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Seeking my own happiness is not the goal of life. I have really come to understand this lately. So many things have happened in the past few weeks, but this one thing has remained in my mind.
My happiness should not be a goal.
Sounds contradictory to what the world tells us, huh?
Seek more things.
Seek your comfort.
Have ME time.
You deserve it.
That only leads to entitlement, selfishness, and emptiness.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
It does not say to seek your desires and He will bless them.
It says seek HIM first.
He knows what we need. It is actually freeing to know that I do not have to seek what I want, but what He wants. He will take care of me beyond my needs and expectations.
And even if this world is hard and I am rarely comfortable here on earth, in heaven, there will be eternal joy and comfort.
Awhile back I read an article that interviewed a famous chef. I was appalled at her focus.
She spoke about parenting and about marriage and it was completely "me focused." For example, she stated, "Women tend to give up their own dreams for their husband's and children. But if you do, you will feel trapped. We should take a lesson from men in general, they're a lot more selfish than we are. My grandfather lived a long, fabulous life, but I don't think he spent one minute doing something for someone else that he didn't want to do."
I get it. I get that this is what society teaches us.
But it is not what the Bible teaches us.
The Bible says we are to love others as ourselves and put others interests above ours. I believe as a mom, that means first and foremost our children's needs.
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves."
If we could let go of the idea that if I put someone first, then I won't get taken care of...it would make more sense.
You see, going back to Matthew 6:33 we are to seek His kingdom first.
Not our needs.
"and all of these things will be given to us as well... "
So if we seek Him first, and the Bible tells us to put others first, He will take care of US.
We do not need to put ourselves first.
And personally, I would rather have Him looking after my needs, than me trying to do it :)
How many times do I seek my own comfort above others?
Don't bother me, I'm on the phone...
I just want quiet!
Look at all I've done today...can someone help me?
I am ashamed of these things.
I had the amazing opportunity to see an example of Romans 12:10 in action recently, and it is a picture I will not soon forget. I know God divinely orchestrated the events of our RV trip for many purposes, and this situation was surely one of them.
When we were having trouble with the RV, we unexpectedly stayed with my husband's grandparents for three days. They are married 70 years and are an example I can learn immeasurably from.
Here we were in need and they took us in. We showed up with four children in tow, and they fed us, gave up rooms for us to stay, and comforted us. They helped do anything they could to make us comfortable during a very stressful time.
Watching my husband's 90 year old grandmother in action was inspiring. She has more energy than I do and is truly a Proverbs 31 woman. Even though I wanted to help with cooking, she wouldn't have it. She served us.
She puts her husband first. She is ready waiting for him when he wakes and serves him his meals. There is no feeling of "having" to do it, but she wants to do it. She doesn't put herself in a lower position or do these things in a way that makes her inferior. In fact, her actions make her far superior in my eyes.
"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life."
Truly putting other's needs first because you want to, not because you have to. Because you trust your needs will get taken care of by the One who can only provide anyway...
That is something to aspire to.
"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
So when the world tells us we need "me" time. Put yourself first. Look out for yourself...
The Bible says put others first. Seek Him, not your own comfort.
And trust in HIM to provide the rest.
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