for our family's well being.