In the Here and Now

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When I was a young wife and mother, Ray was a campus minister at a church in Oxford, Mississippi. I was blessed to know many Jesus-loving, family-focused, and hard-working older women in that congregation. I soaked up their examples and wisdom. I could mention many sweet sisters who taught me how to live, but one of the most special was tiny Miss Adene. She ran what we called “the needy closet.” That’s not a politically correct term today, but Miss Adene didn’t need politically correct terms; she was a servant who loved people in need and served them.

One of the many ways these ladies served was by planning an elaborate ladies day each year. These sometimes included creative skits. I am often reminded of one that dealt with the seasons of a mother’s life. It was based on the premise that people are often negative in their comments about our various seasons, saying things like, “Just wait until she gets to be two!” or “Just wait until he is a teenager.” We created a skit in which women in several seasons of life heard the typical negative comments, followed by a second act in which they heard encouraging words.

You’ve seen bumper stickers that say things like, “I’d rather be fishing!” or “I’d rather be at the beach!” The other day I saw one that said, “I’d rather be here now.” I like that. Sometimes it is hard to be content just where we are with our current set of circumstances.

I believe that one key to contentment is living in gratitude. On every dark day that I have experienced, God has given me something for which I can be grateful. He blesses. It is my job to recognize His gifts and to be grateful. Often that is far, far from easy. May God give us the faith and the gratitude to say with Paul:

. . . I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
Philippians 4:11, NASB



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