Monday, December 31, 2012

A resolute confession

Earlier this month, when we were housebound due to the creeping crud, we started listening to The Chronicles of Narnia on CD. (If you haven't done this, you should! Cuddle up and you'll have a cozy way to spend these long winter evenings, we promise!) Last week, we were somewhere in the middle of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and we heard something I've not stopped thinking about since.

Reepicheep, the (brave! valiant!) mouse who is an ally to Prince Caspian, realizes he's lost his tail in a battle and says, "I am confounded...I am completely out of countenance."

Do you know what? Completely out of countenance is exactly what I've been for days and weeks and even months, and while it's charming in a tiny talking mouse, it's not quite so flattering on me. I've allowed circumstances - and not bad or even slightly bad circumstances, just situations which have not proceeded according to my ideas and expectations - rob me of gladness and thanksgiving and courtesy. No, wait. The way in which I've responded to those situations has robbed me of those things. I have, in an awful nutshell, been throwing a long and constant temper tantrum, and when I stop to consider my behavior, it makes me cringe and squirm.

I'm so sorry that Jan Michael has been front and center, smack dab in the line of fire for all of this, but I'm also vastly relieved that he, the person who loves and understands me best, is the only one who has seen the worst of it. (And that, without question, he loves me still.)

Yuck and ick.

BUT! We are on the verge of a bright and shiny new year, and in it I am going - no ifs, ands or buts - to learn more about being content.

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5 

"...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content...I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillipians 4:11,13

Here are some of my favorite outdoor pictures from this last year, and I love them because when my attitude and heart are right, and I'm resting contentedly in God's love for me through Jesus, this is what everything, no matter what it is, looks like: