...a Big 12 basketball game. They call it the Sunflower Showdown...KU versus KSU. (That would be the University of Kansas versus Kansas State University.)
Honestly, I don't care all that much. I am a Missouri grad, but, anytime KU loses 3 in a row I'm cheering on their opponent! ;)
So, what does all this basketball talk have to do with tonight's blog post?
Well, I'm a Kansas resident. With a heart for Missouri. And a passion for all things coastal/Southern.
I am probably the last person on earth that should be talking about contentment! But here I am.
14 Ways to Show Your Family "I Love You"
#6 Be Content
"..., for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Philippians 4:11 (KJV)
It is believed that at the time of his writing (St. Paul's letter to the Philippians), St. Paul was in jail (location unknown) and under threat of death for preaching the Gospel of Christ. Yet, even in this extremely dangerous situation, Paul expresses his desire to always be in a state of contentment.
How often I experience discontent!
Discontent with my husband's rotating fire fighter schedule...
Discontent with the decorating state of our home...
Discontent with living in Kansas...
...yet all that discontentment does nothing to foster/create happiness within myself or my family.
While contentment means being satisfied with what you have and focusing less on what you don't have, it doesn't necessarily translate to not improving ones self or situation. But, sometimes, we need to step outside of our selves and look at a situation from a fresh perspective.
Is the situation really all that bad?
Are we living in an abusive situation...or do we really just hate living in the heartland of America far away from sunny beaches and swaying palm trees? Can we see the forest for the trees...is there beauty to be found in the wheat and sunflower fields?
And what about my home? Am I discontent because I'm living in a dangerous neighborhood with gunfire and drug pushers...or am I just unhappy because my HOA doesn't allow chickens???!!! Is my life really that bad living in a 2800 square foot custom-built farmhouse where the heat kicks on and the fridge is full of fresh produce???!!!
And about that fire department rotating schedule...are 24-hour shifts every other day of the week not a fair trade off for the job security my husband has including opportunities for promotion...incredible health and dental coverage...and a retirement plan that pays him 100% of his final average salary?
"Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said,
"I will never forsake you or abandon you.""
Hebrews 13:5 (NAB, Saint Joseph Edition)
For most of us (not all...I understand that there are terminal illnesses, homelessness, abusive situations, etc.), contentment lies in making a choice to be satisfied with what life has handed us...focusing on what we do have...and appreciating it.
So, what can we do to live more contented lives?
- Count our blessings. (I love Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts) Appreciating what we do have.
- Appreciate others.
- Do more...with less.
- Simplify...reduce clutter. Donate...give away...bless someone else.
I believe that by finding contentment, we show our loved ones how much we appreciate and care for them. By choosing contentment, we send the message that regardless of our current situation (our needs and our wants) we can be happy just being with the ones we love.
Contentment does not come naturally to me. I'm more glass half-empty than full. I have to realllllly find the beauty in the sunflowers when my ocean-loving self longs for a life along the coast.
So this might be a good Lenten resolution for me...
...to pray for and practice contentment.
Oh...and what a bummer. KU won. ;)