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Today’s Truth

“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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13

Friend to Friend

On that sunny August day, I thought my life couldn’t get much worse.

Recently separated from my husband and with no support from him, I was teetering on the financial edge. My kids and I had just moved in with my parents, and I was desperately looking for a job to support my two middle schoolers.

I thought about our old life where the only thing I needed to get them ready for a new school year was a debit card and a couple trips to the mall. With school only a few weeks away, I didn’t know where I’d get the money to buy clothes and shoes or pay for annual physicals.

That was fifteen years ago.

Today, I do have enough, but the dread of not having what I need can still make me sick to my stomach.

We live in a tiny house, but one that is situated in the most expensive county in the US, with plenty of food, enough money to buy clothes we need and go out to dinner occasionally. Even take an occasional vacation.

This is the land of plenty. No doubt about it.

But what I’ve discovered? There are benefits and drawbacks to both.

When I was in want, we pulled together what we needed with the help of my parents, hand-me-downs from friends, Goodwill, and a small amount of surprise money that showed up in our mailbox. We didn’t have extra, but we had exactly what we needed.

Living in want is a scary place to be, whatever your want may be. But the other thing I discovered about living in want? It gives you plenty of room to see and experience God’s provision first hand, evidence of God’s care and provision for me and my kids.

Now, living in plenty? Whew! Finally, you can be relieved of the day-to-day worry about how you’re going to pay the rent, or the next car payment. But there is a drawback to living in plenty: You can forget to notice all the miracles around you.

We falsely believe we are making things happen—and that can even turn into thinking if only people were as ______________ (conscientious, hard-working, smart, etc.) as us, they would not be in want.

And suddenly we forget about the love, graciousness and strength only God can provide in both of these times.

So how do we stay content in a world that actively works to keep us discontent?

Limit your time around agents of discontent.

Where does your discontentment grow? For me, it’s looking at Pinterest or home decorating sites. I see all-white country chic homes and am transported into another world—until I have to come back to earth and see my stained carpets, saggy couches and 1970’s bathroom. Not only can I become dissatisfied, I can project that dissatisfaction onto my husband, who works hard to provide for me.

I’ve learned to limit myself when it comes to my house. Currently, we are replacing our carpets with flooring. Instead of spending months perusing different websites, I’m heading to Home Depot. No muss. No fuss.

Get radically, ridiculously grateful.

This is an exercise I do when I need to recalibrate my gratefulness. Notice how many things you have directly around you.

As I write this, within a foot of me are:

2 Bibles

A notebook and pen

A coffee cup with hot coffee in it

A banana peel from the banana I just ate

A tray a good friend gave me

A couch I’m sitting on

A quilt my mom made me

My dog cuddling with me

Just noticing the blessings in my immediate surroundings changes my perspective.

Here is what I know from reading God’s word: We need to set our hearts on God and not our circumstances. We must learn to live both in want and in plenty.

God will meet us, no matter our situation. Our ability to be content is not determined by our circumstances, but our connection to Him.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me Your strength, no matter what circumstances I’m in. Continue to grow my heart in contentment no matter if I’m in want or plenty, because You always care for me.

In Your loving Son, Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What is one action step you can take today to grow your contentment, regardless of your present circumstances?

More from the Girlfriends

Want to take your gratitude to a new level? Join Kathi for the Clutter Free Book Club for her new book You Don’t Have to Try So Hard ” starting September 10th. Sign up here now.

20 Responses to “In Want or in Plenty: Real Ways to Create Contentment in Your Life Despite Your Circumstances”

  1. Angela Vance says:

    I love the stopping and naming things within a foot of you!

  2. Kimberly Davis says:

    Thank you so much for sharing from the heart! Just what I needed to hear as I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed, ungrateful and worried about my girls upcoming school year which begins tomorrow!
    LOVE YOU KATHI!

  3. Kimberly Davis says:

    Me too!!

  4. Cindee Poirot says:

    So very true! Thank you for your inspiring message!

  5. Dominque says:

    Right on time as always!! Ty such a blessing it can get hard when your job is the most stressful and God gave it to you because you asked for it lol . Limiting time with agents of discontentment Powerful and scary because if I’m the agent of discontentment and may have caused a friend to fall into this Lord help us!! Just keep me in prayer please ty for this post

  6. Terri says:

    My story is similar to yours except my children and I are still in the middle of the chaos. Like you, I have seen God provide on many occasions. Isaiah 54 is a great reminder that my Savior is my husband. Trusting Him is not always easy, but it is necessary and He is faithful. I would have never chosen such a path for myself and definitely not for my children. At times this way of life seems hopeless and unbearable. However, I’m grateful for the lessons my family and I are learning and for my Father who sees and provides just what we need. Thank you for the hope and encouragement to keep standing strong and to remain content in all circumstances.

  7. Tam says:

    I’m currently in want with a 12 year old middle schooler and school 13 days away. But I’m believing God for miracle money!!! I don’t have a support system in place, I had an Abraham moment and moved away from a toxic situation so I’m where you were 15 years ago minus the support system. But if God sent an angel to Hagar and Ishmael my angel should be on the way!! Great post!

  8. Joyce flower says:

    I just love your daily page. I get something from it always. I have been never been in such need that God did not provide. He is always there ready to give whatever I need.
    I learned to live with little and with plenty. He is awesome! I have learned many precious lessons in life, one being People are more important than things. This thank God I learned many years ago He is so Faithful!!
    Thank you for your time you put in this page.
    Joyce F

  9. Kathi says:

    That one act has changed the way that I see my blessings.

  10. CarolAnne says:

    Amen & Amen❣️
    So often we even take our feet & shoes for granted until we get plantar fasciitis 🤣😇
    Love your podcasts, Kathi
    XO

  11. Gail says:

    i Think of how wonderful it is to know the Lord, and to know that He is always with me, no matter what the circumstances. He is my joy!

  12. Roshelle N. says:

    Amen. I focus on God, my Heavenly Father, that He knows & cares for me; grateful for the assurance He will provide!

  13. Stephanie says:

    This was such a great reminder and offered a sense of comfort to me. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Brittany says:

    Hallelujah! In Jesus name! Amen

  15. Rebecca Jones says:

    I think only God can satisfy the longings we have, if we remain grateful, He blesses us all along. I realize people are having hard times and pray he makes them a way.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Thank you, Lord for Kathi and for her honesty, humility, and humor!

  17. Debra says:

    Thank God for you. Kathi. Just what I needed at this time as I have been worried about the future. The Lord is gracious and faithful. Even as I look all around at the blessings within a foot of me, I am grateful for your message.

  18. Dorica says:

    Thank you for this post. It’s great to be assured that God will always provide no matter what. Am learning to depend entirely on Him.

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