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.