Here’s what we’ve covered so far in the Spiritual Discipline of Contentment:
1. Ask God to remove any pride in your heart that is keeping you from being grateful./ Make a gratefulness list.
2. Ask God to guard your thoughts, so that you are not building towers in your own name./ Replace lofty thoughts with Scripture.
Let me jump in and say this: I had a friend call me the other day, frustrated about her kids, “THIS IS NOT WORKING!”
These “steps” toward contentment are not meant to be a method that you do perfectly.
Contentment is a spiritual discipline, and as I said in part two, that means the work is God’s to do in our hearts over time. Spiritual disciplines are graceful ways to remind our body, heart, and soul of God’s grace, and to help us be purposeful with the gifts He has given us.
They are not meant to be done perfectly; they are meant to help us focus on Jesus. As you practice these “steps,” remember to ask God to move your heart towards Him.
Okay, jumping back out….
Instead, he is focusing on those things which are directly in front of himâ€”so that his gaze is even and smooth.
A contented soul isn’t anxious about the future, isn’t plagued by the past, and is certainly not stressed about
his or her own glory.
Instead, the contented soul is stilled and quieted like a weaned child because it is resting in and leaning on God.
Similar to the way a newborn can only see the distance between hers and her mommyâ€™s face; to be stilled and quieted is to be focused on God and on the people and circumstances He has put in your present path.
That God would move my sight-lines downward to the exact height of my children so that I don’t miss out on any precious and holy moments with them.
The third step in the Spiritual Discipline of Child-like Contentment is:
- Daily Ask God to train your eyes to see and enjoy what is right in front of you.
In our home, we have a little tradition called Celebrating Nothing.
Another way we Celebrate Nothing as a family is by intentionally marking the little moments in life. When one of my sons finds a toy that’s been missing, I will make the entire family run around the house, shouting and singing. Or, on those rare occasions when my middle son–notorious for procrastinating at mealtime–finishes his dinner in a timely manner, we give each other high-fives and he gets to pass out stickers to everyone.
Photos are huge part of our Celebrating Nothing tradition. I’m missing the Pinterest gene (it’s probably good I have three boys) because I don’t really care about crafting or baking. But, I AM addicted to Shutterfly.com. I make annual photo albums and will regularly sit down with my older boys to look at photos from the past years, so we can celebrate the little moments. Look, bud you couldn’t ride a bike before, but now you can. Isn’t it cool how you are growing every day!
My sister-in-law has taken the Celebrate Nothing tradition to a whole new level. She’ll visit her favorite local bakery and order a cake with the words For No Good Reason written in icing. Sheâ€™ll bring it home to her family and surprise them with a No Good Reason Bash.
I want my children to see God at work in the normal moments of life, not just the huge ones.
By creating these traditions as part of our familyâ€™s culture, we are learning to see God’s glory in the mundane.
We are learning to move our eyes downwardâ€”away from the heights of those lofty towersâ€”and towards the little blessings God has put right in front of our eyes. Blessings, which we might have otherwise missed.
My hubby preached on Sunday on Psalm 16 and asked Why do we settle for so little, when God is offering us abundant joy and satisfaction?
What about you? How do you and/or your family celebrate the little moments in life?