I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For…Contentment
Written by our fabulous Guest Writer
The other day I went with my mom and grandma to get ice cream with the three kiddos. We all waited in the long line ($1 waffle cones do tend to draw a crowd), and when we finally got to the counter I let each of the kiddos choose what flavor they wanted, including my littlest guy, who just turned 2. He chose rainbow sherbet and was so excited to get to eat his treat! We found a table, sat down, and proceeded to savor the amazing magic that is ice cream on a warm day. After a few minutes, my youngest noticed that I had a different flavor of ice cream than he did, and in an instant he forgot all about his rainbow sherbet. He pointed at mine, signed “please” and asked to have it. “Oh, no, Buddy, this one is Mama’s ice cream. But here’s yours!” I pointed to the cone he had grasped in his little fist. Immediately, he let out a cry of distress, shaking his head and pointing earnestly to my cone. This little guy could not be persuaded to just enjoy his own treat! He was spending so much time fussing and desiring my ice cream that his own was beginning to melt. In that moment, as I watched green and orange liquid pooling over his chubby little hand and dripping onto his clothes, I felt God speak to my heart: “How many times have you missed out on the blessings I already gave you because you are busy wanting something else?”
I have a pretty fantastic life: a husband of almost 10 years that adores me and is a terrific provider; 3 precious children that I have the opportunity to stay home with and raise, just as I’ve dreamed of doing since I was tiny; extended family that not only live close but are a central blessing in our lives; friends that love and accept me as I am and bring amazing fun and joy to my life; my own sweet little house to care for and enjoy…you get it. And yet, there are times I absolutely struggle to truly notice what I already have because I am busy wanting something different, whether that’s a newer house with a quiet backyard that doesn’t back up to the highway; or children that don’t throw tantrums and actually use human language to express their needs; or the more fab and fit body that fits into regular jeans and not just yoga pants. The time I spend wanting (read: coveting) what someone else has, or even just what I think I should have by now, is time that I lose in enjoying what God has already given me. My ice cream is melting all over my hands and clothes because I am focused on a different-flavored scoop; and at the end of the day, not only do I not have that other ice cream (because someone else ate it all and enjoyed it completely, thank-you-very-much), but now I also don’t even have my own treat to enjoy because it has turned into a sticky, melty mess. My heart was so convicted by this, especially since I had just spent time that day talking to my counselor about some unrealized expectations I have and the frustration I feel in not having them! I’m the kind of person that truly desires to savor and enjoy the life I’ve been given—every season, every blessing, every lesson—and the image of it all melting away into nothing was a powerful one for me. I’m so thankful that God used my little toddler’s ice cream-meltdown to gently and tenderly remind me of something I am working on with my kids (and obviously still need practice in myself): contentment. God fills our lives with good things and wants us to enjoy them…and trust that theyare the perfect fit for us, not the things that others have or that we think we should have. Let’s enjoy whatever flavor of ice cream He has given us today, and not even give it a chance to begin melting away!
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” ~Hebrews 13:5
“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:13
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” ~1 Timothy 6:6-8