Saturday, February 27, 2010


Tonight I have a gazillion strawberries in my possession. I am supposed to dip them in pink tinted white chocolate and deliver them to a tea on Sunday. The attendees will probably eat a few of them, but the "unsuitable" ones are mine all mine.

There is something that we all love about having more than what we require. I know that we love the sight of a Christmas tree laden with gifts or lifting the lid on a brand new box of chocolates. I used to love the beginning of school with all of the school supplies neatly lined up and available for my use. After the laundry is put away, don't you just love to open the linen closet and see that (YES!) there are towels available for your use? At work...although a rare occurrence sometimes...I love it when someone has recently made coffee and the pot is full so I can just grab and go. I also love it when I find a coupon that means that I can have BOTH items I've wanted instead of having to choose.

As a kid, I'd love it when I would wake up in time to watch all of the Saturday morning cartoons, and there would be a new box of cereal to enjoy. Halloween was a time for unlimited candy without parental intervention after the initial scan (and before it magically just disappeared somehow). Summer was a time when there were days and days of no obligations or homework...when life just seemed to stretch out forever.

While proper planning and discipline (all grown up ideas) help make these moments possible...sometimes we are just the lucky recipients of other people's maturity, labor, or thoughtfulness. I mean, as a child, it never occurred to me that Halloween candy found its way to my bag because someone thought to purchase it at the store and took the time to distribute it. I suppose I just thought of it as a right. We were free in the summers to sleep late or roam the neighborhood because someone else was working to keep a roof over our heads. I also didn't realize - until adulthood - that someone did without so that our Christmas mornings would be magical and exciting.

All of us know the opposite of having enough. We want to go to a concert...and find that the tickets are sold out. We want to go on vacation, but the checkbook laughs. Or we are in the middle of printing a document...and the ink runs out. We call these minor inconveniences of life...but what they really are is well...LIFE. We also know the annoyance of the bing of the gas gauge when we are short on time, or the dreaded realization that someone has used the last of the toilet paper. Yikes.

And then there are the times that we have too much of something...and we aren't especially thrilled. Excess ant invation in our kitchen...two occasions on the same night. We look in our closets and can't possibly squeeze another item in and are forced to deal with the reality of abundance. Or we look at a table at Thanksgiving and find that what looked so wonderful and tasted so awesome has rendered us incapable of movement...for awhile anyway.

I believe that the key is finding the way to strike a proper balance in life is contentment. Realizing that sometimes we are going to have more than enough, and other times we are going to wish that there was more. Sometimes it is difficult to do when our stress levels make us feel like we are standing on a ledge outside a fifty story building or when we look around to see that we appear to be in the boat alone. The truth is...we are never alone. We just have to rise above it all and start leaving our unhappiness with a situation in God's hands.

I personally believe that those times that we end up with abundance to make us appreciate those times that we do not. But our best bet is to accept what is...and to work toward something better if we can. Life will throw us curveballs...we just either need to hit them out of the park or learn how to get out of the way.

Contentment seems elusive to most of us because we are caught up in what the world tells us we are to chase...romance, wealth, excitement, travel, or knowledge. What we should be more concerned with is being who we were created to be...and savoring the moments that we are given. We invest a lot of ourselves trying to satisfy the desires of our hearts instead of simply following our purpose.

There have been many times that abundance has been overwhelming, and other times where not having enough has truly hurt. I suppose it is all a matter of perspective. I just know that being content with either is the secret to happiness...and I definitely want an abundance of that.

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