“Always waiting for tomorrow. Always waiting for the new to come around. Still waiting for the grass that’s greener. Always waiting for anything but now.” These lyrics hail from a band named Stellar Kart. Ah, yes. Just listening to that song brings me back to high school youth group days: Dr. Pepper, Champion sweatshirts, and Silver Jeans. If you’ve never heard the song, right now type “Always Waiting Stellar Kart” into YouTube’s search engine. Just do it. Listen to the song as you read this post.
Discontentment = Dissatisfaction
Discontentment can surface when I am unsatisfied with today, with the “old” stuff of my life, my career, my home, my car, my jeans, my marriage, my kids’ behavior, my face, my thighs, my eyes, my cooking skills, my people skills, my nun-chuck skills…and the list goes ON! Discontentment can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression. Why do we take on these burdens of comparison? Isn’t that what it comes down to? Would I be unsatisfied with the crusty, dry cinnamon rolls that come out of my oven if I had never delved into an ooey-gooey warm piece of heaven from the kitchen of another woman? (Ok…someone bring me one right now…or two…and with a cup of coffee…because I apparently am never satisfied.)
Now “let me tell you a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down…” The journey to contentment is ongoing, but I’ve had some experiences that have worked together to start shaping my heart. I’m not a doctor and have no right to diagnose discontentment in your life, but I can share what I like to call:
“Tips to Ease Your Discontent Heart.”
How on earth can we expect to do this on our own? After all, God is the Great Provider and He knows ALL of our needs. When I take a moment to consider my future or even just make my weekly grocery list, I offer up this plead, “Lord please provide for my real needs and take away all the fluff that I think that I need.”
2. Purge the ads.
This is an easy one:
If they come in the mail, toss ’em before you open them.
If they are on TV, turn it off and wait a few minutes before turning it back on. (Or mute it and read this blog.)
If they are online, look and say to them “I don’t need you, Sheila said so.”
3. Don’t go shopping. Ever.
When Ty and I were newlyweds, both working full-time, and making money just for ourselves, you want to know what I did on my lunch break? Confession time: walk the mall and buy stuff! Always a coffee…and usually an article of clothing…BUT it was always a good deal. Don’t judge. I know that there are others out there that can relate to the Target runs: “I just need diapers and a birthday present for Kid #1’s bestie.” Yeah right. Then you see things that all of a sudden seem very necessary and what you have is certainly not good enough.
Well, a weird thing happened when we were living in Michigan. When the only store closer than 20 minutes was Walgreens…I never went shopping! When I did go, Mr. Husband was with and he held the money. He’s got a TIGHT fist. Even though he aided in my self-control, when I didn’t physically see and smell the beauty that is Target, I didn’t even think about going and suddenly needed nothing.
4. Kiss your loved ones goodnight.
I try not to miss a night. Seriously, if I get in bed and I haven’t yet gone in to kiss them, I get out of bed just so I don’t miss out. There is only one thing better than watching my babies sleep… and that is smooshing my lips into their warmish, relatively clean, sleeping cheekers one last time. Pure bliss!
This tradition is added to this list because it is hard to do this act without walking away grateful for those living, breathing bodies. Nothing else seems to matter but what God has granted to be living with me. (Not to mention that I can’t see my broken, old fashioned, mis-matched “stuff” when the room is only lit by a night light! Am I right?)
5. Attend a funeral.
I’ve a attended a number of elderly family members’ funerals in my day but none of them rocked my world. On November 18th, 2011 I attended a funeral that shook the ground underneath my feet. My best friend died suddenly when we were just 24 years old. I could write a lot, right here, right now, but for the purpose of this post, I will skip to the point: You can’t take it with you. You are not promised tomorrow.
6. Be Grateful.
Let us list them, ladies: grapes, wind shield wipers, diapers, baking soda, running water, nail polish, Q-Tips, little curls on the baby’s head, cell phones, COFFEE…everything we are grateful for. When we focus on all we’ve been given, suddenly we don’t need so much.
7. It’s NOT about you.
If you look above to the list of everything I might be unsatisfied with, you will see one word repeated over and over again: “my.” How much time do I think about my needs and waste it concerned about what I want? Ugh – perspective changes things.
So, what am I here for? To serve myself? To provide the biggest, best, and brightest of everything to my family? Get ready for the last tip…
8. Consider Christ.
I want to cry as I type this part. How easily I forget all that God has provided for me- not in the form of “stuff”. I am a wretched person, destined for Hell. His Great Provision was to provide a replacement for me, Jesus Christ. Because of His sacrifice, my loving God now sees me as white as snow though I continue to want, beg, whine, and stick up my nose.
Thank you, Father.