Contentment can be easy to practice for a short time period but having a spirit of contentment through the highs and lows of life is difficult. I like how the Apostle Paul said that "he had LEARNED to be content". That helps me to remember that there's no magic formula that will one day cause me to be content. Contentment comes from having spiritual discipline.
It's like a child who is learning multiplication facts. They need to practice them over and over again until they have the facts memorized and can just spout off the answers without much thought. A spirit of contentment is the same way. We need to continuously thank God for any and every circumstance because we know the facts. We know that God has a purpose and a plan for every circumstance in our lives. He works EVERYTHING for our good and His glory.
When we grumble or complain about something that happens to us, what we are really doing is telling God that he doesn't know what he is doing. When we desire one more toy, one more gadget, one more promotion or one more earthly possession to finally bring true satisfaction then we're telling God that Him saving us from an eternal hell is not enough. We're telling Him that what we truly desire is comfort and happiness here on earth instead of following His commands to take up our cross and follow Him.
Chasing after earthly treasures will NEVER lead to true fulfillment or contentment in our lives. Contentment is not learned if we only focus on it one day or one month out of the year. We must completely change our perspective of why we're on this planet. We must surrender our wants and desires and take on the desires of Christ for us.
So after the Thanksgiving meal is done and all the family has gone home, don't stop being thankful for your blessings. When school and work starts again, don't lose sight of why God has placed you in that school or in that company. Those places are your mission fields to plant some seeds.
When you start to feel the "gimme gimme's" of Christmas, stop and thank God for His gift of salvation. Remind yourself and your family what God has called followers of Christ to be about. Being consistently content can only happen through the power of Christ in us. So lets take time every day to ask God to strengthen us with His power and willingness to surrender to His plans.
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of an unexpected journey for our family. A journey that has challenged us, strengthened us and driven us to our knees. One year ago today, we found out that Rich no longer had a job. During the following days we experienced a variety of emotions. We were shocked, angry, overwhelmed, disappointed, confused and uncertain of the future but over the next few months God opened our eyes to His definition of success.
In seeking Him, we've found satisfaction in the Savior and not in the stuff. We have realized that many things in our lives were preventing us from being dependent on God. Without the distraction of those things, God became our prime focus and the true Lord of our lives.
God took something terrible and turned it into one of the greatest blessings for our family. God began opening new doors and opportunities for ministry. God showed us how he takes care of His children when they walk in obedience to Him!! He began revealing more and more of His plan for our lives and it has been so much better than anything we could have imagined possible.
With the loss of a job came the blessing of a new journey into ministry that gave us new purpose as a family. We are no longer climbing the corporate ladder, chasing the American dream or enlarging our own kingdom here on earth. Our purpose is to obey God's command to "Go and make disciples" and to spend each day on earth focused on furthering His kingdom however he leads us.
We do not know what the next year holds, but we are confident that as we continue to seek God's direction and continue to walk in faith, He will continue to do amazing things in and through us.
Today is November 6th and it's a very important day for our country. It's the day we make our voices heard and elect a new president.
But today is a special day in the Carlson house for another reason. Oh, we will vote but we will spend today focused on something else.
Today is the day that we celebrate the wildest, the funniest and the craziest member of our family. Today we celebrate Tyler's 10th birthday.
Just after 11:00 pm on November 6th, 2002, Tyler Levi Carlson entered the world and completed the crazy Carlson family!!
He is hyper, loves to make us laugh and definitely keeps us entertained. When he was 3, he stood up at the dinner table and asked us if we wanted to see a magic trick. He then proceeded to turn around and moon us. From that moment on, we never allowed him to show us magic tricks at the dinner table.
He is crazy about football and has been since he could walk. He started his first season of football at age 4!!! He was so tiny and his shoulder pads were so big but he loved it!!
Back then we called him Ty-Ty. That was the nickname Madison gave him when he was born because she couldn't say Tyler.
He doesn't really like being called that anymore. Now it's just "Ty". He's growing up so fast. I can't believe my baby is 10!!!
I'm so excited to see what God has in store for my wild and crazy Tyler.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.