Loco LL

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Finding Contentment in a Discontent World

On my previous blog, I talked about how contentment has been a recurrent theme lately in my life. In many areas of my life, I can truly say that I am closer than ever to finding this contentment. I have grown not only content, but thrilled to be a mom of 3 girls. I have become content living in a city like Philadelphia which is quite different from Wilmore Kentucky (where we lived before). I am content with the low salary (in American standards) that we live on which keeps us from buying too much stuff. I have become content with a messy house (at times). I am content with the cars that God has blessed us with. I can't tell you how many comments I get, even from friends that are like minded to me, that I should get a new car. I have become content with our lack of closet space, drafty house, unfinished projects, and toilet that you have to turn the water off to every time you finish using it.

Yes, I have my moments, even with these things, that I feel discontent, but for the most part I am getting to the point where I don't even think about them as inconveniences or something to complain about. I feel good about using cloth diapers, wearing a thick robe around the house instead of turning on the heat, and having a mound of recyclables that I have to drive to a specific location at a specific time once a month because our city isn't taking all the items they should be. I feel good about all of the light fixtures in our house having CFC bulbs and having a daughter who reminds me to unplug my appliances. I feel good about the fact that my children watch tv only a few hours a week and when they do, they understand that the ads on tv are trying to make them discontent. Yes they truly understand this concept now. Yeah!! I feel good about the fact that we only have one tv in the house (and it's in the basement) and I could care less about HD. If our tv doesn't work in 2009, then that will be great for us. All the more reason to get rid of it.

Of coarse there are way more things that I desire to find contentment in than there are things that I have found contentment in. Chris didn't even know that I blogged about contentment and he ended up preaching on it this past Sunday. He talked about how we all breathe in the smog of discontent in our society. We are constantly being told we need better cars, tv's, bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, or even worse is how we are told we need to look a certain way. Have you heard of the show "what not to wear." Why do we get sucked into a show where two people decide what is appropriate to wear and what is not. For one thing, they are always telling the ladies to wear these high heel shoes. Well I have really bad feet and I am in complete agony wearing those pointy high heels. How is it considered beauty to make your feet do things they were not meant to do. I could go on and on about that. Why are we sucked in to believe our body needs to look a certain way to be beautiful. This is something that nearly every woman I know struggles with. As a mom of 3 beautiful girls who most likely will have 3 very different bodies and styles, and personalities. I feel it is a responsibility of mine to find contentment in my own shape. If I am allowing the discontent to control me, then how can I raise my children to not only know that the ads on tv are trying to make them want toys but also trying to make them want to look a certain way. Alexa is already asking me if I can whiten her teeth!! I need to be happy with my thighs, as dumb as it sounds. Ladies, you know what I am talking about. We need to learn to love our curves and not let society tell us they are too big (or small)!

After Chris preached, one of the ladies raised her hand and told us about this website that I think everyone should take the time to look at. It is the story of stuff We went home and watched it and our kids watched it with us. What a great visual on where our stuff comes from and where it goes. And how government works with corporations to get people to buy more stuff. And as we all know, things are not made the way they used to be. Corporations are purposefully making things not to last so that we have to buy more. Where does the stuff go?? Please watch the clip. I think if folks were more aware of this system that is so destructive to our world they would begin making small changes in their own lives. And it's contagious. My friend watched it after I told her about it and then she told someone else about it and now that person is telling lots more people about it. The more people start to make these small changes and learn contentment with what they have, the more we can change the world (not to sound like a cliche, but it is true)!!
The picture I posted is one I took a few years ago at my parents rivah house. I love walking around there and taking snap shots of what makes the rivah unique and special to me. In recent years, we have modernized the place a little bit. But I remember when we popped popcorn on the stove, when we all hung out on the porch rather than in the air conditioned rooms, and we would hang laundry on the line. Well, now we have a microwave, air conditioners and we take our laundry home to wash. Have you ever thought about how modern conveniences keep us from enjoying simple beauty. Just a thought.


At 1:26 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I have to say that I am very content with your curves too :) Love your hubby

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Mom said...

You have done a great piece on contentment but your daily work has always been a witness to others, especially me on contentment. I have learned a great deal from you in that area. But as far as the rivah goes, the reason we don't hang clothes on the line anymore is because we used to have a washing machine and don't anymore. We have taken a step back in that area instead of a step forward. I also prefer sitting on the porch and feel strongly about possibly discontinuing the DISH. It is too expensive and it's distracting. I love the picture of the clothespin!!! Brings back memories. Love, Mom

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Joel said...

hey Lara,

this is a great photo!! would you mind sending it to me bigger so I could post it on the art in community blog and mention who you guys are?

I love the clothes pin, there could be a book of poetry written around this photo!



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