I've been contemplating a lot of things lately.... perhaps with the New Year we all do that for a brief moment or two at least... usually I start on the bathroom scale... or actually trying to avoid it.... but seems lately I've been uncomfortable... perhaps just with myself... I'll be brutally honest now ... again part of my ONE WORD 2011 challenge of LET GO.... (ok that's two words)... but those that know me, know what I mean.... Am I rambling? Forgive me.. but stick with me ....
So how many of us have cleaned out a closet or two this week... after all it's one week into the new year and that burning desire to accomplish something (or perhaps be creative) is still set at the forefront of my mind... so in an attempt to fill that void, I started a new pile for Good Will, cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer, scoured through Christmas decorations as I repacked them this week; goodness I even rearranged the soup cans in my garage pantry.
And in the midst of all this I realize (like I didn't already know this) that I just have way too much. Definitely I'm grateful (and will add all those items to my Gratitude Journal I've started). God's blessings abound but why is it we equate even "blessings" as "stuff"... blessings are disguised in the lack of things too and in the hard times.. but that's another lesson for another day.
I've been reading a great blog on "Simple Marriage" that I really enjoy. It's written by Corey Allan if you're interested in checking it out... but this article helped me identify part of what I'm feeling emotionally and spiritually.. the article talks alot about materialism and "things".. but for me I related it more to emotions of having "enough".... as I struggle more with "feelings" than "things".... Mind you I have plenty of emotions, but the wrong kind (ungratitude, jealousy, people pleasing, criticalness, fear etc) and need more of the good emotions (generosity, contentment, patience, concern for others, gentleness etc).... , .. here's some excerpts of that article:
There’s been an unsettling feeling in my gut.
It was in my life for a while and I couldn’t put my finger on what was causing it.
Now, it wasn’t an overwhelming feeling of discontent or a sense that something bad was about to happen or even the insane amount of food I consumed throughout the Holidays (although that created discomfort all its own).
It was simply a nagging feeling that something was just off.
Something wasn’t aligning right.
Over the holidays while I was home with my family, my father and I got into a discussion about the latest books we’ve either read or are reading. As our discussion progressed, my dad brought up this idea of “enoughness.”
Just go to Toys R Us and watch the parents with their kids... we're surrounded by a never ending environment aimed at consuming. The world preaches scarcity. The trouble with scarcity is that you operate under the principle that resources are limited and that we can never truly have enough.
Have you ever struggled with enoughness? (for me -Not necessarily materially but emotionally?)
Or on the flip side, have you experienced the satisfaction of enough?
The pure, simple pleasure of having all you need and the sweet sense of contentment?
When you learn how to be content, you increase your capacity to enjoy.
To the naked, untrained eye, it appears that more consumption would increase contentment but this is not the case at all. The real answer is enoughness; adequate provisions to live in modest comfort.
All we need is … enough.
Living with this idea of enoughness means you are consuming to meet your basic needs without limiting your capacity to enjoy.(What a great concept pertaining to my diet!!)
Your capacity for enjoyment can grow at all times.
One of the best ways to increase your capacity for enjoyment is through the act of creating. When you make something, write something, build something, or imagine a new idea, you add value to the world. (This definitely makes sense as it relates to my love of stamping, and paper crafting and decorating and Jerry's love of woodworking and gardening and buiding things).
And as you create more, you perfect your craftsmanship, further increasing your capacity to enjoy! (Thus be more content and satisfied!)
Both you, and I, and the world, are better off with enoughness.
By keeping things simple, you increase the likelihood of better.
Usually, the problem you are facing doesn’t need a complex solution
So, what can you create to add value to the world today (and fill that "enoughness" in your own life)?
Brings me to one of my favorite Scriptures....
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.