"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." Philippians 4:12.
I remember the time in my life when I learned to be content, no matter what the situation. I remember walking that journey with my sweet Annie. It was about 7 years ago. Both of our families recognized the need to get out of debt and to enjoy the simpler things of life. Annie and I would walk together some evenings and process our new mindsets. We would encourage each other to enjoy the blessings we have.
The blessings that don't have a pricetag.
She made me this fun bookmark that reads "Sometimes life sucks, but I have learned to be content in whatever state." I still carry the bookmark with me in my purse. I double-checked before I made this post and it's still tucked away in its safe place in my purse.
I have truly learned to be content with my state of living.
I live in a house that was built in 1921. It has lots of character (read "unfinished projects" and "imperfections"). But I'm content with my old house.
I drive a mini van with a few dings and well over 100,000 miles. But I'm content with my wheels.
We have purchased only 1 new piece of furniture in our 14 years of marriage - our dining room table and chairs. But I'm content with and very thankful for all my hand-me-downs.
The only new appliances we have ever purchased - our washer and dryer. But I'm so thankful for and content with all my used appliances. They just don't make them like they used to.
I have learned to borrow jewelry when I need something spectacular to wear to a special event. I'm VERY thankful for my friends who have such great taste.
But, I still have one area in my life where I'm not content. Maybe you can identify with this.
Sometimes I struggle with being comfortable, happy and satisfied with the person God created me to be. I know all the scriptures that tell me this is a lie straight from the pit of hell.
Maybe I'm the only one who has this problem. But maybe I'm not.
Somedays I can truly rejoice with my friends and genuinely compliment them on their beauty, accomplishments, "perfection". But somedays I'm jealous and try to imitate. I know, imitation is the best form of flattery.
But what does God think?
"For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - David's words from Psalms 139:13-14.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." - God's words to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5.
As I have continued to walk this journey to learn to be the best Dani Sue God created, to learn to be content with me, I felt God share this creative example with me. It might be a crazy sweet tooth but I think God has a sense of humor and uses it with me sometimes.
Have you ever had a craving for homemade, hot from the oven, gooey chocolate chip cookies? Can you smell them. Yummy!
Think for a minute if you had this strong desire. You go to the work of making an extra trip to the grocery to buy all the necessary ingredients and then spend the afternoon stirring together the ingredients and baking a batch of the ooey, gooey deliciousness.
Your mouth has been watering for a few hours. You've been dreaming of a cold diet coke...I mean glass of milk...to wash the rich goodness down.
And then one of the cookies thinks to himself, "I don't like this creation. Look at that long, thin stalk of celery. What wondefully firm skin. Celery gets to travel to delicious, funky salads. Celery gets to mingle with all the healthy foods. Celery gets to wear rich dressing. I wish I was more like celery. I'm round, greasy and bumpy. I have to hang out with these other lumpy, bumpy, round, greasy cookies. We bump together and crumble."
You sit down to bite into your delicious creation and it crunches a little like celery. The sweet ooey, gooey goodness is gone. yuck!
Ok, I recognize cookies don't have brains or emotions but just pretend for a few minutes.
Isn't that what we do sometimes?
God had a craving for just the perfect YOU and me. God went to the extra work to pull together the perfect genetic ingredients for each of us.
And then we want to be just like someone else. We trade in our sweetness for someone else's crispness.
Let me say it like this I try to trade my sensitivity for your boldness.
I try to exchange my quirky sense of style for your modern chicness.
I try to organize my chaos to look like your perfectly situated life.
Guess what?! I will be frustrated, lost and disappointed.
God will be disappointed but patient with me. He will re-align my heart with His and remind me of the person He created me to be.
And I will be happy and content again.
Just the right amount of sweetness, crisp, ooey gooey goodness :)