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In Chapter Two, Content with Circumstances, I loved what Linda Dillow shared to illustrate how we always have a choice as to how we will view our circumstances.

“Two women looked through prison bars.  One saw mud, the other saw stars.”

seeing the stars 300x225 Calm My Anxious Heart: Do You See Mud or the Stars?

The point is this – each of us have circumstances that appear to be prison bars in our lives.  We can choose to focus on the mud or lift our eyes and see the stars. Linda  says, “God wants you and me to learn to be content in our present circumstances, not when they improve.”

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Well I have to admit it was a challenge for me not to let complaints come out of my mouth over the last couple of weeks.

Honestly, the first few days, while the thought not to complain (even about the weather) was on the forefront of my mind, I was able to hold my tongue and perhaps even my thinking (which is the point right?)

Our thinking is what controls our attitude and our attitude controls what comes out our mouth- right?

So I didn’t complain for many days.

I didn’t have a chance to test myself on a cold winter morning on the golf course, as I ended up accompanying a new friend to her doctor’s appointment, but I sure was tested when our new Keurig Coffee maker stopped working.  While trying to fix it I managed to knock over and break a favorite mug given to me by a super dear friend.

broken cup e1359332702741 Calm My Anxious Heart Chapter 1 Update

I have plenty of mugs- but I Ioved this one

Aurgh I was irritated!  But in catching myself from complaining, I stopped and thought- instead of feeling mad and discontent what can I do?  So I decided to try to glue the two broken pieces of the mug handle back on the mug.  I found some super glue-type stuff in a drawer and gave it a try.  No go!

Ok, well what else can I do?  How about see if I really can fix or replace the coffee maker?  I found the manual and called the service department.  They walked me through a bunch of steps to take with the machine to see if we could get coffee to start coming out again and when the steps didn’t work, the nice man helping me said they would send us a new Keurig.  Great! And it arrived within days!

Note to self- “Don’t waste time complaining either suck it up or do something about it!”

Later that week I was at a dinner event in a venue that has no heat.  At first I was just a little chilly.  Then as the evening went on I became uncomfortably cold and then ends of my fingers were turning white and my toes inside my boots were numb.  I admit I complained- out loud to others who commiserated with me.

Did it make me feel any warmer to complain about it out loud?  NO!

I don’t know why I couldn’t seem to keep myself from complaining about the situation.  Maybe it was the absurdity of it to me –  A meeting venue for a women’s dinner event with no heat?  If the heat was just not working for the night, then I know I would have had tolerance and grace for the situation.

But there are people living without heat and people on the streets – and I’m complaining about a few hours of no heat?

That is what is absurd!  Aurgh is right!

“Lord, help me with my absurd attitude of needing and expecting all things to go right and for me to be comfortable.” 

So I realize I need to work on this ingredient of being content by not complaining.  Not even about the weather. And I’m confident I will get better, with God’s help.

I’m still sad about my broken special coffee mug. 

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I absolutely love The Blessing Book by Linda Dillow, so when I saw that my church’s Women’s Bible Study was offering a book study on another one of Linda Dillow’s books, Calm My Anxious Heart, I signed up for it right away.

calmmyanxiousheart 199x300 A Study on Contentment: Calm My Anxious Heart  Chapter 1

I was just a few pages into reading the first chapter when I found that my thinking about what it means to have an “anxious heart” was challenged.   Linda Dillow suggests that the opposite of anxiousness is contentment.

 

I never thought of anxiousness and contentment that way.  For me, I would say that peace is the opposite of anxiousness.   I view peace as a state of the heart and contentment as an attitude- a state of behavior, not a state of the heart.

So right away she has me wondering, “Could changing an attitude or behavior change the state of my heart?”

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