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finding meaning in the mundane

Tag: Contentment

Is More Enough

Contentment

It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, isn’t it?  I can go through every area of my life and tell you what’s missing in that area, or what I could stand to have more of. It doesn’t matter if it is finances, health, friendships, marriage, your children, or your job.  Every area of life can be easily picked apart and found wanting more.

Have you ever felt this way?  Wondering why your life doesn’t have more?  Maybe for you its more money.  Why is it that your money doesn’t seem to go far enough?  If only you had more money.  Or it could be your kids…  Does it seem like they don’t listen enough?  If they would only obey more.

More is a relative term.

More makes me feel good only until I realize that someone else has a bit more than me. The amount of more that once made me happy no longer satisfies the inner quest for more.  Beware there is a steel trap baited with “more”.  It is waiting to sink it’s teeth into you holding you captive at the allure of having more.

You would be wise to not ask how much more will be enough, rather ask the question, how much do I already have?  Do it…  Take an inventory of whatever area of your life that you are tempted by the allure of more.  Don’t be afraid of what the answer may be.

Focusing on what we don’t have causes us to easily miss what we do have. 

I mentioned that for me I could go through every area of my life and find a way to have more of it.  For example, I could say for my relationships I wish I had more friends. But let me think about what I currently have. I have two, possibly three guys who if I called right now they would answer no matter what. They would take a bullet for me and are loyal no matter what. I have people who care about me and my family and show that on very tangible ways. Somewhere along the line three guys doesn’t seem like enough. Would I want six guys?  Of course I would. But I’ll tell you what, I’m grateful for these three. So do I focus on the three that I don’t have, or the three I do have?

Your focus is your choice. It’s up to you to decide what you will choose to think about. You can dial it in however you like. For sure, some days are harder than others, but the choice is yours.

Which area of life do you most often feel nagged by the trap of wanting more?  What can you focus on today to avoid the snare of more?

~Peter

Seeking Gratitude In Everything

What are you truly thankful for?  What are some of those things that fill you with gratitude?  So many moments fly by unappreciated, and maybe even unnoticed.  These moments can be simple and small.  They don’t need to have much fanfare, nor do they need to be expensive.

Sometimes they are as simple as a really good cup of coffee.  Or maybe it’s a good laugh with a friend.  For some people it may be listening to a track off their favorite artist’s new album.  I had this type of a moment the other day.  Here on the east coast we have been getting hammered with snow and ice.  It has felt pretty relentless.  But there was something unique and special about it the other day.  I had to try and capture it on Instagram.  Check it out.

Beauty

 

 

This picture does not do it justice-it was amazing.  The sun was brilliant, and the ice sparkled.  It was absolutely majestic.  But, it would have been easy to miss.  It could have been over shadowed by the annoyance of the cold and snow.  We simply could have missed it because we want something else–WARMTH!  I get it, many of us long for the days of spring where you can breath in deep and feel the sun in your lungs.  Or maybe it’s the summer that has your mind’s attention, the sandy shores, the sounds of gulls overhead, and the smell of sun tan lotion.  Whatever future event you are waiting for, don’t forget to enjoy the moments surrounding you in the present.

Knitted Ewok Hood

My incredibly talented wife, Tiffany, knit this little ewok-like-hoodie for our daughter Leah.  How precious is that?  I looked at Tiffany the other morning while we were in the midst of the chaos of getting the kids ready for school and said, you know that these are the moments that we need to remember.  How great is it to watch the kids get excited about singing along to the soundtrack from Frozen?  To see the joy in Leah’s eyes as she says, “I a bear, rawr.  I a bear Daddy.  See? Rawr.”

To be honest, it is so easy for me to wish these difficult mornings away. To wish that I could just get to the place where the kids are getting themselves ready and off to school on their own.  But we have so much to be grateful for in the midst of the chaos.

Don’t miss the moments around you right now while longing for the moments that are yet to come.

I was struck by this quote from Rob Bell the other day.

Gratitude is so central to the life God made us for.  Until we can center ourselves on what we do have, on what God has given us, on the life we do get to lie, we’ll constantly be looking for another life.”

God has given and provided so much for each one of us!  I love the verses from Lamentations 3:22-23.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Can we stop searching for another life and live the one that God has given us today?  Let’s be content in where He has us right now. Open your eyes to the moments that are happening all around you, I bet they are pretty amazing.
So, what are you grateful for today?
~Peter

Life Lesson=$11.88

Today I went out and spent $11.88.  I was truly a big spender this morning.  I traveled to my local WalMart, and bought my two children their own full fledge pool.  How fantastic is that?  Seriously, they have their own pool, snack shop, and lifeguard service for a one time deal of $11.88.  You too can have this deal if you run, don’t walk, to the closest WalMart.  Anyhow, all exageration aside, Tiffany and I decided that it would be fun for our kids to have a little baby pool in the back on our deck.  So we went out, and reluctantly I bought this thing.  I’m gonna be honest, I wasn’t to thrilled at purchasing this oversized plastic dog dish.  But you should have heard Noah when I Jammed it in the back of our cruiser.  (aka, minivan)  He goes like this,

“OH WOW.  WOW.  WOW.”

You would have thought that I bought him the moon or something really significant.  “It Blue” he says.  “It Blue mommy.  WOW”  So, that cheered me up a little bit.  We are driving home, and my wife turns to the kids and in the traditional always excited mommy voice, she says, “Who wants to go swimming when we get home.”  I looked over at her, and didn’t even say a thing.  I looked back at the road, and knew full well what was ahead of me when I got home.  In my mind, things were racing through my block head as to why we shouldn’t fill it up and use it today.  It’ll be too cold, it’s to close to lunch/naptime… and all the other reasons I could fabricate.  However, I didn’t say anything.  First smart move all day. 

Well, cut to the chase, we got home and I performed dutifully, I filled the pool, and even heated it for them.  I put their slide into the pool and then we let them at it.  Well, this was the greatest thing that we could have ever done for both of these kids.  They loved it.  They went down the slide, splashed water, they were giggling and laughing and having an amazing time. 

Well, you know how you learn stuff from your kids.  Yeah, well today was one of those moments for me.  My kids were living in that moment.  They were just laughing and they were focused on the here and the now.  They didn’t allow the thought of the ever approaching nap time spoil their fun.  They weren’t thinking about what they were going to have to eat for dinner.  They weren’t worried about if their pool was as cool as the neighbors pool, or if their swim suit flattered their particular build.  No.  They lived in the moment.  They splashed it up.  They laughed and slid into the pool.  They taught me a huge lesson.

How often do we sit around and look at other people’s stuff, and say to ourselves, man that would be great.  I wish that I had that.  My car isn’t as good as theirs.  Or if only I looked more like Brad Pitt, or whatever holllywood A lister you long to be.  When we do that kind of a thing, we are completely blowing off what God has given us right now, what we have been blessed with today. 

For me, I will never forget this day, the day that $11.88 thrilled my kids beyond belief.  God has given each of us so much, yet all to often we look at it and say, why isn’t it better?  Or more like that persons. 

Live in today.  Live today to the max.  Don’t let tomorrows worries encroach upon all of the fun and blessings that are in front of you right now.  Hmm.  Sounds almost Biblical huh?  Something like, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  (Matthew 6:34)   

So, anyhow, I can tell you where to get a sweet deal on a baby pool! 

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