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.
This verse can be applied in so many ways. Whether it be from the view of how our economy has effected our lifestyles to how the ebb and flow of life gives and takes according to various measure, life is ever in flux. However, I have been pondering lately that this verse is being applied to me in my motherhood.
After Avila was born I was faced with many challenges - things I thought I would never experience. There were the initial nursing troubles (and painful infections), the baby who hardly slept and hardly ever seemed content, the debilitating post-partum depression, and the plain confusion that comes with being a new mom. This was my time of want. I was yearning to emerge from this period and I begged God for it to be over. However, after realizing what I learned and how I grew from these challenges, I wouldn't go back and change a thing. I began the road to acceptance (which is key when a child is brought into the equation) and God has subsequently brought me from the valley to a high mountaintop.
I am now in a time of plenty. Each and everyday I am graced with a moment of elation when I look upon my family, especially my daughter, and see how blessed I am. After much hard work, Avila is a great sleeper, she is a happy girl in just about any situation, and I am feeling absolutely wonderful. There are times when I simply cannot contain my joy for all that I am blessed with. To be able to stay home with Avila and take the lead in her formation as a person in Christ is the biggest gift Michael has worked hard to give me. To be able to serve my husband through our household is another gift. I take joy in lighting candles, and listening to music, and dancing with my baby, and going for walks, and any other simple thing that graces my day. All that we have sacrificed, from material possessions to sticking tight to a budget, has made it possible for me to have the joy in my life that I currently possess.
I know that life will not always be easy and I will once again return to a time of want. But the biggest thing that this current time of plenty has shown me is to be content in the now. It has shown me to value the little things and take care of what God has entrusted to me - whether it be the things that fill our home or the people given to my care.
St. Paul learned the secret of being content in any situation and this is one secret that must be shared. In the preceding verses he says:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things...And the God of peace will be with you.
I now challenge you, in your life, to take what is noble, what is right, what is pure, what is lovely, and what is admirable and truly ponder such things. For in these, Christ lives. And in these, He brings contentment and joy - whether in times of plenty or in times of want.