This past week I’ve been thinking about the unpredictable nature of life. How things can take a turn at any moment, how we need to count our blessings, and look for them — even though sometimes it can be like finding a needle in the haystack.
Contentment in the Journey
The day breaks
Another day dawns.
Life goes on,
whether we want it to
Being in control
is a joke, impossible.
We make the choice to
fix our eyes on the goal
…or get sucked into
the quicksand of
Life will never be free
But we can choose
to find contentment
in the journey.
The image above is from a morning this spring (yes, we still had snow). We were blessed with a vivid pink sunrise over the lake. As the evening receded and the sun’s rising approached, deep purple and vivid pink hues were muted into orange and yellow tones. The moment was gone quickly, even as we enjoyed the lovely colors.
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa
Sometimes morning’s coming seems to take forever; other times morning comes far too quickly. And with the night usually comes silence. Silence can be overpowering, overwhelming, and even frightening. It is in the silence that we are forced to deal with our own fears, thoughts, and worries. The hustle bustle of our days allows us to shut out these things, to put off dealing with them until later.
Are we ever content with being in the moment? Willing to accept the reality of our present circumstances, whether they be joyful, grief-stricken, or even filled with apathy? I’ve known some strong people in my life. It has always struck me, how, even during their times of trial, they are looking outward towards the needs of others rather than inward towards their circumstances.
Resources on Contentment + Sunrises
Here are some resources on contentment and sunrises. That sounds like such a random assortment, my apologies — but I found some neat activities related to contentment and sunrises. Links will open in a new window for your convenience.
Contentment Resources for Adults
- Every Morning That Breaks There Are Mercies Anew – thoughts on gratitute and a song
- The Incredible Power of Contentment – thoughts on contentment and how to get there
- Uplifting Depression: 15 Unexpected Lessons from Adversity – thoughts from someone who dealt with severe depression
- Works of Love Are Works of Peace: Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity #afflink – one of my favorite books, this is a photo documentary of Mother Teresa
For Parents: Teaching Contentment
- Teaching and Choosing Contentment – more isn’t always better
- Teach Contentment and Your Kids Will Be Happy All Their Lives – thoughts on the importance of teaching kids to be content regardless of their circumstances
- Teaching Toddlers About Contentment, Gratitude + Thanksgiving – great resource with books, songs, and activities on contentment
- Teaching Contentment with the Complaining Game – a game for helping kids learn contentment
For Kids: Learning About Contentment + Sunrises
- The Fisherman and His Wife #afflink – Chilren’s book, a retelling of the classic story about wanting more vs. being happy with what you have
- Where Do the Sun and Stars Rise? – Stanford Solar Center resource about variability in rising and setting points of sun + stars.
- SunTrack Diorama – how to make a diorama that illustrates the sun’s path at equinoxes and solstices
- Sunrise Sunset Experiment – observe effects of light hitting particles
- Sundog Rainbow Sunrise – learn about what “sundogs” are and how they are different than rainbows
How Do You Find Contentment?
What about you? How do you deal with adversity, loss, or hardship? Do you think it’s possible to find contentment in the face of adversity? Sometimes it feels impossible to find peace in the middle of life’s trials. What do you do to help cope?
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. – unknown