Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Contentment In Our Lives

I believe for us to reach true contentment in our lives, we must be in alignment with Gods purpose. There is no other way to explain why we feel the way we do about certain things in our lives such as being in jobs we cannot stand, having financial problems, keeping friends that drag us down (no, I do not have any like that), being with negative co-workers, etc.

Contentment is having your husband agree to paint your house purple to bring cheer to yourselves and others that come to your home whether it be just stopping by or coming in to sit awhile. It has been funny over the last few days because while I have things I am selling, almost everyone I speak to has said, 'I love your house, it is just such a happy color.' It is coming home to see the sign above hanging on your home and knowing you didn't buy it or have a say in it.

I have had jobs in the past that just sucked all of the life out of me and so has my husband and you know those jobs because no matter how hard you try, you just can't stand to even get ready for work, be at work or around anyone at work. It isn't that the people are difficult, many times it is just not our calling.

I am a people person, hands down! I love keeping busy, helping others and taking on jobs that most people shudder about because they are incredibly busy, stress filled and exhausting. However, these have always been the types of jobs that give me energy and make me want to go to work.

While there were times as a police dispatcher, that I would have loved to crawl under a rock, for over 12 years, I got up went to work and loved my job and the people I worked with. It was a job that I knew carried a heavy responsibility and I took my job seriously. For over 9 years, I was incredibly happy. Oh sure, I tried to get other positions within the city I worked for, but doesn't everyone want to move up and try new things?
What began to happen was that God sent the Holy Spirit to work within me and cause my spirit to be discontented because God had other plans for me. Plans that to this day I know nothing about, but I know He has a purpose for my life. When I quilt, I feel a purpose and almost every quilt I make takes on a life of its own because God has anointed me with a gift in which I can give comfort to others by making quilts!
As believers and followers of Jesus, we are supposed to be content with our callings and that means our marriages, our jobs, our families, the food we have and how we prepare it, our possessions, money and clothing. We are to be content, not a glutton. How many of us have so much in our homes, we don't know what to do with it all?

Our homes are supposed to be places of happiness and joy for everyone that comes to our home, but for our families it should be a place of extreme happiness, joy and safety. Our homes and our families should gives us more contentment than any other things in our lives and yet, so many of us become our careers. I know I did for many years and now God has given me a way to change and break that and put my family first!

Our homes, family and closest friends should always be the place and people we want to spend time with , where we feel safe and where we know that no matter what, we belong, we are loved and protected. Our lives and homes should be in order, but they should not be showplaces like the Pharisee's where we project this perfect image to the outside world while our inside world is fractured and falling apart. It should be a place that says welcome, just like this little sign on our screen door.

God wants us to be a team with our family and our husband and not in competition with each other. My hubby has always had jobs where he made more money than I did and years and years ago, he would ask me to take a day off and when I said I couldn't do to finances, he would tell me, 'sure you can, I make more in one day than you do in three.' I hated that! I hated it so much, that I vowed one day, I would make more money than he did.

That day came and I was so happy to finally surpass his daily earnings, but it was a fleeting happiness because with it came extra burdens of carrying the medical insurance, paying all the co-pays, car insurance, car payment, house payment, taxes, etc.. While I was also able to buy nicer clothes, shoes, pay for vacations, massages, etc.. I hated every bit of the burden I had to carry and it grated on me payday after payday. I was being shown by God, that competing with my husband was not what he wanted.

Now, I am not employed full-time, times are difficult financially and physically, I am not back to 100%, but when my husband comes home from work, the house is warm, the bed is made (something I never did due to his working days and my working nights), if it is cold and wet, I will toss his robe into the dryer right before he comes in the door, my favorite treat is a cold Dr. Pepper and on occassion he will bring one home and sneak it into the freezer for me.

I believe I am content. I am uncluttering my home at this time and trying to make it feel lighter and happier. The kids love having me home with them during vacations and not going to daycare, hubby likes having me home on his days off or working and knowing I will be home by 4:00 and not sleeping all day and working all night.

You see, when we set goals that are outside Gods purpose or calling for us, we will become unhappy, crabby, negative and think life is dealing us a bad hand. In reality, we are not happy because it is not what we are called to do. While I am not 100% contented to stay at home all the time, if my financial house was in order, I do not think it would bother me.
Whether we are called to be stay-at-home mothers/grandmothers, teachers, doctors, firefighters, waitresses (not everyone can be a good waitress), cook, administrator, we feel it deep within our spirit and we are happy and satisfied and that my friends, is what contentment is about. When we know we are exactly where God wants us to be and doing what God wants us to be doing, when our spirit is calm and happy.

I wish you contentment in 2010! Just as this greetings sign offers warmth by looking at the lit lamp, may we all allow God to light our lamp and may we find true contentment and purpose in our lives!