March 8, 2012

if only

Sometimes I hate that I'm in a constant state of wanting. I just want things, most of them meaningless silly things like throw pillows and green flats. And then I beat myself up because I feel like I'm not supposed to want things and shame on me because I'm just materialistic and shallow.

For most of my life I've operated out of this mentality where if I could just have or do or get something, then, THEN, everything would be okay. Then I would finally be happy and feel contentment. Then I would feel at peace. Then I could stop wanting for things.

These days it sounds like....If only I had....a fourth bedroom in our house and a real, formal dining room or just a bigger house....If only Todd and I could just get away on a real vacation....If only he could just get a new job.....If only we could have one really awesome couple to do things with.....

All of the "if only's" try to convince me that if I had them, I would be content and stop wanting for anything else. And I'm not sure why I haven't learned yet, that even when I get that one big thing I've been wanting, that there is still more to be wanted.

Maybe a lot of living life is trying to figure out how to to just be with all that I don't have and all I am longing for. Surrendering to the fact that I can't have it all and that I'm not supposed to. To be aware of where I feel need and want and something more and just let myself feel that and keep on anyway because there is still much to be enjoyed and appreciated around me. If I stop to notice, like when I paused over the weekend, I can see where I really can't want for much more than I already have.

I guess I can try to fill it with the things that I think might finally get me to that magical place of contentment. Or, I can go to God with every disappointment, every unmet longing, every silly thing I want to have and don't have money to buy and just give it to Him instead. Letting Him see it all. And spending time with Him and letting Him fill in the holes I keep trying to fill up with things.

It feels easier to write that out then to actually put that into real practice though....

Perhaps there isn't anything wrong with wanting for throw pillows and green flats or just more space in my home - but I know I want to be the kind of woman who can still find joy and peace with what I do have. And with what I don't.


  1. I usually find I feel that way when I compare myself to others. Most of the time though I'm pretty content with what I have. I think it's only natural to want some things. The problem is when you think that "things" can make you happy.

  2. Sometimes I hear the apostle Paul in my head like a little voice, "I have learned to be content in every circumstance, in plenty, and in want..."

    This post speaks to me. Sometimes my "if only's" are about things, as if things would fix the emotional uncertanties of being alive. Sometimes they're about states of being that I look forward to like "When I finish my PhD, THEN I'll be happy," "when I have a full-time JOB, I'll be happy..." and so on.

  3. well, oh my goodness sakes alive.. you find my world just in time for me to wish you an almost happy birthday. The entire month of march counts though. RIGHT!

    Texas. The place I've never been. One day.