With every new season that comes, I install displays at the shop inspired by not only the weather, but what I am emotionally experiencing in my own life. I start thinking of a so called "theme" months in advance and always come up short of this pre-planned agenda. I see this same cycle play out in my real day to day life, as I am always trying to navigate my work and home. Some of my calendar boxes are so full there is no space left and I feel as if it's a race against time to get to tomorrow's tasks before today is finished. And that leaves me feeling unfulfilled and exhausted. I often wonder why I struggle so much with contentment and staying on track, taking things one day at a time, but allowing myself to concentrate on this area of my life I am beginning to grasp.
For the last couple of weeks, I couldn't help but notice all of the retail shop's fall displays and some even starting on Christmas. I have struggled with when the "correct" time is to put out the coming season's décor in my own shop. Being a store owner myself, I understand the value of the dollar and wanting to have new merchandise available for customers. But I just can't seem to come to grips with letting summer go. It is the last sweet days of our blooming flowers, pool dips, and nightly porch sittings. These moments we had (un)patiently waited all winter for are now slipping slowly away. Instead of soaking each day in, we are driven to light that pumpkin spice candle and plan our Christmas tree. The way the world (and social media) works, is to constantly persuade us to want the next and supposedly better thing.
Physically, we will start working out and taking better care of ourselves in the weeks to come (we will feel so much better then). Emotionally, we live lives of stress, hard work, and bills to pay (but wish we didn’t). Materially, we’re afraid we’re never going to measure up to the Jones' (but wish we could). And spiritually we feel guilty for not being satisfied physically, emotionally, or materially. Most of the time when we get to where we thought we should be, it doesn't feel like we thought it would anyway. So when can we start to take the time to enjoy the views around us and not be so focused on the next destination? When is it okay to just live through this day?
This is not a blog to bash anyone who already has seasonal décor in place. It was just a clarity I felt when I walked into the store that alerted my awareness of contentment. This blog is more for the days when I struggle the most. I'd like to have something to look back on and remember when I felt the grace God had given me in this season of my life, in hopes to maybe share his grace with one of you. Contentment is a state of being, not doing. That is where I fall short. I will never measure up to the standards I put on myself daily. But if I can continue to progress the best I can and understand that my ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, maybe I won't feel as if I'm falling so short. Seasons are filled with both peaks and valleys and if those times ultimately lead to lessons learned, there is kind of a hard-won growth that makes it all worth it.
“...I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content...[for] my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (verses 11,19).