I'd like to say that I rise above my circumstances. But I don't. I'd like to say that I believe God more than my feelings. But I don't. I'd like to say that I was thankful in all things. But I'm not.
It has not been a good winter. Since the middle of January, I've had the stomach flu, influenza, a bad cold, pink eye, a double ear infection, a very bad sore throat, and another bad cold. I realize that that isn't on par with having cancer or anything, but it is still hard to keep doing when you feel lousy all the time. This doesn't even include the various other things that have happened this winter including, but not limited to, a neighbor banging on my door in the middle of the night drunk and having to call the police, getting in a car accident, and having financial stresses. To be honest, I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself - sort of martyr-ish.
But you know, I have a lot to be thankful for in all of this. As I said, none of my illnesses is something horrendous, like cancer. They are more an inconvenience than anything else. I wasn't hurt in that car accident, and I was given the opportunity to love my neighbor and she came to Christ a few weeks ago.
No matter how many blessings I have though, it always seems easier to focus on the difficult circumstances, to let them overwhelm me, to start focusing on them rather than on God's goodness and faithfulness. To believe in my circumstances rather than in God's plan and purpose for my life.
So, this month, I have decided to try an experiment - to not complain and to look for things for which to be thankful. I'll start by saying, I am thankful for the women's conference this weekend. I'll be honest and say nothing really hit me over the head while I was there like at some conferences I've attended, but one quote really stood out to me.
The singer that was there, Michael O'Brian, was sitting at a round table discussion with Stormie O'Martian and Jennifer Rothschild and he quoted something from Jane Austen (yes, I was suprised that a guy knew that too!). It was, "Speculation is the enemy of calm." Isn't that the truth? So many times I get all caught up in what might happen, I miss the blessings all around me right now.
So, this month, I am going to try to live out my life verse - Philippians 4:6-8. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace that passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
I'll leave you with an example from a book called Calm My Anxious Heart of a woman who never complained. Her name was Ella and she and her husband worked with the pygmies of Africa for 52 years. Saying her living conditions were primative was an understatement. If anyone had a reason to complain, it was Ella, but she had a holy contentment that defied her circumstances. Her daughter Mimi was given her diary and it was there she found her mother's prescription for contentment.
* Never allow yourself to complain - even about the weather
* Never picture yourself in other circumstances or someplace else
* Never compare your lot with another's
* Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise
* Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that tomorrow is God's, not ours
I think I'll post that on my refrigerator.
~ Blessings, Bronte