Wednesday, August 29, 2007

420 - Secrets in Living

Good Morning Jesus - thank you for all my friends that encouraged me through comments yesterday. I tell you what - that is just the greatest blessing to know someone - at one point a stranger - would take the time to shoot me a comment to say I am praying for you, I am with you, I agree - whatever it is. Man, that lifts my countenance! That is really Jesus with skin on and I thank you for that!! Remind me to do the same to whomever I come across. *****I start my first day of training today. I am so excited. I am going to be a real worker. It has been 7 years since i have had any kind of job!! Also, would you please pray for a sort of silly thing. My hair is going bye-bye. I am not sure why. I had my thyroid checked and have not heard back. One friend told me maybe the bleach on my hair was too.........something she called it. The water here is SOOOOOO hard. I wonder if it has just gotten brittle and is breaking off. But I am going to have to set up an appointment with my wonderful Hillary to get a new do. I have just a few long strands left on my right side and it looks weird. Clay is worried about me. Could it all be stress??? Wow! Clay was trying to make me feel better as we were joking and said after I had commented on Alopcia, "Well you won't have to get your eyebrows waxxed anymore." That really didn't help! But he tried, sweet-thang!

Went and paid all the non-profit money to get the ball rolling. Yeah baby! This of course will allow anyone to make any size donation for a tax credit, but more than anything for whatever reason it give more validity to the ministry and to me as a speaker. It says I am serious and I have the paperwork to show it. At least that is what event planners and "bigger", more experienced people in this line of ministry have said. So under His leading I too am seeking greater professionalism.

Hey ya'll - on Tuesday of next week Boomama is going to have contest giving away 2 of my purses. How cool is that? I am really excited to do some stuff with her. Her influence on the web is astounding and she is willing to help me generate some funds for this speaking season upcoming. God has been so generous to bring me so many opportunities. I sent out 8 contracts on Monday and have about 5 in the works. I have sent out many samples and am so excited to see what He is doing. Like my friend Karen, we are hoping for the day of bigger venues. Not just for bigger venues' sake, but so that we don't have to be gone so much from the family. It is really tough missing a game, ballet deal, family dinner, or just dealing with the guilt of being gone from them on the weekend. I know who that guilt is from, nevertheless it is there!

Today I ventured on over to Phil. 4 and really was intrigued by a fragment of words. Verse 12, "I have learned the secret of being content". Oh how it is such a secret at times. We want so much to do this or do that, be in this house or that one, have this clothes, go to this church, have these friends, live in this city, have this watch or ring, certain curtains, goes on and on. I will be the first to tell you that to want is not a bad thing. Obsessing and then it moving into jealousy and bitterness is wrong. But if we didn't want, then why would ever tell the Lord any prayer requests? We would never need to make anything known to Him!

So is there a secret to contentment? I think we see the answer in the next verse, but also from His statement just above this particular statement... He says he has learned to be content whatever the circumstances, in need or in plenty. That is huge. That actually means that it has nothing to do with circumstances, and yet everything to do with circumstances. We are content because in whatever situation we are sitting in the "peace of God is guarding our hearts and minds" - verse 7. The peace of God transcends all understanding. And again no matter whatever situation we are sitting in............ "I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me". Now to actually live out His strength in whatever He calls us to do, that may be a secret. And for me, only after it is done do I know that I have actually dug deep and done something in Him and Him through me.

Here is a personal example. As i was flying on the plane over to Charlotte recently I was thinking about what friends would ask and who I would see. I thought about how i could sum up my last 8 months. Then the Lord gently impressed on my heart that He has given me the opportunity to experience Godly contentment and His peace. Living in rural Illinois has been exciting and lots of fun. It has been far better than I ever imagined. But at the same time it is very different. If it had not been for His leading I would not have chosen here. I do like convenience, i do like options, i do like more cosmopolitan - that really has been all i have ever known. I feel like I left a lot in Charlotte - but some very material things - my house, my kids school, friends of 12 years (I have never lived anywhere longer), all my doctors, grocery stores that are incredible (you would have to see it to believe it), many,many big churches, incredible neighborhoods to dream about, etc................ But God has given me the chance to know a new life and new people. So while I would have chosen somewhere else if I were given the chance to live somewhere of my pick, I would never know the feeling of living out Godly contentment. The peace that I have of being in His will and even living in a "foreign" land is worth it all. I am content not because of the things i still have or just because I have to be, I am content because His peace transcends all understanding and is guarding my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me because He is doing that through me everyday. I am happy, joyful, elated, excited, and filled with Him - there in lies the secret of contentment. Thank you Jesus for trusting me with the opportunity to learn that and then live it out. Thank you for thinking of me enough to allow me to go through this and come out rejoicing. Thank you for blessing me with an area I would have not picked on my own, but You knew best. Thank you for knowing the plans for my life that are to prosper, and not to harm me! I trust You!!! I love you!


ange said...

I am so glad to see you are content! I am praying for your job. I LOVE the photos you posted of your house, woo hoo. It looks fantastic. I am still working on something for the purses. I have not forgotten you, just been in the trench of homeschooling ;)

Shelly said...

Oh girl! It sounds like He is working mighty in you! Thank you for the sweet comments you've been leaving on my blog in this new season AND for your grace in my being a bad blog friend right now :) I'm trying to get there!

I praise Him for the nonprofit status you have. Wow! I'm honored to know you now :) Thank Jesus for blog world! You just let me know if you ever need some transferred to Boston GA gal to help out or volunteer any, m'kay? :)

Nicki said...

Friend, we had this conversation so you definately know my heart on this one!! Although it's been a huge struggle for me just to move to the "other side of town" hee hee!! I can totally relate....and yes, love those grocery stores!!! When we are in God's plan contentment just seems to come.....I can explain it no other way!!! Love your heart and hope things went well for you new job today!! Praying for you!!

Sharon said...

Isn't this trip amazing?
He takes us down the paths that seem as if they could contain nothing good at the end.And then we reach the end and we are simply amazed at the glorious ending. And we hang our head and smile as we realize He really does have our best in mind.

This was in my devotions this morning.
"Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict.......Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith."
He is proving you girl.

CrownLaidDown said...

And perhaps, Leigh, you are there to tell these folks (who are really my own, having grown up just outside of Alton) about the greatest love they have ever know. Perhaps, they will become thick in Him. That is my prayer!

Praying for your hair, too. I have just found out that I have Graves' disease (hyper-thyroid), but I don't think I've lost hair. I will pray for you and you might ask a beautician or many in the area about the water and what kind of regimen to use.
With love and prayers and finding contentment in all circumstances,