Hello there! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure I’m now halfway through! Woop woop!  I’d love for you to meet up ’round here and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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A few days ago, I read an incredibly interesting infographic over at the Nester’s site, which explained how we devote so many of the precious hours and days of our lives to getting stuff, working to pay for stuff, taking care of stuff, and buying stuff to help manage our stuff.

I was not surprised to see the significantly higher number of hours American women spend shopping over the course of their lives — because we are at intersection of convenience, affordability, and disposable income (often at the expense of people in other parts of the world).

I was pretty amazed, however, that while the average number of people per household in 2011 is 2.6, compared to 3.37 in 1950, the average square footage of an American home has nearly tripled. An individual person has almost as many square feet as an entire family would’ve shared 61 years ago.

But are we better off? Are our families closer knit? Are we happier?

There’s a medicine we really need, and it’s not available at Walmart or by shopping on Amazon.

Paul once spoke about a soul-transition that took place as he continually followed Christ:

I am not saying this because I am in need, 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 all this through him who gives me strength. {Phil. 4: 11-13}

We love the last part of this section of Scripture: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. But what Paul is referring to here is not the ability to knock out an opponent in the arena or run a triathlon in record time. He’s saying No matter what my circumstances are, I can be content in every situation.

And contentment? Well that’s the medicine we really need and can’t buy.

Spending time on the mission field, both on long and short term missions, and listening to the stories of other folks who’ve spent time among people in poverty, it is rare to not hear the missionary comment on the happiness of “those people who totally have nothing you guys. Like, they have nothing and they’re still totally happy.”


{click the picture for more info on this little one}

It’s an interesting moment in the soul of a believer — when, almost jealous, they recognize that people in poverty sometimes have something that the wealthiest of the wealthy don’t have.

And there it is again — that medicine we can’t buy but really need — contentment.

So where do we go to find that medicine we need?

You have given me greater joy 
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. {Psalm 4:7-8}

There’s only one place I know of. In the heart of God, where you submit your desires to Him, and begin to see that in Christ we are already given all things. That Jesus is so sufficient and absolutely more than enough.

Because do you know what is a more powerful message than someone who has it all? Someone who has nothing but still has joy.

A couple of nights ago, Matt Redman won song of the year at the Dove awards for his powerful new song, 10,000 Reasons. One beautiful verse from the song is:

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Searching out those ten thousand reasons over the course of every day you’re given on this Earth, and then giving thanks to God for His goodness — it is amazing how this can change your perspective about your life. It can help you choose the right measuring stick for making assessments on what you can and can’t live without. It can also help you discern areas where an adjustment of time or career focus or shopping and spending habits or home size could allow you to actually live the life you’re dying to live.

In His glorious goodness, our decision to consistently focus on and remember His glorious goodness will change us for the better. Isn’t that unexpectedly amazing? We can live happier, more fulfilled lives, with contentment in our hearts–simply because we choose to consistently remember and give thanks for the goodness of God, in the gifts He has already lavished us with, day by day.

In so many ways, less can truly be more — and that is glorious.