Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Being content.....

I've mainly posted about recipes, food and great deals lately. This post is going to be a bit different today. It's something that has been on my heart for awhile and I'd love to share it with you. I decided to write this post after reading one of my favorite blogs A Simple Walk. See her post about Community in her home.

She mentioned being a bit jealous at the bloggers who have gotten free trips lately. I too have felt those twinges of jealousy. Granted I am not near the established blogger that many are. But I still felt very similar feelings. After I read her post Paul and Philippians came to mind.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NAS) "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."


I struggle a lot with jealousy of people who have more or who can do more than me. Whether it be blogging (getting free trips and free goodies) or in real life (other peoples homes, vacations, etc). I also sometimes think about how I might could have those things if I went to work full time. But my heart desires to be home and I feel due to some recent circumstances the Lord is trying to tell me that's where I am needed right now as well.

We make it. We might struggle some months but every month our bills are paid and we have food to eat. We might not be able to do everything we want or would like to do. But then again how important are those things? We as a society have placed so much importance on "keeping up with the Jones" that we have neglected to see what important things are right in front of our faces.

And before I get taken the wrong way, I fully realize that there are households where the mom has to work. God calls us in many different ways to do different things. So I am in no way criticizing those who can't stay home. I am pointing out how we (my family specifically) are able to do the basics. Food, shelter, etc. but then I am not content when I can't have other things that many other families have.


I pray that God helps me learn to be content. That what I am doing in my home is important even when I feel I am not very important. I want Him to change my heart and show me what truly is important.

This passage also spoke to me greatly.

Philippians 3:17-20 (New American Standard Bible)
"Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,
whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;"


We are citizens of heaven! Children of God! Are we acting like it? Are we being His hands, His feet, His arms? I know I am not always focused on that. I pray that God helps me rearrange my priorities. That he helps me place furthering His Kingdom my priority. To show His glorious, gracious, unending love to every single person I come in contact with. Jesus! I cry out to you to help me be more like you!

God bless,
Amanda

5 comments:

Jenny said...

I understand what you're saying. I have lived there for 26 years. We committed a long time ago to raise our own kids and not let the schools or daycare providers do it. We have made it, but not easily. Often, we actually had to defend ourselves to others who insisted that we really could join the gym, go on Ladies' Retreat, pay for medical insurance, buy organic and a host of other things if we wanted to. An acquaintance said, "everyone can come up with $10... you know you can." Only, I couldn't and she put me in the difficult position of having to actually explain this.

I look at the duct-taped vinyl flooring and get jealous of other families' Pergo floors. I see the cheap cuts of meat and home-butchered venison in the freezer and wish for the steak, boneless chicken and shrimp I have seen in friends' freezers. And then there are those folks who go to the coast for the weekend, fly to Hawaii for Christmas each year, take in at least 2 concerts a year and see the movies in the good theater and not the $1.50 theater. I understand the jealousy you mention. For we are human and the products of our upbringing.

But when I think of those things that make me jealous, I have learned to look at both sides. I have a floor and can afford duct-tape to mend it - a lot of people in this world have dirt floors or even no home, let alone a floor. We have food in the freezer and live in an area with abundant deer to supplement our meat budget - plenty of the world eat rice, rice and rice. And the coast and vacations - we have the wonderful Oregon wilderness all around us and family we love to spend time with and a great library that can help us travel the world without leaving home - and there's not a landmine, machine gun or power-drunk soldier anywhere near to fear.

WE are truly blessed. I have found contentment, trust and a richer, deeper faith by seeing how God has honored our obedience to His call to nurture and raise the children he gave us and live within our means. We have an abundant life, it's just measured differently than by the world's measuring stick.

Thank you for being transparent. Keep stretching toward contentment... it brings a joy that is indescribable.

God Bless,
Jenny

TiffS said...

Thanks so much for your encouraging words. My husband and I looked at our finances last night and struggled to work out paying our bills. We've decided together that our tithe is most important and that we know if we are faithful to God that He'll be faithful to take care of us, however He sees is best for us. I think I'm going to write out Philippians 4 and put it where we will see it everyday!

Deb said...

Hi Amanda!!
As the mom of kids who are 18 and 16 let me encourage you to not allow satan to make you question yourself. As they've gotten older and went to work (we homeschool) they've watched and listened to their co-workers. They've sat and talked with us so much about how sad and depressed their co-workers are, even though they are "driving the best, wearing the best, carrying the best" that money can buy. More times than I can count in the last couple of years DH and I have heard thank yous for the sacrifices because--in the words of my 18 year old, "We have a great life!! I wouldn't trade anything for what we have!!"
Success!!..
HUGS!!
Deb

Deb said...

Hi Amanda!!
As the mom of kids who are 18 and 16 let me encourage you to not allow satan to make you question yourself. As they've gotten older and went to work (we homeschool) they've watched and listened to their co-workers. They've sat and talked with us so much about how sad and depressed their co-workers are, even though they are "driving the best, wearing the best, carrying the best" that money can buy. More times than I can count in the last couple of years DH and I have heard thank yous for the sacrifices because--in the words of my 18 year old, "We have a great life!! I wouldn't trade anything for what we have!!"
Success!!..
HUGS!!
Deb

Jena said...

Great post. We all have these struggles at times. I think you are doing great. Sometimes we feel that we are not doing very well, but in actuality we really are. The fact that you realize you have a weakness (which we all have), and are praying about it is a wonderful thing. Don't be too hard on yourself.