Friday, January 20, 2006

What I think everybody needs a little more of...

Not that I am en expert or anything. You may not even care what I think or value my opinion. However, you can read this and think about it for your own life and come to your own conclusions. What I think everybody in this world needs a little bit more of is contentment. I think especially in our American society we are bombarded with messages from media, billboards, music lyrics, television programs...virtually everywhere we look or anything we hear is somehow telling us we need more. We deserve more. We're entitled to more. We would be happier with more. The {more} could be anything...furniture, time in the gym, vacations, sex, food, namebrand clothes, designer fragrance, even thicker toilet paper. (Which I find just plugs the toilet faster when the kids use too much- but that's just my experience.)
I think a lot of people don't even realize that they are letting these messages control their choices in life. They just have this "thing" inside- a desire- that is unfulfilled. It drives them to work longer hours, SPEND TOO MANY DOLLARS, eat more, put stuff on credit cards more, be angry more, fill their time more {ie. tv watching, net surfing}, think about breaking up relationships because somewhere someone else can meet their unfulfilled needs more.
Does this ring a bell? I fall into some of the categories myself. I admit it. I'm no superhero- immune to messages out there- wife and mother, has-it-all-together. I'm very much like you.
However, I have looked inward and upward a lot the past few years. I have asked the tough questions and wondered, "Is this all there is in life?" over and over. The resounding answer I get is straight from my heart. The answer is that there is more. Just not in this life. One of my favorite quotes is about this very issue. "True contentment on earth means asking less of this life because more is coming in the next."
I love that! It is something that comes from my faith- but can be lived out every single day. I am learning that there are things I just don't need, that {more stuff} won't bring me happiness or ease the pain I sometimes feel in life. There is no fast diet, get rich scheme, perfect pair of jeans (although they can make me really happy for a moment!!), tall latte, latest model car, that special fragrance...whatever it might be. None of that is the answer to what my soul longs for. It is something I cannot see, I cannot buy, I cannot earn.
It is something that only God can give. He gives it freely and without question. It is something I don't deserve and no amount of good works will ever be enough. It is His grace. His love. His hope for me. His promise of Heaven. It is all of that. THAT is what I continue to seek- and in so doing I find contentment. True contentment. It's such an amazing- yet difficult- concept for me to grasp. That the more I seek God, the less I want or need {more} stuff out of life. It's beautiful when it happens. When I find that I am more patient. Or that I am grateful in the midst of a tough circumstance in my life. Or that I can love someone for being who they are...even if they are rude, angry, or unlovely. I hope that the contentment I feel in life continues to grow and overwhelm me. I know I may never become Mother Teresa. I have a lot of growing to do. But I know that it is something I can seek to develop in my life every day. And that thought brings me contentment in and of itself. There is more to this life. But it's not about things...it's about contentment.

10 comments:

Deanna- yep Dee-na said...

amen. : )well said.... always fighting off the bad "more" bug here.

Laura T. said...

oooohh...love the look of your blog...will definitely come back to ck out your archives when the kiddies are asleep. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment...did you see the Top 10 CK article Heidi did...very fun and funky. bbs!

kellicrowe said...

wow
so glad i found you blog
ok
not really found it
was
ahem
invited
1. you have super cool hair...not the most inportant thing but what i noticed first
2. YES about the contentment thing!
3. i am so coming back here:)
kellicrowe

Meredith Smith said...

Loved your thoughts (unfortunately came on a day when I had more furniture delivered...he, he!). It gave me lots to think about and internalize. I'm touched by your perspective and faith. Thanks for sharing.

Knit and Purl Grrl said...

Such wise words, Jody!
I have been thinking a lot about "ENOUGH" lately. What is "enough?" How do I know when I get there? What happens if I keep on after I achieve "enough?" Good questions to ask and keep asking. Just watched "The Swiss Family Robinson" with my kids the other night -- the mega-old Disney version from, I think, 1960 or something like that. They actually talk about how everything they need is right there on that island, and some of the family even chooses to stay after they are rescued. A great movie to watch with the kids and to spark a discussion with them about what is "enough" and how to be "content."

The other thing I think we need more of is COMPASSION. That's actually immediately what came to mind when I started reading your entry.

Oh -- and on the TP issue -- it may clog the toilet quicker, but it also is much more durable for those around-the-house TP decorating dance parties! :)
xoxox
Lain

Greta said...

ah...contentment. it's weird to explain, but when my husband was laid off a number of years ago, i realized that the phrase, 'life sucks', is true. it just sometimes does. sometimes things are fair or 'right'...but that's okay. this life isn't meant to be all there is. this is an imperfect world filled with imperfect people...so - we can't strive for perfection - it just ain't gonna come...not on this side of heaven, anyway. but i'll tell you what - i'm imagining heaven to be one fabulous place!!-ha to make up for all this crappy stuff sometimes.

so...just be content and enjoy the journey as much as possible with what you're given.

g
(this comment makes absolutely no sense....)

Marcus the Bronco said...

Hi Jody-

Craig and Telly were here last night and mentioned that you had a blog. I'm really glad I found it- and it's now in my Favorite Blogs list. I, too, have a blog on this very site! Anyway it is good to hear (I mean read) about you!

What especially moved me just now was your "Favorite Places you would rather be" post. I have to admit, I couln't read it without breaking down. It moves me to once again (albeit temporarily) to be thankful.

Me! said...

So Weird...I had been thinking about you guys over the past week. Our small group now meets on Thursday nights...and Thursday evening, I was driving home, and thought, "Dang...I forgot to ask if anyone had heard from the Ferlak's lately".

I come into work this afternoon (Sunday...yak), I sat with Mark P. in Communities this morning, he had said he'd been bloggin' a bit (we're kinda like a bloggin' support group...try to keep each other going)...so I check his latest...read the comments and BAM!!! Hey...I know that spikey blond chick!!!

Anyhow...I hope you guys are doing good. Tell Chip I said Hi, and that Matt Book is pretty much catatonic these days (I say as Pittsburgh is on TV).

I hope the move has proved to be as good as we all hoped and prayed it would.

Deb and I had another little girl in September...Sara Reagan. She's growing like a chia-pet (weeds are just such a cliche'...and impersonal).

Our group continues it's fertility (inspired by the Ferlaks of course). The Dipsinski's had a girl in October...the Coutures had a little girl in September. The Neiswongers are pregnant again. Geesh.

Anyhow...This is getting a little long for a "comment". Two pertinent quotes, then I'm outta here (though I'll be spending some time in your archives):

1. Comparison Destroys Contentment.
-Deborah Berger-

2. The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.
-Doug Larson-

God Bless,
Keith Berger

Shelley Rankin said...

Wow I just love this entry. Your words, thoughts and feelings totally resonating with me! Thank you!

Laura Eveland Swanson said...

Thanks

Your words hit home. Raising my kids in this world I want them to breath in all the beauty & amazing moments. It's hard to ignore my own "I wants" let alone theirs. Thanks for the insoiration & reminders.

Laura