Saturday Morning Bliss

A change in circumstances in recent months has brought a bit more peace and calm to my Saturday mornings. A typical Saturday used to be full of have-to-do catch ups or out-of-town travels, and I am learning to appreciate the change!

I sleep in a bit more now—by just an hour. After some time in prayer, fresh-ground and brewed coffee is an eye-closing, deep-inhaling and slow-sipping delight that really does make me smile. 

I catch up on the news of the week by reading the stack of The Wall Street Journal newspapers which has accumulated from last Saturday—well, reading the recent ones and skimming past the days-old news. I don’t make the time to do this on most days—my weekly reading usually consists of the Bible, studies I’m going through, a non-fiction faith book I’m trying to cross off my personal list, or growth articles to help me grow in my career capabilities.

Sunny Saturdays are my favorite so that I can get my natural vitamin D for 20-30 minutes on a deck chair. The hum of farm machinery, the sound of a neighbor mowing grass or the crows cawing in the forest are the sounds that lull me into peaceful thoughts about how much I appreciate having Saturday mornings to enjoy such bliss. 

It really is bliss…a blissful blessing that I have come to greatly appreciate.

…a blissful blessing, indeed.

 


 

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Gratitude Leads To Contentment

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Photo and artwork belong to ComparisonTrap.org

This is the continuation of an earlier post about a Bible study in which I’m facilitating and participating.


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.
~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8

The Comparison Trap:  Week Three, Day Six… Some of my reminders and my takeaways from the daily devotional include:

A I’ve mentioned before, I have a family member who is incarcerated.

Tonight, I had the chance to speak with him on the phone, and he was solemn. He shared some highlights from his day, and I shared some from mine, but there was something else going on.

I asked him about it, and he said,
“Despite everything in here,
I have a lot to be grateful for.”

He went on to tell me that someone he had shared games of chess and conversations with so many times, someone he’d shared family stories with, someone he’d roomed with on two occasions while in different cell blocks, someone he had just sat with at lunch yesterday had passed away last night.

His friend (friends are hard to come by in prison), had died a few hours after the two of them had shared a meal together. He was 61. He had food and clothing, as all the inmates do, but I wonder about the struggle to find gratefulness or contentment in a place like that when one has no control over much of anything in their daily life.

My takeaway has nothing to do with today’s devotional, but it has everything to do with being grateful for all we are given.

It’s easy to say that my blessings are many since my days aren’t spent in a prison or not knowing who to trust. To compare my life to that would be to fall into the comparison trap.

Yet, I can allow it to remind me that living a life of gratefulness leads to contentment. I don’t have to be thankful or content based on someone else’s shortcomings, issues, or challenges, but on finding the contentment in what I do have… in my family, friends, my gifts, my time, my talents and the treasures I hold dear, because they are connected to people or places which have impacted my life.

“The shortcut to contentment is gratitude.” 
Be grateful today.


 

 

The Search for Contentment Continues

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Photo and artwork belong to ComparisonTrap.org

This is a continuation of a previous post about a Bible study in which I’m facilitating and participating. 


I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
~Philippians 4:12-13 

The Comparison Trap:  Week One, Day Three… Some of my reminders and my takeaways for today include:

Paul inspires me. I want to learn to be more like Paul, who was always striving to know more of Jesus and to live by the path the Lord had prepared before him.

His contentedness awes me. Like many of you, I’ve read and studied his story. With all he had done in his past life (before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus), and with the beatings, shipwrecks, sufferings, hardships, time in prison, and challenges he faced, he was still able to know that finding his own strength and purpose through the strength of his Lord was his pathway to contentedness.

I haven’t met Jesus on a dusty road, nor have I been physically blinded by His presence, but I’ve traveled on roads of uncertainty seeking His answers, and I’ve been blindsided by quite a few harsh realities in life. I’ve lived seasons of being well-fed and with plenty in my life, and I’ve gone through seasons of hunger and emptiness, begging to be relieved of my heartaches and hurts.

Comparing these seasons to one another can be a trap, and when I’ve failed to reach out to Him, failed to dig for His hope, and when I’ve chosen to close His Word in frustration and wondering, then I’ve fallen into a trap. The snare has only seemed to tighten when my focus has been on comparison and discontent.

Just like you, I’ve, too, looked around me and asked, “Why me?”

In Day Three, Sandra writes, “The habit of praying and reading Scripture before my day gets going loads me up with the strength and perspective I need to resist the comparison trap.”

I’m still working on finding my perfect peace in contentedness, but I do know that the more I allow His presence to fill me, to surround me, and to overwhelm me, the more contentment and patience I find in my circumstances. The more time I spend dwelling in Scriptures and reading through His Word, the more I continue to learn that it truly is Him who gives me more of His strength to be more of the woman He is calling me to be.

When I dwell in His Word, I dwell in His presence. It is there I find His peace.