Contentment…

I don’t know where I’m headed today girls, but here goes…

As I sit looking out my window I see gray clouds, drippy porch rails, swaying trees–yep you guessed it–it’s yucky outside.  The thermometer says it’s a sweltering 32 degrees, with the promise of temperatures continually dropping throughout the evening.  I’m not complaining–I know this weather is necessary for the replenishment of the earth.  I am so blessed to be in for the night however–nothing I need to do tonight but stay in, relax, and enjoy the warmth of my home and family.

Writing that, God put into my head a story that I just read in the Bible.  It’s in the book of Numbers, chapter 11. Here, the Israelite people are whining about constantly eating manna and no meat.  Human nature is funny, isn’t it?  These people have been brought out of Egypt and its oppression by the God of the universe and He meets with the leader of the Israelite people face to face (Exodus 33:11).  They have a pretty good thing going on: God is with them every step, and guides them on their journey.  But yet things aren’t quite good enough for the people.  They just want something different to eat–little did they know that the complaining about their diet would lead to God’s anger and a subsequent plague to hit the people.  They would have done better to just accept what God had given them and trust in His provision.

How are we like those Israelite people today?  God may put us in a certain job or neighborhood, but we want something else.  We may live in this house, but we want that house.  We have a spouse and/or children that were gifts from the Lord, but we just aren’t happy with them.  Our friend may look beautiful, have money, take trips, volunteer, cook meals, clean her house, be physically fit, have it all “together”–and we want to be just like her.  As humans, we never seem to be happy.  Sometimes that desire to have more or be more or do more can motivate us to work harder, faster, smarter–and work out good things in the long run.  Not all the time, however…

We may ask God, “why can’t I be more like her?  I can do those things, talk like that, write those words, run that race, bake those cupcakes, organize that closet…”  I’m as guilty as the next person because there are times when I would like things to be different in my world.  When I find myself thinking that way, I remember the saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  Why do I remember that?  Because ladies, it’s the unspoken truth that goes with it–that grass isn’t necessarily greener, it’s just different grass.  And over time what happens?  We start looking for some more grass.  We just aren’t content.

Contentment is hard to come by, isn’t it?  We want something more, something different, something special, something changed.  It’s difficult to be happy in our current circumstances at times.  But girls, happiness depends so much on the circumstance.  Contentment comes from deep within; it’s there even when things aren’t good.  I put contentment in the same basket as joy from a perspective viewpoint.  Both are choices–choices that are made independent of anyone else.  Contentment is finding joy in wherever you are with whatever you have.  Period.  It’s not settling for something lesser–it’s knowing that you have what you need for this time.  Yes, you may not have what you want, but you do have everything you need.  Making the distinction between want and need makes a huge difference in the contentment level.   I Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”  We need to be able to say that we are OK with where we are right now–as we trust in God to bring to us whatever we need in His timing.  As we become more and more like Christ (which is what godliness is), the trust in His ways grows; and thusly, our contentment level increases as well.

So today, ask yourself about your contentment level.  What can you do to increase that?  My absolute first suggestion would be to pray and ask God for help in this area.  After that, keep an eye out for opportunities to just trust and accept.  Contentment comes from God–and I pray that each of you finds contentment right where you are.

Speaking of contentment, I wanted to offer you a recipe that will certainly make your loved ones content to stay at home.  Roasted tomato meat loaf is comfort food that’s easy and yummy.  Place a nice thick slice of this next to some creamy mashed potatoes and some fresh fruit (or some rice and black beans as pictured), and the family will be very happy with what they have in front of them.  Try this real soon!

Yes!  Try this flavorful Mexican twist as an alternative to a traditional meat loaf dinner. You'll love the roasted tomato flavor and spice the Old El Paso® Mexican Cooking Sauce provides.

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