Reflection Connection

I have a little 800 gallon 12′ x 3′ pool that I set up in the summer-time. It’s not much, but it’s an oasis during the heavy heat of summer in the South.

I lie back and relax on my lounge raft, stare at the Carolina blue sky and dream about having a real pool someday. What will that be like? I’ll be so happy when that day comes. Until then I’ll just bide my time with this silly kiddie pool. I want bigger. I want better. Sigh.

Last weekend I decided to take a selfie lounging in the pool. When I looked at the photo later, I noticed the lovely reflection of the sky, clouds and trees in the water surrounding me. This started me thinking….

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Calm water reflects whatever stands above it. Perfectly. No matter what size the body of water is. A puddle can show a flawless reflection when undisturbed, just as well as a pond or a lake.

Do you ever find yourself wishing for something “bigger?” Thinking that maybe you’ll be a better giver, or a better volunteer, a better friend, a better Christian – once you get more income, that better car, that life you’ve always dreamed of having? Do you bypass being an impact right where you are because you are waiting for something else? Or, do you feel like your position in life isn’t meaningful enough to make a difference?

All lies. None of it’s true.

We should all dream and strive to be better. But many times we miss where we are RIGHT NOW. After all, right now is all that is guaranteed.

As I reflected (ha), I realized how grateful I was for that little private 800 gallon oasis. I realized that is where I am right now in life, and that it is good. Maybe that “real” pool is in my future, and maybe it’s not. But right here, right now, I have this one. And it’s pretty awesome. I stopped longing for something else and made a decision to enjoy the present.

You can be the same reflection of Christ no matter what your current position in life. Whether you are self-employed, one of thousands at a corporation, a stay-at-home Mom who drives the carpool, or standing for hours in the unemployment line – you can still reflect and live the character of Christ.

We are all made in His Image. We all have the same capacity to reflect Him – and we all have the same power and potential to be Christ-like in our daily lives. Our character is worth more than our “position,” and others are watching our reflection.

So, be still and KNOW that He is God. Stop thrashing about, disturbing the waters, distorting the reflection. Be faithful in the little things, so that He can trust you with the bigger things He wants to give you.

Be present. Be still. Be bold. Be grateful for who you are and where you are.

Be the best YOU by reflecting the One who made you YOU.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 NAS

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Contentment In All Circumstances

Do you ever struggle with being discontented? Do you find yourself wishing for more of something, whether it is money, possessions or relationships?

I suppose we all do on some level. As an American, I know that I sometimes struggle with not “having” the things I “want.” We are indeed spoiled and have a generally skewed idea of what our needs are versus our wants.

I also struggle with being alone sometimes. Most people my age have a husband, children, in-laws. So far, I don’t. And maybe I won’t. Only God knows what the future holds.

As I grow older I am learning to understand what Paul meant in his letter to the Philippians when he said, “I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. Christ gives me the strength to face anything.” (4:11-13 CEV)

Webster says that satisfaction is: fulfillment of ones wishes, expectations or needs, and the pleasure derived from this.

Contented means: manifesting satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.

Of course I don’t actually know what it is like to have nothing and to go hungry. I have been blessed in my life to never know that pain. I do my best to reach out to those in greater physical need.

But, I think Paul is talking about all kinds of needs when he says “poor” or “plenty.” He was in prison when he wrote this, so he must have been feeling poor in all areas of his life. Even if we have enough to have food, shelter and clothing, we all understand loneliness.

We can all apply Paul’s principle of contentment to our lives. It is necessary for peace and happiness to be satisfied with whatever season of life we are living in. If we constantly focus on what “could be” or what we think “should be” then we will miss the valuable lessons we are to learn right where we are. Choosing contentment builds character.

There will be difficult days. There will be lonely days, even if you are not alone. There will be financial trials and hard times in our relationships. There will also be days when everything goes well – we feel good, our bills are paid, and the sun is shining.

We must be satisfied and content in our relationship with God so that these swings up and down will not affect our solidarity and our happiness. We must choose to always be grateful for what we have.

Choose to thank God for His provision that never fails us.

Believe that Christ is sufficient for us, and that through Him we have the strength to face anything.

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No matter what your circumstance is this day, give thanks in contentment to God who supplies all your needs. He provided for you yesterday, and He will provide for you tomorrow.

He promised to be EVERYTHING you need – financially, emotionally, spiritually.

When you think about that promise, it is much easier to choose contentment.

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CONTENTMENT

My niece, Nikki, wrote a beautiful tribute to her Grandma Johnson on her Monday blog (hope you read it!). Mom was “the real deal”; no pretense about her at all. Mom was always concerned about everyone else’s needs above her own.

But, Mom also had a delightful sense of humor! She would giggle and laugh at herself and anything that “tickled her funny bone”!!! I am happy to say that I inherited the same “funny bone.” Mom told me her Mother, my Grandma Pearson, and her Mother’s Mother, my Great-Grandma White, all were gigglers. (And I have noticed that my daughter and niece also are gigglers!)

What I am sharing with you today is a thought I had a few days ago that made me giggle out loud even though no one else heard it but God, since He was the one I was talking to.

This is my second summer in the North-Central part of the Florida panhandle. The heat here is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I am renting a mobile home with no air conditioner, just a window unit and many fans.

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There are days and even nights when I cry out to the Lord for relief. Sure, a tropical rain storm will come and the air will cool down a few degrees, but afterward it is even more humid than before. And there are bugs you’ve never even heard of or seen before, and they all seem to like me!!!

I asked God about His wisdom in sending me here (not a good thing to do!), and He reminded me of His servant Paul the Apostle. In chapter 4 of his letter to the Philippians he is instructing them to be content. As I brought to memory the 11th verse and quoted it outloud….it tickled my “funny bone” and the giggles began.

I giggled and laughed with God when I realized that verse in the King James Version says to be content in whatever state you are in! I know; different kind of state! But, as I write this I am giggling at even God’s sense of humor because I am in the state of Florida and complaining about the heat, humidity and bugs.

Paul endured much for the spreading of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. His encouragement in his letter to the Philippians is a check of my attitude. That I am content no matter where I am or what I own is a freedom in my innermost being. I love where I am! God is using my gifts in so many ways. That kind of joy is so deep it causes me to giggle.

Philippians 4:11 (New King James Version)
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have LEARNED in WHATEVER STATE I AM, to be CONTENT.”

Philippians 4:11 (New International Version)
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have LEARNED to be CONTENT whatever the circumstances.”

I like the NIV translation of verse 12, “I have LEARNED the SECRET of being CONTENT in any and every situation.”

‘NUFF SAID!!!

Anyone with me on this checking of my CONTENTMENT BAROMETER?

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