I’m currently fighting some crazy allergy attack/cold and potty training my toddler. Literally, we’ve been sitting in the bathroom for an hour. So, let’s all just pray this makes sense, because I’m exhausted and have been taking some cold meds.

This week I had someone say to me You must never struggle in your faith. You’re just a perfect little Christian. 

Like everyone, I have a past and it’s not all pretty. In the present, I struggle everyday with the perpetual tension of being content in this season and with the fact that I have other dreams I long to live. As for the future, I sometimes wonder what in the world God has in store for me and my family.

But, I worship a God who does not define me by my past. He removes my shame and gives me contentment and joy for the present and for the future. Because of that, I daily place my hope in Him.

This is the last segment in our series on the Spiritual Discipline of Contentment.

Psalm 131:
1My heart is not proud, O Lord,
My eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with matters
Or things too wonderful for me.
2But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child with its mother,
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
Both now and forevermore.
For our final step in the spiritual discipline of contentment, let’s take another look at verse three:
“Oh, Israel, put your Hope in God both now and forever more.”

To put our hope in God is (a continuation of the baby image in verse two) not an easy thing. It’s to wait like a pregnant woman. We struggle. There might be prayers unanswered and hopes deferred. There might be sorrow and grief. But all of it—all of the waiting—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—is with the expectation and hope that God will birth something beautiful in our lives and in the lives of those we love. 
The final step in the discipline of childlike contentment is to:
Daily place all your Hopes in God.

Next to my bed, I have a lovely little statue of a mother holding her two sons. I like to call her Bertha.


Bertha is this totally serene woman and her children have these absolutely angelic faces. The piece exudes contentment. In fact, the official title of the statuette is Quietly.

SO NOT who I am as a mom.

Bertha doesn’t have poop and spit-up on her. Bertha isn’t losing her cool. She isn’t frantically running around the house to get her kids out the door. Bertha is quiet. Bertha is content. Bertha is also made of plaster. 

Thankfully, we have a God who is a better parent than Bertha will ever be. And when we are feeling resentful or discontent, we have access to His perfect peace, patience, and presentness. 


Reread Psalm 131, noting the words heart, eyes, concern, soul, and hope.

Psalm 131:
1My heart is not proud, O Lord,
My eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with matters
Or things too wonderful for me.
2But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child with its mother,
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
Both now and forevermore.


And review our Discipline of Contentment Steps based on this Psalm:


1. Daily ask God to remove any pride in your heart that is keeping you from being grateful.

2. Ask God to help guard your thoughts so that you are not building towers in your own name.

3. Daily Ask God to train your eyes to see and enjoy what is right in front of you.

 4. Be in consistent, authentic, vulnerable communitywith other godly women.

5. Daily place your hopein God.

When David talks about Contentment he mentions the heart, the eyes, the thoughts (concern), the soul, other people, and ultimately the Lord. 

Contentment is not about becoming the perfect plastery woman, wife, and mother. 

Contentment is the art of daily asking God to renew our heart, eyes, thoughts, soul, relationships— our entire being—in such a way that He becomes the center of it all. It’s a discipline of worship. 

After this final story I will stop all of this poop-talk for awhile:

A few year ago it was my oldest’s first day of preschool. I walked him to his new classroom, introduced myself to his teachers, took some photos, and left a little teary-eyed. It was a momentous rite-of-passage for my son and for myself. 

It was only afterwards, in the parking lot, when I realized that I had a huge poop-stain on the front of my sweater. 

You might be asking yourself how in the world I went somewhere in public covered in excrement without realizing it. I’m still asking myself the same question.

My only explanation is that morning I had changed my other son’s diaper in a rapid-fire manner, attempting to get us all out the door on time…and haste apparently made waste. (ba bum bum.)

The funny thing is on the way to school I kept thinking, Wow! It really stinks in here. The baby must have pooped again.

Nope, it was me.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is mothering.

On one hand, we have the holy task of raising healthy and God-fearing adults. On the other, we have poop, spit-up, and drool.

Jesus renews our hope and gives us contentment—even in the ugliest and messiest moments of life. 
This week, may you live contentedly, shamelessly, and free of poop-stains. (Okay, that’s the last time.)
  

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