Throwback Thursday: A fav. post from 2010… The Summer of My Contentment

Throwback Thursday's Favorite SmellingCoffee.com Posts

I love this post and what the Lord did in our lives during the summer of 2010.  As we are saying goodbye to yet another summer {our schools start a week from today!} I am still basking in the truths imparted during the Summer of My Contentment.  It will probably go down in our history as one of the worst and one of the best all rolled into one. :-)

 

Do you set goals for your summer?  Each May, I try to set a few general goals for the upcoming Summer months…usually they are easily attainable goals for peace, rest, renewal, and enjoyable moments with the Lord and my husband, children, and family.  Things like:

      • Extra time in my Quiet Time with the Lord
      • Special moments of Spiritual growth for my children
      • Cleaning out of a few things
      • Getting a great tan
      • Reading some good books
      • Watching fam movies
      • Playing family games
      • Having friends over
      • Staying up late
      • Sleeping a little later
      • Spending time with extended family

Added to these goals for this particular summer, I planned on moving and setting up a new household, getting our children settled into a new town, registering them for school, and joining James in serving the Lord and the people in our new church.

It’s great to have a few goals of our own, but but the Bible tells us that it’s God’s plans that will prevail.  And if I’ve learned nothing else this summer, I’m learning this truth! ;-)  “We may make a lot of plans, but the LORD will do what He has decided.”  Proverbs 19:21 (CEV).

Or, as the Message puts it: “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.”  You can’t imagine how many options and plans I/we have brainstormed lately (that, btw, have not worked out at all like we planned)!!!

At this current time, instead of settling into our new life in Cleveland, MS, we haven’t sold our house, or found a new one, and are living between three homes in three cities (Nashville, Batesville, & Cleveland) in two states and traveling back and forth with our goods packed in large Rubbermaid tubs! In a year, we have gone from being a well organized and detail-y scheduled family that felt like we “had it together” (whatever “it” is…) to a family who has no idea what lies beyond the plans for tomorrow.

And do you know what?  More than any other lengthy period in my life, there is this consistant, deep sense of the Lord’s Peace blanketing my heart and mind.  I can honestly say that I am more content than I have ever been. I guess it’s becuase I’ve finally realized that I can not plan or control or change one tiny thing in our lives right now… not one bit.  There is nothing left for me to do but to 100% trust God. Everyday. Every place. In Every way.  And all is well.

Reality check: Isn’t that just how God wants us to live all of the time?  Not just when our lives are “unstable” – but when our calendars are full and we feel like we “have it all together”?

God’s ways are perfect, and apparently I wouldn’t have learned what God is teaching me in any other way but to be completly stripped of my own plans and my own thoughts and my own calendar.  I may not understand much of the ”whys” and the “whats”, but I KNOW that the Lord loves us and is working behind the scenes of silence on our behalf… for our good, and for His glory!

We praise the Lord that our children are doing so well during this time.  They, too, are at peace, and are having fun in each place we land.

Looking back on this summer, I think it will be labeled “The Summer of my Contentment” because, like Paul, “I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am”  (Phil. 4:19). Ha Ha.

Although I’m hoping to soon be in the “State” of Mississippi for good, I desperately pray to retain this level of trust and contentment for the rest of my life!

Much love to each of you~ Hope you are enjoying your summer, in whatever “state” you are in. ;-)
Jennifer

signature

  \\\"\\\"

Dear High School girls and guys…

A Letter to my younger self.  SmellingCoffee.com

(A re-post from last year, and even more true today.)  As my son and daughter trek their way through high school (a senior and junior this upcoming year), I can’t help but remember my own junior high and high school life.  All in all, I had a good youth-hood – much due to the love and diligence of my Godly parents.  But we all know that some things our parents try to teach us – we just don’t get, don’t want to do, or we simply think we have a better way.

Looking back, I can name some major things I did or didn’t do, and some truths I knew, but didn’t have enough courage (or confidence) to step out in them.  I had to learn the hard way.  So will my children.  But this mother’s heart really really wishes they would just learn by soaking in our wisdom and God’s ways – so that they would avoid some of the foolish things their parents thought and did/didn’t do.

One day during my QT, I was praying for my children and ended up writing a “letter to my younger self” about things I wish I had received to be true back when I was their ages.  I shared it with a young lady in our church, and I thought I’d share it with you.

Hind sight really is 20/20, isn’t it?  ;-)

PS: names have been changed

 

Dear Jennifer,

What Debbie, Lisa, and Julie think about you, or even say about you truly doesn’t matter.  It is a big deal now, but one day you’ll see… they end up living lives you would NEVER want to live.  There will always be Debbies, Lisas, and Julies out there.  Sometimes they seem to hold a lot of power and have a loud influential voice.  But YOU, Jennifer, you keep your focus on what and who God has called you to be and do – and run to Him for your value.  You are worth more than you can imagine – to God, to your parents, to others.

(And one day, your Debbies, Lisas, and Julies will realize what mean girls they were – and they will be very sorry that they treated you in that way.  If you will forgive and release them to God on a continual basis during their season of mean-ness, you’ll be free of the hold they seem to have over you.  Some of your mean girls (called frenemies today) might even come back and apologize.  Mine did.)

Swim upstream.  It’s hard.  It’s not popular.  It’s going against the crowd.  You know it’s the right thing to do.  Be courageous enough and call on the help of the Lord to actually be able to do it.  Turn your face to doing ONLY what God wants you to do.  If you do this, God WILL take care of everybody and everything else.  He will… I promise… even if you don’t  think He will – just wait.  He’ll do it.

Don’t worry about what others think about your interactions with those “less popular”.  Be kind and pleasant to everyone.  Years later, you’ll find out how your life was a blessing to people you didn’t consider yourself personally knowing.  Pay attention to and value everyone – not just the popular kids.

Wait on God to provide and work it out… whatever it is: relationships, provisions, needs, and wants.  Don’t spend money you don’t have to get something you won’t even want or enjoy a year later.  Trust me on this.  Neither those Izod and Esprit shirts and those stonewashed Guess jeans, nor that 1984 new car, that boyfriend, nor that mauve and blue decor you just had to have… none of it is in your life today.   Pray about everything – every need and every want.  God will give you what you need and even some of what you want if you will just ask and then wait on Him to provide!  And don’t forget to give God the glory when He does provide for you.  That makes Him happy!

Keep protecting your purity.  You will be so glad that you did… It’s worth the wait. ;)  And when those three groups of friends try to set you up on a blind date with the same guy – just go with it… give him a month, and he will end up being the man of your dreams.

One last thing.  Your parents:  They love you SO much!  They have already navigated their youth-hood.  They made mistakes and learned from them.  They don’t want you to make the same mistakes.  Listen to them, and love them back.

With thankfulness for who you are now, and who you will become in the Lord Jesus,

Your future self,
Jennifer

 

Not too long ago a wonderful blog post was written by MyLeslieNotebook.com entitled “11 Truths nobody else will tell you.”  It was so good that I shared it here, printed it, gave one to Abigail, kept one for myself, and have been passing it around to the high school girls I know and love.  If you have a high schooler in your home or circle of influence, this is such a valuable resource for some awesome truth-filled discussions.

As we wrap up these high school years, “ I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.” (3 John 1:4)  Oh, that all of our children, both biological and spiritual, would listen, learn, obey, and walk with Jesus!  And may you and I do the same. :-)

    signature

 

  \\\"\\\"

Monday’s Makes Me smile – The Funny Church Signs edition

Hi there!  I don’t remember what got me started on a search for pictures of funny church signs, but Pinterest had a plethora of them.  Some are just plain funny, and some are humorously thought-provoking.  All make me smile.  Hope they do you too.  A blessed new week to you, my friends… and a happy last week of July.  {Seriously… can you believe it? August starts this weekend??? – now… time moving so quickly… unfortunately that does NOT make me smile!  :-( So instead of thinking about that, I’ll just read these church signs.} ;-)

20140727-210331-75811987.jpg20140727-210331-75811590.jpg

20140727-210331-75811863.jpg

20140727-210331-75811742.jpg

20140727-210332-75812082.jpg

20140727-210332-75812393.jpg

20140727-210332-75812283.jpg

20140727-210332-75812514.jpg

 

Now this next one makes me LOL!  I’m hoping that the original “sign person” certainly didn’t mean it like this:

o20140727-210332-75812922.jpg

 

hahaha!

20140727-210333-75813214.jpg

 

This next one is quite clever:

20140727-210332-75812185.jpg

20140727-210334-75814011.jpg

20140727-210333-75813925.jpg

20140727-210333-75813487.jpg

20140727-210333-75813337.jpg

20140727-210332-75812651.jpg

20140727-210332-75812797.jpg

20140727-210334-75814093.jpg

20140727-210334-75814223.jpg

20140727-210335-75815543.jpg

20140727-210333-75813760.jpg

20140727-210336-75816096.jpg

20140727-210336-75816639.jpg

20140727-210335-75815417.jpg

20140727-210336-75816567.jpg

The poor pastor below: hahaha

20140727-210336-75816176.jpg

20140727-210335-75815848.jpg

20140727-210335-75815306.jpg

20140727-210338-75818145.jpg

20140727-210336-75816292.jpg

20140727-210339-75819131.jpg

 

I love this next one!  It may be my favorite:

20140727-210335-75815990.jpg

20140727-210338-75818950.jpg

20140727-210336-75816453.jpg

20140727-210335-75815130.jpg

20140727-210333-75813070.jpg

20140727-210334-75814581.jpg

20140727-210336-75816861.jpg

20140727-210335-75815683.jpg

20140727-210336-75816971.jpg

20140727-210336-75816746.jpg

20140727-210337-75817763.jpg

20140727-210337-75817361.jpg

20140727-210338-75818543.jpg

20140727-210339-75819273.jpg

 

Hahaha!  Hope these brought a smile to you as  you start your week.  May the Lord bless each one of you and keep you smiling. ;-)
20140308-211146.jpg

  \\\"\\\"

Monday’s Makes Me Smile – On Tuesday, too!

Coffee definition

My friend, Stephanie, came to visit me for a few days and we’ve had a big time in my little city.  I sure have come to love and appreciate living in Cleveland, MS more and more as each year passes.  However… when an “out of town-er” from a big city comes to visit and you […]

[Continue reading...]

A wise Word for Today

“ Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious— the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw […]

[Continue reading...]

Saying Goodbye & What a Friend We Have in Jesus

20140714-200904-72544314.jpg

This weekend many friends in our first place of ministry said goodbye to a precious woman not much older than I.  Mary Beth had a ruptured aneurism.  One moment she was fine, and the next… her family began preparing to release her to Jesus.  Mary Beth’s husband was the youth minister and James was the […]

[Continue reading...]

Smelling Coffee TV – Dealing with Distraction in your walk with Jesus

Psalm 46:10 SmellingCoffee.com

Have you felt distracted in your walk with Jesus lately?  Have you noticed that it has made a difference in your day? I’m sad to say that I can answer a “Yes” to both of these questions!  In this episode of Smelling Coffee TV, Elizabeth shares some wonderful points about dealing with distractions.  We recorded […]

[Continue reading...]

Monday’s Makes Me Smile… Yes, auto correct… SMILE!

20140706-203607-74167748.jpg

Hahaha… I’m starting off this post in laughter because I have to show you what AutoCorrect did to my title as I was typing this on my phone. Haha!  Some Mondays might make me feel like I want to smoke… But not today. Haha! These are a few funny pictures sent to me by friends, […]

[Continue reading...]