Thursday, August 26, 2010

To Be Content

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I 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. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:11-13

These verses have been on my mind for a few days.  I just keep thinking about what it would be like to be completely content, as Paul writes here in Philippians.   I do consider myself a fairly content person.  We stroll from walk in life to walk in life, taking things as they come in stride, but at the same time, there is the part of me that is always looking ahead.  We're always looking for that next paycheck, that next event, that next big thing, because maybe we're sure that's going to be THE thing.  Last week, and this week, actually, I think I'm getting a little of a taste of being content, because I've really been feeling it in my spirit.  I'm not sure if I can really explain what I'm feeling, but maybe I'll try.

Every once in a while I get these thoughts that are almost of inadequacy.  I say almost, because it's maybe more of a thought that I could be doing more than I am.  It's not the lack of a career or anything, but as I spend each and every day with my kids and my home, I get these thoughts that maybe there is more I should be doing than what I am. More so when I read things or hear things about other women who stay  home with their kids, host Bible studies, teach Sunday School, volunteer one or two days a week, and then still find time to go get their hair done or go out with the girls.  There are days where it takes everything I have simply to get the laundry done, and those are the days where maybe the devil tries to get at me and tells me that I'm not good enough.

But the last two weeks, there's been a shift in my thinking.  That's the best I can describe it.  I really noticed it the most yesterday, I think, as I set about the mundane everyday task of preparing lunch for my kids.  It wasn't even anything exciting, a simple assembly of grilled cheese, yogurt and chips, but as I assembled these plates, I just had this overwhelming sense of contentedness.  Like, this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing, and it fills me with incredible pleasure to simply feed my children lunch.   I can't say I ever felt that way about lunch before, except perhaps those days where I surprise the kids with something special for lunch, or with something unexpected, like a lunch at a restaurant.  My everyday this week has just felt so right and so...good.  We're going to be starting school back up next week, and that just feels right too.  As I've been planning and purchasing, everything has slowly come together, and I am completely expectant that this feeling will carry over into next week, and the beginning of our school year will be absolutely wonderful.

When I read these verses by Paul, I catch where he says that he has learned to be content in any and every situation.  That's what I strive for.  I may be content right here, and right now, but what about a few days from now?  What about a few months from now?  What if there is a major change or shift- will I be content?   I pray that I will be, because if I can focus on God, who gives me strength for all things, I too, can be content wherever I am.

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