Are You Satisfied?

Are You Satisfied?

Are you satisfied?

We are a family who loves broken animals. Zorro, the black and white cat I brought into our marriage, is what you might call “Socially Maladjusted”. In other words, he lives to beat up other cats. Ashley, the kitten we found out behind our neighborhood church, had to be nursed back to health with an eye dropper. She is now about eight weeks old and is still on medication, twice a day, because her breathing sounds like someone is letting the air out of a bicycle tire.

And then there’s Jake. And Jake? He’s got issues.

Jake is our six year old rescue puggle (pug/beagle mix) and we may have some clues as to why he was dropped off at the shelter.

He can’t stand any man with a hat or jingling keys. He can’t be in a room by himself. (I’m just like all those MOPS moms who haven’t been to the bathroom by myself in YEARS…)  He won’t go into our back patio unaccompanied. But the weirdest thing is his food. He will only eat his wet food downstairs, and his dry food upstairs.

I told you it was weird.

But there is something else he does with food that is really strange. We feed all the animals at the same time, and Jake, even with food that has been served to him, that is sitting right in front of him, will be way more interested in what we are serving the cats.

He can’t take his eyes off of the cat food. He whines and complains that they are getting food, even though his food is sitting right in front of him. He is way more interested in what someone else has, than what he has.

And when I think about it, it’s not so weird after all. ‘Cause I do the exact same thing (not with cat food, of course.)

I see what other women are getting to do, (go on missions trips, write best-sellers, travel the world,wear a size eight,) and I can spend so much time focusing on what they have, that I miss the great stuff that is sitting right in front of me.

Usually the dissatisfaction starts subtlety. Maybe it’s a magazine pic of a kitchen that I would love to have, or my neighbor gets a new car and parks it near my 13 year-old beater. There are so many little things can trigger that dissatisfaction.

God has blessed me with a life that, when I really look at it, is pretty awesome. I have a relationship with God that is filled with grace, every single day. I have four kids that I love. They are not perfect kids, but they were raised by a not-so-perfect mom and dad, so that’s to be expected. I have a ministry that while not huge, is what I love and is a huge blessing to me (and some other people and their marriages.) I’m married to a great man, who I adore and who loves me back. All in all, not a bad life.

But it is so easy to get into that place of not being satisfied when I start to look at my sister’s plate.

Practicing Gratitude

One of the projects I’m working on this week is a Gratitude Board. Pictures of the things in my life I’m grateful for. It sounds simple and I’ve done the reverse (a Dream Board), but I really want to have a visual reminder of all that God has trusted me with and done for me.

I went to a site called www.photovisi.com that can help you create a photo collage. I’ve just taken picture off of my computer of gifts – my kids, Roger and I on trips, my mom recovering in the hospital after her cancer surgery – and have put them on one board. When I’m reminded of what God has given me, it’s a lot easier to not sit in that place of discontentment.

Putting My Heart in the Right Place

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

When I’m feeling unsatisfied, I can usually trace it back to busyness. When I’m busy, and not spending time with God, my focus is on my world, instead of God’s plan for my world.

It usually takes a couple of days, but when I realize that I’m in that stinking place, I know I need to be back in the God place and put my heart squarely where He is.

Q4U – When do you feel that discontentment rise? Is there something that you do to not look at your neighbor, but sit in your own place of godly satisfaction?

 

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Comments

  1. Carol Boley says:

    I’ve had similar experiences with our Basset Hound, General Beauregard. I marvelled at his stubbornness until God gently revealed to me that while the General was a stubborn hound, often I have a stubborn heart. And we both have missed out because we wanted to do things our own way.

    When I realize I’ve dug in my heels and have started to demand my own way, usually out of fear that I will miss out if I don’t) the best remedy for me is uninterrupted time with God in prayer and Bible reading, letting Him speak to my heart and remind me of His great love for me. He reassures me I am not being slighted, I am not being overlooked. I start to relax in His word and rest in His work. The pressure’s off. I feel a palpable sense of peace.

    When I compare myself to others, Jesus says to me, “What is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21: 22) He makes a good point!

  2. Carol Boley says:

    Another practical help for me is to use the Old Testament principle of “standing stones”…visual reminders of how God has worked in my life in the past. Notes written in my Bible, a journal record of answered prayers, keepsakes to remember significant moments of faith, love, growth.

    It’s like Peter writes, “And I will make every effort to see…that you will always be able to remember these things.” (II Peter 1:15) I need help to remember. I need tangible, visible reminders. I need the words of God before my eyes everyday,not only on the printed page of my Bible, but on plaques on my walls and sticky notes on my bathroom mirror.

    When I see, I remember.

    “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,when you lie down and whn you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…” (Deut. 11:18-20)

    When I remember, I am grateful.

  3. Thank you Kathi! I needed to hear this today! I agree …. When you get to busy, you do tend to have a more worldly look at thing than when you spend more time with the Lord! :)

  4. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Many years ago, I got off a lot of catalogue mailing lists, as they fostered discontentment. Then I subscribed to magazines that reminded me of the poverty in the world, like Voice of the Martyrs and Habitat for Humanity.

    When I start to “compare and despair” I begin to thank God for all my blessings. I also remind myself that there are different seasons and try to be genuinely happy for the other person, figuring, if God hasn’t given that to me, it is for a reason.

    Thanks for the post, Kathi.

  5. Thanks Kathi, I needed to hear (read) this today. You verbalized what I have been feeling the last couple of months. I’ve started a Gratitude Jounal (as part of a class) and that has helped me re-focus on what I do have and all the ways that God has blessed my life.

  6. Beautifully written…it is hard to accept what is right in front of us as blessings sometimes. I often tell my kids (when they want something)–I know, I get it, I want a ton too!!!! I am sure my groaning sounds similar to their whining and complaining. We are blessed to be breathing clean air everyday!!!

    When I am in this particular place, I am reminded of my daughter’s friend, who at 13 lost her battle to cancer 1 1/2 years ago–this was their only daughter. How can I moan about the little annoyances in daily life…

    Thank you for the reminder…its a constant battle and Satan wants us to be distracted and have our attention!!!

  7. Johnd239 says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read? cgaedfkafgde

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Make a Gratitude Board. Post pictures on a wall or a board of the things you’re grateful for in your life. The visual aspect of this is an excellent reminder, and if you put it in a place where you see it throughout your day, it’s even more helpful. Kathi Lipp talks about practicing gratitude and creating a gratitude board in her blog. [...]

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