Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Learning the Secret

Philippians 4:12 (New International Version)

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

The Message:

I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

Though I am way behind on posting (and there is much to post about!), I thought I'd leave 2008 with a topic that has been close to my heart all year long:


In this crazy stuff-obsessed world, it's hard to focus on what we have now, and be thankful for it. We always want more, think we need more, try to get more, when in actuality, we get along just fine with what we have.  

I freely admit that wanting more is a struggle for me.  And if it's not for you, then I'd love to talk to you and find out the secret you're keeping from the rest of us.  

The things that top my wants list are:

-a bigger, more beautiful house
-my own car
-more furniture (to put where? I do not know, yet I still want more!)
-more decorations (echo the above side note)
-new clothes
-new shoes
-new accessories (even though I do not accessorize much since having children)
-more time (not a tangible thing, but a want nonetheless)

I could keep listing things but you get the idea.  I want more.  Bigger, better, newer.  Gimme it all.

And yet, when I take a step back and really assess things, I find that I don't need any more than I've already got.

I have a beautiful house, and though it is small and needs updating, God Himself provided it for me and my budding family for this season of our lives.  Why should I want anything else?

I have a car when I need it, and for right now it's working out OK.

Since I have a small house, I have no room for more furniture or decorations.  I've got what I need here, and I get compliments all the time on how cozy my house feels.  I must be doing something right.

I am clothed daily, and if you notice otherwise, please quietly take me aside and get me some help.  :)  I may not have the latest wardrobe or the cutest new accessories, and my 3 pairs, yes you read that right, 3 pairs of shoes have been keeping my feet dry just fine for the past few years.  I'm doing OK.  And when I'm in the size I want to be (which is a whole 'nother contentment issue!) and my feet stop growing during pregnancies, then I'll go shopping.  And I'll tell you right now, I'm gonna love every minute of it.

For now, though, I'm OK.  I've got everything I need.  And, if I really have my game face on for the day, I'm quick to realize that having everything I want doesn't mean I'll be happier, wiser or even totally content.  It just means, frankly, that I'll have more stuff.

To sum up for 2008, I've got it all.  I really do.  A husband who adores me, 2 healthy, fun and stinkin' cute kids, friends who accept me at my best and worst, family who loves me, a warm house, food to eat, clothes to wear, and even some sparkly jewels are among my list of haves. But the best thing I could ever have, and am so undeserving of, is a Savior who loves me beyond what I deserve, and who walks with me every single day of my life.  He gives me what I need, what I want--in His timing, and hope for the future.  

In 2009, I want to rest in that.

Here's to a new year of learning the secret of being content, whatever the circumstances.

Philippians 4:8 (New International Version):

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (The Message):

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.