Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wednesday Encouragement

 

Are you like me and sometimes battle discontentment? If you answer honestly, I would guess that your answer is yes. I think if we all really think about this for a few minutes, we can all think of things that made us battle this just in the last few days. I think we all go through periods of this from time to time and I think that will continue until either we reach the age that we literally don't care about anything trivial, or until we breathe our last breath here on earth. I'll let you know which one when I reach that myself. 😉

I'll be honest with you, I had some moments last week as I saw my entire Instagram feed on vacation for fall break. I'm smiling now because it seems ridiculous to even write that, but it's true. I think ninety percent of my "friends" on social media were at the beach, maybe five percent were at Disney World and the other five percent might have been sick with something. This is why I have a love/hate relationship with social media. When I let it get to me, it can tend to make me envious. When all is well in my world, I use it to catch up with friends I wouldn't see otherwise and I love seeing their lives documented. I can go both ways pretty easily, if you want to know the honest truth.

(After I realized how dumb I was being and snapped out of it, I went back and "liked" or "loved" all their pictures.)

Other areas in my life where I struggle with this feeling of being discontent may be in witnessing someone else's marriage, seeing their beautiful homes, hearing of them getting to do something I would have loved to do, getting a job I might have wanted, fill in the rest of the blanks with all the things. We all know that is one huge downside of social media and when we let those feelings of discontentment go unchecked, it can lead to us sinning more in other ways. 

Let's use the marriage one as an example—let's say a friend we know is having a hard time in her marriage. If she follows this one gal on Instagram whose husband is attractive, loving, attentive and helpful to his wife every time we see their cute little Instagram stories, that might tempt our friend to convince herself that it would be okay to go and try to find that same quality in someone else. Someone who is not her husband. She goes to church and she loves Jesus, but maybe this is something she has convinced herself would be okay. After all, doesn't the Bible tell us that we should be happy? (It does not say that, but our friend doesn't know that because she doesn't really read the Bible all that often.)

This could happen to anyone of us. None of us are ever immune from temptation! The Bible does tell us that we are provided with a way out of that temptation, though. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 says this: No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.

When we sin in one little way, it leads us to sin in bigger and more harmful ways. If our friend had just taken a break from social media or unfollowed that one person who made her think that marriage is supposed to be perfect one hundred percent of the time and used that time to focus on her own marriage, well then, do you see how that would have worked out? Before a marriage was destroyed and trust was broken? Do you see how this thinking goes, when left unchecked? 

It's not just for marriage, it can be with having a desire for things to look a certain way. I'll throw myself under the bus again. I love for things to look pretty. I love things to be tidy, organized (as best as I'm able), pretty and I want it to look cute in that little Instagram square, because how satisfying is that when all your little squares are so attractive? I'm rolling my eyes at my own self. I love being at home, I love to decorate, and I love seeing how other people decorate their homes. This wouldn't be a problem, if I stopped right there. It becomes an issue when I become obsessed over how things look or when I let it cause me to be envious of what someone else has that I don't. That is when it becomes unhealthy and that is where my struggle usually is! 

I was doing Bible study homework yesterday when all of this dawned on me. I even stopped what I was doing and wrote a reminder for myself to write this post, because I wanted to make sure and remember. I've known this is where my struggle is for quite sometime now and years ago, I claimed some verses in Proverbs as some of my "life verses". I thought I'd share them with you and explain why I claimed them as my own.

Two things I ask of you; don't deny them to me before I die; Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need. Otherwise, I might have too much and deny you, saying, "Who is the Lord?" or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God. Proverbs 30:7-9

I have been asking the Lord for a very long time to give us just what we need. I don't want to have to so much that I forget about my need for Him and I don't want so little that I'd be tempted to steal. My husband once heard me say this to someone and jokingly told me to stop praying that way, he'd love to have more money. But really...don't we have everything we need and a lot of what we want?

I say all of this because it is important for us to live in this way. When I was a young mom, we made the decision that I would stay home and be a full time mom. That meant that we went without a lot of what we thought we needed. We didn't eat out, we didn't take extravagant vacations, we didn't buy expensive things or drive fancy cars. I never got my nails done and my mom cut and colored my hair for me when I wanted her to or when I needed a trim or new style. (I am so grateful she did that for so long!) 

Don't feel sorry for me, because this was actually my dream job. From the time I was in about the tenth grade, I knew I didn't want a career. Now, I never really said this to anyone, because I knew even back then that if I told people this, I'd be made fun of. I wanted to be a wife and stay at home mom. I'd seen my own mom do that and excel at it and I knew I wanted to do the same thing. How sweet was it of the Lord to give me my dream job all these years? I worked for Graham's first year of life while my mom-in-love kept him for us, then by the time I had Drew a short (almost) thirteen months later, we realized it made more sense for us to just let me stay home. 

Sure, money was tight, but the Lord was always faithful to provide for us. He provided us with free babysitting anytime we wanted, He provided us with groceries in the form of our parents who loved to help us out when the need arose, He provided us with nights out at restaurants in the form of our parents picking up the tab, He provided us with fun things to do almost every single week through my dad who spent every Friday with us, He provided a home for us through my mom and stepdad who bought a home and then turned around and rented it to us, He provided us with fun vacations in the form of us joining my in-love's and He provided the best memories for us in all the camping we did twice a year for many years in a row. 

He even provided for us through a friend of my mom's one time after my husband had major abdominal surgery. We had medical bills through the roof and someone my mom knew from work asked about us one day and she just had a little bit of a meltdown and she confided in he and his wife about all that we'd been through and how worried she was about us not being able to make ends meet. I am here to tell you that after that conversation, they paid off every one of our bills to the penny! How amazing is God? All praise and glory to God! I write this with tears close to brimming over and ruining my mascara.

(I did have periods of time over the years that I worked a part time job. Usually this was at my church in their mom's day out program or it was at my kid's elementary school for the duration of their years there. I also kept kids before and after school or played chauffeur to some of them and people actually paid me for this. I was always willing to supplement some income whenever it was needed and that was so helpful! But by the time we became a homeschooling family, I quit once and for all and never returned to working outside of my home.) 

I never want to forget any of this, my friends. It is biblical for us to remember all the things that the Lord has done. I just read that yesterday as I read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. We are to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls and might, we are to talk about the ways of God and remember all that He has done, we are to teach these things to our children and think about them as we come and go. There are a million other ways I could share with you all about the faithfulness of God, but because of time limitations, I'll wrap it up right there. I pray that this was an encouragement to someone who needed this reminder today. God is faithful! Don't worry about it, my friend, He has got you and He will never let you go. 

Love to all. ❤

6 comments:

  1. So much encouragement and wisdom in this post. I enjoyed reading about how God has been faithful to you and I also appreciate your honesty with some of your social media struggles. I don't think any of us are immune to the comparison game. And we know the enemy wants us to be discontented with our lives because that so easily leads to sin.

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    1. Thank you, Maria! God has been so good, so very faithful. Oh, social media. I truly love and hate it and am always checking my heart about why and what I post. Thanks for your encouragement! ❤

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  2. Thanks for sharing such good truth and encouragement. You are not alone. Have a great day!

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    1. You're welcome! I figured I wasn't....but thanks for that encouragement. ❤

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  3. I look forward to everyone of your precious thoughts for the day. Your blog is encouraging and honest and covered in your love and friendship with Jesus. Thank for always providing simple and pure words on so many random situations, feelings and sometimes a good laugh. You are loved

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    1. I don't know who you are, but thank you so much for those words of encouragement!

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