The Gift of Contentment

Two conversations this week had a striking theme.

Question to forty-something co-workers, “What do you want for Christmas?”Business Colleagues Working Together

Answer, “Nothing, really, just time with my family.  I don’t really need or want anything.

I heard this in two different settings.

There are some perks to this forty-something stuff.

I noted the conversations because it’s where I’ve been the last several years.  Gift giving is my least ranking love language, so I’m not really all-about-Christmas.  This week, I noted the gift others my age already have received – contentment.

Contentment: a state of happiness and satisfaction

I’ve wondered, what is about now that brings contentment?  In my parent’s generation, forties were about wanting more or grasping for something.  The dreaded “Mid-Life-Crisis.  Has my generation become more enlightened or have we experienced enough in life already that intrinsic things bring happiness and satisfaction?

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11 (NIV)

When did it happen, this happy and satisfied feeling?  What have I and other forty-somethings learned that we’ve received this gift for Christmas?  These are some things I’ve learned so far that have purchased this priceless gift for me.

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  1. Hearing my kids laugh, get along, interact with each without my prompting makes me the happiest.
  2. Letting little things roll off is much better than making them a point of contention.
  3. Making time for things I enjoy makes me a happier woman, wife, and mother.
  4. Prioritizing what is most important now is better than doing everything others think I should do.   There will be time for certain things, later.  My children are only in my home now.  I’m over being stretched too thin.
  5. Balancing kid’s activities in relation to overall family health is important.  Kids don’t have to be in every sport at every age to be a success.  Saying no to certain things so we could say yes to others has paid off.
  6. Spending time in God’s word and with Him regularly fills parts of me that nothing else can.
  7. Spending money on the few things I really like to wear or have in my home is worthwhile because then I don’t need or want other things.
  8. Saying “no” or “not now” is an investment in contentment.
  9. Walking alongside my husband rather than trying to make him lead or follow is a good place to be.
  10. Wishing for tomorrow or “next” or “then” wastes precious time Today.

I’m not sure what the lists of my colleagues would be who’ve also received the gift of Contentment.  I’m sure it would be rich with life lessons.  What is your list?  What brings you contentment?  What have you learned in life or from God that has brought you happiness and satisfaction?  I really don’t think you have to be forty-something to achieve this.  For my readers of any age or stage, where have you received contentment this holiday?  We’d love to hear.

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And if you’ve received the gift, pass it on!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You are the source of all joy.

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