One Thousand Gifts :: How to Overcome Discontentment

It came out of nowhere, this tidbit of news. Surprising? Yes! Exciting? Definitely. But it was news of another, excitement for another; not for me. And in the learning of it, a gasp escapes from my lips. Children quickly ask what it is. I share the news in plain words.

Daughter, the tender one who listens past the words and hears the voice that betrays the heart, says, “Are you jealous?” She perceives far beyond her age, yet is not hindered by years that teach us to stifle our thoughts, and her words cut to the quick.


For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. – Matthew 12:34

I turn away as my eyes pool with hot tears. I busy myself and try to cast off these feelings that came on so suddenly, without a hint of warning. Feelings buried so deep, I didn’t imagine they were still in me. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so engulfed in the color green. I stew, I try to hold back the tears that just won’t be kept at bay.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. – Proverbs 14:30

Finally, I go to my man. He’s mind-pressed into his work and doesn’t notice the pooling in my eyes. I back away, trying once again to deal with dross that has risen to the surface under the intense heat of this unexpected news.

For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. – Malachi 3:2

I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. – Isaiah 1:25

After a few more minutes, I am no longer able to face this alone. I turn to him, man who responds easily to a direct request instead of being expected to notice things only a woman’s eyes can see, and say, “I need a hug, and I need admonishment.” And the hot tears flow as words spill out of my mouth, words that confess the sin that is in my heart.

Words of envy, insecurity, desire, failure, discontentment. And I know that the greatest affront to God is the discontentment. The lack of trust in His sovereignty over the direction of my life. The questioning, “Why can’t it be me?” It’s these very sins that led Him to send His Son to die for me. And I ache with the hurt of it, and I am angry to be poisoned by these feelings.

Feelings are real. But they are not truth.

Man of mine speaks the words of truth that contain the antidote, “How do you overcome discontentment? By giving thanks to God.”

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. – Psalm 69:30

Children are watching old home videos and I hear the cry of a newborn and the voice of a two-year-old. Moments later I hear their voices at age six and eight. And my tears of pain turn to tears of love as I begin to remember the infinite number of blessings that God has graced upon me. And man wraps arms around me once again, allowing me to sob in his strong embrace. As we share the gratitude of this boy and this girl, he helps me skim the dross away.

Counting is healing, indeed.

300. two beautiful and delightful children
301. home videos converted to DVD that have brought hours of enjoyment
302. husband who gives a firm embrace, encouragement and admonishment
303. the news that lit the refiner’s fire
304. hidden dross brought to the surface where it can be skimmed away
305. forgiveness gained by my Savior’s death
306. new life
307. envy giving way to gladness

308. sunny day after a string of cloudy ones

309. a birthday celebrated
310. another year of life
311. another year closer to my eternal home
312. favorite birthday cake

313. azaleas

314. english daisies

315. sweetie pie nephew

In hope,

This post is linked at with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.