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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lessons I'm Learning

I haven't had much to write lately on the adoption process because it is just a time of waiting right now...we heard recently though, the word "soon" so we are hopeful that we will hear something..."soon". I have been learning a lot lately and wanted to share some lessons from God. I started reading a book called Calm My Anxious Heart. I never really considered before that I had an anxious heart. I thought I was a pretty laid back and calm person. But then God showed me how I say I trust Him in all things but so many times I take things into my own hands because I don't think God is working fast enough. I always thought I was a content person until I realized how much I really complain about things. I read about Ella, a missionary to the pygmies in Africa for 52 years. Life was not easy for her but her daughter was amazed that throughout the years she saw her mom so content. She later discovered in a journal, her mom's prescription for contentment:

1. Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather.
2. Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
3. Never compare your lot with another's.
4. Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
5. Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that (tomorrow) is God's, not ours.

I desire a peace separate from my circumstances and intend with God's help to put these principles into practice (it will not be easy...my flesh will fight me). Here is one definition of Contentment: "it is essentially a matter of accepting from God's hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good."

Psalm 16:5 says, "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." This is what Elisabeth Elliot says about this verse: "I know of no greater simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned. Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things that happen to us that do not belong to our lovingly assigned 'portion' ("This belongs to it, that does not")? ARe some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty? Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are canceled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter. A quiet heart is content with what God gives."

I have so many things that get in the way of God sitting on the throne of my heart at all times. I am taking steps to focus on Him and put aside the things that so easily take my focus off of Him. I will replace my thought process with things that are only lovely, good, pure, true, noble, right, and worthy of praise. Any habit that gets in the way of the Spirit of God having complete control of me has to go. I desire to be under His complete control not just sometimes when it feels right. I want to be known as a woman who truly trusts in God with everything. I want Jesus to shine through me and show the people around me in darkenss that the light is better then the darkness. I am so thankful to God for what He is teaching me and pray He continues to open my eyes to the sins that so easily drag me down!
Thank you for continuing to hold us up in prayer and for praying for our twins.

2 comments:

Laura said...

Joyce,

Just today in the morning service, we were reminded of God's timing not always (in fact not usually!) being our own.
In Isaiah 54, he tells Israel that their time of suffering will not be forever - it is only a "moment". It has been about 2000 years so far! Can you imagine the 'drop in a bucket' that our years are to God who dwells in light of eternity?! Hard to think of it that way!

I was also reminded recently by someone else that the reason our time table is rarely the same as God's is that He can see the whole picture - the end from the beginning. While we see the here and now and think we know what would be best or what would bring glory to Him, we can NOT see the future, or know how an answer today would thwart what He intends to do through our situation. He is not silent though we cannot hear Him. God is rarely working in only one direction at a time. He is designing the tapestry from all directions at once, busy knitting all things (not just our end) together for good. In our rush of life which is controlled and ruled by time, we have a hard time just resting, trusting, and waiting. BUT knowing that He is working behind the scenes to mkae it all work for HIS glory can give our souls peace.

These thoughts have become so sweet to me lately and I thought I'd share them with you. Hope they are encouraging.
We can't wait to see what He does!

Jackie said...

Hey! Our ladies Bible study group did that book...I made it to the first 2 or 3 classes, but then something always happened and I didn't get back before they finished it...I'll have to make a point to finish it on my own...I'm like you...I didn't really think I was anxious either...

My heart hurts for you...I KNOW the wait is hard! I'll just pray for you, even though so many times that just doesn't seem like enough! I wish I could just run over there, grab the twins and run them to your house.