Monday, January 16, 2012

Contentment and Gratitude

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...

Philippians 4:12 (56 kb)

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!


BradMad Fox said...

Laurie, I was reading this blog post and thinking how neat it was the Lord is teaching you something He's teaching me too! It's amazing God is growing us in contentment. I have such a long way to go, but by His grace you and I will glorify HIM in our contentment in HIM. Love you Laurie! :)

Debbie said...

Ah yes contentment. As Paul has written so beautifully ...we are to be content when we have plenty and content when we have nothing. (my paraphrase)

I've had plenty and I've had nothing and the truth is with Christ we have everything we need!

Blessings and love,

Zuzu said...

I too was just thinking the other day about the difference between need and want.
Such a sweet and thoughtful post.
Wishing you a lovely weekend, my friend!
~ Zuzu