Monday, February 15, 2010

Gratitude and contentment...the neverending journey

The past few days I have been struggling with contentment. Winter really got to me. I thought I had been doing good focusing on the blessings of winter, even as evidenced by my last post. But then I heard how the South got a lot of snow and how it melted the next day....
and I started feeling sorry for myself for living in a place where winter is nearly 6 months...
and I started feeling jealous of all those Southerners who get to enjoy the snow for a day and then are back to mild winters....that's my kinda snow!
These feelings of discontentment made me feel homesick for my hometown and my family....
and all the familiar feelings flooded me and brought me down....
just when I thought I was doing much better accepting where I live.
And, I reminded myself that the Christian walk is always two steps forward, one step back. I gave myself some grace.
And I tried to have gratitude. But only because He asks us to, and I want to obey Him.
(and most things in me scream: "I don't want to be thankful for this situation!!")
"Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name...for the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations..." ~Psalm 100:4-5
"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances...." Phil. 4:11

But this....this is why we have gratitude and learn to be content:
"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.." John 15:11


gratitude image from here

11 comments:

Joyfultoria said...

Great post, thanks for sharing.
It's definitely something I struggle with in my Christian walk. Lovely to be reminded of those verses.

Thanks!
Vicky, :-)

Karen said...

I love your blog. This post really hits home. Right now it is cold, the kids and I are sick, my husband is traveling, and I think spring has forgotten us. Yup, I can easily slide into whiny, feel sorry for myslef mode. The truth is, God has used this time to work amazing growth in my heart. He has really brought me closer to Him. He has shown me that He really is enough. In so many ways, it has been such sweet time. I have been praising Him through this tough time of learning. Yippee!

But then the next snow comes, the 9 month old threw up his dinner, and the two year old has been learning (maybe from momma?) the art of whining and I all I can think is, can't you hurry spring and wellness?

I am so glad God has patience with me. I think I might me one of His trying children.

Andrea said...

oh Karen, that is beautiful....thank you for sharing.
Yes it is true, my struggle has also been a sweet time, despite my pain! I also have learned He really is enough. Though it is such a good lesson, it is such a hard lesson....
Someone told me today they saw robins where I live last week......
There's always hope, right friend?

Linda said...

I'm so sorry Andrea. I understand those deeply painful feelings. It really isn't easy to be contented. I just read something in my old Bible Study book about contentment. The author said it isn't being satisfied with the what we have but rather wanting more of Jesus. Perhaps He has something very special just for during this season. Something you would never have known in the warmth of climate and family.
Some day, when you are settled back home again you will have that rooted deeply in your heart to take with you.

nesscake said...

I just read your fantastic post here. It seems like we share the attitude that "Gratitude is good for you." Grateful Nation is an online community that gives grateful people like you the opportunity & resources to connect, give back, and be thankful. Follow GN or jump into the unending cycle of gratitude here at Grateful Nation Thank you, Vanessa

Amy in Peru said...

when i remember to accept the trials as well as the blessings as gifts from GOD's own hand... it's easier. much easier to be thankful.

i feel your pain ;)

Amy in Peru
http://apilgrimsproject.blogspot.com

emily said...

andrea,

thank you for this post. my heart has uttered the same song ... fighting for contentment, seeking His peace and purposes, even while longing for my own.

this year, more than any other, i desire SPRING - the sunshine, the rebirth and refresh that it seems to represent.

so, i am determined to soak in all that He has for *right now*; to remain desperate for Him and His Word; to then fully appreciate when spring arrives.

hugs to you!

i have long loved your blog and finally, humbly, have started my own. i put your link on my sidebar - hope that's ok! you are such a blessing.

emily

stephanie said...

beautiful....and thank you for loving the doodle!

The Homesteading Apartment said...

Oh Andrea...I so understand that contentment walk. I'm one of those Southerners in NC with disappearing snow (: Funny, because I've always wanted to live in a colder climate with snow covered lands.

My contentment challenge has been about marriage and family. I just turned 40 this year and sometimes feel like the marriage and baby train has left me at the station. As a child I dreamed of the kind of husband I would marry, my wedding and the children we would have. But God had a different plan. There were opportunities, but I felt God asking me to take a different journey for the time being. I spent the last 13 years caring for ill family members and that time has greatly shaped me and helped me to more fully rely on Him. But there are times that my heart aches especially when I see family and friends marrying and starting their own families. I just have to remember that God has put a desire in my heart for a husband and children for a reason. I don't know why my dream is taking so long, but God does and He wants the best for me so I know when the times comes it will be more magical than I ever imagined. Messy, but magical (: So until that time I am patiently waiting...

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Monica said...

"Godliness with contentment is great gain." This verse goes through my mind continually some days.

Last winter I read Buried in the Snow http://www.lamplighterpublishing.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RCBITS

This book gave me a renewed perspective.

children of Eve said...

I know it's difficult Andrea, but we are so blessed to have you here in the frozen north.