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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Life of Appreciation and Contentment

Some of you who read this may know that we have some friends who just left for the mission field. As I read their emails, tears well up in my eyes and my heart aches for them. They write about the struggle over learning a new language and try to deal without the basics of living -- food, water, supplies. They wait for rain that never comes to fill barrels for drinking. And, they haven't gotten to the most difficult part of their training yet.

Last year, a missionary spoke at an event I attended. She raised her family on the mission field in the Philippines. She spoke of what a blessing it was to raise her children overseas, in the jungle, without all of the luxuries that American children think they need. I've been struggling with this particular issue regarding our own children and those around me in our communities.

The "entitlement" attitude and always wanting more saddens me and to be perfectly honest, frustrates me to no end. People today never seem to appreciate all that they "have."  Because of a little thing called a "custody agreement," it isn't likely we will be heading off to the mission field with the kids. I am pretty sure God wouldn't call us to a life in missions just to "teach our kids this lesson" ... so, we pray. We pray that God will work in our children to help them appreciate God's blessings and those around them. We set boundaries and try to set an example.

My parents have always set this example for us. We always had just enough and when we had more than enough, they lived their lives the same way ... "the Lord has given us just enough." They are content with whatever the Lord provides.

We continue to pray that we be appreciative of His blessings, that we would be content with what God has given us, because He tells us in scripture that whatever He provides IS enough.

The woman who spoke about raising her family on the mission field, lost her husband in "the rescue." Two weeks ago, a husband and wife mission team in Mexico were killed for their faith. So, if you have time today, please pray for those on the mission field ... for water ... for strength and rest ... and also for their safety.

And pray for those around you ... for contentment in circumstances and learning that whatever God gives us is what we are entitled to have and we should never want for more ... easier said than done in our "human-ness."

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. - Philippians 4:11

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