Contentment - September 2022
It all started so innocently. We bought our house 20 years ago and we said right from the start, “some day we’ll remodel this kitchen.” We’ve also repeatedly joked that whoever built our house never intended to actually cook a meal in that kitchen. It’s very small and poorly laid out, but in spite of that I’ve managed to host 19 years of holidays and birthdays from that silly kitchen. But then Covid came and Christmas of 2020 brought all 3 of our adult children home with no restaurants open for business. We all like to cook so we decided to take turns making dinner and picked out some fun things to try, but the kitchen! Oh my, we kept moving things to the laundry room or the garage to gain enough counter space. Every meal required us to clear the table of whatever food prep we’d done in order to even set the table. We had a blast in spite of the hassle, but when the kids were gone my husband and I started to toy with the idea that maybe it was time to look into the kitchen.
A friend of a friend is a kitchen designer and so we invited her over to help us see what was even possible for our space. She asked so many wonderful questions about how we live and entertain, and what is most important to us in regard to our home. And since she’d never been to our house she saw everything with fresh eyes. She put together a design that encapsulated everything that was important to us and I was giddy beyond belief! In four months or so I would have my dream kitchen. Christmas 2021 would be fabulous! I could see it already, everyone at the island while we cooked and chatted, no more moving everything to the laundry room or garage, it was going to be so good! And the process would be so fun, picking out light fixtures and tile and appliances and paint colors! Scrolling Pinterest was my new favorite pastime.
But it’s September 2022 and the kitchen is still not done, and that’s not even the worst of it. Something happened along the way, something much worse than supply chain delays and trees falling on the house, a story for another day. Covetousness set in in a big way. Yeah, I said it and it feels as icky as it sounds. The more I looked at all the latest kitchen fads and gizmos the more I thought, truly thought, I needed them, and so I bought them. And once I got going it was all the more easy to keep going. My screen time on my smart phone and laptop just kept increasing. My scrolling was taking over large chunks of my day. I was following more and more designers and decorators on Instagram and they all have the like it link to whatever they’re currently hawking. They said it was wonderful and everyone has it and I believed them and then thought I needed it too. Something was wrong, I knew it but I felt powerless to stop it. I began to feel truly out of control. God this isn’t ok, what do I do?
And then, toward the middle of August, as I was praying/journaling the Psalms with all of you, I prayed Psalm 103: 1-5;
“My soul, bless the Lord, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. My soul, bless
the Lord, and do not forget his benefits. He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your
diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and
compassion. He satisfies you with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
So, you know me, I looked up the word satisfy in the dictionary. Here’s what Webster’s has to say: to gratify to the full: to make happy: to put an end to doubt or uncertainty: to make true by fulfilling a condition. Satisfied: pleased or content with what has been experienced or received. From the Latin satis - enough. Synonyms: content, delight, gratify, rejoice.
Satisfaction is never about having more but about delighting and rejoicing in having enough! It’s about having what I need, not what I want. When I think getting what I want will lead to my happiness I will be perpetually dissatisfied because there is always more to obtain. This type of happiness remains elusive, which leads to discontent. This is why Spurgeon says; “The richest man in England has not found it. The greatest conqueror has never won it… It is a spiritual blessing, a divine grace that comes from the great satisfying God — the God who is himself sufficient, the only One who can be sufficient to fill the human heart.”
“Hi, my name is Susie and I have a contentment problem.” And the thing about it is it’s not a quick or easy fix, I know that first hand. But I also know that the word of God is powerful and so is the discipline of confession. I’ve confessed it to God, to my husband and now to all of you. Yikes, that’s pretty scary, but I really want the delight that contentment promises, so I’m putting myself out there and hoping that if some of you have experienced a similar struggle this might encourage you too.
Like I’ve said before, I write the plans I need and I really need this one! Although my struggle is more about contentment in regard to things, I recognize that for many the struggle centers around relationships or unmet emotional desires. Surprisingly it was a bit of a struggle to find 30 verses that spoke directly to contentment, although the concept is all throughout the scriptures. When journaling these verses, think about the area of your life where you find contentment the hardest to practice, continue to lift those things up to the Lord and to surrender your idea of what happiness looks like. Ask Him to give you His vision for true contentment and happiness on His terms. I would also strongly encourage you to keep a daily gratitude list while working through this plan. Like the above verse says, we are to “forget not his benefits,” that’s what it means to practice gratitude and I truly believe that gratitude is directly linked to contentment. I will be listing 3 things a day that I’m grateful for on the same page that I journal my verses. This plan will be less of a digging and studying plan and more of a soul searching response to the truth of God’s best plan for each of us.
As always, thank you so much for following along and I welcome any of your comments or questions.
Please use the following link for a printable pdf of this months scripture journaling plan on contentment.