Last weekend I went on the Women’s Retreat for my church up in the North Georgia mountains. The weekend— in addition to being a sweet time of rest and fun with friends— was filled with truth and incredible wisdom from our speaker on the subject of Finding Contentment. Contentment is something I think any person who is alive struggles with and if they don’t they are lying.  

The truth about contentment is that it isn’t resignation to your situation. It isn’t forcing yourself to be satisfied by your lot. It isn’t even pushing away emotions or focusing only on the good. Contentment is trusting and believing that in Christ, you have all that you need. 

It’s easy for me to get caught up in the Have-Nots and Wants of my life. It’s easy to look around at my friends and even here on the Internet (especially you, Tumblr and Pinterest) and think Whoa, my life would be so much better if I had That Boyfriend and could throw That Kind of Party and wear Those Types of Clothes.  

But that’s just simply not true. Those longings will only be replaced by other things in the future and I’ll constantly be chasing this elusive idea of What It Means To Be Content. Unless I learn that contentment comes from somewhere else. 

…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:10-13

Here’s to learning… 

Yesterday I went to watch my friend coach his peewee football team. It’s part of a larger ministry at our church called Downtown Ministries. To see how the lives of these kids have changed through the sports, tutoring and mentoring is amazing. Even though the boys lost, I was filled with a type of joy that can only come from seeing the Lord at work. 

This morning I woke up inexplicably early; the sun was just peeking out over the skyline. I suppose this had something to do with the time change but moreso probably with aging— there will come a day when you will no longer be able to sleep in. Mark my words. (This day will be terrible. Brace yourself.)

I sat there in my bed, not wanting to move for fear of touching the frigid parts of the rustled sheets. I didn’t want to put my feet on the stinging cold of the wooden floor. I didn’t want to start the day.  I thought about all of the things I had to do today, all of the people I’d have to talk to and the sermon words I would hear at church that would inevitably rock my weak heart. 

Just yesterday I was joyful and now… now I can’t move.

I rolled over eventually, put my glasses on and stared at my Bible.

Today was one of those days where I didn’t want to read it. I just stared at it for a while and finally opened to where I left off.

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8.)

The church in Philippi was one of the first places in Europe to preach the gospel or good news of Jesus. Paul wrote this letter thanking them for their stewardship and work for the Kingdom of Christ. Paul is calling them to stand up to their opponents: people who were actively trying to destroy the work and efforts the Christians were putting in to spread the love and message of Jesus.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to dwell on the things of the world that are good, true, and honorable. I get distracted or caught up in my own plans for how my life should look and what I should be doing. So today. Right now. I’m trying to remind myself to focus on what is Lovely… what is Worthy of Praise… even if it’s just peewee football and warm blankets.