Living in Contentment, Not Entitlement

‘When I am engaged…’
‘When we are married…’
‘When our baby sleeps through the night…’
‘When we are done pottytraining…’
‘When we know where we’ll live permenantly…’
‘When we get to buy a farm…’
‘When we make just a little more money…’
‘When the winter is over…’
‘When we get a little more into savings…’
‘When you take us to someplace amazing…’
‘When we finally move…’
‘When the boys are older…’

The last year God has been dealing with my heart on gratitude. Now a new season is dawning of contentment. Absolute and no strings attached, just full-fledged contentment. It seems to be the next step in this journey of embracing gratitude for me. If I really look at all I have been given- how can I mope and moan? Even if I remove all the extra gifts and blessings that I am steward over, I have been given life and even that I do not deserve. I have been made aware recently of how much I do think I deserve, a gift for this holiday, for someone to treat me decently, that my life would be meaningful, to never be lacking and yet what I really deserve is much darker of a picture than what I tend to think about.

My most memorable wake-up call is a funny one.  I was driving in the car with the boys, and they started talking about a tree house. This has been a request of theirs for years and years. A tree house. I can relate because ever since I can remember I too have wanted a tree house. In the middle of them talking about it and how they really wanted this 4 inch twig to grow into a tree so they could build a tree house in it they asked, “Mom, someday will we have a tree house?” And I responded immediately, “Of course you will!”

After I said this it struck me. How was I so sure they would have a tree house? It was an absolute sense of entitlement of mine for them, any kid that wishes for a tree house should have one. Then I was convicted. Eeek. My heart that was wrong. If God gives us a tree house, we will be absolutely and utterly thrilled, but until then we will be content with what we have. I long for my kids to have the desires of their hearts, but no one benefits from believing they are entitled.

I have missed something. Over and over, I’ve missed it. I could blame it on culture, on media, on whatever- but the fault is all mine. It is my tree house. There are things I think He owes me.

Praising Him that I can be content no matter what comes, no matter what He takes or removes from my grip and thankful, so thankful that He loves to show me just HOW MUCH he loves me. Praying I can learn to sense his pleasure even when it isn’t in the form of a ‘tree house’.

This year I have been taking pictures and posting them on instagram with the hashtag #undeservedgifts2014 feel free to use this tag, or make your own, or record what you’ve been given in some other way.

Contentment not ‘if’ or ‘when’, but now.

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