Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Learning Contentment

I leaned over the bed and kissed her goodnight.

Titia and Nathan were gone for the weekend and it was just me, Nicole, Caleb, and Katelynn.  The house was quieter than normal once the kids went to bed.  Normally Titia and Nathan keep me busy once the littles (our pet name for the littlest members of our family) have gone to bed.  Not this weekend.  You have a chance to reflect, think about where you are at and where you are going, what you are doing right and what needs improvement.  I have learned through the years that too much self-reflection can sometimes be a negative and not a positive.  It can make you inward thinking, selfish, and restless.  It was one of those times.

As I stood there looking at my little girl as she slept I found myself thinking about the whole situation; the kidney transplant, tissue matching, blood work, her learning challenges, her lack of perfect hearing (I have been told that 33% of individuals with the BOR genetic disorder experience progressive hearing loss to the point of being deaf…and she has some hearing loss), and so on.  I could have broken out the violin and started playing a sad melody…it was so pathetic.  I found myself in one of those rare moments in my life when I was not content.  Why did Nicole have to be born this way?  I questioned God.  I questioned the circumstances.  Why?

This isn’t the only thing in my life that I am discontent about at the present time.  There are other issues that I will not elaborate upon, as they are not relevant.  Other circumstances that I can’t change.  If things were only a little bit different then IT WOULD BE WHAT I WANT.  But they are not.

There are some things in our lives that just are (this is a statement worth some reflection).  You may call it fate, dumb luck, or whatever.  I don’t believe in luck, or happenstance.  I believe in the sovereign hand of God guiding my life, and for that matter, everyone’s life.  Placing mountains before us to climb and removing obstacles as well. (Romans 8:28)  You may not agree.  That is OK.  We are all entitled to our opinions.  If I truly believe that, then why the discontentment you may ask?  Good question.

As I spent the weekend with Nicole and the other littles I once again saw with fresh eyes exactly what an amazing little girl I have been blessed to parent.  She is so, so full of life.  She plays vigorously, sings, dances, loves without end, hugs, obeys her parents, forgives easily, has an imagination that won’t quit, and in general is just the most wonderful little girl a father could ask for (don’t look too closely or you will see the halo over her head tilted ever so slightly J).  Why, oh why would I want to change her one little bit?  She is who she is and she is exactly the way she was created to be.  She is wonderful and I feel ashamed that in a moment of discontentment I wished things were different.

Psalms 139
13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

There are some times in our lives when I believe that if the tears are to roll down our face then we need to just embrace them and allow them to do their perfect work.  The same could be said of laughing…just let it go and don’t worry about who is looking at you.  Why are we always trying to change our present circumstances?  It seems we humans have a knack for looking back at the past through rose-colored glasses or into the future thinking things have to be better.  All the while the beauty of our present circumstances goes painfully unnoticed.
Life is meant to be lived, for the most part, in the now and where we are at is exactly where we need to be to learn a valuable lesson.  We need to all, myself included, look around and stop trying to change things that seem imperfect.  Instead, let us learn to be content in whatever state we are in.

Philippians 4
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

For His Glory,

P.S.  For those that want to learn more about Nicole’s genetic disorder, BOR, here is a link to a good reference.


  1. Here I'm the one who has been a supposedly "professional" writer - and it turns out you're a better writer than I am!

    This was deeply moving and really touched me - profound was the word I was looking for. Thank you for sharing these updates!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Daniel. I am glad these weekly blogs are encouraging you! Really though, you are a much better writer than I am :) I am just a glorified hack. Haha.

  3. Up until you started this blog, maybe that was true - but I don't think it's true now!

    There are days I feel like a glorified hack, too, even with eight or ten years of homeschool English lessons!

  4. Thanks Brian. As usual, your blog touched my heart. Love the littles...and the bigs. :-)

    Can't wait to see you all.

  5. Your words are definitely guided by the Lord, Brian. He is using you to share a message of truth and encourgement...(and sometimes conviction). You will never regret putting your thoughts down, as you face this journey, head on. Thanks for sharing your heart! We will be praying for Nicole as she encounters each step of this difficult road ahead.