Is there anyone that doesn't struggle with being content? I'm still working on it, but I never cease to find examples and reminders in day to day life of this struggle I face. Sometimes it hits me when I log into Facebook and see what's going on in the lives of my friends, other times it comes when I think I'm going out on a short grocery trip where I find myself shopping for more than groceries, and yet other moments come from times when I, myself, am teaching the lessons to others. "Gulp!"
In the Bible class I teach at a local Christian school we are discussing happiness vs. joy. Happiness is in the moment, based on emotion, and is often based on what we have (or don't have). Joy, however, is from within the heart, is long lasting, and should be rooted from the salvation we have received.
Like I said, I'm still working on it! As Christmas comes in a matter of a few weeks I have been reminded of how easy it is to search for happiness rather than joy. Where is my contentment? I was amazed by my own children and thankful for the hearts they have and the contentment they display despite me. It's funny to hear people ask my children what they want for Christmas. We don't do the "Santa Claus" thing. He's just fun, but not the one that delivers toys. Of my three girls (12, 8, and 3) none are sure what they want! We actually went to a store one day to look for ideas to give family! My girls are content with what they have and two of the three have joy that comes from knowing the Lord as their personal Savior. We decided to ask more for needs (like clothes to grow into!) and soon they will be requesting our usual trip to drop off a toy for Toys for Tots. I'm sure they'll clean out their rooms and play room that they may donate their old toys to kids that don't have any. I look back and am thankful that somewhere along the line along with all the mistakes I've made, that I've also made some good choices too. Choices to teach my children about those in need and who don't have anything and to care for the needy remembering we are representatives of our Creator.