Sunday, April 12, 2009

Learning Contentment

Recently I read a couple of posts that really resonated with me. Both of these posts hit on something I think about all the time in my blogging, my desire to be authentic. While most of you who read this are dear friends, obviously one has to be cautious before airing her dirty laundry. At

However, I also have no desire to lead you all to believe that I'm always happy, optimistic, carefree and content. If you've spent any time with me at all you might be chuckling right now because I am just not always these things. I want to be real.

The truth is that like most people that are made of skin, heart, bones and soul I have my good days and bad ones, good attitudes and rotten ones.

So today I'll share a little of the rotten-ness.


I'm really struggling with it. It seems to be a theme in my life that God is addressing, and when it shows up in more than two places in my life ie; conversations, Bible Study, in my book , and in my brain and heart, I know well enough by now to look up at the One who made me and ask for help.

What are you doing in me God? Can you fix, tomorrow? (speaking of discontent...)

So the deal is this; I'm discontent with the size of our house. I KNOW, I know, we have a 2000 square foot house, the most house we've ever had! And I could go on and on about how small it gets when we're all at home, which is all the time (I home school and Ralph works from home) but I'll just mention it and go on. I don' t want to make excuses.

Let me tell you too that I LOVE our home. It's beautiful. I LOVE our neighborhood. I have canyon access and run there, our neighbors are friendly. My kitchen works well for me, I love the tile in my bathroom, I love the windows in our home, I am pretty content to school right at my kitchen table which is the most logical place. I love my family so much, and I love it that we all stay home together. All that being said, I'm somehow discontent.

(I'm not even going to tell you have miserably yucky I feel about being discontent about the size of my home in a day when others around me are foreclosing and trying desperately to sell their homes. We just won't go there. Needless to say, I feel pathetic.)

But I'm not wanting to talk about all that. I'll get over this discontent, eventually. I want to address the discontentment in general.

Phillipians 4:11
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

I'm not there. I want to be.

Ironically, the Bible Study we started last week at church is on the very subject. So I already know God is wanting to do a new thing in me. Maybe I'll even update you along this path with me.

Phillipians 4:12
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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.

Notice in both of the scriptures I quoted, it speaks of "learning to be content." This concept makes me very, very happy. It makes me happy because I know that contentment isn't a built in character trait that only some have. It's something to be attained. Truthfully, I have only met one person in my lifetime that appeared to have learned contentment. So, we have hope friends! (unless of course you're perfectly content)

1 Timothy 6:8
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

God has clearly mapped out for us what it is to be content, and what the benefits are. So now, I just have to get on the bus. I think the beginning of that journey for me looks like a whole lot of thankfulness, and pursuiting my identity in Christ.

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Knowing that our gracious, loving God cares for us and intends to meet each of our needs in ways we can't even fathom is essential. If we don't KNOW our God, know how much He wants to be all we need, we just can't attain contentment. And I have a great hope, a great promise...

Jeremiah 29:11 says;
I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

John Adams Elder
c. 1880s
Oil on canvas
Virginia Historical Society


Amy said...

lol... love your tag... God,!!

Oh girl!!! I am sooooooo with you! I cannot tell you how much I so understand! And all I can ask is one thing.. will you pray for me and I will pray for you??


help me, Jesus, in my discontentment...ugh... such an ugly beast it is!

runninggal said...

Like Curtis said today, none of this stuff on earth matters at all - our hope and joy come from HIM...yet I totally relate with you!!

I don't like our home at all!! Bad location - seemingly dangerous for our family with a busy road - and it's so little...

But it's so funny ... I get this way every school year by this time of the year and then sometime during the summer - after not being home for months and just living outside, hiking trails or living in our trailer, it all falls into perspective again. Last summer, I was ready to sell our home to get a SMALLER home - simpler, cheaper, easier - and now, I want a bigger and better home again.

But, after time out in His creation, contentment fills my heart, what truly matters is all I partake of, and stuff of earth (like my house) is suddenly not so important any more. So all that to say, I am craving the mountains! I need some of God's medicine that only comes for me when i get away from all this stuff and hubbub and just hang out with Him and my family and friends.

(doesn't stop me from being happy every time I see the for sale sign in our yard though!!)

Karyn said...

Satan keeps whispering discontent in our ears while God whispers "your circumstances do NOT make you discontent, your heart does."
I'm sorry you're struggling friend, but the truth is that I don't know a woman who doesn't struggle with it to some extent! (good time for the current Bible study, huh! :)
Thank you for your genuiness and sincerity while you work through your struggle.
(maybe a few less kisses)

p.s. Is Stewart ok?

Deb said...

Wish I could be at the study every week to struggle through this with you. I have Insight tomorrow though. ;-)

Cathy said...

Excellent, excellent post, my friend. Something we ALL need to continue to grow and learn in...