As I have stared into this computer screen for two days now, struggling to find the right word with so much anticipation built up on the inside, I can’t wait to see how this week’s post turns out. I have settled in my nesting chair, sipping on a savoring cup of china tip green tea knowing tonight is the night to “gitrdone”.
Let’s start off by answering the question, “Are you CONTENT?” “Are you Happy?” You may have to think about this for a little while at least I did. Are you always striving for the next latest and greatest gadget, hair or clothing style or do you focus on the woulda, shoulda, coulda mentality? Looking back in my life, I will say for most part I was a happy person but not always CONTENT! In my childhood I was very happy and even though I didn’t know what the word was at that age, I can say now I was CONTENT. I never really wanted for much; I wasn’t an uneasy or restless kid. I definitely could play by myself since I lived in the country with only one sibling seven years older or with a group of friends when I went to town. I pretty much went with the flow and loved my life. As I entered into my late teens and early twenties life took a little twist and I was happy for the most part but not CONTENT. I always felt there was something more life had to offer. Looking back I am a bit amazed at some of the things I did. I was a bit of a pioneer or nomad…entering into unchartered territory with the thought if it didn’t work out I can always go home. Over 30 years later I recently figured out I am home and truly CONTENT. Now I am still open for adventure and love trying things new but I am happy in my own skin, at my midlife age, feeling happy and blessed, while looking for opportunities in “TAKIN TIME OUT”.
One of my favorite authors in the New Testament is Paul, many of his writings were written while he was in prison. One verse in particular is found in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned in whatever state I am to be CONTENT”. Just think about it Paul found CONTENTMENT in prison. My question why are there so many people today who can’t find CONTENTMENT in their circumstance today? The amplified Bible describes being CONTENT as “satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed or disquieted.” It doesn’t say satisfied to the point where you don’t want to change, but satisfied for now until God brings the change. This is huge. I also think it doesn’t mean to stop growing and learning. There will be challenges, trials and tribulations but through faith, hope and believing CONTENTMENT can prevail. CONTENTMENT is not a destination it’s a manner of traveling. You can desire more but be thankful for what you have and patient for what’s to come. Many times when CONTENTMENT starts to flurry I have the confidence to state out loud “God’s current provision for my life is enough.” It’s simply and amazing journey with him!
Last week our family was very saddened yet rejoicing on a life well lived. Granny Burns spent 105 amazing years and we had to say our goodbyes to her earthly body. The best part was she was keenly aware and could carry on a conversation with you up until the day before she passed away and I was able to be a part of at least 30 of those miraculous years.
Can you imagine what she was able to experience and see over 105 years? The history, technology, trends, styles from horse and buggy to automobiles. Amazing simply amazing to me.
Most everyone traveled from out of town to pay their tribute at the graveside service. We did gather together as a family and close friends for a lunch and as we held hands and blessed the food and safe travels home, I looked around and quickly realized the dynamics of this family were about to change. It is unfortunate but true Granny was the primary reason many of us kept in touch or even spent time together at her birthday celebration or through the holidays. All of us had not been together in that type of setting for several years. You might say she was the glue that bound the family together, children have children then grandchildren have children, new generations are born…in-laws come and go loved ones have passed on before her. This is what we call the circle of life. Uncle Gene & Eileen brought several boxes of photos of which we all enjoyed sifting through the past life of the Burns clan…we laughed at hairstyles, platform shoes and the classic cars. Granny kept every newspaper clipping and important announcements of each of her 6 children, 11 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren. Memories precious memories!
I asked my husband what one word he would use to describe his Granny, he stated happy or better yet CONTENT. He said my Granny and Granddad were never rich in wealth of money but they were rich in how they lived and made him feel as their grandson. He said he loved to go to their house as a kid. He remembered getting to their house late at night and she was always up waiting on them. She would go to the kitchen a fix them fried bologna and fried potatoes before they went to bed. Granny loved each one of them unconditionally; she never said a curse word, smoked a cigarette or drank liquor. Granny loved working on the farm including driving the tractor, hoeing, picking cotton and growing a garden big enough to feed the neighborhood. When she and Granddad retired from farming she went to work for Campbell Soup Company where she retired at age 65.
Retirement did not slow Granny down. She sat with shut-ins which she called old people, many which were younger than her. She lived independently until after her 100th birthday when she finally decided it was time to go into a nursing home, there were major adjustments from having other people help in bathing, dressing and serving you food you didn’t get to order. You also were always on someone else’s schedule. We as her family were relieved for the additional help but I often would put myself in her shoes and think this just isn’t fair when it came to rooming with someone you didn’t even know especially when you were of sound mind. Yet we are so thankful for the dedicated individuals who work so hard and take of so many of our aging population. She had the best possible care we could have ever asked for. I am also grateful for my mother-in-law who ended up overseeing and being her primary caregiver through the latter years. She had help from other siblings but Granny depended on her most. One other verse comes to mind for my mother-in-law found in Matthew 25:23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!”
We will miss Granny yet we can say she truly was an example of living a life well lived and CONTENT!
Are you seeking to be more CONTENT? As you are “TAKIN TIME OUT” this week, look back on your life, count your blessings, reflecting how far you have come. Let’s breathe deeply. Better yet take another deep belly breathe…hold it and count to ten, slowly let it out do it again, please! Just takin a pause in this busy life we live will help in finding and becoming more centered while being CONTENT. Until next time my friends CONTENTMENT and happiness is of your own choosing…Choose wisely!