Good Saturday, to you! Zane and I just got home from taking the dogs to a creek on the outskirts of Athens...supposedly part of the Oconee River. Let's set something straight first: I am a Tennessee girl. Born and raised. The hills of TN are a distant memory in this flat city of Georgia, and after going to Cades Cove in the Smokey Mountains on an extremely regular basis, and playing in the clear water as it streams over the slippery rocks, dirt infested moldy part-of-the-Oconee just doesn't measure up. Period. (But Moxie [German Shepherd/Rottweiler] and Frisbee [Sheltie mix] had a wonderful time jumping rocks...making the dirty water well worth and disease we may capture...)
For my birthday a few months ago, the best mother-in-law in the whole world bought me a devotional. A much needed devotional. It is called 'Calm My Anxious Heart,' by Linda Dillow. I must admit, when I first opened my present I wondered, "Did Zane tell her I struggle with contentment!? I can't believe he talked about me behind my back!" Well, that was not the case. No drama erupted from that event. My mother-in-law has done the study many times herself and thought it would be a good one for me to have. Let's be honest: God knew it was THE devotional I needed to have, for such a time as this.
When we moved to Athens, GA, away from the state I've lived in my whole life, away from my friends, my family, to a new job after 2 months of marriage, going to a new church, my husband starting a grad program which meant him having class til 9:30 many nights...well, you get the picture. My world had changed drastically, and other then my incredible husband, discontentment in other areas of my life set up a room in my heart very quickly. I'm usually a very happy, joyful person no matter what the occasion. In fact, many people ask me how and why I'm so happy all the time. Don't be misled--I was not, and am not, depressed. But I definitely let the questions settle in: was this where God wanted us? was I ever going to go back to Romania? would my friends and family ever come visit? (I would not wish driving highway 316 on anyone!) Every friend I met here couldn't replace the deep friendships back home. The church we started going to did not do music the way I wanted (no hymns). We had an infant nephew and every time we saw him he had grown a few inches. We never saw Jack crawl...he went from rolling around on his back one visit to walking the next. Let's just say that from the time we arrived in Athens until a few months ago, my heart was focusing on the negative, rather than the incredible blessings God was giving us at every turn.
At first, I didn't want to blog about Calm my Anxious heart, simply because I'm hoping God allows me to start a young ladies Biblestudy where this would be our book of study. But then I realized that it is okay to blog about a devotional twice! If and when a Biblestudy gets off the ground, my perspective will have grown, God will still be teaching me contentment (He is always leading us to be more joyful in Him!), and I will have interesting stories from young ladies on their take of contentment. I'm excited to share this with you...and equally excited to be vulnerable as I tell you my struggles. I hope it blesses you and helps you in your road to contentment as well. God bless you and have a wonderful Saturday afternoon!