Thursday, August 4, 2011

teaching and learning contenment

photo credit: Profimedia
Our Eldest is quite a picky eater.  Unless it's macaroni & cheese or chicken with rice, she probably won't eat it.  Oh, and junk food.  She gravitates towards it like a moth to a flame. Seriously... We don't even eat junk food!

So, I began to pray about it and decided it was time we began having a conversation about thankfulness and contenment. "Jesus will always give you the food you need to live, but it won't always be what you want, how you want it.  And we are called to still be thankful little one,"  I tell her.  She looks at me as though she can see right through my soul to the hypocrisy I am speaking but hoping to teach her.  And asks the burning question on every five year old's heart. "Why?"

There's something about parenting (and by something, I mean everything) that calls us to live by example.  Confronting this issue with our eldest brought me to a place with the Lord that revealed my truly unthankful and uncontent attitude.

It all started with a desire.  See, there's a desire in my heart for a particular thing/circumstance.  I desire it and am working towards it.  But when the Lord didn't grant me my desire, I became offended and hurt.  I was uncontent.  That thing/circumstance is what I needed to make my life complete.  "If I could only have that thing, I would finally be content" I thought to myself.  But then, God decoded this ugly little pattern that needed to be redeemed. I was always striving for that "next thing" to find contenment.  I have truly rarely enjoyed and delighted in the season that is now.  I am always waiting for the next season, longing for it as though that would make it all better.

In singleness, I longed for marriage.  In marriage, I longed for financial success.  In financial success, I longed to be a mom. In pregnancy, I longed for the newborn phase.  In the newborn phase, I longed for the toddler stage.  In this toddler stage, I long for other children.

And this ugly pattern goes for our material possesions as well.  I know that I am called to simplicity and that He provides for our needs according to His riches and glory.  But I still want the Pottery Barn cataloge home, the new car that will scream to the world that I am a mom, the house that will financially establish us. Seriously? I am always wanting more; but more of the wrong thing.

"I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strenghtens me." (Phil 4:12-13)

In our possesion-driven culture, it is hard to step aside and be content.  Even in Churches, pastors are driving Cadillacs and worship leaders brand new SUV's.  May the Lord bless abundantly, but may my heart never covet another man's abundance. 

I am slowly learning how to live in every circumstance and be filled.  Reminding myself I am first a citizen of Heaven and this world is not my home.  I am slowly realigning my heart to my First Love, the One who was, is and is to come and who is never-changing.  But I have an instinct that this unthankfulness and inability to be content goes beyond myself.

photo credit: Spanjer Custom Homes
As mothers, we are constantly bombarded with new products our baby absolutely needs.  As homemakers, HGTV does a great job at reminding us what we don't have.  As wives, Hollywood does a pretty good job at painting a picture of romance that is inviting but unattainable and fake.  This world prepositions us for discontenment. Oddly enough, instead of realizing its lure is unreal and unable to fill, we turn towards it and long for more, and fight and weave our way through to make sure we get what will surely fill us. I can tell you, as one who's always wanting "the next thing" it is an incredible worldly mindset and I exhort you to repent... As I've had to. 

Be filled with the Living Water and be reminded that He is Sovereign.  He has conquered the world and its material possesions are no longer revelant to anything dealing with anything that's important!

In what areas have you shown discontenment?  Do you display a thankful heart at all times?  How are you filled by the Living Water?
this post is linked up with: Titus2esdays and Living Well Wednesday

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