Contentment

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I’m rocking my rain boots today, which is a  rare occasion in Southern California! I love the rain, it reminds me of home, which is Northern California. I get excited when it rains! I run and put on my rain boots and rain gear, and after the excitement fades a bit, the melancholy sets in. Northern California is home to me; it’s where my heart goes when I close my eyes and think of home. I prefer the lush green grass, and the streets lined with beautiful trees almost creating an arch as you drive through them. The rushing rivers that mark the highways, and intersect with each other pouring into the Delta. I miss the distinct seasons, though mild, they are distinct. The cold frost of winter turns into the rains of late winter and early spring, which brings flowers that pop up everywhere. I miss the clear blue skies that direct your view to the snow peaked mountain tops of the Sierras. I miss the rain storms that can get so fierce that you stay inside praying one of the trees in your yard doesn’t fall. I miss the Autumn when the rolling hills turn golden, and leaves fall to the ground in bright, beautiful colors. And yes, I even miss the dry hot summers that cause us to go to the rivers and beautiful Lake Tahoe to gain some reprieve from the heat. I would be content to live in Northern California all the days of my life!

Although, I write with the longing to be there, that is not where God has placed me. So therefore, I have a choice to make: I must choose to be content where God has placed me. It is a choice, I can choose to relish in the infrequent rainy days of Southern California, or be discontent in my longing to be where it rains more often.

I’m rocking my rain boots today and choosing to be content in the weather God gives me. I wish I could pull these cute boots out of the closet more often, but I am content to enjoy the rainy days God brings to Southern California, and not complain about the ones he does not!

CONTENTMENT= “satisfaction; the state of being satisfied, ease of mind, comfort.”

What is contentment? Is it settling for what we don’t have? Is it excepting what the world has shoved at us? Or is there a deeper biblical meaning to contentment?

Could it be that we have once again allowed the world to define the term for us? Or are we just discontent in our own selfishness of not having what we want?

The world defines contentment like this: a state of being satisfied and comfortable.

This definition leaves us with an “ease”, but not a true peace. This is because the missing ingredient is the state of our being. It is about who we are, not what our circumstances have made us. It is about who we choose to be!

I shared in my last blog post that I struggle with contentment. It felt like a bad word to me. It made me feel like I was settling, like I was being lazy, like I wasn’t putting forth enough effort to make something happen other than the situation I was discontent with. However, when I look further into the word of God, and let it define contentment for me, I find it is not a bad word at all!

1 Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

It is in choosing to live godly lives, that we are able to find true contentment!

Living godly lives. Now that is a big prescription to fill! It’s not an impossible task however, when we put our hope and trust in Him, We must allow Him to be our strength.

If we make Him the priority of our lives, and put His Word in us, so His Holy Spirit can shine through and illuminate the path He has us on.

You see My Rain Boots would not, on their own, lead me down a street in Southern California. My rain boots would prefer to walk a river path in the “City of Trees”, Sacramento!  I have to chose to let His Spirit fill my being, and chose to allow Him to guide and direct my steps, and He leads my rain boots down a dry path. Much of the time laden with sand, and just occasionally sprinkled with rain!

The choice after allowing Him to fill my being, and walk in His righteousness is this: Will I be content where He has placed my feet and find  joy on those occasional rainy days? Or will I allow discontentment to mark me while I grumble and complain that it doesn’t rain enough?

Contentment is not settling. True contentment is only found when you are putting in the effort! Settling is excepting what you have and not doing anything about it.

Once again, the choice is mine because contentment is a state of being. My inner being must be connected to God’s Spirit first and foremost. Then, and only then will I even come close to living the righteous life He has called me too, and BONUS, find contentment through it!

Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in each and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12

“Content in all circumstances…” Allows me to put forth the effort to have contentment in my life through my choices.

How do I practice this?

Saturday morning is my Sabbath, my downtime, the only morning in my seven day week where I can sleep in at all, take it slow, and have some quiet time. It used to be that I was up at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings, driving miles to a Volleyball tournament, or packing sandwiches, orange wedges, and cold water bottles for soccer games all day! Now I am what is commonly referred to as an “Empty Nester.”

My two beautiful children are now grown adults and on their own. I loved the busy schedules my children had, and even more, I loved supporting them through it. I remained in the classroom as a teacher until our youngest graduated from high school. The year he left for college found me moving from the classroom to an office, now in charge of all of the Elementary Classrooms as Principal.

Saturday Mornings are now “sacred” to me! They are the brief period in my busy week when my “To Do List” is not begging to be completed. When no one is asking me a question or giving me a problem to solve. When I can actually hear myself think, and be quiet enough to “Be Still” before God.

Why then would I give up my precious Saturday morning and attend a Missions Training?

I got up to an early alarm, pumping the coffee and heading over to church for a México Team training meeting with 40 others from my church Saturday morning. I am so excited to go on our missions trip, but the day and time of this meeting certainly wasn’t my choice after the intense week at work I had experienced. When we arrived, we started studying and discovering God’s vision for the Nations, beginning with Abraham. God blessed him for his nearly blind faith and obedience to leave home and go to a distant land he knew nothing about. God chose that Patriarch to be a blessing to the nations, through his family and through Jesus, his most significant descendant.

It was then that I realized that the day or the start time of this meeting really didn’t matter! What DID matter is that we, who are blessed by God to be a blessing to others, have the privilege of sharing God’s love and grace with others far away, whom we have never met. We get to extend God’s grace and hope to them as well. Doing God’s will, sharing His love and joining God in His work: THAT is what really brings me contentment!

 

TRUTH BOMB

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Contentment is not based on our circumstances but on Christ alone!

“The fear of The Lord leads to life; then one rests CONTENT, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:23

When I  “Fear The Lord”, respect Him, honor Him, put Him first in my life above my comfort, I AM CONTENT. I do not become a victim to the “troubles” of this world. God becomes my strength, and even though troubles come, He lifts me above them, and takes me through them and I find true CONTENTMENT!

Speak Truth Love

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