Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Just a little more...contentment?
A couple of months ago, a little boy came over to play with Noah. Nice kid, nice family. The two new friends had a good time in our condo.
As the little boy left to go back to his house, he said to Noah, “You gotta come over to our house and play. The trampoline in our backyard is as big as your whole house.”
Noah responded, “Mom, can I go over right now?”
He didn’t know to be insulted. Good for him. I, on the other hand, immediately bought some apps and had a pity party.
My home is not a huge place to live. It is, however, a nice, comfy home with lots of love. But the Enemy loves to sneak up on me and whisper thoughts of discontentment. It happens often.
When we lived in California, we lived in a series of small rented homes or apartments. Every month we would have dinner with two other couples who owned huge homes. Our standard self-defacing joke became, “We rent, but we’re good people.”
So when we moved to Denver and were able to buy our own condo, I felt so grateful. I own walls! That door is mine! This closet belongs to me. It was quite a feeling of joy. Victory, even.
So now, here I am, fighting the contentment war. Again. Why can’t I just be content with what I have? Why do I have that little cringing feeling when I go to a friend’s house who has a living room AND a den. When I visit a fellow writer who happens to have an actual office for a writing space, I have that moment where I must immediately choose my reaction. Do I choose honest joy for her and gratitude for what I DO have? Or do I open the little door that releases the floodgate of resentment, first with drops of jealousy and then a deluge of discontentment?
Yesterday I received absolutely wonderful news. A wonderful literary agency offered me to represent me. Talk about excited. You’d think that kind of joy in my life would give me such a thankful heart that nothing could diminish the thrill of today.
And yet…this morning Noah and I were invited to go to a fellow writer’s house. Her home is absolutely gorgeous. I was fine with that. But before we visited them, we made a plan for her son to come back with us after a couple of hours to our home to play with Noah. Uh-oh. Once again, I had that moment of decision. God is so gracious and kind and helped me to choose gratitude. I looked around at our condo and I thanked Him for our big bathtub, (I lived with just a shower for years) the washer and dryer, (we used to budget a roll of quarters for laundry every week) and our living room with the amazing windows (I love the light we get.)
Because of God’s strength, I was able to make a choice to take pleasure in her house and enjoy my home and the chance to offer hospitality to her family.
Contentment is a choice. One that reaps a peaceful heart and a grateful spirit. I wish this came naturally for me. It doesn’t.
When Noah and her son were talking about swimming at our condo’s pool, Noah told him, “Well we don’t have a pool in our backyard. We live in apartments.”
My first reaction?
Noah, it’s a condo, not an apartment!
Lord, help me.