I am very blessed to actually have a separate room for all of our school stuff. We have a split level home with a second living area on the bottom level. This is our schoolroom.
My favorite kind of day is when it's chilly outside and we can have a nice, roaring fire in the fireplace. Okay, you can now quit imagining The Great Smoky Mountain Fire of 2005 or even the Gena-type fire. I know you are! Back to my schoolroom... The kids and I think it is a greatly fabuloso day when we can take a couple of breaks and roast marshmellows! Yuppers, I let the kiddos consume these monstrous puffs of pure sugar in the morning and then expect them to sit quietly and do their work. What is more fun than stabbing some fwuffie puffs and cooking them to a black, carcinogen-laden crisp over an open fire? Yummmmmy!
These types of days are absolutely perfect! What is not to love about roasting marshmellows during school?! I would dare say that I am one content woman. Now it's not CONtent woman, but conTENT woman...
Well, I thought I was content until I started a new read last night-- Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow. It got me thinking about how I am a relatively happy person, but I do complain sometimes both out loud and in my heart. I'll start thinking about things that are not to my liking-- like the laundry (again!), the people zooming down our street at all hours, how I wish we didn't have stairs, how I wish my husband would eat a vegetable...any vegetable. Sure these are just little things, but a lot of little things can add up to a sour countenance and an ungrateful heart-- and I don't want either!
In this great book, Ms. Dillow tells about her friend Ella in the first chapter. Ella was a missionary in Africa for 52 years. She not only endured, but found contentment and joy in this foreign land with no electricity and 120 degree heat!
Here is Ella's prescription for contentment:
- Never allow yourself to complain about anything-- not even the weather.
- Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
- Never compare your lot with another's.
- Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
- Never dwell on tomorrow-- remember that tomorrow is God's, not ours.
She is SOOO right! And if I were truly content with all of God's gifts and blessings to me, I would NOT be doing any of the above! Yes, I am a happy woman and I do feel very blessed...but I should strive to be truly content...completely appreciative in my circumstances, in God's place for me right now. I plan, I worry, I do this, I do that...completely forgetting that GOD loves me and promises to take care of me. He certainly doesn't need my help or guidance to do that! The apostle Paul is a great example for us to follow.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
I can't wait to start reading more of Calm My Anxious Heart-- it is such a great book so far. And instead of thinking about all the things that bug me this week, I will meditate on:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.