contentment

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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 everything through him who gives me strength.” – Phillipians 4:11-13


I finally have landed on my “word of the year” (thanks to Jane for introducing me to her tradition of picking a word or theme at each new year instead of creating a huge list of goals). This year, the word is contentment.

I need to learn this. I want to learn it, but my heart gets restless. Contentment takes patience, takes time. I am not such a patient person! But in learning contentment – spiritual, emotional, financial – I want to learn the value of simple, joyful living. So that’s the focus of my journey this year. I’ve even dreamt (is that a word?) about it! Instead of spending weekends rushing from store to store, happily (sort of) spending my money, I want to invest in things that last. Our kids. My husband. Friends. Family. Things like picniking, biking (realizing I have to buy a bike first, but this is something I’ve actually daydreamed about, everytime I drive by Elmwood Park), etc. And doing things that nourish me, like spending time creating, reading, baking & writing. And (most importantly), feeding my relationship with God – like reading the Bible daily, praying daily (more for others than myself), and teaching my kids the same thing. I probably should have written that part first….because it’s the only way any of the other stuff will be halfway fulfilling. Duh.

I sometimes go to Sacred Space for a spiritual “time-out” during the day: recently one of the prayers read like this:

By God’s grace I was born to live in freedom.
Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as you intended,
with complete confidence in your Loving care. (emphasis added)

It struck me that ‘living as God intends’ includes a great deal of trust in Him to care for me & my family. Confidence that He will provided my every need and then some….it’s easy for me, for some reason, to trust that He’ll bring the money to our bank account, but I haven’t found myself very trustworthy of that money – I am so tempted to blow it, spend it, and not save it. We’re trying to learn, this year, the value of saving – not just so we can buy a house someday, or have a fat retirement account (nice as those things are!), but so that we can learn to be content with living on less. Simply because we don’t want to be slaves to a lifestyle or a cultural ideal.

So…contentment. Simplicity, trust, patience. A lot to learn, but oh-so-essential. So here I go, for better or worse this year. Sara had a quote on her blog once that said, “There is joy in the mundane, if you can find it.” I’m out to find it. To be content in the not-so-glitzy, not-so-glamorous everyday.

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About lindsay

just a girl, creator, reader, learner, homeschooler. wife to one and mother to two others. in the city and loving it. in pursuit of God and community.
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2 Responses to contentment

  1. Julie says:

    Lindsay,
    Your blog was what I needed today. This past year I have been trying hard to be content with what I have. A nice home, though smaller than society’s view of a “nice home”..but enough for my family; a job – even though hectic at times and my wanting to be at home with my son, and a it supplies for my family and I pray I may be used through it to bring God the glory. I needed this reminder to be thankful for the blessings that He has given me.
    Also a good reminder of how I need to be an example with my actions and my relationship with the Lord to my very so ever curious 3y/o.
    I just want to thank you for “blogging” your thoughts and giving me inspiration too!!!
    Thanks!
    I will pray for you as you focus on contentment this year.
    Love and miss you!
    Julie Brown

  2. lindsay says:

    aww, thanks Jules! miss you too.

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