Wednesday, March 2, 2011

About: learning contentment

For many years I have thought that I have lived while waiting for the "next big thing." Job. Trip. Weekend. Relationship. The excitement and preparation of the future overwhelmed the days before it. Several times I wrote in my journal that I wanted to be present more -- to not simply wait for what was coming next. I worried that I would miss out on now, always hoping for the future ... looking for something else that I could not define.
The change has come gradually. Gradually over the last year or so I have been learning about contentment, and in turn joy. I attribute a few things to this change.
I have been married for a little over a year and I have been accepted in a way that I have never before been in my life. My feelings. My likes and dislikes. My habits. My thoughts. I have been challenged to make myself known by a man who accepts what he finds out about me. And so, in kind, I also have been identifying and accepting myself. God's love is reflected to me through my husband and that has changed how I view who I am.

I am learning that I am enough, a truth that allows me to accept who I am but also the disappointment and pain that sometimes comes. And joy. When I free myself from being something or someone else, I open up to what is already there.
I have been counting my blessings. In the practice of gratitude, I have found life. In the small, every day, seemingly mundane things I have found joy. I no longer look ahead to find fulfillment. Instead, I see the excitement of the future as well as the beauty of the present, the two blending and moving together in such a way that sings to my soul. And, sometime in the last year, the practice of gratitude, became a habit. It is a gift; little snapshots of everyday gifts ... a movie reel of blessings. I also think that by being content in the present, the past and the future will have the appropriate meaning - memories and excitement will blend with the beauty of everyday, strengthening both.
And now I believe that life is less about seeing the whole world and more about seeing my world.

As Paul wrote many years ago, contentment is learned. And today I am thankful for that lesson. (Blessing #1355)

Philipians 4: 11 - 13
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


Life With the Lopez Family said...

I remember I heard a message like that one too and it challenged me. I need to stop the "If I only..... then...." Thanks for the reminder to enjoy life now and what Gos is doing in the present!

Craig said...

I’m here from Ann’s again – It’s Sunday now and I’m really late to your Wednesday post – but first I wanted to read all the thank you posts – then started yesterday reading the Walk with him Wednesday posts – and so I just got to yours today. Sorry I’m late. (◠‿◠)

The more I read you, the more I know why I heart your words.

And contentment, it is learned. The “next big thing” is now. We are both learning from Ann about this. Yu are privileged to be learning it as early as you are – me being a thousand years older than you. And I heart this, “And now I believe that life is less about seeing the whole world and more about seeing my world.” – amen,.

Thank you for this today.

God Bless and keep you and all of yours