Why is it that we complain about our husbands, children, and homeschooling? Why do we struggle to be content? Why do we love the idea of homeschooling, but have days where we hate educating our little ones?
The answer to these questions is not simplistic, but we do need to address these issues in our lives because this behavior grieves the Spirit of God and hinders successful home education. A joyful mom instills delight in her child for acquiring knowledge and wisdom. We cannot foster a lifelong love of learning if we are not filled with the joy that Jesus brings. But, we face joy-stealers every day from traffic jams to weight gain.
Living in a Fallen World
Imagine if Adam and Eve had never eaten the forbidden fruit. Think about your world without the results of sin. Clear blue skies (no rain!), peaceful communication between people and nations, perfect weight, perfect self-control, joy, love, patience, and constant fellowship with the Lord. Your world would have no pollution, no traffic jams, no wrinkles, no worries, no death, no illness, no headaches, no difficult people, and no clutter.
You were created to live in a perfect world. Just because the world (including each of us!) is in a fallen state doesn’t mean that there isn’t a longing inside our hearts to live in that perfect world for which we were created. The fallen world with its headaches and heartaches never feels quite right.
“Things should go smoothly,” we insist and we are right. The world would look a lot different in its natural state. This causes constant turmoil within us. When I understood this, freedom came because I no longer berated myself for frustration. Instead, I turned the longing for perfection toward the perfect place I will one day live in: Heaven!
Longing for Heaven
Heaven is the perfect world that our hearts long to see. There will be no pain, no sorrow, no trouble, no sin, no struggle, no delay, no hurry, no waste, no lack. When we get home to Heaven, our hearts will experience joy at all times. Those earthly dreams will all be fulfilled in ways we cannot fully understand here on earth, but will make sense in Heaven.
Earthly frustrations can make us homesick in a healthy way. Jesus wants us to long for Heaven, just like He longs to have us there with Hiim. This longing does not produce frustration, but fills our souls with hope. It is easier to hold on through the daily grind when we know that a perfect day is coming.
Beyond longing for Heaven, we must die to self.
Dying to Self
We live in an upside-down Kingdom. We give to receive, lose to gain, and die to live. Dying to our selfish desires and appetites produces provision from our Heavenly Father that far exceeds our expectations because our Creator knows just what we need. Surrender to His will with the unshakable conviction that God will take good care of you.
“What is your plan for today, Lord?” you can pray each morning, imitating Christ’s prayer, “But not My will, but Yours be done.” Each morning we can surrender our day to Jesus, asking Him to fulfill His purpose and plan in and through your life. When we sacrifice our agenda in light of His agenda, we embark on an exciting adventure with Christ. Life is His, not yours anyway.
Let life be like a beautiful waltz with Jesus leading while you keep in step with the Holy Spirit. As you follow Christ’s leading, give thanks in all the things.
Secret of Contentment
The secret of contentment is thankfulness. Contentment is that warm, peaceful feeling that makes the world seem right. It is the result of purposeful living that focuses on the positive, rather than the negative. Open your eyes and look around each day. Count your blessings. Let the Lord know how much you appreciate all the little and big blessings in your world. From health and financial stability to loving relationships and fruitful ministry, God is good to us.
I am so thankful that my husband works hard every day so that I can stay home with my children and homeschool. I want to make sure that I thank both the Lord and my husband for this blessing. I love my cozy bedroom, the bright yellow paint in the kitchen, Shine’s wacky sense of humor, and the lovely songs Jenny Rose writes. How about you? What are you thankful for?
Joy results when we live out our priorities: Jesus first, others second, self last. We put Jesus first by going to church, having our Quiet Times every day, obeying the Bible, tithing, and singing songs of praise to Him!
We make others a priority by showing affection, admiration, and appreciation. We love our children by nurturing, disciplining, teaching, and training them. We love our husband by romancing him, submitting to him, respecting him, and making his home his castle. Prayer, phone calls, encouraging texts, inspirational emails, and making memories are ways to show love to friends and family members.
When we seek to serve Jesus and others first, we are really seeking His Kingdom first, extending the rule and reign of Christ to the ends of the earth. We are promised in Matthew 6:33 that is we seek His Kingdom first, all of our needs will be added to us. In others words, if we take care of what concerns the Lord and people, the Lord will take care of what concerns us. That is freedom from worry! And a reason to rejoice!
For the JOY set before us!