what about me?

Over the summer, we’ve seen so many of our friends and family go through various life events, including buying houses and having children. We are genuinely happy for them. We know some of their stories, and the hard work and grace it took to get to where they are today, and we are so proud of them and so thankful to God for His faithfulness. But, although I still don’t want these things yet, as strong as my contentment is, the temptation is still there to want what everyone else has.

What about me?

If you feel overlooked because of your waiting period, here are some ways that I’ve learned to find contentment in this season:

  • Think about what you have. Last week, I struggled with contentment, and with the belief that I’m not enough. I realized how many people have what I want, and how I just can’t seem to get there. When I prayed, God asked me to focus on what I have instead of what I don’t. Later, in the car, Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” came on the radio. The first line of the song? “I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough.” In that moment, God showed me that He sees me and He knows me. He asked me to focus on what I have, and what I have, no matter what season I am in, is His Presence. He is always with me, no matter what I have, no matter how I feel. Do you have the assurance of God’s continual presence? If you struggle with contentment, take some time to think about how God has been faithful to you.
  • Celebrate those around you who have what you want. You may feel like you’re not enough or you don’t have enough, but you have everything you need. Often, we need to step outside of ourselves and give ourselves a little pep talk. David did this all the time in the Psalms, when he would command his soul to bless the Lord (see, for example, Psalm 103). His soul didn’t feel like blessing the Lord all the time, but he knew it was the right thing to do. Sometimes, we have to fight to do the right thing. It is right to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. When your friend tells you good news about what is happening in her life, be happy for her, even if it is exactly what you wanted.
  • Talk about it and pray with a friend. Contentment truly is a fight in this progressive, ever-changing world. But we don’t have to fight alone. My husband has been my number-one partner in fighting against contentment. I often add my own fears to the situation, but my husband, the voice of reason, helps me see what is real and what is simply based on what’s inside my own head. Thankfully, I also have friends who understand me, who can also get inside my own head and my heart and feel what I am feeling. Those friends have prayed for me and have helped me love where I am in this season.

The final point is to remember your prayers. I had asked God for a chill year this year.  (Please, no major life events in 2019!). Witnessing how good and faithful He has been these last couple of years, I know He could give me a brand new house, an army of kids, and a super-successful business in the snap of His finger, but He was faithful to answer the deepest prayer of my heart: rest. Help me find meaningful rest. These last couple of years have been like a whirlwind, and I’ve barely had time to process it all. I realize that this season is so essential for me, because, when I do have all those other things, I will need to know how to find meaningful rest.

What have you been asking God for lately? What is truly the deepest desire of your heart? Remember what you prayed for, and believe that God is working on it!

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash





Are You Easily Angered?

Whether you’ve been married for forty minutes for forty years, you know that your life changes the moment you say “I do.” Suddenly, a new wave of everything comes at you. All of a sudden “Mrs. So and So” becomes “Mom” and you’re expected to get along with this new family. You have to move to new places, spend money differently, and (can I say it?) have someone sleeping in your bed. It’s a lot for your heart and your mind to process, and as your family grows and moves and changes throughout the years, you’ll have to reflect on your feelings and how you will respond for your own sanity! Yet, of course, we don’t have time to reflect on our feelings when we have full-time jobs, household chores, mouths to feed, and everything else that can get in the way of making self-care a priority. When we don’t deal with our feelings, our emotions can manifest in anger.

Before we get married, we want to be perfect. We want our future spouses to be perfect. However, God didn’t intend for us to clean up our act before we get married. He wants to use your spouse to help you become more of who He created you to be. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17, NLT). If we could be perfect apart from community, there would be no need for community. As the body of Christ, we come alongside each other, encourage one another, and admonish one another. That community includes your spouse, especially if you both are followers of Christ.

Interestingly, when I looked up the word that Paul uses for the phrase “is not easily angered,” he uses the word paroxynetai, which means (literally), “to sharpen.” According to Strong’s Greek, the word also has a figurative meaning: “to become easily provoked.” Paul is not saying that you never get angry at the people you love. Rather, he’s echoing back to the idea of patience, reacting slowly when things do not go your way.

When people become easily angered, I believe that the people who anger them have the best of intentions. If your spouse really loves you, he’s not going to try to make you upset. However, sometimes our spouse’s loving admonishment rubs us the wrong way. We may also get angry at our spouse when we need to do the admonishing, when we notice a behavior in them that is not pleasing.

People, in general, get angry more easily around people that they love the most. I believe that we feel safe with the people who love us the most to express whatever feelings we have. Who better to trust than the one who sleeps in your bed every night? In the midst of the in-laws, the moving, the financial strain, the mundane lives, and the busyness, our spouses are meant to be safe people for us to help us process our emotions and deal with the stress.

There are ways to prevent getting easily provoked in your marriage. For those who are being provoked, remember that your husband/wife has your best interest in mind and does not intend to hurt you. If your spouse does something that irritates you, take a deep breath, step away from the situation, and then come back and talk with your spouse about why it irritates you. For those who are doing the provoking, take Paul’s advice in Ephesians 4 and learn to “speak the truth in love” (v. 15). Your spouse may need to be fixed in an area, but you can point something out without controlling them or making them angry. Don’t be like the annoying little brother in the seat next to you playing the “I’m not touching you” game.

As with every attribute of love, God in His infinite love will help you to maintain your anger and irritability. The LORD, who has revealed Himself as slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and mercy, will show you how to demonstrate that same patience, love, and mercy in your own marriage.

Photo by Justin DoCanto on Unsplash