Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Savoring Every Morsel: Being Content In The Right Now

A day doesn't go by that our 3 1/2 year-old doesn't ask, "What are we doing tomorrow?" It could be 6:00 in the morning, and she will want to know our plans, not for that day, but for the next. And every time she asks that question, I shake my head and tell her, "Let's not worry about tomorrow, Kate. Let's just get through today." 

My husband reminds me that she is young and has absolutely nothing else to worry about, so she wants to know what to expect tomorrow. But part of me is annoyed every time she asks this question. 


First of all, because I have to think up an answer. An answer isn't hard to give. But even after giving her a response, it still doesn't settle well with me.  

I know she is happy as a lark with whatever I tell her, but what bugs me is the real reason I'm annoyed with her question: I see so much of myself in it. While my daughter's forward-thinking may be innocent, it shines a spotlight on my own weakness-- my lack of contentment in the present.
  • The part of me that is never content with today but is always looking to tomorrow. 

  • The part of me that runs at break-neck speed to avoid my present stresses and move on to the next phase of my life. 

  • The part of me that longs for something more, something better, something that will satisfy me once and for all.
I am always rushing through today trying to get to tomorrow. 

I struggle with just being in this moment and enjoying life right now because tomorrow seems so much more enticing.

And what are the consequences if I keep this up? 

I will miss out on the beauty and preciousness of the present because I am not present. 

I will not be fully participating in the journey that is my life.

The apostle Paul knew about real suffering, something I cannot truly fathom. He told the church at Philippi:
"...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

Philippians 4:11b-12
And where did Paul derive his contentment?  
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Philippians 4:13
From Christ: The One who supplies ALL our needs. Not all our wants, but all our needs.

How can we be truly content in the here-and-now?

1. Realize that true contentment comes when we honor God and center our lives on Him. We must recognize that God has a plan for us and that plan includes both difficult times and times of ease, stressful times and times of peace.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

Jeremiah 29:11
God is doing great things in our lives right at this very moment. Focus on Him.

2. Slow down and be present. Stop trying to dodge the challenges or rush through the stressful parts of this season in your life. Instead, find joy in the pain and beauty in the suffering, for we know:
"suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."
Romans 5:3b-5
When we embrace our present circumstances instead of running from them, we can rejoice in our sufferings knowing that they are strengthening our character and better preparing us to stand up against Satan.

As Priscilla Shirer so beautifully describes in The Resolution for Women, discontentment "robs you of your years. Then before you know it, you've missed out on the joys in the journey, the growth that comes from battling through the difficulties, the sweet and savory experience of creating the memories" (15).

Have you, like me, been rushing through the difficult parts of life hoping to get to a good place?  Have you missed out on or forgotten the good memories along the way? Why not commit now to make a change?

My goal is to take five minutes every evening to recount the joyful as well as the difficult aspects of the day. I plan to either jot them down in my journal, share them with my husband, or both.  

My prayer is for God to teach me contentment and help me find joy in the present that I will be the right example to my children.

What can you do TODAY to live in the moment and truly enjoy your journey through this life?

I am praying God's richest blessings on you as we grow in His glory! 


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  1. These are such good thoughts and Scriptural reminders, Keri. After wasting a year on an especially difficult relationship trial that was not resolving no matter how much I prayed or tried, I finally started listening to the Lord. And He has been making it very clear that He is enough to give me joy and contentment even if everything/everyone else fails me.

    1. The Lord is wonderful, isn't He? He gives us exactly what we need, when we need it, and if He doesn't give it, then we don't need it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I pray the Lord's continual blessings on you.

  2. Great post. I so needed this reminder today.

  3. nice post...looking for to visit more...nice blog too...blessings...

    1. Thanks. I hope you stop by again soon. Blessings to you.

  4. I'm blogging on contentment right now. This post really resonates with me.

  5. This is wonderful Keri =)
    Thanks for sharing! What a beautiful reminder of learning to be content with where we are and where the Lord has us =)
    Have you read 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp? She shares a similar attitude towards learning to see the joy in life in the present. Its a wonderful book =)
    Much Love & Thanks for your encouraging words,

  6. Living in the moment, finding JOY in all circumstances.. Yes a lesson he has been teaching me as well.

    I stopped in from Teach Me Tuesdays.

  7. Keri I too have this tendency to jump ahead to what is next. My husband and I have a lot we are looking forward to- starting a family and the preparations that the Lord is bringing us through for that. I love your idea of journaling at the end of the day things about that day. Maybe this is something I too need to do, as well as a short list in the morning for that specific day. Blessings to you! -Nicole @ Working Kansas Homemaker