My Journey to Joy

August 28, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Mine to Love

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,


February 15, 2012

The Secret of Contentment

Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 10:43 AM
Tags: , , ,

 I have read Philippians 4 many times in my life. I’ve always read it and wondered about the apostle Paul’s secret to contentment. This week I read this chapter again and saw things in a way I never have before.

Paul’s secret is actually quite provocative – the secret of living with contentment in every situation. Few of us ever scratch the surface of what contentment truly means, no matter how great our effort and intention.

How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:10-13

 I will confess – I don’t know how Paul could live in contentment with all he had been through! I read his words and think, that can’t be right, he was in prison! And surely I don’t need to learn to be content in this [insert your trial here] situation? Paul can’t possibly mean that. Oh, but he does.

Did you notice the verse at the end of the passage? On the heels of saying that he is content in any and every situation, Paul says, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” I think this verse is often used too flippantly. Paul isn’t talking about achieving anything he sets his mind to. He is referring to surviving the worst of the worst with as much grace as living with plenty. Whoa.

My question for Paul has always been, “Well then, what is the secret to achieving contentment?” What I found this week is that he addresses this very question earlier in chapter four.

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:4-9

 Let me break that down for my own sake (because I’m a list person):

 • Be full of joy •

Be considerate in all you do •

Don’t worry; pray •

Be thankful •

Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise •

Put into practice the things you have learned

If we do these things, Paul says, “The God of peace will be with you.” All these things lead to peace, and peace leads to contentment. This is revolutionary stuff! With achievable, albeit difficult, action steps. Paul’s secret steps to God’s peace and contentment.

Well, I need to be more like Paul. What about you?

November 30, 2011

Choosing to See the Gifts…and the Giver

Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , ,

I thought this post from Emily Freeman was beautiful.

“Find the gifts that point to the Giver and be curious in your longing.  Do not discount any season you might be in.  Do not wave away that deep desire for more.  Begin wtih the gifts at your feet and see where they take you.”

November 26, 2011

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
Tags: ,

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

September 7, 2011


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

I follow a blog called A Holy Experience.  Ann, the author, signs her posts “All’s Grace.”  She emphasizes eucharisteo, or always giving thanks, even for the hard things.

This is where I glitch, like a computer unwilling to read the data.  See, I can handle I Thessalonians 5:18: “…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  But Ephesians 5:20?  “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”?

I’ve become a good deflector.  When I see something bad occur, I notice something worse that didn’t.  “We had a wreck, but praise the Lord we weren’t seriously hurt.”  “A tree hit our house, but at least we have insurance for that.”  “Those words hurt, but I do have other friends.”  I dance all around the painful, the ugly, the unpleasant.

What if that thing that I avoid, what I refuse to accept, what I turn away from- is exactly what God intended for me?  What if He sent those things that I would never choose expressly for my good?  What if I hold Him responsible for what I have deemed “bad”?  What if my perspective is so skewed by my self-centered nature that I need a whole new vision?

This family’s testimony of grace is astonishing:

My God is gracious…but I don’t always know what that looks like.  I’m not who determines what is “good” or “bad.”  He is the potter (Isaiah 64:8) and the gardener (John 15), shaping and pruning at His discretionHe knows what is truly good.  My part is to present myself to Him, as a living sacrifice, to be transformed by Him, so that I can know His will, and what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2, my paraphrase)

And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen youI Peter 5:10

November 24, 2010


Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 9:09 AM
Tags: , , ,

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I Thessalonians 5:18

Each day, I check this blog for comments.  And I wonder:

Does anyone care?

Do they understand?

Are you listening?

And there is a comment.  Some brave, loving person who has chosen to say:

I am with you.

I care about you.

You are not alone.

And it means so much.  So very, very much.

To my knowledge, only one of you has ever experienced infertility.

But we’ve all experienced pain.

We all know Christ.

And we all love.

I’ve tried to imagine how you feel, reading these thoughts, this pounding out of hurts on a keyboard.  I’ve worried that I’ll put a dent in the happiness of your lives.  But I guess that’s part of friendship.

I’ve wondered how you feel, commenting, responding to what I’ve expressed.  I know that I always feel awkward, inadequate, and tongue-tied when I’m confronted with someone who’s hurting.  As if nothing I can say would matter, or I might make things worse!  Now that I’ve been on the other side of things, I don’t worry so much.

Each time you respond,

It helps.

It heals.

It dispels the myth that I’m alone in this battle.

And so, I am thankful.  Thankful for friends who take the risk of loving me enough.  Friends who care enough to be involved, even when it isn’t pleasant.  Friends with busy lives, who stop to read, and send along a prayer, a song, an encouragement, your love.

I’m thankful for a good marriage to a wonderful spouse, that has been strengthened when it could have been torn apart.

I’m thankful for the blessing of children in my life, and their love and affection.  Thank you, Krista & Lisa, for sharing them with me.

I’m thankful for a God who has my best in His heart…and walks beside me through my pain.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: