Monday, January 9, 2012

My Word (for now)

If someone were to say of me I don't have a good "follow through," they would be telling the truth. I look back and see a trail strewn with great beginnings that somehow never made it to the end.

I am eager, and among the first to sign on, to the newest and greatest thing - especially if it is something I believe will help me to grow spiritually. I begin with great energy and determination. But with the passage of time I begin to slack off a bit until eventually I am at a complete stand-still.

In previous years I have embraced the notion of having a word for the year. The first couple of years I faithfully and prayerfully worked at incorporating that word into my life - well, fairly faithfully. Last year I felt the Lord impressing the word "quiet" on my heart. I dutifully recorded it on my blog and set about trying to live it out.

Several weeks ago, when someone mentioned considering what her word would be for this coming year I realized that I couldn't even remember what my word was. I had to dig back into my archives to unearth it.

One would think that after such a dismal failure I would give up the notion altogether, but I can't seem to ignore that still small voice. This time, however, it is whispering something new. The suggestion of more than one word - perhaps different words for different seasons throughout the coming year - would be better suited to this rather lazy girl.

We are in the midst of building a new house. With all of the difficulties and headaches that brings, comes the fun of planning what will go into it when it is completed. I look at decorating websites and dream dreams of the beautiful rooms I want to create. I have visions of beautiful flower gardens, front porches and backyard patios.

Then comes a gentle whisper: "Content."

It has become a rather steady drumbeat in time to the thumping of my heart. I look around at all that I have - so much I am not at all sure it will all fit into this new little home - and I know that this is the word He is calling me to live right now.

I have been blogging for over five years now. It began innocently enough, but although I have found so many blessings within this community I dearly love, it quickly became a constant struggle to find a balance. The need for approval that simmers just below the surface of my heart began a slow boil. That longing for acceptance can cause the purest of motives to change into something unrecognizable.

Then comes a gentle whisper, "Content."

I looked up all the verses I could find on contentment. One of the footnotes in my Bible says contentment "results from an inner satisfaction with the situation that God has ordained for me. It is a relying on Him to meet my needs according to what is best for me."

Another author put it this way: "When I become materialistic (or dissatisfied) I am saying God can't take care of me - or not in the way I want."

I can become dissatisfied in so many areas of my life, particularly when I feel my most important needs are not being met in the way I think best. To understand what that attitude says to the heart of the Father makes me want to weep.

One more footnote: "How can you find true contentment? The answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power."

It is knowing the Source that makes all the difference. This year will be like any other if I depend on my own resources. I am easily drawn into wanting more. It isn't the wanting more that is so bad, it's the more that I want. This year, this moment, I want to be content with what He has given me. I only ask for more of Him.