when you lose contentment, give thanks

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This was my only status on Friday. It’s not much but it is all I had. I couldn’t find any other words. I closed my computer and walked away.

Saturday morning I was treated to a belated birthday breakfast because when your friend works more than you do, you both work hard to find a block of time to sit quietly over coffee, eggs and English muffins.

At some point, between bites, I heard myself say, “I feel like such a fraud.” I can’t remember the rest of my exact words. I think I said things like, “I pretend I can do things that I can’t ever effectively pull off” and “I masquerade as one who knows what she’s doing when really the only thing I’m doing well is losing my mind.”

At least that is how I remember the conversation going. In hindsight, I am sure that my words dripped with discontentment. All I remember for sure is that she nodded and chuckled. She gets me.

I came home after that good breakfast and great conversation and tried to write. After a few pathetic starts without any substance, I closed my computer and walked away again. I still had nothing.

It wasn’t until Sunday that it all came together when my friend and pastor stood before me and a few others and said, “How’s your soul? Are you content?” Thankfully, I didn’t have to answer out loud.

These words came up on the screen and I breathed them in…

… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Contentment. I’ve tasted it a few times in my 47 years but I can’t say that I’ve ever truly been content for more than a moment or two. Far too often, I find myself stuck in a perfectionism of my own making or trapped in a canyon of comparison far wider and deeper than I care to admit.

I truly am my own worst enemy and I suffer from soul amnesia often.

Here’s the funny thing. I know the secret. I know the secret the apostle Paul mentioned when he said, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation….”

Give thanks.

 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am so quick to think “it’s not enough” or “I am not enough” and so slow to say “thank You, LORD, for what I have from You” or “thank You, LORD, for who I am in You.”

So, I am writing this to remind myself…

when you lose contentment, give thanks.

When you have nothing left, give thanks.

It’s the secret.

Contentment comes with thanksgiving.

Always.

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12 thoughts on “when you lose contentment, give thanks

  1. This is SUCH a powerful reminder! I think discontent has become the norm for our culture, but it’s also the default for these fallen earthly bodies we live in. It’s that willful, intentional choosing to be renewed by the transforming of our minds that brings us back to contentment and gratitude. Thanks for this reminder.

  2. I think for me my ambition gets in the way of my contentment. Contentment is being grateful for what you already have – not what you’re trying to achieve. This is SO hard for me. I’m like a little (or not so little) Energiser bunny that HAS to get stuff done in order to feel worthy. So yeah, this is super hard for me. I’m glad to know the naps are that good for me though.

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about contentment lately too…my struggle has been not being content with the amount of energy I have or the amount of time in a day! Thinking about it as a contentment issue has helped me surrender my limitations to God and be thankful that I have what I have.

  4. This speaks to me in SO many ways,Heidi. I have been in that place many many times. THANK YOU for reminding me about the greatest way to assure our peace of mind during those frustrating and discouraging moments. ❤

  5. I am like this. I know to thank God in everything, but sometimes, I. Just. Can’t.
    I feel like a fraud saying “Thanks, Lord, for this mess. I feel terrible, but thanks.”
    It’s the heart change that I ask for, more than anything: “Teach me how to be thankful in this.”

    He’s working on me.

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