Category Archives: content in 2017

The Conquest for Contentment — My One Word 2017

2/23

Here we are approaching the end of February.  (I’m not sure how that happened.) Realizing this today, I took a moment to reflect on my One Word journey so far.

First off, I celebrate that I am finding contentment in my life daily. It is often little and easy to miss.  But it’s there.  The believe the love I have lost will find me.  Knowing this makes the journey a success so far.

That being said…

In my neat and tidy mind, where everything fits in symmetrical boxes, I mapped out areas of my life.  Areas where I wanted to find contentment.

I checked off “content with my health” because I felt this was achieved.  Then, after visiting my neurologist the second week of February I find myself back at square one.  Everything I was content with: my dystonia, my medication regimen, my daily life, blown out of the water and catapulted deep into the sand.  Several weeks later, I find myself still trying to dig my way back up to the surface of the sandy beach.  I will soon venture into a new and unknown world of dystonia.  I find this thought very, well,— uncontentful.  (My feelings clearly justify the creation of a new word!)  

Now, back to my boxes.  I had originally decided I would focus one area of my life, my family, where I concluded I was the closest to achieving contentment.  Become content with my family, check off the box, easy.  

Nope.

Do you ever wonder if God gets so frustrated with mankind, he pulls out his hair?  I think I am making God bald.  God asked me if I actually thought finding contentment was going to be as simple as checking off boxes. Could my journey be successful without God?

Nope.

Godliness with contentment causes great gain. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6

It’s the end of February and I’ve already tossed aside godliness.

Crap.

It seems my year long journey quickly morphed into a conquest.  I’m not surprised.  If you know me, you’re probably not surprised either.  

Contentment.    Baby steps.

#myoneword

Finding Contentment, My One Word 2017

1/22/2017

When I started this journey, I was positive that my One Word would be happy. I hadn’t prayed about it yet; I knew that being unhappy was destroying my life. I dug in deeper through dictionaries and thesauruses. Then, I went to scripture.  I found several verses in the Bible that spoke to me.  Most profound to me was Paul speaking in Philippians 4: 11.  “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

More than once I have found strength within the pages of Philippians.  And those verses, God placed in front of me.  God has always given me what I need to be happy.  Always.  When I originally thought about #myoneword I knew unhappiness had overtaken my life.  But perhaps happy wasn’t the precise word for me. Perhaps, what I needed was to find a way to be content with the blessed life God has given me.

I do not have the relationship with God that I need to have.  I have known that for a long time too.  We attend church weekly and we pray throughout the day. My husband and I are working to raise our children to be God-centered Christians.  But God can easily become an afterthought for me.  I want to live a more God-centered life.  I need a more God-centered life. I need to learn to be content in whatever circumstances God has given me, just as Paul himself had done while in prison.  And, at the moment my circumstances are, well– good.  

So how do I find happiness and create a more God-centered life?  1Timothy 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is a great gain.”  Godliness is a God-centered life.  It grows, not through a series of actions, but through the presence of God in your life. For a devout Christian, contentment is a grace that grows over time.  It doesn’t come quickly and without work. As quoted above, Paul says: “I have learned to be content.”  How?  “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.”  (That, by the way, would be a check and double check for me too.)  “I have learned the secret of being content.” “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

That’s worth repeating. “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

My One Word for 2017: content.

My bible verse:  “Godliness with contentment is a great gain.” ~ 1Timothy 6:6  

I am going to find contentment in what God has given me.  I can do this.  

My Search For Happiness– Finding My One Word for 2017

1/12/2017

I’m not happy. I used to be, but I’m not right now. I don’t know at what point I became unhappy.  But the other day, like a slap in the head, the realization overtook me.  I have been unhappy for quite some time.

I can’t say that I have good reasons for being unhappy. People may think that living with chronic illnesses and a disease would impede my happiness.  They don’t. Those things have contributed to unhappiness in the past, but I am an old pro at dealing with those. I did the whole therapy thing, and I found my happiness within.

God has always given me everything I needed. I married my best friend. We love, we fight, we struggle, we thrive.  We lose each other in the fog at times, but we always find our way back.  We choose to love and commit ourselves to each other.  I am also blessed with two daughters.  They don’t like each other much right now, but we are doing our best to raise them to have a God-centered life.  I would be lying if I said their lack of empathy towards each other didn’t contribute to my unhappiness. But there is no way their turmoil lies at the center of my unhappiness.

I have a great job. I teach!  I’m in year 17 of doing the only thing I ever wanted to do.  I will say that this job has taken a mental toll on me.  The world of today is not the world I grew up in. There is a lot of pain and sadness that comes with teaching nowadays.  Is it enough to make me unhappy?  I don’t think so.

Last week, my principal turned me onto this idea of #myoneword. This is something that has crossed my path before but I always turned my head away.   But this year God placed it at my feet.  What a blessing.

My journey begins today. God is telling me (ugh, no surprise) to blog.  I have no idea who for?  Maybe just me.

I have an entire year to figure out how I have become the person I am. And I have one year to find the person I used to be.  I have one year to rediscover my HAPPY.

And everything about that terrifies me.

So today sucked

I work hard to remain positive and fight but today just plain sucked.  Today was my annual 2-hour visit with my otoneurologist.  In layman’s terms, that’s the doctor you see when an ordinary neurologist can’t figure you out.  And I’m a redhead so no one can figure me out. (If you don’t understand that, Google it.  You’ll be surprised by what you find.)

Anyway, the visit served as a slap in the head reminder that my body continues to deteriorate.  Bummer. And the long-term affects of my current medications to manage my symptoms are causing permanent damage to my body.  Yeah. Bummer. So, as my doctor put it, “We can continue to kick the can down the road for awhile longer…”  But eventually, I either deal with a collapsed bladder due to my steady stream of high doses of Valium long term, or I move to more invasive treatments for my cervical dystonia.  Neither option makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Oh, and I’m tired of hearing that my dystonia is “bad.”  Yeah, duh.  I live with it every day.  Or that they can’t figure out what is wrong inside of my brain.  Or, (my absolute favorite) “When you’re dead please donate your brain to science, we could learn so much!” *Sigh*  My otoneurologist has a lousy bedside manner, but he is my miracle man.

I’m back to physical therapy, a psych consult,  paperwork explaining new drugs to consider, and a follow-up visit in 4 months!  I was counting on another visit in 12 months but they’re worried about my mental state.  Once again, yeah duh. Trying living with early onset of a degenerative, rare, chronic disease. I bet you would feel down at times too.

My husband came with me.  I don’t usually let him come.  But, I felt like he needed to be there today despite how well I have been doing this winter.  I was right.  I really needed him there today. Afterward, we went to a late lunch, and while waiting for our food, he began mapping out the rest of my life.  He’s a proactive solver; I’m an avoider. We are trying to figure out at what point I lose the Valium and move on to injections in my shoulders, neck, and head every 2-3 months.   He has my lifeline ending at 80 years (I didn’t ask about that magic number?) AND he so graciously reminded me that I will be 40 in less than a month.  That made me laugh.  It made me laugh hard. I guess he thinks I have about 40 years left?!?!  At least I made it through the day without crying.

I am finding contentment to be tough today.

#myoneword     #dystonia