No two households are the same, that is what makes marriage a cocktail of balance, it is half-cup of what you love, a dash of what you both like and half-cup of what your spouse loves, sprinkled with some happiness. You and your spouse may have been raised in the same town, estate and even gone to the same school and church but once you shut the front door, the law of the house prevails. Your parents rule the empire.
When Peter and I were dating, we talked about pretty much everything under the sun, well, many things under the sun, the things we haven’t talked about I trust that we’ll have many more days by God’s grace to discuss. One of the ‘hot topics’ was birthdays, where I shared my expectations based on the culture in our home. His family didn’t use to celebrate birthdays, you could easily forget a birthday, while we in the Mbugua household used to countdown to birthdays, it was an annual excuse to binge on calories and get presents.
Our tradition in the K household has largely been influenced by my expectations, remember the cocktail of balance? This is the cocktail at work. Over the years, my expectations and traditions have changed. It’s become less of an outward celebration and a lot more of introspection, sort of like new years eve for many people. The eve or morning of my birthday is a time of quiet reflection where I thank God for the year that has been, start a new journal and set one goal for the year.
Last week as I ushered in a new year, my heart was filled with gratitude. Looking back at the year that was had me in tears, I was so overwhelmed by the Lord’s goodness and sustenance. Part of my reflection was choosing contentment.
Over the last year, I have watched my contentment seep through my fingers because I’ve been too busy looking around me to really see what was in my hands. ‘Happiness is an inside job’, you can have ‘perfect’ conditions and still be unhappy, it’s a choice, a deeply personal decision to rejoice regardless of the circumstances.
‘Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy?’ Prov 27:4
Many times I blame the devil for my discomfort, but to be honest, many times I am unhappy because I’ve brought it on myself. I chose to admire the grass over the fence instead of asking myself how I can best grow my grass.
I’ve adapted a verse for this year, ha! it sounds cliche, but let’s see how it goes, ask me next year, won’t ya?
My goal is to stay within the boundaries of God’s plan for me (adapted from 2 Corinthians 10:13b NLT)
Psalm 16 is one of my favorite Psalms, for me it embodies accepting God’s perfect will for my life, acknowledging that He loves me and cares for me while choosing to thrive where He has placed me.
I do not know what the new year holds, but I do know He who holds me.
Here’s to contentment by choice.