Half empty…half full…I think in every scenario, contentment is the thing that makes life full. Gratitude…thankfulness…inherent in the word is the recognition that there is a giver. All that we have comes from the hand of a loving God. Even the trials and struggles we face are there to refine us. Even in our sin, if we belong to Christ, He is working for our good and His glory.
I read this quote from Martin Luther in the devotional Faith Alone:
Whenever someone is able to feel content with what he has, it’s a gift from God. God gives those who please him contentment without having to strive for it…The faithful know how to use God’s gifts with joy and thanksgiving, even when they have very little…In the end, faithful people truly own the whole world because they enjoy it with happiness and contentment. –Martin Luther
We live in a 2000 square foot home with a full basement. When we purchased this house 10 years ago with 3.5 kids we anticipated it being a place we could grow and expand both our family and our ministry. Praise God, those things have happened. We have been blessed to know many great people in our community and to share the love of Christ with them. We have had 5 children while living here–bringing our numbers to 10 people under this roof. As bodies grow bigger, possessions increase, and things see wear, I find myself getting more creative with our use of space and resources. I must admit I love that aspect of this big family. From the start it has caused us to push beyond the constructs that are out there for how one must live. In my case, it has pushed me to faith.
I love this post from Large Family Mothering about using what you have, keeping it in good repair and trusting God to help you use it for His glory. It inspires me to decorate with nature and free and found things. I appreciate the gentle challenges she offers to be thankful what God has given you. A well-ordered hut in Haiti can be more of a haven to sit a spell than the grandest of homes–if it is lacking in warmth and love.
We have been blessed to be able to open our home weekly for Bible Study and a homegroup for the past several years. This practice helps me hold loosely to any possessions I might love. It also helps use up the resources I might be prone to hoard.
This couch–given to us many years ago– had seen its wear when we received it. But relegated to the basement through the years, it has become fodder to countless kids during these times of hospitality. While I haven’t condoned that in my own kids (though I think they still did), I understand it if it happens when we are opening our home to others. As a result, it badly needed repairs.
Here was my patchwork fix. I am very content to have breathed new life into this old couch. It almost seems new to me all over again. Similarly I worked this week to shampoo chairs and carpeting in our living room and moved the furniture around. At the end of the week, I loved my house again. It cost me nothing and I was amazed at how all of that blessed my family. I find they are often content when I serve with a thankful heart. James 1:25 says that obeying the law brings freedom. Some of the freedoms and benefits to trusting God is a freedom in knowing He will supply all of your needs. The freedom of contentment. I’m not always at this “place” , but I say Yes! wholeheartedly when I am. Lord, may I rest here in contentment and in You! Amen
31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.