30 In Faith

What truly matters

I’m not saying this because I need anything, for I have learned how to be content in any circumstance. I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor.
(Phil. 4:11-12 CEB)

I‘ve been crunching numbers lately, to see how it is all going to work out — gifts to buy, food to purchase, bills to pay.  No matter how much I try to not allow my thoughts to go to the place of dissatisfaction, I find myself here.  Lingering between contentment and want, between need and desire.  The reality is that in this hard season that we are in financially, some things just will not happen the way I had hoped.  And giving up the possibility of the little bit extra has been hard.  It is in my very nature to give.  And, there is a little part of me that still wants.  But I have to let go.

I wish I could say that I am totally resting in this place of lack.  I’m not.  It’s been difficult.  Most days, I just want the struggle to end.  I want to have the little extra at the end of each month to do the things we don’t normally get to do as a family, like take a vacation or go out to dinner, all six of us.

But sometimes it takes dredging through the hard places in our lives for our eyes to be opened to the things that truly matter.  All of these other things that my heart longs for, they are all good things. 

But are they necessary?

And why does my heart still grieve the things that will only bring momentary joy and fulfillment.

I want to learn to be content in my place of lack.  I want to fully identify with “I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance.”  Oh my friends, I have such a long way to go.  Will you pray with me, that I will learn to be content here in this place, in this hard seasons of my life?  He has never left me.  I may not have all of the things that my heart yearns for, but I have the One Thing that my heart is truly crying out for.

Thank you, Father, for opening my eyes to the things that truly matter.

Grace gifts 401-410

401.  Katie has been healed!
402.  No more cancer for little Ansley!
403.  Four beautifully, healthy children.
404.  A husband who continues to amaze me by his strength in this hard season.
405.  This book from a friend.  I cannot wait to dive in.
406.  Only one day of work this week, then on vacation until January 2nd!
407.  The tension of life, and how it draws me closer to the Lord.
408.  Realizing all I have, even in this place of lack.
409.  My hope is built on nothing less, then Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
410.  He is my strength when I am weak, He is the pleasure that I seek, He is my all in all.

Did you find yourself humming along with me on the last two?

I am linking up with Ann at A Holy Experience today, where we are on a journey to 1000 gifts and beyond.  Will you visit this beautiful community of grace seekers?  I would love it if you left me a comment below and share one thing that truly matters in your life today.

30 Comments

  • Reply
    tinuviel
    December 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    We are neighbors today on the Multitude Monday list. You have a beautiful blog; I’m glad I stopped by. My heart goes out to you in your difficult season. May God graciously send you some little bit extra today, some token you will know is from Him as a reminder that He’s got the big things covered. He could say no, of course, but that’s what I’m asking on your behalf. Grace and peace to you today, Barbie.

    (And yes, I heard the tunes in my head on those last two.)

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you for stopping by today and for your sweet encouragement!

  • Reply
    Ro elliott
    December 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I too am learning to live with contentment…when my heart and desire rises toward something…even if it is not for myself…I am trying to quickly lay it down at His feet…a act of worship…in the beginning…it seemed so trivial…but now I am finding more peace…more contentment…and most of all more trust…
    Blessings to you as you find Him right in the midst….

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you Ro elliott! Laying things down at his feet in an attitude of surrender. That’s where I want to be too!

  • Reply
    Christina@toshowthemjesus.com
    December 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Contentment is something I’ve always struggled with. When I read Paul’s description of all he had been through (beatings, ships sinking, hunger, etc), I am humbled by his heart of joy.  Great list–I love number 408 and 410.

  • Reply
    Marybeth Thielke
    December 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    These past two years has been one big test for me on learning how to be content with little. I haven’t come to a place of resting in this season, and I know it will continue until I can contentment. It’s so hard, when the world is shouting things at you from all sides like, “You need this now!” “This will make you happier!” Lies!! Praying with you sister…Merry Christmas, and may God bless your socks off this season 🙂

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      So true! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  • Reply
    dailydwelling
    December 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I’m praying for you during this hard season. I am thankful for your honest sharing. It is hard and trying to do without in the midst of a season of giving. Your faithfulness and steadfastness shows through all that you write.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      Thank you so much Monica!

  • Reply
    Jamie @ Six Bricks High
    December 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Learning contentment and muddling through the hard places with you friend.  And yes, I was humming along 🙂

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks for stopping by (and for humming along)!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Barbie, I can certainly relate to how you are feeling.  There is much that I want, would like to have.  But God has provided for everyone of my needs.  I’m not at that place of saying I am truly content, but I am growing.  And the closer I get to God, the more I realize He is all I need.

    Many blessings,
    Lisa
    A Moment with God

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      That’s so true. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we realize we have all we need, wrapped up in Him!

  • Reply
    Barbie
    December 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Oh Paul…I want that kind of joy! Thanks for visiting today!

  • Reply
    Joni
    December 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    i think that once we truly start to learn to live for God and ourselves we will always struggle with contentment in this area. Society has taught us that in order to be appear successful or to be accepted by others, we must acquire stuff. over the last couple of years, i have really cut back on my spending and started to live my life for myself. we will one day pass on and we will not take anything but ourselves with us, so why work our whole lives taking care of the things that we will leave behind when we could be taking care of the things in our life that really matter…faith, love, relationships, etc.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 21, 2011 at 1:11 am

      Such words of wisdom here my friend!

  • Reply
    Julia Schemmer
    December 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What beautiful encouragement!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 21, 2011 at 1:11 am

      Thanks Julie!

  • Reply
    TM Weir
    December 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Yes, definitely will pray with you through this season of your life.  Big cyber {{{hugs}}}.

    Tänia of
    Simply God’s Girl

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 21, 2011 at 1:11 am

      Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your prayers.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    December 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Barbie, you and I seem to be in the same boat, so to speak.  I am learning to be content in whatever circumstance.  But it’s not been of my choosing.  Having written that, I’m learning things I never would have known about those these trials.  And for that I’m grateful.  You seem to have awesome answers to prayer with Katie and Ansley.  And you know what?  We can get by without all the extras.  If you come back to Phoenix, I hope you’ll let me know.  I would love to see you again.

    Merry Christmas Barbie!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Oh I so want to come back for a visit. Let’s hope it won’t be too long.

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    December 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Sending you some christmas love from Australia!! I love that you’re so honest about wanting to be content and not always being there, it’s a struggle i’m sure we can all relate to at times, and then we realise how blessed we are compared to so many in this world and the thankfulness overwhelms me. May you have a lovely christmas and even find that God surprises you wil little extras along the way 🙂

  • Reply
    Christina Berry
    December 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Praying for you and your family, Barbie.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 21, 2011 at 1:12 am

      Thank you for your prayers my friend!

  • Reply
    Denise Oldham
    December 20, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Such precious blessings.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 21, 2011 at 1:12 am

      Thanks Denise!

  • Reply
    Barbie
    December 20, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Thank you Carolyn! I realized I wasn’t getting your blog updates in my Reader, even though I follow you through GFC. I hopefully have fixed that problem now.

  • Reply
    Laura Rath
    December 20, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Contentment…God has been teaching me some lessons in this. Whether I need to be content without something, or with a situation…accepting the way things are vs. how I want them to be is difficult. I pray for acceptance…for strength…and for the future.

    Thank you for your honesty Barbie! It encourages others that we don’t have to pretend we’re not struggling with issues. God bless you and your family!

    In Christ,
    Laura

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

      I think I will be walking this journey for a while.  I realize too that when I am struggling with something, that most likely, someone else is struggling right along with me!  Thanks for stopping by my friend.

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