I love my house. I dare say I’m content in my home. As long as it’s clean, as long as nothing’s broken and provided I haven’t visited a cleaner, nicer, more up-to-date house this week. I’m good. Most of the time.
I love my life. I’m content. As long as I don’t read the letters from the 18-year-old me about where I’d be now or what I dreamed of becoming. As long as I don’t dwell on yesterdays and should-haves. I’m good. Most of the time.
I don’t spend a lot of time telling God the things I need. Want. Except one thing. I tell Him that daily. I ask for that constantly. And yet….
In Philippians 4:11 Paul says, “for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” And I trip on those words. I stop to think, to mull them over and try to figure out how Paul learned that, what was the secret he speaks of (in verse 12) and why, oh, why can’t I find that?
With the whir of the air conditioner filling up the space around me, I wait. I read. I wait some more. Surely there is a lesson in all of this that God is waiting to teach me. Something profound that I can share and breathe in and begin to apply.
In the space yet to be filled with inspiration and answers, suddenly there are elbows and knees. A sea of blonde hair and blue eyes. Giggles and excited chatter.
And there in the adoration punctuated by dimples and fluttering eyelashes is a still small voice.
“Tell them they aren’t enough.”
In a flash they are gone again, off to spread sunshine and remove every toy from every shelf. Unaware of the moment that just unfolded. Unaware that I can barely breathe for the humbling painful reality I just inhaled.
You see, I obsess about having more children. Maybe not outwardly, but in my own head and heart, I wish. I beg. I pray. And I feel a massive loss every time I am confronted with the truth that I am the mother to only two children.
Let’s go back to Philippians for a moment, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (4:11-12)
I don’t know the secret that Paul had learned, and perhaps it is a secret on purpose. A beautiful mystery. Because it is something we have to come to in Christ on our own. No one can teach you contentment. Nope, that is something that has to be inhaled. Like the delicate aroma of a Savior.
And what is the secret for me? The one that God just whispered. Contentment isn’t about the things I don’t have. Or even about the things I do have, really. It is about looking, in the face, the blessings that God gives us and saying, “You aren’t enough for me.” Look at the sky, shake your fist and say, “You aren’t enough for me.”
Go ahead. Do it. Look at your husband who leaves his dirty clothes on the floor or might forget an anniversary. Look him in the eye and say, “You aren’t good enough.” Look your children in the face. Stare into their eyes and say, “You are just not enough for me.” Go to work tomorrow and say to your boss, really, “This job isn’t enough for me.”
Did you do it?
Because we wouldn’t want to hurt people. We wouldn’t want to run people off. We wouldn’t want to risk loss. And yet, every day I look at things around me — bigger houses, nicer cars, more well-behaved children, a cuter outfit — and think, “What if?” “If only.” “I need that”. As if I am shaking my fist at the sky, I tell God it isn’t enough for me.
The truth is the love of Christ overwhelms me. To choose me unto death….no words.
The truth is I love our house, even if the paint is uneven, and there seems to be dog hair everywhere. This is our home where laughter rings in the hallways, where truth is taught and love is lived!
The truth is I have never been more comfortable in the skin I am in. Though I’m overweight, I am confident in my God-given gifts of encouragement and love. I have grown into the roles of wife, mother, daughter, friend, leader and more with an ease and a passion that can come only from God.
The truth is my arms (and heart) will always long for the babies I relinquished in adoption. And that the children we are blessed to parent fill my life with love, laughter, challenges, messes, crafts, games and God.
The truth is God made me to want more. More of Him. And by telling Him He is not enough for me or by trying to fill up with other things I am denying the very thing He made me for. More of Christ.
So, my friends, today as the world entices with big, better, newer, flashier, more, more, more, I pray that you and I look to the sky with open arms and say, “He’s enough for me.”