So this week has been beyond busy (ex: the fact that this post is going up on Friday, and not Wednesday). I've had to take care of a few things for my car, go to a networking event for the school, go to midweek service, I've gone to see my mom a time or two (got to make sure she knows I'm alive & can see that I'm eating lol), oh, and I'm still in school, right? So we'll just add the average 20-50 pages a night that I've got to read to prepare for class. (Saints, are you praying for me?!!! Lol) Through it all though, I believe that I'm living a good life (despite the occasional desire to pass out & sleep for 3 days lol). Now, My life isn't perfect. It actually gets pretty hectic at times. There are a few things I'd like to change about my life (like a reading or...6 lol). Yet, I'm trying my hardest to not complain, but to be content and consistent. I believe that's what God wants us to chit chat about today: consistent contentment.
Philippians 4:11 says "...I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.", and the older I get, the higher it gets on my "most amazing verses" list. I love it because first, it reminds me that being truly content with whatever I do (not) have is something that I have to learn. It's a process, and it's not something that is natural (especially for me, because I have a constant need to do...something). Also, it reminds that contentment requires consistency. I have to learn to be just as content with life when it's terrible as I am when I feel like I've conquered the world. I am learning to accept whatever I have wherever I go, because I've picked up on a pattern: when I manage what I have well, God trusts me with more.
We all support the prayer of Jabez. We all want God to 'enlarge our territories'. We constantly want more of....something. We want more money, more influence, more space in our homes, more clothes, more shoes, more, more, more. Now, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be on the next level, and I don't believe that God wanted us to lack from the day we're born until the day we die, but I wonder if we've started a habit of asking for things that we truly aren't ready for. For example, we want more money, but the reason that we need more money is because we don't have good money management habits. Or, maybe we want more money because we just want to show off on somebody that we don't like. Regardless, we keep asking for more, and get mad at God when He doesn't give it to us when we think we should have it. However, when we simply ask for more, we tend to forget a very important part of the process: preparation.
In order to truly be ready for an increase, I believe that you have to prepare for it. Make room for what you've asked for. Prove yourself to be a good steward over what He's already placed in your life. Have you ever heard somebody say "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"? It's kind of like that. If you want or need more money in your life (I'm sticking with money because we all enjoy getting paid lol), read about (and practice) good spending habits. Get a budget. Stick with that budget. If you don't, you're more likely to squander the blessing, and it'll be gone before you blink.
Today, I want to know something: what does it mean to you to be content? To me, being content means that I recognize the blessings I have. This may require me to stop asking for things, because once I get focused on what's ahead, I have a tendency to ignore what surrounds me. Additionally, being content requires me to put my "blinders" on. This means that I can't focus on what you have, or where you're going, because then, I may second guess my own progress. I have to run my own race, and take in my own journey. I can't enjoy my journey if I'm constantly comparing it to yours, right? Yet, at the same time, being content requires me to realize what could've been. A few months ago, I got into an accident, and the front end of my car was messed....up. I was embarrassed (on the lowest of keys, right?) to drive my car around, partially because in my mind, everybody else's car was fine, and Valencia was the only person in Austin with a front end this bad. Well, clearly God knew I felt this way, because I suddenly saw a lot of bruised bumpers on people's cars. My damage was bad, but it wasn't that bad. He also reminded me of what all could have happened. I could've been hurt, my car could have been damaged to the point that I couldn't drive it, I could've been caught without insurance, etc. So much could have happened....but it didn't (*cue my own personal praise break*). When I think about the 'could haves' in my life, I'm humbled to a place of being content, because I realized that I'm blessed. I'm even blessed to have the problems that I have, because at least I'm in law school, and I have what I have, and more importantly, I know who has me.
I had yet another birthday a few weeks ago, and it was amazing. Why? Because I woke up that morning, decided to be a rebel...and take life as it came to me. I wouldn't spend my entire day checking my phone to see who wished me a happy birthday. I wouldn't create a checklist of people I wanted to hear from. I'd accept the love I received from the people who did remember my birthday, and soak it up like a sponge. A couple of weeks later, I noticed that the feeling I had on my birthday was....gone. That...life..that I had seemed as if it had faded, and I ran to God asking that He'd give it back, because clearly it had run out. He let me know that it hadn't run out, but I let my circumstances steal it. I felt the way I did on my birthday because I'd made the internal decision to roll with the punches. Now, here I am trying to avoid them, and think my way out of the fight as a whole. I said all of that to say this: what have you let your circumstances steal? Have they stolen your joy? Your optimism? Your freedom? Have you gotten so caught up with what is happening around you that you have ignored the grace that surrounds you? Never, and I mean never, believe that your life is so bad that you are not yet blessed, chosen, and a child of The King. When you become content (not complacent, you can recognize that there's more and not disregard what you have) with what God has given you, He'll give more of what He has to you. When you are consistently content with the greatness God has already placed in your life, and be a good steward over the investment He's already placed in you, you'll recognize the beauty in the journey, and you'll be prepared for the destination.
Have a great weekend, and I'll see y'all Wednesday! *cheese*
Background music: Grateful People - Anthony Brown & Group TherAPy
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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