faith · one word 365 · reflections

On Reveling in Contentment

I chose content for my word this year. It was like praying for patience.

Suddenly, as soon as I made that declaration, nothing was good enough.  I couldn’t stretch the groceries, I couldn’t make that old outfit work, I couldn’t wait to put our house up for sale, I couldn’t enjoy writing or reading or my birthday.

Because it was all about I.  Me. My search and my quest and my journey alone.  Except, I can’t ever find contentment in myself by myself.

I’m hopelessly flawed. I bet you are too. I can be incredibly selfish with my time and my resources and my heart, and I’m pretty sure when we’re being honest, you get what I’m saying.

Sometimes I just want what I want.

I want to go to the grocery store and buy whatever I want to eat that week especially meat because that’s what we limit the most.

I want to buy a new house with a basement and new kitchen cabinets and a deck that’s accessed from somewhere other than the master bedroom.

I want new Toms for summer and cute tops that hide my muffin top and I don’t want to figure out how to make the same pair of capris work for the fifth year in a row.

I want everyone to focus on just me and my needs and my desires and I desperately want to hole up at the library or a coffee shop for hours and hours and just write so I can get a handle on the blog and the article submissions and the maybe novel.

But contentment never comes when I focus on myself all the time.

I started a Bible study with Hello Mornings a few weeks ago. It’s called Taking Refuge: The Story of Ruth. It’s about seeking Jesus as our only refuge, our only source, our only contentment that never wavers under the pressures of life.

The Word is squeezing my heart and stirring my soul and constantly challenging me to dig a little deeper.  For the first time in a study, I’m using multiple translations and the word of God is singing over me in a way it never has before. I owe that to my pastor’s wife who is teaching a ladies’ study at church and she has encouraged us to use versions I’ve never tried before.  The Amplified Bible is like the main course of Bible study–so much clarification and meat.  The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language has been like dessert–a sweet touch to words that I had let grow stale in my own life.

Over the past few days, I have begun to notice a new feeling.  For the first time in a while, I feel full. I feel secure.  I feel content.

I’ve been handing over tasks to the Lord that I’ve always tried to do myself, and He’s blessed me in return.

I realized this when I went to the grocery store a couple days ago with a list that was small, but somehow, I had planned a week’s worth of meals that included meat and snacks and dinner for a friend who had her fifth sweet baby girl last week. I bought a whole boneless pork loin (that was the big sale item) and had half cut into pork chops. We grilled for the first time this season, and I’ve got the rest in the freezer for next week’s Sunday dinner, and then I had to laugh when I saw this week’s fellowship supper at church: pork tenderloin.

See with God, it never rains, it pours. I gave Him something small when I handed over that grocery budget, and He gave me back something much bigger than myself and my petty concerns.

He gave me contentment in Him. And that’s way more filling than any meal.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, so if you click on something and it takes you to Amazon and you make a purchase, I get a teensy bit to help cover my domain costs.

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