I have had this song from Amelia’s Bible Song CD for Kids stuck in my head continuously for the last few weeks:
“Count your blessings name them one by one. Count your blessings see what God has done.”
God has me on a journey right now summed up by teaching me to “Renew my Mind” and to win my “Battle with Contentment” and to recognize and trust that “His Grace is Sufficient for Me” in overcoming this battle. Almost every book I have been reading lately has focused on renewing your mind for whatever sin issue and battle you are facing. The mind really is the “Pandora’s box” to sin and once you allow it to open and dwell on sinful, worldly, fleshly thoughts then it seems everything is fair game. It is very hard to renew your mind. It is something that needs to be done on a DAILY basis and dependent upon God’s grace to walk beside you and help you do it. Just try to pay attention throughout one day (or the span of a few hours) of how many negative, discontented, complaining thoughts cross your mind. And then what happens if you take even just one of those and dwell on it for a few mins. (or the remainder of the day)… it opens the door for bitterness, discontentment, anger, frustration, and any and all negative emotions to follow. It is crucial for us to renew our minds if we want to win the battle against sin while here on this earth in these fleshly bodies. And we certainly cannot do it ourselves… I am reminded of this daily.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
I have begun memorizing scripture again. This is something I did a lot in college when I was a new believer and it significantly helped me to lay down the foundations of Christ and my faith in Him. I am working on a series of scriptures relating to contentment and God’s grace (1 Timothy 6:6-8; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Luke 3:14; Hebrews 13:5; Luke 12:15; Psalm 119:36-37; Hebrews 4:15-16; Psalm 46:1; Ephesians 4:22-24; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8).
I have also started a little blessings notebook to count my many blessings. As God’s Word tells us in Philippians 4:8 to meditate on praiseworthy things I have been convicted to start this notebook to keep my focus on these things. It has been really good for me to record down ways I have seen God bless me and when I begin wandering down the path of darkness towards discontentment I can read over my list and be reminded of how much God has done for us.
- providing an apt. in South Fork $100 less than what we had budgeted for living expenses and to include 3 full bedrooms for the kiddos and less than 5 mins. from Adam’s work
- God has been blessing our finances and savings tremendously
- KTLF light praise radio – this is my favorite station as they play good classic and really God-centered Christian music (not modern day Christian music that is borderline secular you hear it on regular radio stations and have no idea it is a Christian song!) and they play Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living sermons at 6:30 every night and from 7-midnight they play instrumental Christian music which is perfect for drowning out the noise of upstairs neighbors without having words clouding our conversation at the dinner table
- Emmanuel Chapel – Pastor Dave and the whole congregation for welcoming us so sincerely to the church and being a body of believers that one can really look up to as an example for a few years down the road
- the beautiful mountain views from our apartment windows
- our dog being able to be off leash and roam around really the whole town of South Fork and never get one bad look from someone!
- being able to stay home and homeschool Amelia – what an incredible blessing this is! I am so thankful for Adam working so hard to make this possible
- all the amazing resources available for homeschooling and many that are free
- living close enough to my in-laws and their generosity to use their washer and dryer once a week so we do not have to make a big purchase and lose our storage closet (a.k.a. where the washer/dryer is supposed to go)
- for 2 running vehicles
- for 2 amazing, healthy, beautiful and alive children
- that God is a God who is available to us no matter what time of the day or what day of the week or where I am at
- provisions of free fruit from our neighbor and Bountiful Baskets as the valley does not have cheap produce otherwise
- cool weather!
- The Donut Man DVD that is teaching Amelia some incredible worship songs and bible truths (and allows me to cook dinner knowing she is being taught good things)!
- that medical technology is so advanced that when I had to have a c-section with Joshua that it was even an option and we did not have to face the risk of death to me or him like it used to be so common a long time ago
- for Pinterest and the Dollar Tree to help me manage my home and Amelia’s schooling more efficiently and inexpensively
This is just the beginning of what I’m sure will become a full book of blessings. When I think of all these things I am reminded of God’s love for me and encouraged to turn away from my discontented thoughts.