As my years come and go, I am learning to know what it is to be content, to rest in God's presence and not desire so much in this world. It is a process for me, sometimes a two-step-forward and one-step-backward process, but as I dwell in His Word and focus on Him and not my house or my yard or whatever else may come up, I become more content, trusting God to supply all of my needs.
My husband had a response to our girls when they were growing up and asked for new jeans or new shoes or the latest ____ (fill in the blank); he would ask them, "Do you need it or do you want it?" (I'll admit, it made me cringe at times, also.)
They hated this, of course, but he was, yes, I will say it here, dear Lauren, he.was.right.
It is a question that still comes to mind when I go shopping, especially now that we have moved into a much smaller cottage and organization is key to storing our things. I find I do so much better when I shop if I ask God to guide me and keep me within our budget, and as I look over items on the shelves, I do indeed ask myself, "Do you need it or want it?" Now, I am not so good at this that I always respond appropriately, in fact, I will admit that I have often bought things because I wanted them, I mean, who NEEDS Dove chocolates or a pretty pillow for the sofa or...never mind, I don't think I will tell all!
But I am realizing that I need to go further into this contentment process, and so I purpose to share with God what I am grateful for at the end of each day, perhaps as another post in my journal. I write in a journal after reading God's word, asking Him to reveal more of Himself to me from His word, and applying it to my life. I do better writing with pen and paper than using the computer, as I type poorly and I can let my pen flow with my thoughts.
I believe that this time of gratitude will put into perspective my needs and wants, and I will be able to one day say, as the Apostle Paul, even as he was imprisoned, wrote to the people of Philippi...
P.S. To my dear friend Maddie in Alaska - If I looked up contentment and gratitude in the dictionary, your picture would be there, along with your entire family, especially now that it is -50 degrees there! God bless you each day, sweet Sister, as you all serve Him!