Sunday, November 13, 2016

Contentment...



The other day I read these words from my devotional and was quite challenged by them:

Many people view happiness as a future state, something to achieve later when a certain goal is reached. Have you ever reached that goal only to find the happiness short-lived?
Once you got what you thought you wanted, were you happy with it? 
Have you ever reached a goal only to find yourself already looking for something else to give you a sense of fulfillment?
(Quiet Moments for a Woman's Heart)

This challenged me because it was already what had been weaving its way through my thoughts for a few weeks. Not just on a spiritual level. but in my everyday doings. 

For example, on a small scale - coffee mugs. 
I own 40, probably more (and let's not talk about my tea cups) yet there are never any more than 6 or 7 people in my home at any one time. So why do I need so many?
Well I don't, but I go through moods of liking bright colours and then moods of wanting pastels, then I'll move on to roses, before deciding spots are wonderful - and all this is expressed in little things like coffee cups.
My husband groans when he opens the mug drawer and it's full, when he opens the top cupboards and he's greeted by even more, when he looks into a box downstairs in the laundry and still more empty-of-coffee vessels peer up at him. And he asks me, "why so many?' 

Truth?

I buy a few new mugs and it makes me happy. I take them home, move a few older ones to another drawer or cupboard, and for the next 6 weeks I get a little giddy inside every time I pour coffee into my cup. Then the glow dissipates and I take longer each morning to choose a mug for my first breakfast beverage. It's not long before I see a new mug or two which stop me in my tracks and after some mental bargaining with myself they are purchased, packed, and brought home where they're very quickly washed, given centre stage in my mug drawer and I'm giddy with anticipation of using them. The cycle begins again.

Now, this is just a small example of a 'short-lived' satisfaction in my life, and I do have other areas that are quite a bit more complex that need to be dealt with, but hopefully you get the point?

If I hadn't had an "aha" moment this week you wouldn't have been privy to my coffee mug confession, however, the Lord has been gracious and lifted the veil to shine light on a particular area of my life and I don't think I'll be shopping for coffee mugs anymore. 

When we find it difficult to be satisfied for any length of time with what we have - now that can be our hairstyle, furnishings, music, fabrics, clothing, friends, whatever YOU can think of that causes problems for you personally, things you keep changing or wanting to change - I believe it's often because we have some deep issues inside of us that haven't been settled, things that we're trying to cover with 'stuff', people or experiences which temporarily mask the sadness, pain, grief, hurt, shame, fear, insert your own word,  that we have not been able to deal with in our lives.

God has shone a very clear light upon a few areas in my life which cross over in many ways, and seeing them with clarity now I feel free to throw away most of those coffee mugs as well as plenty more things in my home.
But most importantly I sense a weight lifted, one that has kept me blind to what truly brings contentment. As simple as this sounds, I am getting to know who I am and what matters to me. I'm discovering why I seek certain colours or styles at certain times and why I no longer need to follow avenues that do not reflect my true self.

Like Saul when the 'scales' fell from his eyes, the Lord is giving me sight to see me as I really am and not as I imagined I was. This new/old Jenny who is quietly emerging is familiar in that "don't I know you?" kind of way and it's kind of beautiful to meet her.

This experience is just one more step in God's plan to make me whole, a plan that will take my whole life, but I am patient because He has been, and still is, more than patient with me.

If you have struggled with dissatisfaction and think you have underlying issues at the core of this problem, pray about it, seek the Lord, and don't be afraid to seek good and Godly counsel about it too.

Bless you,




PS: After some comments and emails I should assure you I don't 'throw' things away, that was just my expression. Excess is always lovingly gifted to those in need. xx

18 comments:

gracie said...

A beautiful post

Martha M Roberts said...

Amazingly insightful. I found this out about my "retail therapy" several years ago. A fleeting satisfaction, a temporary fulfillment. Love you, dear Jenny!

Tanya Hughes said...

Oh my goodness - it is as though you have read my heart...
Thank you so much for sharing so bravely and so honestly
I love it!
Have a great week
God Bless Jenny
Loads of love from Tanya Hughes in Western Australia xxxx

margaret said...

How true I can so relate to this but I find it is not coffee cups but fabrics which I will never find time to use up and then more are added and yes it is usually when I am struggling with something in my life, thank you will spend some time tinking about this today and how I can change and put more trust in God to help through the difficult times.
Bless you for sharing this

Kerrie (Kezzie) said...

Thanks for the devotion, Jenny, and thanks for your honesty in sharing.
God has also been challenging me about contentment. I am beginning to see that lack of contentment is actually an attitude that expresses that I am not satisfied with the life God has chosen for me, and for what He has given me. I found this an awful attitude to have towards the God who loves me and sacrificed His Son for me!
Thanks Jenny for encouraging me to keep on with practicing being thankful to God for every part of me and my life so that I can honour Him for all His goodness and love.

Thanks for the pincushion tutorials. You are such a blessing and I can't wait to have a bit more time so I can make them.

Blessings

Kerrie (Kezzie)

KimM said...

What a lovely, insightful post, Jenny. It definitely makes me sit, pause, reflect and pray. You are a blessing.
Hugs
xxx

Brenda said...

Good Morning Jenny! Thank You for sharing your insights with us this morning. I know that it really made me stop and wander. I need much more time to really emerge myself in this and discover the truth. I would however, like to mention that instead of throwing away your special mugs and tea cups. Why not take them to a shelter and donate them or even to a Goodwill store. Maybe they are not per say called the same thing but I am sure you understand what I am saying. Thank you again for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny,
I recently came across a quote by Elizabeth Elliot that I memorized. When I am tempted to be discontented I say it to myself and the Lord uses it to encourage me! "A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace." The scripture I always think of that coincides with this is 1 Peter 3:4, "Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious" When we know Him through His word, we trust Him, and then we are at peace.

May the Lord bless and keep you! Thank you for encouraging us through the Word and your life!

Elaine in Virginia, USA

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Brenda, that is what I do. I should have been clear on that. Everything I have no more use for is given to charity. Bless you dear one. x

Karen said...

Ah....Jenny heart speaks to heart.....love and blessings

♥ Mary Janes TEAROOM said...

A lovely and thought provoking post Jenny,
Wishing you a happy new week,
Susan x

desertskyquilts said...

Not with dissatisfaction. But there are things I need to have to feel safe, and it stems from childhood shortages. This was a great thoughtful post.

C Reeder PhxAz said...

Seems holiday gift ideas are ready at hand! Fill those mugs with some homemade mini cookies, Saran Wrap and a bow. Start passing out the love. Turn that once need into a precious gift during a season where people need a tiny bit of extra love.

Maria said...

This is lovely Jenny. I love that Paul states '...I have learned....'. It is a process, a journey, thankfully one of Grace, mercy, and gentleness - so grateful for that. Thank you Lord, and thank you Jenny for yet more wise words and insights. Blessings from a shaky and very wet NZ.

Maria said...

Thought I should clarify that note with the Scripture...Philippians 4:12!!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

PS: After some comments and emails I should assure you I don't 'throw' things away, that was just my expression. Excess is always lovingly gifted to those in need. xx

Christy Stankee said...

This must be the week of revelations since I too received one, but you made me feel your process of "waking" up to this issue. Thank you for you gifted words and loving encouragement. God bless you on your journey!

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Love to you Jenny. These are beautiful words. I too have been there.