Wednesday Inspired

Contentment Ever After

According to the TV last night, Charlie Brown is having a hard time finding his Christmas Spirit. Something’s not right, so he searches in discontent.

I have heard it said many times this holiday season-- from some very honest people-- that they don’t quite feel the “spirit of Christmas” upon them. I too am trying to find my own Christmas spirit, but not only that, I struggle with feeling content…all year long.

Why do you think I talk about self-reflection so much? Like a good mirror, I reflect to check myself for character dilemmas. Mirror

Mirror on the wall, who is the most content soul of all?

Sometimes …it’s not me.

I count my blessings and I name them. I know them. And I know I live a blessed life. I am grateful and yet, I find at times I am easily lured into the land of discontent. Now I’m not talking about healthy discontent where you make a plan and work to better your life. No, I am talking about the restless spirit of discontent the one that may lead you where you will not want to go.

Am I alone in this?

Why do we feel the restless pull of discontent… alone in crowds…poor when we are rich?

I think it may be the ordinary life that feels too ordinary and then we feel dissatisfaction and then discontent is unveiled.

Discontentment can be a seed planted.
It can make you feel sorry for yourself.
It can make you buy things you can’t afford.
It can make you wander.
Discontentment can make you throw away good things to seek something not so good.

And discontentment can make you…
Walk away

Discontentment can mean desiring greener grass. But, somehow we forget, the grass that grows greener on the other side will also become brown and die.

I am content most of the time. So are you. It is in those seasons of discontent that we need to guard our hearts, our minds, our souls and fight back...because discontentment can be a deal breaker in the wrong hands.

We may, just may, be discontent because we concentrate too much on what we don’t have and not so much on what we are and what we have. And sometimes the best way to find your way out of the land of discontent is to go visit another land.

This week Meredith showed me the land of content in her post and it had little to do with self. She taught me to put aside my own woes and look around me and notice. The spirit of contentment (in case you don't know) is noticing and doing for others. That’s what I learned from her post.

I’s healthier to concentrate on your blessings, even if it is just one. It is healthier to not entertain "things" we shouldn’t focus on. It’s healthier to look for hope than to look for despair. It’s just healthier to stop giving the pity parties.

So this is a message about the Christmas season- spirit. This message is to you and to me. Treat yourself well. Stop making yourself crazy with the “what ifs”. Remember you are a child of God. Remember your purpose. Hold your head high. Keep your heart free. Live large. Bless others. Embrace life because it is worth living.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 23:11 (NIV)

I will leave you with this.

An older gentleman was sitting outside on the porch of a country store. His dog sat patiently waiting beside him.
A woman had exited and was somberly waiting for someone to pick her up.
The older gentleman inhaled on his pipe and said, "See my dog?"
The woman nodded.
"That's MY dog." He pointed to the dog.
The dog wagged his whole body and then ran to the woman.
She knelt and petted the eager dog.
"That's happy." he said.
The woman couldn't help but smile at the friendly dog whose entire body shook with happiness. "He is certainly happy." She said.
The man blew out another puff of smoke. "No, Ma'am, his name IS Happy."

Do you waggle all over with happiness? Or do you walk around with your tail between your legs? Don't answer those questions unless you want, but answer this: Where do you find your contentment? What do you do when discontentment raps on your door?


Joanne said…
Like Dorothy did in Oz, I don't look much farther than my own backyard. My home is my source of so much: writing, family, nourishment, leisure, conversation, peace. If all's good there, all's good when I venture out too.
Anonymous said…
"alone in crowds…poor when we are rich?"

Nicely put, good lady--a good reminder to snap out of our self-absorption for a while.
Indie said…
I think for me, the hardest part is realizing that the good and the bad flow together. A baby is being born while someone else you love is desperately ill. A child is getting married while the parents are divorcing etc....

I want them seperate, those good times and bad. That way the good times could be savored so much more.

But maybe that would make the bad times too hard to endure with no good ones to look to?

Beautifully written piece JW!~
Arlee Bird said…
I'm not all waggly happy I guess, but I am extraordinariy content. I am content at home or away from home, I am content when I'm with others or by myself-- I usually can find something about my situation to inspire contentment within myself. When discontent knocks, I pray and I try to distract myself away from negative energy and pull myself back into the positive.
Patti Lacy said…
Love, love this blog.
So intimate. Thought-provoking.

The Lord and His promises pull me in when I'm whimpering like that poor tail-tucked creature you described.

He has a plan for EACH OF US and I believe that with my heart and my head now and not just my lips...

Blessings and thanks,
I get up happy, just can't help myself! I am rarely down and can laugh and find the good in most circumstances. Maybe I'm just clueless to the troubles around me.

Have a super day filled with surprise blessings!!!
Great post!

I fuss at myself if I'm not content. I don't have any reason not to be and it irritates me when I get that way. (I don't have much patience with myself!) :)

CM said…
Contentment for me is:

1. Faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Cuddling with my baby boys.
3. A hug from my DH.
4. A glass of wine after the kids are in bed.

But sometimes, none of that works and I try to remember the quote, "This too shall pass."
Elspeth Futcher said…
You've written a wonderfully thoughtful post, JW! Contentment comes in degrees, I think. Self-contentment depends a great deal on your level of self-esteem. One feeds on the other.

Gail said…
I tend to wag my tail...Be still, and know that He is God.
Mary Aalgaard said…
Happiness is connecting to another journaler. Glad to have found you!

From an older post, Fav. Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." Being thankful for what you have, and not having regrets.
Melbourne Girl said…
Great sentiments Teresa. Have a great time this Christmas. Eat, drink and be merry with family and friends
Unknown said…
Be still and know that I am God. When discontent comes calling, we need to not let it in and wallow in it but to be still and listen to His voice.

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