Contentment is not glamorous.
I considered not posting this week; nothing exciting happened, there were no beautiful recipes made or pounds shed. I barely even took any pictures. Then it hit me today as I was running errands for work, this challenge is real, imperfect, and unfiltered. I do not get an award or gold star for each week that I abstain from buying unnecessary items. My eyebrows are unkempt from going without waxes, my cuticles are cracking and peeling without their usual manicure, and mouth waters every time I pass Chickfila and imagine myself indulging in a chicken sandwich with extra pickles and Chickfila sauce.
Yes, this challenge is not perfect, but it is progress. Whenever I imagined these 90 days prior to the challenge, I pictured this journey toward contentment as a major life transformation: difficult at first but then becoming an essential part of my thinking process. However, it has so far been the opposite. I miss going to bookstores and coffeeshops, taking in the sights and smells of a brand new book with a latte on the side. I look forward to kayaking, rock climbing, and buying candy again (I have learned that candy is in fact an important part of every meal).
This is not to say that I regret taking part in this challenge. These moments in which my flesh so longs for satisfaction and instant gratification demonstrate my need for contentment that can only be found through God.
One of my favorite verses and guiding light through this process has been Psalm 73: 4 which says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Although we are new creations through Christ, we still have a flesh that longs for the comforts of this world. While my flesh has been commanding much attention, especially since I have been out of my comfort zone through this challenge, my heart is much more dependent upon the Lord. So, even though it may feel like I am worthless and that this challenge isn’t helping, I know that little by little every time I say no to something unnecessary, I am saying YES to God and to better things.
22 days in, it might not seem like much but as I start the fourth week of this challenge, it is amazing to think that I have come this far and that I have made it almost a third of the way. Although I have felt like a potato today and didn’t feel like writing this blog, I hope it can serve as an encouragement that even in the midst of our strivings, God is still there, picking us up and loving us each step of the way.
So here’s to week four: to crusty fingernails, eye brows not on-fleek, and eyes fixed on God.
[Here are the few pictures that I took this week and of my weekend in Indianapolis with Cole and his sister’s family]