Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Take delight in the LORD,  
and he will give you the desires of your heart.  
Psalms 37:4 (NIV)

My thoughts this week... all week long... have been about the subject of our heart's desires.  I'm not certain what sparked the first ponder but it seems to have been in front of me all week in the form of words spoken by others, written sentences, and even shared Scripture.  It seemed as if our Lord wanted to imprint the idea into my mind all week.

I have often felt one of the most important lessons learned in my life is that of learning to acknowledge the Presence of God in the midst of foggy, cloudy, and hazy faith.  Like most people my age... as I have mentioned before... I was taught what success was suppose to look like, only to realize it was mostly an altar to false gods. 

No wonder antidepressants, alcohol, and drug abuse are so prevalent in our society.  So many people did get what they thought they wanted only to find... emptiness.

I think my first lesson learned about receiving my heart's desires came when I learned what they truly were.  For it was often in the midst of trials and tribulation that true desires of the heart... those things which bring joy to my life... were realized. 

It was not so much the big stuff... although they could bring temporary happiness... the new car smells... a longed for vacation... the new house... the promotion when I was still part of a corporate lifestyle.  They were good but fleeting.

I came to realize that heart's desires were more about a lifestyle than the stuff for which we long.  Which is why the Book can promise us that as we take delight in Him... we will realize our heart's desires. 

Oh, I know the great teachers of the Word tell us that is due to our will being in tune with His will and that He actually places those desires within us.

I'm certain that is true about the big stuff... our gifts and our bents and our great desires... whom we desire to marry and perhaps even the friends to whom we find ourselves drawn through the years.  I know the book of Acts tells us He puts us in the place and the time of history in which He designed us to live.  I know all of that.

But I'm talking about the little things... those which bring joy to our heart and a smile to our face in the moment to moment to moment... day in and day out living of life.  It is as we grow in Him that we put ourselves in a position to be blessed. 

When we can honestly say, "Your will and not mine be done in my life".  When we no longer stomp our feet and pout and shake our fist toward the heavenlies to demand what we want... now!

For when we tell him we have to have this or nothing thank you very much... we are making an idol of whatever this is to us.  But when we lay our Isaac down... sometimes He gives us that desire and we thank Him.  Sometimes He does not but even then we must thank Him for His gifts.  That has taken a lifetime of learning.

So... that is why I can thank Him for seeds that grow, and pretty teacups, and Victoria coming to live with us after Sasha's passing, and five dollars given for gas, and unexpected gifts of herbs and books and pretty things and needed stuff, and the surprise gift just when I wanted to purchase items for the garden.

I can thank Him when the weeds in my yard started blooming with the most beautiful of flowers, and notes or e-mails from friends, and lovely writing by like-minded bloggers, and the lunch-movie early birthday gift from certain sons, and the gift of chocolate and K-cups from my daughter in her father's suitcase, and hubby spending hours getting the lawn to look perfect... etc.

Oh, there have been the big stuff from time to time.  This house at the edge of the forest that I love.  My daughter's healthy birth after her brother's premature birth and passing.  My son's unexpected coming along twelve years later.  Both after being told I may never be able to carry a child full term. 

There have been other houses and cars and pretty furniture and art work and careers and lovely homeschooling days.  There were graduations and wedding and holidays and reunions and all the other longed for events.  All for which I am eternally grateful.

But really... it is the small stuff that makes a lifetime of gratitude.  When we realize it is the stuff found of Eden for which our heart yearns... the beautiful... the peaceful... the people... and most of all... the Presence. 

All found when we yield our desires to the One who Created us.  When our search finds us at the altars of the false gods of materialism and coveting and demanding our way, even if we do get what we wanted... we will still be empty inside.

I have almost heard in the distance... perhaps I did... Godly laughter when I found a gorgeous teacup for my collection at a garage sale for pennies... or when I have become excited over a perfectly shaped garden tomato... or even when I opened a gift and I knew that it all started with His placing thoughts of me in the heart of a friend.

When the stuff of God becomes our delight, He truly takes joy in gifting us and watching our response in thankfulness to Him. 

10 comments:

Storybook Woods said...

Beautiful post Breanda, I really loved your last sentance

"When the stuff of God becomes our delight, He truly takes joy in gifting us and watching our response in thankfulness to Him."

I needed this reminder!! Clarice

Ann said...

Wonderful post ... deep food for thought and so appropriate for these days and time. Blessings,

Cheryl said...

Having just been through a crazy busy few weeks, I am behind on my blog reading, so it was a treat this afternoon to read your last few posts. Loved seeing your herb garden and reading about your New England visit...but today's edition of "Sunday Afternoon Tea" was a delightful read! I struggle all the time with the proper balance between the "stuff of earth" (as I blogged about recently) and the eternal...and yet, somehow, I know that God has given us gifts (and that is truly what they are...gifts) to enjoy...and for His glory. Thank you so much for your ponderings, friend.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Such a lovely and TRUE post...The thought of anyone stomping their feet and telling God what to do would almost make me laugh out loud if I didn't realize that many people do that very futile and ridiculous and self-defeating thing....There is so much all around to make all of us happy if we open our eyes and look. Now there is real and terrible suffering in the world and I don't want to pass it by blindly without a compassionate heart and some attempt to do something if I can. But in most of our lives, cultivating the eyes that see and the heart which is grateful and loving is the ambition which will bring us the happiness.

I just had a beautiful few days when my distant daughter and her daughters were here and there was a family party because a nephew from Alaska was here with his two sons whom we almost never get to see. My heart is full of gratitude for these special blessings.

You say this all so beautifully, Brenda. Thank you!

Jayne said...

Everything you say is so true, but I also think you probably have to be over a certain age to really appreciate these truths! You take a lot for granted in your youth, and gradually true appreciation of life and God's goodness grows x

freetobeme - Anita said...

Thanks for sharing from the depths of your heart. God loves you and so do I.

Vee said...

Having done a bit of stomping about this week, I feel properly chastised. What might I have done if I hadn't been so cold and miserable and achy and annoyed? Better things that's what!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Brenda,

Beautiful thoughts on this Sunday!

I think it is an awakening - the Lord opening our eyes to see the beauty in ordinary days, and simple things, the joys of the garden, the blessing of children - and grandchildren, the bliss of tea in a beautiful teacup and the happiness of sharing it with a friend!

Yes, the Lord wants us to be thankful and aware of His provision of these things for us!

Deanna

Debbie S said...

Thank you so much for this post. I needed the reminder and you wrote it so eloquently.

May your week be filled with Godly laughter as He blesses you again and again.

{ T G L } said...

Wise words... and I think this pretty much sums up why I love tea so much: it is a simple delight, a moment in time in which we can reflect and enjoy. Taking tea for me is an act of kindness and grace towards myself - and others if they partake of it too. Tea is a great leveler. I love sitting down with a steaming cup and just being in the moment and being grateful for the blessings in my life!

By the way, if you like tea - feel free to check out my tea Give Away :)

Blessings,
This Good Life