Monday, November 22, 2010

Lift Up Your Eyes ~ Contentment

"I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." The Message ~ Philippians 4:11

If only we could live this verse out as a lifestyle.  Where our level of happiness did not depend on how much we had, or what job we were working, or where we lived.  All too often, we let huge portions of our life slip by, while waiting for the next big thing to happen.  A friend and I were discussing this last week and we termed it "the holding pattern." My life can become so wrapped up in accomplishing my goals that I forget about the present. 

So today, on a Monday, I'm bringing myself back to the present.  Where I have an amazing husband, a loving family, incredible friends, a wonderful church family, a warm and comfortable house, a full pantry, a job where I can work from home, education that is semi-easily accessible, a home in the United States, and a future that belongs to my Savior.  I encourage everyone to sit down this week and write out atleast five things that they are thankful for in their lives.  I guarantee it will be refreshing.  

This past Saturday, Caleb and I had the privilege of putting together a Thanksgiving basket for  a refugee family.  

This was something our church participated in by partnering up with World Relief and over 85 baskets were handed out!  

Getting ready to hand out baskets

We were given a family that consisted of a single mom and her two sons, all of which had only been in the states for three months.  There was a huge language barrier, considering she spoke absolutely no English and I didn't even recognize the country that she originated from , but her excitement and gratitude was contagious through her smile and eyes!  We were successfully able to exchange names.  When we turned to leave, she couldn't believe the entire basket was for her,  she was trying to give some of it back to us.   Caleb outstretched his arms and said, "no, all of it is yours" and her eyes just lit up.  She stood at the door and waved goodbye with the biggest smile on her face. 

Talk about someone who knows how to be thankful.  She has only been in the States for three months, a country that is completely foreign to her.  The apartments they put the refugees in offer the bare necessities, of a roof and walls, running water and some key household items.  In our case, nothing to write home about. In their case, a life changing opportunity.  So often, we compare ourselves to those around us with the nicer car, or the bigger house, or the newer purse...but we forget that there are people in the world that would love to have a roof over their head or a meal everyday.  It's all about perspective.

Before we left, she gave Caleb and I each a strawberry Fanta.  I thought this was beautiful, because it shows that so often when you are generous, generosity turns around and finds you. Many people handing out baskets experienced this, where the basket recipients were offering gifts  in return.  God at work is a beautiful thing!

Leslie Ludy (one of my favorite authors)  wrote a devotional this week on contentment that is worth a read. "An idol is anything that claims our heart, focus and attention above Jesus Christ." Read more here. 



  1. That is such a beautiful verse. And how amazing that you all were able to provide so much for those families.


  2. Thanks for sharing about your experience on Saturday, Courtney.
    I, too, find myself waiting for the next "big thing" instead of living fully in the present.

  3. That is such a powerful verse, and I love the way it's translated in The Message.

  4. you know I have read that verse many times but today... It meant so much more. It's so easy in our busy lives to forget the simple most important things...that verse- in that translation was so encouraging today! Thank you for your post!

  5. Sometimes we spend our lives in the "holding pattern" and never realize what life is really about! Thanks for sharing and making me sit and remember that God put me here for His purpose. This means that He will always supply what I need when I follow His plan...