The catalogs arrive in the mailbox piled high, with glossy covers and they promise — these catalogs — warmth for my home and gatherings around the table and time spent with family.
So I open them up with childlike glee and flip the glossy pages one by one. With every turn I glance around my living room and notice. I notice the old, stained couch. The spots where I messed up painting the shelves. The vases that you loved when you bought them but just seem blah for no apparent reason now.
And suddenly, because I saw what I don’t have, everything I loved just moments before seemed insignificant and outdated.
I opened the pages to the latest issue of What Could Be and instantly my worn and well-loved copy of What I Have doesn’t measure up.
It happens outside of the catalogs, you know. The stirring of dissatisfaction and discontentment leaps off glossy pages and into our matte lives at church and school and work and play and promises happier marriages and better behaved kids and thinner! richer! now! if we stare at them long enough.
And we buy into it — the carefully crafted advertising (I know, I worked there) that promises you can Build It and Be It and Have It if only…
Sometimes it happens in places we consider safe and exempt from the glossiness of paper. Sometimes discontent shows up unexpectedly in our safe places with otherwise content comrades. Like when you walk into a blogging conference with 450 other Jesus-minded word specialists and suddenly your blog isn’t big enough, shiny enough, artsy enough or godly enough. And you realize you aren’t extroverted enough or bold enough to just walk up to her and strike up a conversation.
Sometimes discontent shows up in the places you thought would be the absolute safest. And you realize your contentment foundation is as flimsy as the uv-coated paper the catalogs are printed on.
So then what?
Join me over at my other home, Be Still Be Free, today to participate on the journey toward discovering what it really means to BE CONTENT. We have a 30-minute podcast, blog post, practical applications, additional resources and free printable to help us walk through the contentment process.
+ + +
So the 31 Days is over, and quite honestly, I miss it. I miss the daily reminder to be, just be, just be. I miss the challenge of creeping up on 9 o’clock at night and sitting down to figure out what on earth I’m writing about for tomorrow. I miss relying on God at those times and feeling Him just download a post into my brain and typing away and being amazed by what He gives me.
But fortunately, not having a 31 days challenge frees me up to think a little bit more about the place that launched just four weeks ago — Be Still Be Free. It frees me up to get a little more creative about what we can offer you as far as resources and tangibles and reminders TO BE that you can hold in your hand and literally put in your pocket.
So more on that to come. (wink, wink)