Live Independently of My Circumstances

Recently I celebrated my 30th birthday


Each year on my birthday, my husband takes the kids, and I get to go off to a lovely coffee shop, buy a $5 large coffee ice cream drink (with whipped cream) and spend some much needed time evaluating the last year and planning for the next.

This year I was a little disappointed because we had planned to have some time to reevaluate together BEFORE I had my alone time.

I wanted him to change some things –

 I wanted him to change some our schedule

 I wanted him to change some priorities

 But I’m glad that the Lord worked it out that way because as I sat there, in one of the rare grown-up, sophisticated, (quiet!!) environments I get to be in in the whole year, feeling a little miffed that we hadn’t had that conversation in which he was going to make all those great changes I had planned for him, I realized one important thing that I hope to carry through the coming year -

The only thing I can control is ME.

I can’t control if my husband throws off my evening or morning routines, but I’m in control of 8:30am-4:30 each day.

I can’t control if the kids are whiney (though it is my job to train them), but I can control if I blow up at them.

I can’t control if the house is old and frustrating, but I can make the best of it and keep it as picked up as possible

I can’t control the economy, but I can control if I give in to fear.

Circumstances can stink. Plans get ruined. Dreams die.

But I CAN still stand strong.

This morning the kids and I were working on Psalm 1 in our devotions.

1 Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree

planted by streams of water

that yields its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

4 The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

I drew two trees for them.

The one was a strong and firmly rooted tree beside a river, and the other was a sickly tree barely hanging on.

It was a helpful picture. No matter what our circumstances are, no matter if the kids are whiney, jobs are lost, the economy does a nose dive, we can stand strong – firmly rooted in Him, His promises and His commands.

This last year, I watched Lydia and Matthew go through the hardest year of their marriage as Matthew finished his last difficult year of seminary. Finances were tight. Classes were heavy. Obligations were insane. Jobs were demanding.

Yet Lydia always responded rightly. Again and again I saw her remain calm when I would have been convulsing on the floor.

Late in the year she mentioned to me that at the top of her TO-DO list every day she would write “Live Independently of My Circumstances.”

No matter what happened (and plenty happened this year for them), she tried to respond rightly.

Circumstances were hard, but she stayed focused on Him.

I saw my sister be a strong tree.

She faithfully trained her children, faithfully encouraged Matthew, and faithfully responded rightly again and again.

So as I stand, looking out at (hopefully) another 30 years, I hope that I can learn from my little sister. :-)

Live Independently of My Circumstances and Live Dependently on Him.


4 thoughts on “Live Independently of My Circumstances

  1. Jeanne

    There are no words strong enough to tell how much I love this post! I think that what you are referring to might well be what matters most in life. That life is not about having x,y,z goals but rather, trying to always stay 100% present and grateful for whatever challenge life throws on our path. And that is what changes the world for the better. It’s hard and I forget it most of the time but when I can open my heart enough to rise above the cirumstances, the joy I feel is so strong, it tells me that’s the way!

    1. Jeanne

      Oh and I almost forgot: Happy Birthday!!! Such a wonderful tradition to have some time alone to reflect on your birthday!

    2. Admin Post author

      Isn’t it amazing though how hard it is to remember this though!? I feel like I sometimes MINUTELY struggle to stay focused.

      Praise the Lord that there is Truth that is beyond the temporal that we can look to.

      Even this afternoon I’ve struggled again. Thank you for your comment. :-)


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