Contentment–My Goldilocks Syndrome

coffeeMy picture of being content for some reason looks like sitting on a patio watching the ocean with a cup of coffee in hand.

This would need to take place at sunset as opposed to sunrise, because,… well I’m not a morning person. Hence me writing this blog at a time at night when let’s just say everyone in this house is asleep and my friends in Africa are awake ;-)

Of course my cup of coffee at evening time would need to be decaf. And not just any decaf since most are filled with more chemicals and craziness than regular beans, but a swiss water press decaf.

Oh yes, that’s more like it! ((Oh and not just any cup of nasty watered down or cardboard coffee, but strong rich, not to acidic, full body, medium to dark roast decaf.))

With just the right amount of cream…and maybe a dash of raw cane sugar ;-) ((don’t judge me)).

Ah yes! A GREAT cup of coffee makes me feel content.

Thank you Starbucks for your contribution to turning an employee into a coffee snob and to East Africa for satisfying the snobbish desires in me.

Where was I????…

…Oh yes, contentment. The ocean. The breeze. The colors of the sunset. The quietness of hearing only the waves. The excellent cup of coffee…*sighs*

Can someone transport me right now?

That picture of contentment is literally the farthest thing from my current view or scenario. Again, it’s nearing 1am, I’m freezing, my back is….ouch, my husband is asleep in another room, and I’m listening to the sound of my baby brother flushing his toilet (ok, so maybe not EVERYONE is asleep yet). We are home from Africa going through medical treatments with my back and kidneys and…I love Tulsa and relationships here, but I want to be elsewhere.

I’ve realized that a lot of the time I allow my thoughts to drift away into a more “ideal” or content place.

When I’m discouraged, I walk through my days like a zombie looking for something to make me feel alive again.

I walk on past people, events, and conversations dreaming of a better moment to feel “present” for.

This all reveals that I am not content.

Goodness! I can’t even be content with a cup of coffee most days…but really it’s a struggle!

I have what I’d like to refer to as the Goldilocks syndrome.

You know the story, Goldilocks wanders into a house belonging to the 3 bears while they are away. She finds 3 bowls of porridge only finding one to her liking and the same goes for the chairs and the bed. She looks for what is “just right”.

I saw a cute little girl dressed up as Goldilocks for Halloween this year and her family was the 3 bears. The baby bear was adorable too and the oldest sister was super girly and loved her costume. SK had her laughing and playing around.

I’m not as cute like her, when I’m acting like Goldilocks. This looks like me trying to find ideal and or perfect circumstances all of the time.

One thing I can justify in my behavior like this that “I know what I want”. I knew what I wanted in a husband and I waited for him. That’s a positive example, so doesn’t that justify my attitude with other arenas? :-/

The not so positive example is when I’m like “This day is too____”. “I wish life could be more like____”. “Everything would be JUST RIGHT if____”. “I want to be____ doing____”.  And so forth and so on….

I end up finding the one that “is just right”, but it’s usually only in my IMAGINATION and Pinterest board. (you know it’s true for you sometimes)

That my friends is dangerous. This disconnects us from embracing the present and what is in front of us right now.

Honestly, we aren’t going to find ideal scenarios everyday. Most of life will be during the mundane.

Yes you, the mom with the baby(ies).

Yes you the administrative assistant.

Yes you the cashier at the store.

And you whomever you are and whatever you might do. You have to eat, sleep, put clothes on, drive places etc.

Since most of our life will consist of not-so-great coffee and limited ocean views (unless of course you’re someone with a daily ocean view, in which case can we be best friends?!), why don’t we make the most of it?

Why not learn to be content no matter the storm.
No matter the challenge, let’s learn to throw off our Goldilocks ways.

This new attitude will produce in us a new outlook. One of gratitude for the “just right” moments that we do encounter.

When that “cup of Joe” tastes perfect, the kids aren’t being a mess, our loved ones are healthy and strong, and financially we are taken care of, we will be even MORE grateful.

It’ll be like a bonus on top of the gratitude that we already have from choosing to be content in whatever we are facing.

We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how to respond to what is happening to us. Choose to see a scenic ocean-view through your difficult scenarios and learn to be content.

The Apostle Paul wrote this is Philippians chapter 4, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.”

When we see Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things…”, we don’t normally picture Paul being in a lack or in a difficult situation. However the context of this passage pertains to Jesus strengthening us to be content, no matter our circumstance.

He learned to be content no matter what. And so should we. It’s in that place where we can do all things, LIKE… being content, through Christ who gives us strength.

After all, if you have Jesus, you have the most important thing :)

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