My summer’s journey with discontent. My better today.

We dishonor Christ when we proclaim a Savior who satisfies…but live in discontent.
Glenn Underhill


I am a dreamer.

I think outside the box.

I am prone to get lost in thought about all I wish I could do for God and what kind of life I want to live for Him.


As my husband and I have been considering down-sizing our home, a window in my mind has opened for considering a lifestyle change as well. I have been thinking wild thoughts that include:
• Sell everything and move to Thailand to work with a ministry I admire.
• Sell everything and move across country to work with a church I admire.
• Move to another state and start over from scratch, disassociated from the expectations and influences of our current home town.
• Become a foster care parent instead of a foster-to-adopt parent.
• Get a new job where I can talk about Jesus more readily.


Everything in my life seems to be up for grabs — an opportunity to change — and it’s been hard to live the life I already have. This summer I was struggling with…
• the job I have that subjects me to rush hour time-wasting traffic and provides a paycheck that makes me feel under-valued.
• the reality of needing to stay in this state so our college-aged kids can maintain in-state tuition.
• the gap between what I dream to do for God and my reality.


I was struggling with feeling trapped.


One morning in June while I was praying on my way to work, I asked God, “Am I discontent, or are You stirring my heart with godly desires that I am supposed to follow? Please show me.”

That next Sunday, as God would have it, the sermon at church was based on Philippians 4:10-13, …for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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 everything through him who gives me strength.  (Philippians 4:11-13)


Glenn Underhill, our discipleship pastor, began with the question, “Have you ever dreamed for X, but got Y?”



I am certain every person answered mentally with a resounding, “Yes.” I also knew I was in trouble because this sermon was going to directly relate to what I had been asking God in prayer.



Glenn focused on the reality that Paul had learned how to be content. Discontent is common to us all, a default response whenever we are disappointed. We in the audience were asked to complete the following sentence: I would be content if….

I completed the blank with, “…I was living for Jesus.” By that phrase, I meant having a lifestyle that is more “out there” for Him. I want to be spending my life for Jesus in a more demonstrative way than I am able to do so at this time.
And then I wrote down my ah-ha moment…

I am defining what I want “living for Jesus” to look like, but the definition of what “living for Jesus” looks like belongs to God, not me.


Turns out, God’s answer to my prayer on the way to work this summer was yes to both questions. Yes, I have been discontent no matter how godly my desires are. And yes, God is stirring my heart for His purposes. However, though change may indeed be in my future, I can’t let my present circumstances produce discontent in me TODAY.

Today, this is the life I have, and it demands all of me. This is my husband…the head of our home. These are my children who attend college in our state and need in-state tuition. Our elementary-aged son needs my help with homework and needs me at home every evening. My job is a gift and where I am to serve God today. The church I attend is where I am now and they are who I am to serve and love.


Because of this wrestling with discontent, I looked at the areas in which I felt trapped and instead of doing nothing, did something.


I can’t be regularly involved in the women’s ministry at our church at this time because of my job and husband’s work schedule…but I can host a Bible Study in my home. So I did.

That’s something.

I can’t quit my job at this time but I can be more transparent at work about my faith while still following guidelines that I need to honor.

That’s something.

My husband and I still don’t have any options for adopting a boy from the foster care system even though our home has been open for four years…so we started doing respite care while waiting for a possible son.

That’s something.


We all have legitimate excuses that limit our ability to live a dream but I realized I had slipped into an all-or-nothing mentality.

But not now. All because Glenn’s message about Philippians 4:11-13 spoke to my heart.

I responded. I did something. I am better.


Today it’s the end of August. It’s been a great summer between God and me. I am taking progressive steps toward a dream but doing so while still serving God contentedly in the life I already have.

If  “living for Jesus” is to be re-written, God needs to be the Author, not my discontent.



The Hawaiian theme this week was supplied by new neighbors who opened their home to a family-oriented birthday party for their son.  What brightness they have brought to our community. I told the hostess, “You have made us a neighborhood again.” By that I meant that people in the subdivision are talking with each other again. Catching up. Conversing. Being friends.

What an influence one home in a community can have on the whole.

I have to do some more thinking about that…

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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