Saturday, September 19, 2009

Contentment

I really do love how the Lord works in my life. It is rather subtle but in an obvious sort of way. You know...when all the books or scriptures or sermons you hear all line up with a specific subject? Or when your heart is continually pierced by the same attitude or action you continue to exhibit? I have been there in the last few months. Several topics continue to pierce my heart...currently it is the topic of contentment...mostly as it pertains to complaining or self-pity. But, I am currently reading a book I LOVE and HIGHLY recommend...Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. In that book I see unfolding a lot more ways that I continually sabotage my own contentment even beyond complaining. I didn't even realize the depth of my own discontent and the habits I have that further it. Let me share some of this amazing book with you so that: a) you might be interested in picking it up and reading it yourself or b) you might be affected by what I share with you even if you never pick up the book!

First off is the list...the daunting list of a ..."prescription for contentment...
  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything-not even the weather. [Gasp...not even the WEATHER? But, I live in HOT, HUMID Arkansas...ugh]
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else. [Gee, not even on vacation with JUST my husband...or putting my kids on the bus instead of homeschooling them?]
  • Never compare your lot with another's. [But, Lord, her house is so much prettier than mine...her body is so THIN...sigh]
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise. [Lord, not even wishing for a daughter?]
  • Never dwell on tomorrow-remember that [tomorrow] is God's, not ours."[I guess dreaming of when my children will all be out of the toddler years is dwelling on tomorrow?]
I mean, come on...the book could stop right there. I could live on those points alone and STILL be working towards contentment the day I die. But, then she (Linda Dillow) adds this later in Chapter 4:

"When does a woman become an adult? Perhaps it's when she stops comparing her life to other women's. When she stops waiting for 'Mr. Right.' When she stops wishing she'd married someone else or that her children were at an easier stage [um...ouch]. We grow up when we see our life from God's perspective; when we thank God for the role He has assigned us and begin to see our cup as a gift instead of a cross; when each morning we ask, 'God, how can I glorify You today in my given role?' "

I guess for me it is this. Being pregnant, giving birth, raising an infant, raising toddlers, raising preschoolers, raising young children and then young adults...is hard. It is tiring. Some days I just KNOW there is an easier life waiting for me. And I KNOW I squander the joy right under my nose for the joy that doesn't even exist yet. The world is no help. "Oh I don't know HOW you do it. You must be so tired. I could NEVER do what you do. Are those all YOUR kids?" And the comments go on. And in the end...I feel all of these things. I can't do it. I don't know how I do it. They are ALL my kids...what was I thinking? :D But instead of thinking that way...and winding up discontent...I need to say, "I do it with God's help. It is a JOY. I am most blessed among women. Who is as blessed as me? To God's glory...this is my overflowing cup! I would want no other life than this one. So, with God's help...I will begin checking all of these discontented thoughts and bring them into captivity and make them obedient to Christ.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5



It can get heavy....the work that needs to be done in my heart. But, I am not without hope. God has shown His light here so that He and I can get to work on it. AndI am ready. I am ready to look at today and be thankful. To stop looking back and dreaming of what was or what could have been. To stop dreaming of tomorrow and the way it might be. None of that will bring contentment. None of it. Until I start living fully in today and all that God has blessed me with and stop the complaining and the pity party..I will always be miserable. God help me. I want joy. I want peace. I want contentment. Thank You so much Lord that there is contentment in YOU! ~M.

4 comments:

Grant Hutsell said...

Great insights. Contentment is no easy task, but attainable through Jesus. So many women and men can never grasp it and therefore have marriage, parenting, financial and emotional issues. I struggle with some of the same things...wishing for others homes, bodies and talents. I should never take for granted the blessings all around me. Great husband, kids, parents, house, church, neighbors and of course friends. Contentment....something we should all be striving for. You're right about the JOY right now....I don't want to miss out on it. They'll all be grown before we know it!
Thanks for sharing,
Stace

Grant Hutsell said...

Why it says that I'm Grant Hutsell, I'm not sure. Very strange!

Stacy Brown said...

OK...think I fixed it.

jennifergriffin said...

Love this! I guess I will need to pick that book up in the near future! I've been trying to find joy each day in the time I spend with the boys. It's hard sometimes! I guess this book could be a book to read over and over and over! :)

Thanks for sharing your heart!

Jen