I am thankful. I am realizing lately that when I start to think about all the things I don't like about myself and my life, it helps to force myself to think about what is good in my life. I heard something great on the radio the other day. Some woman who wrote a book was talking about jealousy. She said that whenever she finds herself becoming jealous of people, she tells herself that she is not equipped to deal with everything that comes with being that person and dealing with everything they are dealing with in their life.
Many times, I find myself feeling those icky sinful jealous feelings that are embarrassing to admit to. But I've noticed it helps if I will stop and think, "Would I really want to trade places with that person that I am feeling jealous of, taking their good and bad?" The answer is always "No." The reason being is, I want all the good in their life, but I wouldn't want to deal with the bad. And many times, as an outsider, I probably don't even know half of the "bad" they are dealing with. It's crazy how often the people who seem to "have it all" are some of the most miserable people in the world.
If you can't tell, I am preaching to myself here. I am sure all of you are going, "Yeah abby, this is like Sunday school 101!" So, you don't have to continue reading, but if you are in the same boat as me, then maybe you'll want to continue.
As I've said a few times lately on the blog, God is very obviously teaching me lessons of learning to be content in all circumstances. I have been fighting it when really I need to submit and learn the lesson. I really feel that God is telling me that He wants me to learn to be totally content and joyful in my present circumstances. So much so that, I really don't think that any of my present circumstances will change until I learn this lesson. And, let me tell you, I am having a hard time learning it. It's easy to say,"Okay, fine, i'm content. Hufff.." But, to be truly, deep down, joyful and content when there are 10 things off the top of my head that I just plain don't like in my life right now is a little more difficult. And God is no dummy, he knows me through and through. He also loves me more than to just spoil me, give me my way, and let me move on without learning this lesson. He loves me in the same way that I love my children and want to teach them these principles. Only, His love for me is infinitely greater than the love I am capable of.
So, I am publicly saying to the Lord, "God, if you never ever ever change my circumstances and make things the way I want them to be, I promise, I will choose every day to be content and to live a life filled with joy. Because Lord, You have already given me more than I deserve in the form of a perfect Savior, Jesus. If you never did another thing for me, if I lost everything I have right now, if everything and everyone I care about was taken from me, You would still be worthy and deserving of my absolute love and adoration and trust. I don't deserve anything but death and eternity in hell, but You have given me so much more, so I am choosing today to be THANKFUL!"
I want all of you who are still reading this to know that I do not say any of this to make anyone think I am some wonderful super Christian. Actually, it's quite the opposite. I am sinful and dirty and jealous and selfish.... Thank Heaven for Jesus who has made me clean again. But, I say this to maybe encourage someone who is feeing the way I feel. Hopefully, this will help brighten your day and remind you how much God has done for you and how much He loves you! I know when I am going through difficult times, I always want to find someone who has "been there, done that" and has come out of it better off for learning the lesson. So, I'll leave you with a verse that I want to hang in my kitchen very soon and cling to because it is soooo true!
Proverbs 15: 16,17
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.