On Contentment

**Author’s Note: I suppose I need to make a decision on whether or not to blog, journal, notate, create, brainstorm, list, and the like on paper, in journals, in planners, or on a blog. Besides, if I am not going to actually publish these “thoughts,” (which I won’t publish ALL thoughts – too boring…) then what is the point of having a blog? So here is one of a few topics that I have been mulling over for MONTHS. Let’s find and reignite our spark of joy, yes? Mine is in Jesus and writing… so here we go.**

On Contentment

Recently, I have had the idea floating around my head that I must get rid of things. Lots of things. I think like this a lot. I think like this for several reasons, which I would like to try to unpack first (both for my own sake and yours! ha. just noticed the pun). 

1 // My mom’s parents, my beloved Meme and Papa, died within a few short months of each other. Aside from being wildly romantic and eternally sweet (he couldn’t live without her), it was extremely tragic and hard. What also presented a challenge was the now-available property and estate with which my mother and her sisters had to make big decisions. One of those major steps, like with many estates, was deciding what to keep, what to toss, what to donate, what to give to other family members, etc.

Well, if you knew my Papa, he was a “better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it” kind of guy. So, in his tool shed/garage/shop and now home, it was clear that there would be a LOT of clearing out. He held on to everything. All of the buildings were packed with things. Some trash. Some treasure.

I remember vividly the hot summer we spent out on their property, going through things (or us cousins trying to avoid helping go through anything), and watching as truck load after truck load was hauled off to some new destination.

Those memories *sort of* helped me grow into adolescence with no real fondness for my “stuff” from middle or elementary school. When I moved to Texas for college, I had no attachment to my high school memorabilia. So, it came as no surprise then that when my parents, years later, sold our childhood home to move into an RV, that while I was grateful for some new furniture (their old) and some heirloom antiques, I didn’t NEED the boxes of pictures, old yearbooks, or stuffed animals. {Alas, those still live in boxes in my closet. They have only been moved at least 8-10 times!}

Current goal: resurrect or say goodbye. Maybe?  

2 // Go back less than a year on this blog and read about our time with our Ukrainian orphan (now more like our Ukrainian son). Knowing someone was coming to live with us for 4 weeks (and then again this past summer for 11 weeks – thus no recent posts!) really made me take a hard look around my home. There were the “necessities” of course, like food, dishes, soap. Clothes, laundry detergent, closet hangers… but was there plenty of other crap? YEP. Did he love to play with a lot of it – YEP. Did he ever once look around and say “why so much?” Nope! But did I still feel alarmingly self-conscious of it all?! YES.

3 // More of my kids stuff  = less of my own stuff. I want them to see me as a child, sure, and to know I am a human that was once a teenager, too, but every single little knick knack or photo? Nah. I will keep some special items for each of my kids, (and most likely my forthcoming daughter will get a lot of it, being more “girly” things) but I don’t want to be a burden to them if I were to die and they were to go through my things. Yikes.

Plus, it’s all digital now. I don’t always like that, but when one has 30k pictures on one’s computer, one can’t help but throw up some praise hands that those are NOT in picture albums taking over 1000 square feet of space in our home.

ANDDD they have all their own stuff now, too! I’m more focused on saving THEIR precious drawings and the adorable (few) prints that I have. My parents could be cooing over my pics, but they aren’t. Because now they’re grandparents 😉 We all want to ooh and ahh over them!! 

***

Amidst all these thoughts, goals, and actual paring down of items, I had a more significant revelation. But it came to me quietly.

I need to be content.

I need to be grateful.

I need to find the balance between “selling all I have” to follow Him and “giving thanks and praise always” amid the clutter that remains.

That’s where I have found myself “simmering” for the last several months.

Am I truly content with all the blessings in my life? Are you? Or do we continue to see only the “lack”? (“If only I had another…..”)

Another way of looking at it: do we thank God for our blessings constantly? Or ‘curse’ Him for not doing/having/being xyz?

I’ve been guilty of all of it. And my goal now (and always) – as much as it may SEEM like a need to go through old boxes of pictures and college papers – is to be content.
To be ever grateful.
To remain joyful in the midst of my supposed “chaos.”
To give praise and thanks ceaselessly!

So in the effort to re-up my blog postings, I am recommitting to my blog title.

I will rejoice in the real (all of it!). I will find peace in the piles of laundry. I will use my vocation as mother to bring Him glory. I will train up my children to do the same. I will let my light shine!

I will! I will, I will, I will.

Amen? Amen. 

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