What is Modern Day Contentment?

I have a new necessity in my routine… Shave Butter. Where have you been all my life? The makers of Shave Butter say that I have been “flying blind” all these years in my shaving. And I guess that’s true because I really can’t see my face with the old traditional foams and gels. But Shave Butter is clear and it “transforms the dread of shaving into the joy of softly wiping whiskers off your face”. Lest you think I jest, this stuff is pretty cool. But it adds yet another opportunity for me to express my discontentment. What happens when my $8 container of Shave Butter disappears? Can I ever go back to plain ole gel?

The modern world we live in is full of these kinds of things. We fill our homes, our cars and our lives with things designed to make life easier and then find ourselves cluttered with stuff. Sometimes we dream of the good old days when they didn’t have 17 choices of ketchup like we do in our super-duper markets. Continue reading “What is Modern Day Contentment?”

Managing our Emotions in Tough Financial Times

thumb903241500061559My dad calls it a flesh break.  I call it the tirades of a crazy man.  The Lord calls it sin.  I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the string of expletives coming out of my mouth.  Even though I whispered my displeasure toward the Lord, I think my heart screamed inside.  And there is no doubt that He heard me to my chagrin.  It has been a long time since I had been that upset.  Before I became a believer I had a pretty foul mouth but that was one of the things that I really hadn’t struggled with afterward.  That is till the other night when I hit the wall: the financial stress wall.  The Scripture says that anxiety in the heart of man weighs it down. Said another way anxiety in the heart of man wears him out.  Just like a marathoner hits the physical wall, a person who is dealing with ongoing financial struggles hit the emotional wall.  Growing up in a chronically poor family, I saw it first hand with my mom who must have had the patience of Job.  But, ever so often she would lose it.  Not like I did but she would have to collect herself and work through her emotions.  Managing our emotions in the face of financial adversity is a key to managing yourself.  But how do you do that? Continue reading “Managing our Emotions in Tough Financial Times”

Managing Yourself When There is No Money to Manage

no-money-downFinancial stress is not for the faint of heart.  Nothing in my life threatens to undo me more than money problems.  When things are going my way financially, my spirit is happy-go-lucky.  I am generous and even sometimes others-centered.  But, let the money get tight and I can get downright testy and unbelievably self-centered.  Let the money issues linger over a period of time and I am susceptible to falling to the temptation that faced Job to curse God.  Managing myself (my mind, my will and my emotions) becomes the challenge in times when there is no money to manage.  In fact, one of the blessings of my life may very well be going through trying financial times that threaten to challenge my most core relational question with God: can I trust Him.  Because it is during in these times that I get a chance to see what is really going on inside of me. Continue reading “Managing Yourself When There is No Money to Manage”