The One Key To Contentment We Never Talk About

If you've been keeping up with me at all, you know I'm on a quest for contentment.  Mostly because I have to teach/preach about it on Sunday at church.  

I'm a little old school in my teaching methods.  I like to have mastered a subject before I tell others what to do on the subject. 

But for some reason, I'm not sure I'm ready to lead a mastermind group on contentment.  I still wish for the not yet.  I still find that my life is not exactly all that I dreamed.  I still wonder if I could just get a little bit more....

How about you?  Where are you on the contentment scale?  Do you wish for a little bit more or is all you have more than enough?  A little more house?  A few more friends?  A little more planned dates nights?  A little more obedience from your kiddos?  

As Pastor Craig Groeschel put it, " Never before have so many of us had so much and still have a need for more."

The more I studied this topic, the harder it became to deny that I too want more.  More stuff.  More friends.  More adventure.  More house.  More life. 

And along the way, I discovered something that I think most of us don't talk about when it comes to contentment.  We talk about appreciating what you have.  We talk about expressing gratitude for our blessings.  

What we don't talk about is you and me...are we content with us?  What role do you and I play in arriving at contentment and finding peace with the life God has given us?  How do you and I live a life marked with contentment? 

A life marked with contentment embraces God's plans. 

I don't know about you, but this was not where I was supposed to be at the age of 47.  My life was supposed to be drastically different.  For starters, I was supposed to be married and have at least 2 kids (I was an only child growing up and yes it scarred me).  I was never supposed to own my own business.  Or be a writer.  But here I am. 

And quite honestly, I'm not always happy about the turns my life has taken.  And yet, in my more contented moments, I find a peace when I embrace God's plan for my life.  I find rest when I stop efforting my way out being uncomfortable.  I find contentment when I trust that God's plan for me is better than anything I could ever dream up on my own.  

A life marked with contentment rests in being undone. 

I just read Looking For Lovely by Annie Downs.  Loved it.  Read it in a weekend.  She's my soul sister. 

In the end, I found a word from God in the middle of her story.  She was writing about looking for the beauty in herself, in her life, and in her own broken story.  She was having trouble with the end, because like me she wanted to be complete before she completed the book.  She wanted to be on the other side of looking for lovely so she could share the secret with us. 

Instead, the secret she shared was that it's okay to be undone.  It's okay to be unfinished.  A work in progress.  Still learning.  Still growing.  Not arrived.  I need to hear that.  Probably every day.  And I think you do too!  It's okay to not have it all together.  It's okay to be walking and learning from the Lord.  It's okay to share your story even though you are still journeying.  It's what life is all about. 

A life marked with contentment can see that the real issue is about being content with ourselves. 

I've been struggling lately.  Well, there's the food thing.  You know, my break-up with cheese and all things yummy.  Then there's the business.  While doing well, I would love for things to be going better.  And then there's some crazy changes.  Job changes.  New friends,  Old friends.  Its enough to drive a girl and her dog off the deep end. 

As I dug a little deeper with myself on this contentment thing,  I realized this important truth.  Sometimes I'm not content because I'm not content with me.  And my quest for contentment sometimes becomes a quest for adding things to make me sure I am enough. 

A successful business.  A well-read blog.  Lots of friends.  Good food.  More home.  Nice clothes.  So many things can make me feel better about who I am on the inside.  But the feeling doesn't last. 

In all honesty, there are days that I'm not sure I love who God made me to be.  I wonder if I fit in.  I wish I didn't love cheese so much.  The little bit more I need is NOT more stuff or more clients or more friends.  The little bit more I need is to find the lovely in myself.  To love who I am not who I'm going to be. 

Contentment is a journey of discovery.  Discovering who we were made to be.  Learning to love that person.  And embracing the plans that God lays before us to fulfill our God-given purpose.  I'd love to hear your own journey of contentment with ourself and the blessings you have.  Share with my in the comments below!