Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Well, let's play catch up, shall we?

Let's do just that.
2012 - you were such a terrible and wonderful year!  I went through a very painful divorce, watched my baby Ladybug turn into a 1 year old, started back to college working on a teaching degree, and began a relationship with the most amazing man I've ever met.  
This blog was filled with emotionally-packed information throughout the past year.  And while I cannot honestly write without spilling my heart, I want a new direction this year.  You see, this year will be a year of restoration and setting things back in the right place.  This year will be a year to press forward and regain the territory taken from the enemy of the Christian faith.  This year is will be a year of pressing into the depths of the Father's heart and discovering His will for my life at every moment.  God began a work in me in the summer of 2012, and I am fully confident that I will see the fullness of that work in 2012.  So I am committing to seeing this blog take on a new life this year so that it may bring God more glory.  

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain."  - 1 Timothy 6:6

This is how I'm starting out the year, with this verse.  Godliness is the act of living a good, reverent life towards God and others because of what Jesus has done in us.  It's our ever-growing attempt to become more like Jesus by being imitators of Christ (Eph. 5:1).  And for a godly woman, we have received instruction in 1 Peter 3:3-4, "Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."  Also in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, "...in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works."  And even more in 1 Timothy 3:11, "Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things."  I think I've painted a decent picture here of some of what the scripture says about what a godly woman looks like.  
Contentment is where I'm going to focus in on here.  The word means to be sufficient, to be enough, to be full.  Its a beautiful concept.  Contentment can only be found in God through His grace.  He is all sufficient, enough, and full.  Therefore, we can only find it in Him.  Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."  We are told in Hebrews 13:5, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have..."    This word contentment is also translated as sufficiency in the scriptures, as we see in II Corinthians 9:8, "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having sufficiency in all things, may have abundance for every good work."  And in II Corinthians 12:9, when Jesus said, "...My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness..."  Contentment is the confidence of faith in God's sufficiency to provide all my needs and the confidence of the sufficiency of God's grace for every circumstance.  Basically to experience contentment is to experience God's peace.  
Now I am content and confident in God's sufficiency to provide my needs, as this has been an ongoing work that God has been developing in me throughout the past year.  So here is my confession:  I struggle with allowing God's grace to be sufficient for me in every circumstance.  It's something I always aspire to do, and put forth effort to do so.  But I believe that this key component is what God has means to accomplish in me this year.  The aspect of raising the unanswered questions and desires of my heart to God in every situation and allowing Him to just BE enough for me, to just BE content and allow God to fulfill that in me.   Its the ability to honestly tell God, "Thy will be done", and mean it.  I want to take every thought captive and bring it to the submission of Jesus Christ.  I want to take every desire, want, emotion in myself and turn around and give it right back to God to do with it as He pleases.  This is my goal this year.  This is what I aspire to accomplish this year.

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me."  -Philippians 3:12

I have two quotes which go hand in hand with this subject, that come from two amazing people.  Jim and Elizabeth Elliot.  If you have never heard their stories or read their books, I highly encourage you to.  Elizabeth Elliot has had a huge impact on my Christian walk and has been a huge inspiration to me as a godly woman over the years.  

"Help me, Lord, not to mourn or weep for those things, once precious, which you teach me are but dead (whether pleasures, desires, or whatever may be precious to my soul now), but give me a willingness to put them away out of my sight."
- Elizabeth Elliot

"If thou calls me to resign what most I prize, it ne'er was mine. I only give back to thee what is thine. Thy will be done."
-Jim Elliot