contentedness counts part i

In the midst of hosting a small group this summer semester, I have found myself constantly thinking about topics that will create great discussion and a great catalyst for better learning and knowing God's word. This week, while I was out and about, the idea of being content was one that hit me hard.

Traveling as a military brat while growing up, and growing up during a time when high speed internet could virtually give you ANYTHING within a matter of seconds, I can totally understand my need for continuous change and having a patience level of zero (except with my son), when I'm unable to have something now. For awhile, my husband and I thought it best for the family to move, albeit it was only about sixty miles away, but we were ready to be closer to his work, be in a "better" school zone, and live in a bigger, fancier house. After a year and a half with my son commuting with my husband to work each day, the both of them walking through the door around 7 pm each evening, hours spent in the car and exhausted, the idea of transferring our life seemed to no longer make sense. Throw in a really bad initial meeting with the potential builder of our new "dream" home, my husband's job going remote, and my learning that no matter how much you pay for child care each month, you're still going to have issues, the wheels in my brain began to turn.

At this point in time, I hadn't prayed for my husband's work to slow down, in years I think, but at the center of my struggling to "keep up" and get the next, shiny new thing (new house, obviously new furniture, new schools, new mommy clique, etc.), I remembered the time when my son was born. He is our only child, and when he was first born, in attempts to make sure that we were financially stable with the growth to our small family, my husband took on a second job. This was on top of his full time job changing tremendously as he shifted into a position with his company that we expected for him at least eight or nine years down the road, at the earliest. Too put it simply, he was busy. He was always at work, talking about work, sleeping to take a nap for work, and, on top of his, he commuted so I was always worried I would receive a phone call about an accident. Honestly, I was angry. I loved being a mother, but I wanted the picture perfect family, too. This included my husband being with me for every milestone. So I prayed, and if we're being honest, this was during the time in my life before I truly began my relationship with Christ. So yes there were prayers, but honestly, there was quite a bit more wishing and hoping. Fast-forward three and a half years later when the pace of my husband's job slowed a bit and he didn't have to commute anymore. God answered my prayers for a life slowed down. It took a few years, but I truly believe that through prayer, and the way God worked in that process, I began to start understanding what "content" means.

Why did my husband and I really want to move? Now that his work had gone remote and he no longer needed to go to the office, was it still "imperative" to be close? What was so wrong with our house? It's spacious and it's nice. It's not a new build, and it's not $270,000 in a gated community but we brought our son home to this house, we have rooms that we've shed tears in when situations seemed like they would never get better but they did. In this house. There are times when we laughed so hard in some of these rooms that we were able, if even for a moment, to forget about everything else. So why leave? Who are we trying to keep up with? Why is there always a race to have more, do more, see more? Why can't we just live? I was absolutely convinced that God was leading me in the direction to stay put, but there was just one thing bothering me. School for my son. We are Christian people, and while I know that one day I'm not going to be able to protect him from everything, I am able to rest assured now that I can. I found myself searching local private schools one day at work. And you know what? I found a quaint little place I had never even heard of during my constant battle to be the quickest and the fastest while doing as much as I could at all times. It's faith-based, and after an hour long conversation with the principal during my first inquiry, I fell in love. I fell in love just a little bit more after my first visit. During my second visit I was certain. And as we are just a few weeks away from his first orientation for four-year-old kindergarten, I am absolutely convinced that God opens our eyes to so many things if we just take the time to slow down, listen, and put his needs and desires ahead of our own.

Are you having a hard time being content? Let's see what God has to say...

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." ( Hebrews 13:5)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (1 Corinthians 12:10)

It's amazing how God works. When we are in true relationship with Jesus, abiding by his word and living faithfully, everything we pray for is answered (John 15:7). While learning to be content in our every day life is essential to truly living in the present, I've learned that we should never be content in our faith. Be content in God and his purpose for your life, but never be content in thinking that you know everything there is to know about Him. He is good, He is loving and He provides for us in ways that we sometimes don't understand because although he is always moving, we cannot always see. It's called faith folks. Do you have it?

xoxo

Marlena