What is the secret to contentment?

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, there in to be content.”  Helen Keller

What is the secret to contentment?

It can be found in these bible verses:

screensaver Phil 4:11-13

This week we are reading Chapter 10 in Let. It. Go and it is titled: Embracing Your What-evvv-er.

Begin by watching video clip on this chapter:

Let it Go Group Bible Study by Karen Ehman – Session 5 Clip


We begin by discussing Comparisons!

I found this photo on pinterest … one of the very places we may be tempted to compare ourselves to others. But like other social media outlets, we can find encouragement as well. One perspective I try to have when viewing others photos is to:

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/22095854398217471/?fb_ref=22095991830218422%3AX49MlaQuxIO4rNhH2oh5 Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.47.00 AMGalatians 6:4

And when we rejoice and/or mourn with others, we do find joy!Yes, even in the mourning!

God showed me these truths in very real ways on Wednesday. My morning began with preparation for the day at Hope. I was really looking forward to the Moms Celebration. I love when people share their testimonies. One of the testimonies I was familiar with because I had the privilege of praying along side this “younger sister” friend as she dealt with the aftermath of a scary event, that had a miraculous outcome but also scarred her with fear and tested her faith. I also had the opportunity to pray with my own teen daughter that was impacted by the story. The near death of this sweet 2 year old that she babysits and as she said “I was just cuddling with him last week!” Feeling someone’s pain and fear is not joyful in the moment but God does use it to transform us and allow us to love others in a deeper way. And we need His Strength to do it.

Ali bravely videotaped (I taught her to use the tripod and I pushed the record button… yea… sometimes God uses my “gifts” in practical ways 🙂 the testimony and was compelled to share it on social media this weekend (after several deep breaths and relying God’s prompting). For all of you that were not there, here is the recording and if you did hear it, the video is still amazing, she added a slideshow of her sweet boy Jack to the song Oceans which is part of her testimony.

The miraculous story of a 2 year old who survived a drowning, and how God comforted his mother as she grappled with intense fear for months afterward. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMjJBmzSx1s&feature=youtu.be

I get teary every time I hear this but just now I laughed at this particular quote in light of our social media discussion:

“Say what you will about Facebook, but God can speak to you through anything.” … He gave Ali this piece of His Word:

Habakkuk 3:17-19  (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

Back to my early morning… I was also looking forward to hearing Kimberly’s testimony, which I had know idea what it entailed, and to hearing Tammy Oppenhuizen sing, her voice gives me goosebumps, good goosebumps, and to hear Christian Seay accompany her. I can’t remember ever hearing him but I see his name in my laundry!!! Yes, he is part of the Hope Student Ministries worship team and my teen daughter has a concert T-shirt with his name on it!   All of this proved to exceed my expectations.

Besides looking forward to this amazing morning, I was sitting down with this laptop at 6:30am attempting to create the handout of questions and insights for our Moms of Teens class following the celebration. Most weeks I get a list of chapter appropriate Moms of Teens questions from Shannon Milholland who is leading the same book at her new church in Chicago. I had not received it yet. I emailed Shannon and she quickly replied that they were not meeting this week. I was on my own! And it was already the morning of…crap! And a few comparisons attacked my thoughts. Comparisons to Shannon who started and lead this group before me. She was always prepared! She was a gifted teacher! ….Oh Comparisons….that is what we are talking about. I was reminded that I was not called to fill her shoes but to carry the torch. The torch of the Gospel. To let God work through me. And today he was telling me to skip the handout with prepared questions. To leave some open space today for others to share.

And guess what?? I LET IT (controlling by over-planning) GO!! I walked in faith!

I gathered my books and my camera, got dressed, and went to church early in time for prayer.

Here is the link to the photos:
>>>>>>>{moms at hope}<<<<<<<
Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story… Psalm 107:2
End of year celebration: Music by Tammy Oppenhuizen and Christian Seay   Speakers: Kimberly Allen and Ali Shinnick


And God was so faithful! I was prompted to ask if anyone was currently in a circumstance in which they were struggling to find contentment? And I allowed for silence…..I didn’t fill it up with my words…. that is a work of God in and of itself 🙂

And then the Holy Spirit moved hearts to share. And prompted and outpouring of love and prayer.

It was intense and powerful. Afterward, I was very reflective and prayerful. Not wanting to take over or control but listen for ways that God would have us act. And the next morning I was given a picture…on Instagram ! Here is what I wrote in an email about it:

Instagram pic of hsm serving

“I know we talked about how social media and photos don’t tell the whole story. And this can cause problems. But I also see snapshots as powerful. As we pray together in how best to show Godly love to our teens and to each other, I saw this picture as an answer. It was posted by Hope Student Ministries. These students were serving in the community together. It warmed my heart to recognize Shelley’s son smiling in the bottom right and his camo arm along side Angie’s daughter’s striped arm and the V space between them is my daughter’s smile! Their hands reaching together just as ours did in prayer earlier that same day. God is so awesome! And I love when I can see Him in the background of a picture! Prayer, Sharing struggles and brokenness, Service … all ways God draws us together to love one another.
Feeling grateful that He brought us together.”

As with most of my blog posts…I pour out what is on my heart and then I feel an abrupt ending coming on. And that is now!

xo, Melissa

2 thoughts on “What is the secret to contentment?

  1. Thank you for your sweet words about my testimony, Melissa! You have been SUCH a strong supporter and shoulder for me to lean on as I’ve walked this journey post-Jack’s accident. I appreciate you more than you know, friend. 🙂


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