Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Roaring 20s: Hear Their Hearts

This is a new column I'm adding to That Girl's blog. I call it 'The Roaring 20s" because the authors who have been invited to write a column as they get inspiration, are in their 20s. They also happen to be our daughters Grace and Mary.
They both joyfully love the Lord, daily seek Him in their passion to be faithful to Him, and by His grace are willing to be used by Him. I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness to God for what He continues to do in them. Frankly, they inspire me as I watch them enthusiastically struggle and strive to live for God. I freely seek their 20-something perspectives, asking them, "What do you think about this idea?" I think it is important to let our children speak -- and then listen -- to what's in their hearts! So I've asked them as my "Little Sistas" to share their hearts here as the Lord leads them to write something. Recently, Grace shared the following message on Facebook and I was moved by her openness to share her heart and her God with the world. I asked her if I could publish it here, too, and here it is!
Random Musings on Contentment
by Grace Balint
If you've ever met me, you know I'm a high-energy, generally VERY happy person. I often wake up with a smile on my face because guess what? Today's another chance to live a day in my life! I serve a risen Lord, I live in Pasadena (the greatest town ever created) and I have a blessed, amazing, adventure-filled life. Seems like I've got it made, huh? You're invited to keep reading.
Lately (especially the past few weeks lately!) I've been incredibly frustrated, confused and ...well, NOT happy. (There's a lot going on that I don't care to get into just now). I definitely have moments of happiness and excitement (just the other day, I ran UP the DOWN escalator at the mall..not as hard as it might seem, the first step is definitely the hardest, and the end result is a bit of an adrenaline rush!) but I'm not at all excited about where my life's headed at the moment. So, I've been thinking...
The Bible is VERY clear that God's "best" for us is to be content. As happy as I usually am, it is exceedingly rare that I truly feel content. My days often go like this: wakeup, morning routine, think about the events of the day while doing morning routines, go to the office and work while looking forward to NOT being at the office late, going home (and thinking about what to wear to 24 to workout) then going to 24, while at 24 (after deciding if I'm doing cardio, weights, or taking a class) thinking about what's for dinner, making/eating diner while trying to decide if I'm going to be productive and either practice piano, clean my apartment, or simply relax and was Beverly Hills, 90210 (I'm in Season 6 now!) before going to bed and then starting the whole monotonous process over again.
I remember two deliciously wonderful moments, both of which, for some reason, happened in the same week just last year. My small group had planned a day at the beach--my favorite place in the world--and I was stoked! Since I'm such a high-energy person who feels the need to be constantly stimulated, I pretty much always carry a book and an iPod so I will never be bored. I was quite surprised to discover (after slapping on sunblock, sunglasses and hat, and settling in my rainbow beach chair) that I was perfectly happy to sit there, relax, and listen to my friends talk. I occasionally added a comment to the conversation or asked a question, but mostly just enjoyed being there. I had no desire to pick up my book or turn on my iPod. There was nowhere else I wanted to go, nowhere else I wanted to be, and nothing else I wanted to do. I was completely and totally content. How delicious. :0)
Later that week, I was with my best friend at the time, an amazingly wonderful human being (and I really wish God made more men like this) that I was incredibly close to. I really considered him more like a family member than a dear friend. We were sitting on his couch watching ?? and as the hour got late, I ended up leaning against him and he wrapped his arms around me. He soon fell asleep. His calm, steady breathing started to lull me to sleep as well, until I realized that since I was leaning into him, I could feel his heart beating. If you've ever held a newborn baby (you know how its heart beats like a hummingbird's wings?), or felt anyone's heart beat, really, you know what a magically beautiful, calming experience it is. My sense of calm deepened, and once again I realized: there was nowhere else I wanted to go, nowhere else I wanted to be, and nothing else I wanted to do. I was completely and totally content. How delightful. :0)
Reflecting on these two moments, particularly the latter one, I'm reminded of Phil Wickham's worshipful song about the comfort Jesus provides; here are the lyrics (my favorite part):
"You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world
Are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms"
I think this might be the "key" to finding and maintaining a constant feeling of contentment. If I can remember that wherever I go, whatever I do, Jesus Christ goes with me and I am safe in His arms, I have absolutely no reason to NOT be content! Hakuna matata, mate, Jesus Christ has got my back! And, He will hold me in His everlasting arms until I go to heaven and meet Him in person! You're invited to join me on this "quest for contentment," and I'm sure the end result wil be...well..deliciously delightful :0).
"Godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment."
1 Timothy 6:6
"Be content with what you have."
Hebrew 13:5
"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am."
Philippians 4:11