Wednesday, October 30, 2013

the secret of contentment {grace words wednesday}

not that i am speaking of being in need, 
for i have learned in whatever situation i am to be content. 
i know how to be brought low, and i know how to abound. in any and every circumstance, i have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
~ philippians 4:11-12

we are getting to that time of year again.

you know the time ... when the catalog companies start flooding our mailboxes with glossy books of wonderful, incredible, must-have items. they stack up on the kitchen counter or pile high on a desk corner. by mid november, if left unattended, they could very well consume a small room.

i do my best to toss them immediately.

from the mailbox to the recycling bin they go -- that is, when i'm on top of it.

i'm rarely on top of it ... so of course a few sneak their way over the threshold and onto our coffee table.

and when i find one or two lounging around in their sleek covers of temptation ... i force myself to look away. i don't trust myself with even a quick glance.  because, i tell you, these people are professionals. they know how to get to us {to me!} ... even in the safety of our own homes. especially in the safety of our own homes.

they invade.

they come calling. beckoning us by name. luring our lusty selves over to the dark side of unrealized desire.

and all it takes is a mailbox and few spare minutes.

with just one measly little peek, it can happen: perfectly content hearts can be crushed into a million little pieces of want.

"but mama, i want THIS THING..."
"but mama, i need THIS THING..."
"but mama, i must have THIS THING..."

it doesn't much matter what THIS THING is, does it? when that little string of desire is plucked with coveting fingers, our heart can hear no melody but the song of our longing.

my husband always tells the kids stories of how he, as a child, would wait for that gigantic sears' catalog to arrive at his home each november -- the hours he'd spend hovering inside its pages. circling items. underlining ideas. dog earring corners with his boyish desires.

was there any child growing up in the 70's and 80's that didn't take part in this catalog rite of passage?

now days we have computers. we don't even have to wait for those glossy books to be dropped in our boxes. we can access our wants and wishes anytime -- day or night, they are a mere website away.

and i'm just as bad.

at any given time i could go through the pottery barn catalog and find ten items i'm sure i couldn't bare to live without. it's like these magazine designers know me. they know the pictures to show and the buttons to push. they know my weakness. heck, they even know my color schemes. i'm blown away with their savvy shots and their feel-good photography. from table lamps to throw pillows ... they have me cornered.

i'm telling you, it's just better not to look.

here we are, about to step into november -- the month of great thanksgiving -- and so often we find ourselves sort of skipping over it a bit and looking into the next month of great gift-giving. this month where we should celebrate provision, but instead, often think more about purchasing.

and when we forget the thanks-thing and look only to the next-thing, the gift-thing, ... we end up stripping ourselves of the content-thing.

contentment: a state of happiness and satisfaction.

what a wonderful place to be. happy. satisfied. full. complete. enough. content.

it sounds like something I WANT. i am not content with my discontent. do you know what i mean? i want to live as paul describes in the philippians verse above, "in any and every circumstance, i have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." 

what was paul's secret? --- THANKSGIVING.
paul didn't skip november. what deepens our soul-content is giving soul-thanks for what we already have. if we bury our noses in books of more stuff, our eyes become blind to the treasure in front of our faces. our hands become numb to what we already hold.

as we begin our slide into november ... i encourage you {and me...mostly me!} to keep a lid on the longing ... to look instead for the gifts already given. to be content ... wherever. whatever. however. our gifts won't show up perfectly packaged in our mailboxes, but if we take the time to go looking - hunting - searching - counting - we will find them and we will find paul's secret to being content.

check back tomorrow! i'm going to introduce a new challenge-opportunity-gift for the month of november ... and i invite you to join me in thanksgiving ... in giving thanks. each day. every day. let's not skip over november.

{grace words: thanksgiving * contentment * treasure * enough}

Jesus, would you give us hearts of gratitude and eyes to see the abundance of your daily gifts. would you give us words of thanksgiving. teach us contentment. show us the secret. we praise you, Lord. you are always more than enough.

for more {grace words} this morning ... head over to becky's post at 

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