Contentment

APR 20, 2008

Contentment

Last night I asked my husband if he thought I was materialistic. (How many women do you know ask their husbands this question?? :lol: ) His answer? He didn’t think so. Not by the worldly definition of “materialistic” at least. So I wondered… just what was the definition of materialistic?

ma·te·ri·al·ist [muh-teer-ee-uh-list]
–noun
1. a person who is markedly more concerned with material things than with spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.

I used to be plagued with this mindset. Not that long ago, in fact. Except my materialistic attitude was not towards things that were typical. Some women might have the latest style in clothing or hottest name brand in purses. A dozen pairs of shoes or gorgeous gemstone jewelry are often coveted. But me? I was not your typical woman. Never have been. I still don’t know how to use a curling iron on my hair. And it shows. But I digress…

I collected baby carriers. What? you may ask. Baby carriers. And not your ordinary baby carriers but your rare, hard-to-find baby carriers. I did it all in the name of bonding with my baby. But you don’t need a $300 piece of material to babywear you newborn in. I did, though. I’d rather buy a new carrier than pay a utility bill. Yea. The obsession was that bad. Collecting baby carriers (I had 32 at one time) was not just an obsession, it was my idol. My happiness depended on me hunting, finding, buying, and wearing the rarest of cloths.

In February 2006, we were slammed with a court case by my ex-husband. He wanted more custody and to pay less in child support. (There was much much more to it but this is neither the time or place for such discussion. Suffice it to say it got ugly.) We needed money that we didn’t have to pay a lawyer we needed. We needed money for plane trips I’d need to travel to Texas for court appearances. I was told by others who’d been in our situation that they had to get 2nd and 3rd mortgages to pay for their court cases. Problem was we didn’t own anything of value. Not even a home. Funny how priorities can shift. In a heartbeat.

Suddenly, collecting rare baby carriers meant nothing to potentially losing my first born daughter. I quickly sold off much of my collection to help fund trips and such. I lost no sleep over the decision. Although the court case helped divert my attention for a time from coveting carriers, my heart wasn’t changed.

It wasn’t until last year that slowly my heart began to change. I can’t really point my finger to any one thing that changed my heart… but God has been working on me. Slowly but surely. He has shown me how He still provides for us just what we need even if we don’t deserve it. And He has slowly molded my heart to finally understand what He means when He says:

“Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Now at the age of 38, I finally am content with what I have. Sure there are things I’d like but I am not obsessing over these things. We are content to save for them, not rack up credit card debt, and to obtain them in God’s good timing.

Contentment…

All I have to do is look into the smiling eyes of my beautiful children and feel the loving arms of my soul-mate to know I have everything I need right now. God has truly blessed me.






6 comments to Contentment

  • Oh, do I love this post! My dear friend, Steve, always says that a wise man surrounds himself with idea people — people who discuss ideas instead of money, stuff, or other people. He is so right! We spend WAY too much time thinking and talking about clothing, celebrities, and our shrinking bank accounts. What about discussing the REAL issues? What about the eternal philosophical questions: what is this life for? why are we here? who are we? what is good and what is evil? what is truth? do we have free will? You get my drift.

    I love the way you ended your post: with the ultimate no-spin… the satisfaction of a loving spouse and children. Suddenly the eternal philosophical questions are answered or at least placed on hold. The bills and the stuff doesn’t matter.

    Beautiful and inspiring.

    Wow.

    Blessings!
    Lacy

  • A wonderful post. Our sermon series has been on Fear the last few weeks. Today it was about David and Goliath and how we have to face our Goliaths. We are often like the Israelites, going to the battle line and becoming dismayed when we see what is in front of us. We need God’s strength to go past the battle line into the fray and we can come out so much better on the other side. It sounds like you did that with your situation and you came out the other side with a much better perspective. You have beautiful daughters as well. I love the carefree photo of this post (I skimmed down and saw the car seat photos also). Thanks for visiting my post today. It is nice to have new visitors and comments.

  • Beautiful post. Just, beautiful.

  • custody battles are the pits.

    I’m not much of a thing collector. Not clothes or shoes or whatever. I do like good camera gear. I like my own computer. I had one baby carrier for all 3 boys :D

    I’m pretty content where I am in my life, and what I have in my life now too. It’s a nice place to be. (4 boys in college next year is a bit frightening though! :-o )

  • My husband and I talk about contentment all the time. Just this weekend we were talking about what would we do if we really started making a lot of money. Would we buy that piece of land and build the coolest contemporary house or stay where we are and be able to give more. I don’t think I am at the point yet, where I am completely content, but I know God is working on me too.

    This was a really good post!

  • Well said. Contentment can be so elusive, yet is really simple to attain. Ok, that was easier to type that embrace. ;)

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