I think contentment is cultivated. I believe that joy and peace are a by-product of resting in faith, waiting on God…in the little things even more so than the big things. It’s the little things that happen constantly, so what better training ground for the “big” things, right?
Certain unpleasant happenings will always come our way…but we can choose not to react, or get bent out of shape, or waste time worrying and fretting over how to handle the latest glitch to mar our lot in life. How much better, rather, to wait and see how the Lord wants to work? He’ll never let you down!
Here are a few “for instances”…
God gave it back to me…
When my b&sil’s house burned down, we helped all we could but it never seemed like enough, you know? Our savings accounts have never been fat, so what we did give may have looked like little, but it came from our hearts. At the time, I’d really been ministered to by my Point of Grace CD, How You Live, the album I raved about here on the blog, that dh slipped in my Christmas stocking? Well, I was deeply moved to get it out of my CD deck one day when I stopped by their “new” rental. I loved that CD, but felt like my sil needed its message of hope and peace more than I did at that point. Knowing that she isn’t a Christian music fan had me second-guessing–I almost felt like I was throwing my CD away…I still haven’t heard from her whether she even listened to it, or thought about it twice after I gave it to her…but that’s okay. I could have chosen to get upset, to wonder why I’d given it, or whatever, but honestly, I acted on something stronger than your average impulse, so it was okay.
A couple months went by and I almost ordered a new CD twice, but held back. We needed the money for other things. Guess what God did for me? He gave me a new one. My hubby came home from work and handed me the day’s mail, which included a packet from our local Christian radio station. He’d been the winning caller on the exact Point of Grace CD that I’d given away! Can anyone say AWESOME?!? I missed that CD so much, and God knew. He knew! He cares about the little things. And he let dh be the gift-bearer–twice!
God’s into Pool Pumps
A few years ago our in-laws gave us one of those 12 foot by 3 foot inflatable pools, the kind that come with a pump to circulate the water. We set it up a couple of weeks ago, and our girls enjoyed seven days of water play–spending HOURS each afternoon and coming in sun-browned and *exhilarausted*! Well, almost a week ago, the pump on the pool quit working! Within two days the pool turned green! Horrors! We only got a week in it and after checking the price of replacing this particular pump ($60!!) we were trying to remain hopeful that daddy could work a miracle and FIX. THE. PUMP.
So we drained the pool, hubby and I scrubbed it out and we refilled it. That was this past Sunday night. Meanwhile, I had a pool pump on my ebay watch page…and I was thinking, if dh can’t fix that pump, we’re wasting a 1,000 gallons of water and I’m not exactly thrilled about having to scrub this pool out yet again!
He took the pump apart, fixed a broken washer, and hooked it back up to the pool again. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Okay. I hadn’t really let myself be anxious about it. These things happen, but man. To have a nice pool one week…that’s like torture, to-have and then not-to-have. The next day my mother-in-law called and found out about our dilemma. Guess what? She still had the pump to her old pool, which had been tossed last summer after the sun and weather damaged it. She brought it right over, along with more chlorine pellets and we’re back in business. Just like that. Only went four days without our water fun–three days actually, b/c we spent Monday afternoon at the lake!
Milk for the “babies”…
This last example is humbling to admit…but who cares, right? I haven’t gotten used to hubby being on half-pay yet–fyi, during the summer, he puts in half the hours at his “real” job, so that he can catch up on saddle and leather projects here at home. Problem is, he’s been spending more time catching up on “fix-it” projects than paying “leather projects”…so anyway, I overspent (not to the point of overdraft–thank God!). Our daughter had a birthday and birthday meals with family over get expensive, our Saturn hasn’t been running reliably so gas expenses have been hugely noticeable…anyway, we’re basically making one week’s worth of groceries stretch to two. Which really isn’t a hardship, b/c I have a full pantry, and beef/chicken in the freezer etc. My hubby joked with me when we stopped at the grocery store for ten gallons of drinking water only (when you live out of town you make the most of your grocery stops!) that you know you’re pathetic when you feel rich because the water jugs are full!
So we ran out of milk. I do keep nonfat instant dry milk around to cook with, so we HAVE milk, you understand. It’s just not that palatable for a couple of my milk drinkers. So guess what!? My parents are headed out of town for a while, and they brought over their perishables! Part of which was over a half gallon of milk! We can make that last till the next paycheck, easily! Also among the goodies were fresh veggies, several of which were on my internal wish list!
**Please don’t feel shocked or badly for us, if I could have hubby home half days forever I’d gladly get by on half the pay. Summer is my favorite time of year b/c of his time at home with us. It’s totally my fault that we have found ourselves strapped this month…I just wanted to share how you can take a dismal situation and not let it ruffle you. And then watch God provide. Yes, even when *you* got yourself into this mess in the first place!
If we didn’t have the hard times, we wouldn’t know or realize or appreciate what God can do.
His mercy and grace ever astound me. What has He done for you lately? I’d love to hear your testimonies of His goodness…
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together…Psalm 34:3