To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Our friends, the Culbertson's, are on their way to spend Thanksgiving with us. I'm so happy that they are coming to be with us again although I find it funny that we've probably spent more time together since they moved then we did when they lived here :-)

Like most people right now I've been preparing for tomorrow...planning the menu, gathering recipes (this is the first time I will be making stuffing and I'll be making homemade pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin puree) and grocery shopping. Lots of cleaning and squaring things away as my Mother puts it.
Practical activities aside I've also been trying to prepare my heart and mind so that I will have a truly grateful spirit. I have so much to be thankful for! I've been thinking a lot about thanksgiving and contentment. I'm learning that, although two different things, they go hand in hand. Can you be truly thankful yet not content? How about content in a situation or with certain circumstances but not be thankful?
I think one breeds the other. True godly thankfulness will sprout flowers of contentment. When biblical contentment is cultivated it will also produce genuine thankfulness.
Rob posted a link on his blog to this post by Russ Moore. It takes about three minutes to read but has something really important to say about being thankful.
Which made me consider a book I'm reading by Puritan writer Jeremiah Burroughs. Like many authors of his time, Mr. Burroughs is quite wordy and descriptive so to say I'm moving slowly through "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" is an understatement. I'm only on page 46 and I've been reading it for about five weeks now. Granted not on a daily basis and to be perfectly frank it is a brain stretcher for me. It's good...really good. But kind of heavy and meaty.
The last part I read seems to fall in line with what Mr. Moore is saying, specifically the part that Rob quoted. A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition, as by way of subtraction...it does not come, I say, by adding to what you want, but by subtracting from your desires...Here lies the bottom and root of all contentment, when there is an evenness and proportion between our hearts and circumstances.
So as we enter into this time of thanksgiving my prayer is that it will lead us to a greater contentment. That we will look around us at the bounty of food and friends and family...and savor the rich blessing of being together bound by His mercy and grace.

10 comments:

Tammy Lee Bradley said...

Thank you for blog hopping with us! I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!! ♥tam

And Miles To Go... said...

have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

justine said...

have a great time!

christine said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I think Buddhists have a principle similar to what you said....that the road to enlightenment starts with removing more and more.

Great post. :)

breezelife said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends!

Oliag said...

Such a beautifully written post!Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family....

Rosie said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Kat Sloma said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful words and linking in to the blog hop! Happy Thanksgiving to you.

maureen said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post, and for joining us in the blog hop.
♥maureen

Cate said...

Lovely post - and such true sentiments.

Thanks for visiting my blog too!