Jan 19, 2015

Frest Start // Contentment + Gratitude

Contentment and gratitude have been on my heart for several months now.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about it but I know I need a lot of work in these areas.  I think contentment and gratitude go hand-in-hand.  If you are living a life focused on being grateful, you will find yourself content.  And, if you seek a life of being content with what you have, you will find yourself grateful.  I haven't been much of either of these things.

photo from beginning of 2014

At the end of 2014 I took a step toward working on contentment with the capsule wardrobe challenge because clothing and the likes are my true weakness.  I can deal with not buying home decor or expensive dinners out fairly well, but try to take away clothing purchases and you might just have to pry open my fists.  In the moments of shopping I tend for forget that these new pieces of clothing will only bring me temporary happiness.  This is why I felt like the capsule wardrobe was a good place for me to start.  I went three months without spending any money on clothing and living with a limited selection from my closet.  The point was to be happy with what you have.  In some ways it worked, and in some ways I don't think it helped much.  The biggest benefit was that I did not feel the need to spend money on clothing because I knew I wasn't supposed to.

I have a lot more progress to be made in the areas of contentment and gratitude.  I'm praying for change this year.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this, I think contentment is a huge struggle for all of us in the days of trying to keep up with the Jones family (who decided they have it all, anyway?).  For now, I want to leave you with several scriptures that I'm focusing on to trying and open my heart to radical change in contentment this year.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."  1 JOHN 2:15-17

"So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  MATTHEW 6:31-34

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." ROMANS 8:28a

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." PROVERBS 14:30

"Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die:  Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches; but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?'  Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God."  PROVERBS 30:7-9

"...I have learned to be content in any and every situation, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  PHILIPPIANS 4:11-13

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."  1 TIMOTHY 6:6-10

// Listen:  Keep Making Me by Sidewalk Prophets

// Pray:  Lord, please give me a heart of contentment.  Help me to value heavenly things rather than earthly things.  Help me to seek not temporary happiness but the eternal joy found in a life lived for you.  Thank you for the things I take for granted.  Thank you for my needs which you meet on a daily basis.  Thank you for giving me enough to be content, and please help me to see this more clearly.  I pray that this year would bring about radical change in my heart for contentment.

This post is part of the Fresh Start series:  INTRO  //  rest   //   quiet time    //   contentment + gratitude   //   goal-setting   //   home   //   wardrobe   //   hair, skin, nails   //   work habits   //   friendship + fellowship    //   marriage   //   wellness

1 comment:

  1. These shots are so beautiful!