How Connection Helps Us Find Contentment

Friends refresh us. Friends refuel our souls... but only if we let them.

I frown as I make my first cup of tea for the morning, glare at the mug as if it has personally offended me. My husband comes up behind me and wraps his arms around my waist. “Good morning,” he says. I reply with something that’s the southern girl version of “Grrr.” He takes a step back and raises an eyebrow then silently goes to the fridge.

Oops. What just happened? How did I get to this place? I think back over the last few days. It has been a blur of events and errands. Go here and there. Make small talk. Check the item off the list. I pause and ask God, “What is going on with my heart?”

And it seems I sense a whisper deep inside: When you are disconnected, you are discontented.

I know instantly this is true.

I’ve been with groups of people but I’ve not had meaningful conversations.

I’ve read the Bible but not spent time resting in God’s presence and being refilled.

I’ve carried myself around all day but neglected to care for myself in the ways I know I need.

I realize then that discontentment can actually be a helpful warning sign with neon letters. If doubt and fear are howling in my ears it’s most likely because a too-noisy life has drowned out God’s voice. If I find myself wrestling in a friendship then I probably haven’t had quality time with that person lately. If I worry about my work it’s often because I haven’t been actually writing.

This is important to know because if we don’t recognize what’s going on we can try to fix the discontentment in the exact opposite way of what’s really needed. Not feeling the joy? Trade God for power or money or a quest for the perfect body. Not happy with a relationship? Find another. Dissatisfied with what you’re doing? Quit.

When someone asked Jesus what mattered most, He said loving God, others and ourselves. In other words, we are created for connection. It makes sense to me then that disconnection and discontentment go hand in hand. Research has shown this to be true as well: Study after study affirms that the number one factor in our well-being is loving and being loved.

I find my husband and say, “Let’s go to breakfast together.” He smiles. Later in the day I take a much-needed nap. I text a friend. I pray. It’s the little things. And the next morning I plan such things in advance, as soon as I wake up. Because without doing so life will pull me away from what matters most. I will be the swimmer at the beach who looks up to realize the current has taken her miles from her blue striped beach umbrella and she never even knew.

I used to think contentment was an emotion. I am learning, slowly, that it is more of a choice and consequence. It’s the end of so many decisions made intentionally and purposefully, consistently and without glamour. It’s a habit of the heart, like the making of tea every morning. Only, somehow, mysteriously, it makes us.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

Craving Connection: 30 challenges for real-life engagement

If you’d like inspiration and practical application about how to be more connected then you’ll love the new Craving Connections book from (in)courage! I have an essay in it and so do many of my (and your) favorite writers.

I’m confident this first book from (in)courage will help each of us invest in meaningful relationships right where God has us, become the friend we wish we had, and embrace the desire God has placed within us to connect with friends!

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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