July 10, 2009

It Is Well

If you unhinged my head right now and peered in, I’m pretty sure you’d find a tangled, scramble-y mass of gray matter that used to be my brain. Ever since the kids have been home for the summer, I haven’t been able to unwind my schedule, my thoughts or my agenda from theirs. My brain feels agitated, disorganized and cluttered. I want to relax and hang out but I have work that needs to get done. I’m out of touch with my friends, both real and online, and feel disconnected and guilty about that.

I’m discovering that I’m not very good at balancing work and play when summer blurs the guardrails that keep them separate during the school year.

My soul wants rest. My body wants a day off. And my mind cries out, “No more!” But still work piles up on my to-do list and as much as I want to, there are just certain things I can’t blow off. Next week will be better, I promise myself.

Discontentment. It’s an easy place to settle in to. Before we know it, we get comfortable there and call it home. Unhappy with our circumstances, seeds of discontent take root. We think others have a better life than we do. Better kids. Better marriage. Better job. Better health. They have more friends, more money, more talent, more free time. We want what we don’t have. If only…

The Bible has a name for this condition and it’s called sin.

The apostle Paul, the poster child for a hard life, said “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13) The source of Paul’s contentment was found in one place alone: in Christ.

Content in every situation? I’ve got a looooong way to go before I can claim that. But in the past few days I’ve gleaned the truth of these verses. God’s word is alive and active. Reading scripture recently has settled my soul like a balm. Soothing, quieting, reassuring. Encountering the living God in the pages of this ancient text, showed me that even if I don’t figure out the craziness of my life right now, it’s not the point anyway.

Being one with Jesus is.

It is just as the hymnist wrote Horatio Spafford wrote in 1873:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well, indeed.


Anonymous said...

Kelli (almost spelled it with a 'y')-

The discontentment that you speak of, and then telling me that the Bible labels this as sin...it makes so much sense!!! I could feel it, but I didn't know to label it as such, the sin spinning within me when I am at my most discontent and unhappy points.

I have been through a lot in the past month, and it amazes me to come here today and read (yet another) wonderful post that speaks to me. Through your blogging and your writing, God is reaching out to me and many other people. In reading this, I am assured that the message He is sending me is reaching me and I am doing the right thing.

Thank you! Keep writing!

Much love-

JerryLyn said...

Wow, Kelli, does this hit home in a big way. One of the greatest advice to me as I became a single mom, was that it wasn't the circumstance you were put in, but your response to it. This subject of discontent is so real to me. From my perspective there times I compared myself to everyone else's life and their happy "picket fence" lives. But the words of this hymn and story behind have resounded with me for years during struggles. Thank you so much for sharing it at a time where my heart needed to be reminded again.

And your pic on the blog is so lovely...just as your soul and writing is...so precious to me!

Love, Jerry

Cheryl Barker said...

Praise God, Kelli, for the way His Word has settled your soul. It truly is a balm, isn't it? Be blessed!

Runner Mom said...

I love this song that Chris R. has redone! I love the original hymn as well.

I feel your "discombobulatedness"--that's a great word for Scrabble! When the kids are home, we are out of our routine. If just happens. Hang onto God, and He will settle our souls. Go for a run, you'll feel better--promise!


Terri Tiffany said...

Awesome post. This past two years I have had to learn a whole new kind of contentment--with God's plans for my life. Some good days, some not so. But when I am content--what a wonderful feeling.
I don't know what it's like to be home with kids in the summer. I always worked--I can imagine life is hectic!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Just being in the presence and with the presence of God and his Word always soothes my weary, well-worn soul. I, too, have had a very difficult time in balancing the summer routine. I'm over it, friend. We've been out since mid-May; it's time for their return.

Just speaking the truth...


Jody Hedlund said...

There are times I feel discontent too. Thanks for spelling it out like it is! I needed to hear that!

diyfrugal said...

Hi! Summers are tough but your advice is beautiful and so true.

Would love to connect soon. What's your schedule like? Want to do a picnic in the park somewhere with the kids?

Irritable Mother said...

Ah, yes, my friend. We are of similar circumstances!
So thankful for our Savior Who makes sense of it all.
Indeed, it is well!

Love you,

deb said...

popping over from the gratitude community inspired by Ann Voskamp
in a listening mood , instead of talking
these words fit so well, as I find myself a little lost in the hectic summer days, and don't want to wish them away , but still find their treasure.
I will be back to read through your site,