On Contentment… Grrrr

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As some of you know, I am struggling with “Contentment in My Role” right now, so I thought I would share that struggle with you. I don’t know if you have the same struggle occasionally or not, but I found some helpful verses and a prayer:
…Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things: I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! ” (Matthew 25:21) . Wow, that sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it? Being praised by God for doing a good job with my faith, and then getting invited to a party to celebrate it? Just one little problem there for me, I lack faith in my parental/serving role right now…

As you women who came to the single moms meeting on Sunday may remember, I admitted to you all that although I love you and love spending time with you laughing, learning, socializing, praying, etc., there are many days when I don’t really want to be a part of this twice monthly gig we have going. I would rather be happily partnered up, serve meals to you, and give you a fat check than be a single parent. I never aspired to be a single mom, never dreamed as a little girl of raising my children without a partner by my side. You didn’t either. We all get tired of the responsibility of single parenting – there are just too many chores involved in the dirty dishes, the messy garage, the car’s brake system, the depleted checkbook, the job they expect me to go to in order to get paid, the piano practice she is not doing, the dog hair on everyone’s clothes, the homework he needs to do, the neighbors complaining about the dog barking, the decisions about spring break, the savings account that is depleted yet AGAIN, the child care choices for the summer, the philosophy about the sarcastic teenager’s new habits, the decision to keep the sick child at home and miss more work, or to send her off…

<You know the list; it goes on and on. It feels like too much sometimes, and there is no time to curl up in a ball and hide away from it all. I can so easily go into anger that the other parent is not here, that I am doing it alone, that I am sleep-deprived, and I have the wrinkles to prove it. Then whoops! it is a quick and so easy slide downhill to resentment. Before I know it, there I am in victim mode- really unlovely, and not a powerful, attractive, trusting, giving, loving, kind place to be for me or anyone around me!! I cannot make good choices from victim mode, I am too busy blaming others. Even the crossing guard gets my wrath for me running late. However, this is where I go sometimes…

But God wants us to be content in our circumstances. I do NOT want to be a victim, or resentful or bitter. I want joy and peace in my life, whatever my life looks like. I am not imprisoned like Paul was when he wrote that chapter, barely eating, no warm bed, no sunshine, no exercise. If he can do it I can do it too then! I want to be, and can be very content in my circumstances. But I have to choose it…

I have been asked to be faithful to God’s plan for me, faithful to what God has given me (1 Cornithians 4:2). He doesn't ask me to be perfect, (and get all the laundry folded, socks matched, cook meals every night, have a clean house, a balanced checkbook, with money for vacations and promotions at my job) he just wants me to be faithful and trust in his plan for me. That is it.

This is so much easier said than done- this faithfulness bit. I have to line up all kinds of action items to get there- pray specifically, meditate, love others, be gentle on me, ask for help from God, and then repeat.

"Holy Father, you know the joys, the heartaches of my role. I confess that I have fought against what You have given me. Grant me the courage to be a servant in this role you have chosen for me today. Oh God, I long to be faithful to You. I accept my assigned role as a gift. Teach me to "cease striving and know that You are God".*

"If we are trusting God that His portion for us is best, we can make the secret choices that will bring us a heart of contentment. If we do not accept God's portion for us, we will become women with spririts of discontent."**

*p. 67 Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

**p. 63 Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

If you are working on your faithfullness in God’s plan for you and know some specific things (Ok, I admit, I am looking for a recipe for faithfullness…), please write back and let me know what you do/how you pray for it, and I will pass it on. Like I said on Sunday, if someone told me I would have faithfullness in God’s plan for me if I ate Cheerios (or Raisin Bran, or even All-bran) every day, I would do it. It is very important to nourish faith in God’s plan for us! Right now, the only way I know of is to pray and ask for it specifically from God. Try it, see if it works for you.

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