Thursday, September 4, 2008

So, are you learning contentment?

Let's take a second to circle back. This journey was sparked by a discussion on contentment, having a spirit of contentment that would then spur us on to other things in our life. (If you weren't there from the start you can read about it here.)

So, here is a commentary on how things are going:

We will spend on necessities (groceries, house payment, etc.)
So far so good. We have done an incredible job staying within our budget, this one has been pretty easy.

We will spend on events we have already committed to (a dinner with a friend, a Sunday brunch)
We have done this and I am so glad we have. I am so encouraged by the time we spend with friends, neighbors and members of our church community. Their encouragement, support, prayers and love are overwhelming each and every time we are with them.

We will replace “doing” with “being” - taking the time and money we spend doing things for ourselves to be something to others. This may involve being a family, being a better neighbor, being in prayer, etc.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being an amazing success, I would say this is about a 4. We could really work harder at this. We have taken the time to spend time with neighbors and be more involved in our church. BUT we have not pushed ourselves to the limits. We have not forces ourselves out of the house and into the community as much as we had hoped. The challenge is not over but perhaps this will take a little more than 45 days of commitment.

We will eliminate unnecessary things in our life - starting by cutting down the cable TV package we have.
I feel like this has been easier than I thought. I have started going through our house and deep cleaning closets, we have eaten from the pantry and have been very careful to not 'add' anything to our home. On review, we have everything we really need plus some and I am immensely grateful.

We will say no to doing activities that focus on us and instead say yes to doing activities that focus on others.
We have done well here. We have really been able to say no to some activities that would have been very self-satisfying. We have also been able to say yes to activities that help us get to know others, especially our neighbors. The act of saying no is much easier than I had originally thought.

We will actively seek counsel from others and God’s guidance for this specific task of fasting and learning about contentment.
This is a big resounding yes. We have seen the time that our family spends reading God's Word, praying and listening really grow. The time we have spent seeking God has shown us what a difference it makes in our daily living.

These are today's points to ponder. Tomorrow I would like to take a look at the other part of the commitment taken from the initial reading and see specific results it has produced...Have we...

-Increased Opportunities for Generosity (of our time, talent and treasure)
-Lived Simply (not being cheap, but being simple)
-Counted our Blessings (being thankful)
-Prayed Daily

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