The Summer of My Contentment

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! πŸ˜‰  “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. πŸ˜‰
Jennifer
About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. Smelling Coffee says:

    Ashley, you are so right! Thank you for what you shared.

    Thanks to everyone for chiming in your wisdom on the subject. God is so patient with all of us as we learn these lessons!

    Jennifer

  2. Jennifer,
    Thanks for sharing this post about contentment. Everyone struggles with it from time to time. Contentment is a continual dying to self.(that's why it is so HARD!) It's experienced WHEN we walk in obedience to God and His ways. We put off experiencing true contentement when we focus on what we don't have and what we wish we had. The only person keeping us from experiencing it is our very own self. Thanks for sharing!

  3. How I needed a post like this today! "The Summer of my Contentment" I love it and need to focus on the Lord and His plans. Since Jim and I are in real estate and the market isn't wonderful it's been tough. The enemy knows all to well how to push my buttons and how to invade my mind with what could cause me to spin with anxiety! The news this morning did just that… and then I came to your blog. Ah yes…the Lord knows exactly what I need. I too cannot control, plan too much right now either. But I am trusting the Lord. I now He will provide and He continues to give me what I need not necessarily what I think I want.
    Bless you… I continue to pray for you and your family!

  4. My friend,

    I shouted on this paragraph:

    "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."

    While our situations are very different I can tell you that I'm in a place of shaking and stirring that GOD has me in and that's what I thought of as I read your message. There is a shaking and stirring of you and yours and all the details and plans and that's what's up over here in my place. It is GOD's plans that are best and when we accept that SUDDEN contentment comes and we begin to RESPOND differently to what we are seeing and experiencing. Thankful for that!

    Love you much and praying for you and yours!

  5. Stephanie Jernigan says:

    Such a not so fun lesson during the learning curve, but isn't the peace that suffuses your soul so amazing!

  6. Oh – I am so glad you are back! Hope you enjoyed your break..and glad I decided to check in on you today! Isn't that the truth…true contentment is possible only once we surrender control – doesn't seem like that would "make sense" but it is so true.

    Its wonderful to have it journaled on your blog…for it is so easy to take back that control once the waters calm – or return to normal (just speaking from experience here!) God is doing great things this summer….how exciting for you and your family!

    And how nice for us that you are sharing it….glad to read your post today!! God bless – Jennifer

  7. Smelling Coffee says:

    Lynn~ I love it that you said you recognize much sooner now when you are on your own path! Don't you just wish we could learn one lesson and keep it forever??? πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing, friends!

    Jennifer

  8. Such good thoughts you share today. I have been in that place as well. When we know for sure we are not in control and have HIS peace!! Why do we ever think we are in charge?!! I think the Lord used some really hard times in my life to teach me that same thing. I thought I would never go there again, well never say never! There is a difference now in that I recognize much sooner that I am on my own path and I need to realign my compass with the One who is directing my path. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Isn't it amazing how we can find His peace and contentment when everything looks turned upside down. Praise His name!

  9. Kim@Seasons of My Heart says:

    Oh how I've missed you sweet friend!!! πŸ™‚

    I LOVED your post today…and in some ways, I'm in the same boat. God's up to something…and my heart feels such unaccounted for PEACE..in the midst of the 'waiting'. Yet, there seems to be an anticipation…as God keeps reminding me…it's just a little further…the bend in the road is coming and that which you'll see…will BLESS your socks off!

    Praying for you…as you continue on HIS journey.