During my application process at Thomas Nelson, I took the Strengths Finder Test. I found out I am high on the “Achievement” end, but it also included a weakness of my type for “the tendency towards gnawing discontentment”. It was one of those, ‘are you reading my mail?’ moments. In effort to change, I started examining my perspective and attitude. Am I doomed to be discontent?
Yes. And in a way, I think most of us are.
Eventually with kids and such, Michael and I hope to move into a house. Part of the American dream, right? I’ll confess though, I’ve found myself thinking, “Once we get a house, then life will be perfect.” It’s not that I’m unhappy. Honestly. It’s just my mind is always going to the next thing that I want. This morning, I read back in my journal…
“Life will just be so much easier when we are married. June 4th can’t come soon enough!” I went on to make a list about ways I was dissatisfied with my present circumstances, but believed once we were married everything would be perfect.
I remember thinking that once I got the job at Thomas Nelson, I’d be satisfied. That once I got married, I’d be content. And the best is when I am convinced a certain number on the scale will make me happy.
What do you desire?
I’m married to the man of my dreams. We live in a great place. I have my dream job. Sure I’d like to move into a house, have more money, get promoted at work, run a marathon, and have a designer wardrobe, but far too often these desires turn into waiting around for the next best thing.
Recently, I heard a couple complain about their financial status. I looked at them in disbelief. “If I had as much money as you, then I wouldn’t complain…” I thought quietly to myself, trying to hide any giveaway facial expressions.
Then it hit me: I’m not dealing with a money problem, it’s a heart problem. Having more money won’t solve anything. Moving into a house? Nope. Getting promoted? Not that either.
Is it possible to be satisfied while others will always have more? He’s married and I’m not…she got the promotion and I’m still stuck…life never works out for me like it does for her…?
Contentment is a heart attitude and really has very little to do with outward circumstances. The Bible says clearly that nothing on this earth we can attain or buy or achieve will ever fully satisfy us. Some of the people I know who seemingly have everything are wracked with unhappiness. And I’ve seen people living in one room apartments in China crawling with roaches, filled with joy. Not because they don’t want life to get better or have more, but because their contentment comes from something greater. Something deeper.
Something more than just dream houses and spouses and finances and appearance. Our joy must come from that which cannot be taken away.
Are you satisfied?
Ruthie – found your blog through Michael. I love it. I think if we lived close we’d be dear friends. 🙂 I posted something almost identical to this about the same time as you: http://jeananddaniel.blogspot.com/2011/09/confession-session-envy-guilt-and-other.html Thought you might want to check it out.
SO excited to meet you at Homecoming. Michael is one of my favorite people – ever – and I can’t wait to meet his “better half” !!
Hi Jean! I can’t wait to meet you! I love your blog…and your precious twins!
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What a wonderful post! It’s as if you were reading my mind. I recently posted about something similar and have found my struggle with contentment really at the forefront lately (those enemy attacks), so I was very encouraged with your thoughts.
Thanks for sharing!
HI, Ruthie! This is Anna (from the post today at goodwomanproject)!
I loved what you wrote-so glad you have what the LORD had set aside from everlasting. I wanted to let you know that if we have a daughter (I am 23 weeks pregnant and we aren’t finding out) her name will be Ruth. It is a crazy, crazy, God-written story about my husband but I literally promised God if I married Matt Norman that I would name our daughter Ruth (since she is told to wait in the Bible and I heard the LORD say I was to be Ruth…much more to that story-all God).
Nonetheless, love your blog and love your name.
Hallelujah for grace and great men.
Anna-wow. I just emailed you about potentially writing your story as a guest post on my blog. So encouraging! God does provide more than we could ever ask or imagine!
I think contentment and happiness are two different things. Sometimes, to me anyway, it feels like contentment = settling. Or just happy enough to stay put until the next best thing comes along. For example, I am content with my running shoes. I’ve had them for a year and by mid-October will have run 2 half marathons, a relay race and done tons of training in them. I need new ones – but I am content with what I have because I can’t yet get the new ones that will make my feet happy. Does that make sense? I think a lot of times people aren’t grateful for what they have (fingers pointing at me). This was a good reminder to be thankful for what I have instead of being wishing for more.
Thanks (as always) for your comments, Ashley. Esp. the poignant example of running shoes (which I need to put to good use more often). Love it! Next week I’m writing a continuation to this post on Joy. I think happiness and joy are different, but contentment leads to joy.
Great great post…now to apply…
yeah the application post is coming next!
So proud of you! You are understanding something a lot earlier than I did! Please don’t ever forget this hard lesson to learn because it is a precious piece of knowledge to have! Love this one Ruthie!
Thank you, anonymous:) I really appreciate your friendship and thanks for reading. I still have a lot to learn!