I'm linking up with Home with the Boys for the next few weeks and reading Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson. I have loved everything that I have read of Sally's. I spent the summer reading The Ministry of Motherhood with GoodMorningGirls.org and now I'm really excited about starting this book as well as sharing it with you. If you'd like to join in, here is the original post from Erin with the details and reading schedule.
In case you're trying to find a flow your study, here is how I'm attempting to keep up with the reading and the study questions:
- Weekend and Mondays – Read the chapter.
- Each weekday morning – Read the study and application portion of the chapter. Use YouVersion.com on my iPad to read scripture and record notes and answers to questions. Share best thoughts through Twitter using hashtag #momsheart.
- Friday morning – Record thoughts and reflection from the week in a post here at The Pelsers.
The reading for this week was the preface through chapter 1. This week we were “Celebrating Life.” It was amazing how Sally seemed to be talking directly to me. I love I how I can hear her voice in the printed words. Calm. Reassuring. Encouraging. At the same time, the words pierce your heart. Direction and correction straight from God.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- Spring is a time to live fully in the present, love deeply, and celebrate the newness of life as it comes our way. pg. 27
- Unfortunately, in my anger I made a bigger mess of the situation and missed the joy of that moment. pg. 33
- God wants me to find his joy… He wants me to celebrate life – the life he has given me. pg. 33
- There is a tention that God is asking me to acknowledge and accept – the tension between the ideals and realties. True joy is found by living somewhere between the ideal life and daily realities. pg. 34
- God admonishes me to be joyful and to give thanks in all circumstances. When I do that, no matter how bad the situation, I am acknowledging that he is in control. pg. 35
- Being content is a “learned condition of depending on God.” pg. 37
- Contentedness is learned by accepting life each day as God gives it to you, and adjusting your expectations to life's limitations. pg. 37
- I… “refuse to adjust my expectations – I want more than I can have, ask for more than I need, strive for more than I can do, and expect more than God has promised.” pg. 37
- Joy is the result of the choices that you make. If you are choosing to be thankful and learning to be content, then you are opening your heart to joy. Joy is not a supernational feeling that God pours on your from heaven but a gift of the Holy Spirit that is released by faith. pg. 38
My thoughts on the scripture readings and questions at YouVersion:
The theme was for the week was to be thankful and content. These are learned. They don't just happen. We have to live in the tension that is created by the ideal life and our everyday reality. As an example, with young boys tearing through my house, I cannot expect my home to continuously look pristine. Not going to happen. I have to find balance between what I want my house to look like and the reality of what I can accomplish. A great help in this area has been Sara Mae's 31 Days to Clean ebook.
I tend to be an all or nothing type person. I'm learning to live in the in-betweens. I'm learning to enjoy the journey. Living with dysthymia (a minor but chronic form of depression) can make this more difficult, but not impossible. It just takes a little more determination and awareness.
How do you live in thankfulness and contentedness?