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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Anniversary & a case of the bad attitudes.

Last week was a bad attitude week for meNo one would have known it from the outside looking in.  But it was there and it was threatening to rear it's ugly face to those I love most, namely my husband.  Having to make a choice to stay home instead of flying off to some foreign soil, (or even a local bed and breakfast) wasn't easy.  Why can't we just have enough to spend lavishly and do whatever we want?  I was frustrated that we had to make a decision about it, have a conversation about the wise thing to do this year.  My husband is amazing with the money he brings in, the provision and the allotment, the wisdom and foresight.  I'm the one with the crappy attitude. 

It was keeping me awake at night, my dissatisfied mind. I am married to an amazing man, we have a beautiful life together, three healthy children and a precious home, we have food in our fridge and new clothes on our backs, the list goes on and on. And yet, I had the audacity to allow myself to get worked up about not going AWAY for our anniversary. Give me a break. For real. 

 Don't get me wrong, going places for your anniversary is wonderful, it's a given really, or it should be anyway.  Doing something special to set apart that day from all the others.  It's important, deeply important.  Yet, when the expectations for a good time fall only upon going away to some fancy place, or staying at the nicest hotel, or hopping on a plane out of town, then I think there needs to be a heart check and I had to have just that. 


It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, the way you look at your life and your experiences, (or lack of experiences) completely influences who you are and the life you live.  Do I have thoughts of resentment toward those that get to enjoy the "bigger and better" of life or am I willing, (and ABLE) to be satisfied with the little things?  Truly grateful for what I do have?  Shifting my mindset from something I think I deserve, to gratitude for what's in my hands? WE DESERVED something better then staying home all weekend, right?  Our marriage celebration is worth more then sending the kids off for two days and nights.  We're entitled to something grandiose, after all, we've been married nine years, (that last sentence is dripping with sarcasm). 

Here's the real facts of life:  we're not entitled to ANY GOOD THING.  All these extras on top of life, are just that, "extras".  And they are beautiful, they make life taste so sweet, they produce that wonderful "looking forward to something" feeling, they fill us with happiness.  But where is my JOY found?  Is it in the experiences I have with Jake, the places we go and the things we see and do?  Or is it found in him, just him and I and a hot chocolate?  The simplicity of togetherness.  I'm reminded of a quote by D.H. Lawrence that hung by my bedside during our dating years, I type it from memory.  "To be content in bliss, without desire or insistence anywhere. This was heaven, to be together in happy stillness."

My thoughts last week were focused not on our love, but on the way we celebrated our love.  That somehow is was less than because we decided to stay home and save a couple hundred dollars.  Hear me out, we hope there is a day that we can pick any place we choose and go there with ease.  If that's the case for you, that is AWESOME, truly!  Hop on the plane and get the heck out of here and ENJOY!  And if it isn't and you have a tough time with that knowledge, that's the place where I'm writing from tonight.


It's Sunday evening and the children are back  home.  We've missed them, the house was so quiet.  Eerily so at night with three empty beds.  This weekend we had together was perfect for us.  It was cozy and quiet and simple, yet full of wonderful things.  I'll share a bit more of what we did and where we went later on.  For now, I just had to get those thoughts out of my heart. 

It really is not that important WHERE you go, it's truly about WHO you're with.  And like I said earlier, if you get to be with the one you love AND GO amazing places, that is wonderful and such a blessing for you.  Be blessed and content in that!!  I learned some contentment this weekend and I'm so glad I did.  The little things popped out to me, the sweet moments we gathered along the way.
`
The point I'm making, (mostly to myself)  is  about  contentedness and sometimes that is a process to learn and relearn.  We are encouraged in the Bible to "LEARN TO BE CONTENT".  It doesn't come naturally nor is it given freely, it must be learned.  And as with most things we learn, it happens through experience. I came upon a wonderful article this afternoon that really summed it up well.  Below is the opening paragraph.  Hope you enjoy it and I'll see you later this week: 

"Contentment is not a gift to be received but rather a lesson to be learned. Paul makes this clear in Philippians 4:11 where he says, “In whatsoever state I am in I have learned to be content.” Notice, he did not say, “In whatsoever state I am in, God gives me contentment.” Contentment is a spiritual discipline to be learned. It is a product of resolving the struggles between what we want to have and what we know God wants for us."  
~Richard Dobbins~

6 comments:

Shar said...

i love you...thank you for being so real and putting things into perspective. was thinking of you lots over the weekend! (and thanks for letting me stop over a bit the other morning!) xoxo

Mary June Miller said...

You are amazing and inspirational! I agree with Shar - LOVE how real you are! Love you so much! Mj

Kara Stoltzfus said...

i am still learning! it is a hard lesson at times! being TRULY content!
happy anniversary. i hope you enjoyed your time together and I am refreshed by your honest & REAL perspective on life!

Rebecca Zimmerman said...

I've been there too often myself this past year. So much to be thankful for and yet grumbling. Seriously unacceptable! Thanks for the inspiration and for being real.

Sarah Gingrich said...

Yes. So, Dustin, after 6 years of service in Chile with only sporadic opportunities to even go out on a date for a few hours, we planned and plotted in our hearts to go away to Greece to celebrate 11 years of marriage. Then we came "home" and realized that we didn't have money to do that dream. We tried to make the best of it by saying, Well, we'll buy a porch swing instead, a statement that we can enjoy our home here, and sitting together on our porch, the simple stuff. Then we couldn't afford a porch swing...oh the hilarity of this comedy of errors. I don't remember if we even managed to go out on a date...but I'm with you, I'm thankful for so much, AND I grieve that sometimes my dreams don't fit in our budget : ).

Mimy said...

Been there, done that. Your post was inspiring and I love how honest you were. It was like you wrote for many of us! Glad you had a refreshing time in spite of...: )
Mimy