Give Us This Day

Would you be satisfied getting just what you need, only what you need, no more, no less, each day? Would you feel fulfilled?

"Give us this day our daily bread..." (The Lord's Prayer)

In today's culture, finding contentment with the luxury of receiving one's daily bread seems nearly impossible. We are inundated with images, ads, interactions, displays, and conversations that encourage us to want more, do more, and be more. It's difficult to get through a tv show, website, or even an app on your phone without being told your life can somehow be improved with a product, service, or experience. 

My heart yearns to be satisfied with receiving my daily bread. I find myself daily trying to banish thoughts of "if I just had, if I just could, if I was just able to..."

This year I've been on a journey of  Enough, and it hasn't been an easy one. It's easy to perceive Enough when life is easy. It seems exponentially more difficult as my health declines. And so I decide to do what I do for just about anything, I make a list - a list of what it is, for me, to receive my daily bread:

God: I pray often. My prayers range from a simple, "Help me," or "Guide me," to "Grant me patience that I may refrain from throttling this child and give me the energy and the words to deal with the situation appropriately." More often than not, my prayers begin with, "Thank you..." The background music in my brain is often one hymn or another, or a song from Camp Calumet or vacation Bible school. 

Food and Water: We are blessed to have enough, and even when our stores are running low, have the creativity to make what we have work.

Shelter: We have a roof over our head, an improved front wall of our house, a new deck, and are working toward necessary fixes and improvements as we're able. We have three bedrooms, one bathroom, and the ability to be creative and make our house work for the seven of us. Another bathroom would be nice, but not necessarily necessary.

Work: I give thanks daily for my husband's paying job and my ability to do volunteer work, even as I'm unable to maintain work for pay. The money my husband makes keeps our family fed, clothed, sheltered, and educated. Being able to give back to our church and homeschool communities is important to me, as is doing whatever else I can for other organizations and people we love and support. 

Love: It may not be all I need, as the song suggests, but it's definitely a necessity.

Family: See Love.

Friends: See Love.

Mobility devices: Not on your average Daily Bread list, but a definite on mine.
Medications and supplements: I couldn't function without them.

Connection: I need a connection to friends, family and the "outside world" when I'm unable to leave my house, or sometimes my bed, to participate in it. Blogging helps me sort through my thoughts and feelings, messenger and Facebook help me stay connected with friends and family, Netflix keeps me entertained, and all sorts of programs and apps help me contribute to church, homeschool, and other groups through volunteering my time and talents. Visits from friends are the best - especially the ones who are ok with me being in my pjs, my kids being in the same clothes as the day before, and my house overflowing with evidence that five children live here. Also ... connections away from home, especially worship, Tuesday Night Sunday School, Camp Calumet, and homeschool co-op.

Books: I suppose I could live without them, but my quality of life would be dramatically worse.

Sharpies: See Books.

As I reflect on my list, it seems like a lot to me. I also realize that although mobility devices are on my list, full mobility didn't make it. It's not something I need, or expect to ever regain. It would be nice to have, but not an essential part of my life, even when I sometimes struggle with my limitations. And if I'm honest, more money and another bathroom would be nice, but again, we make do and that's what being a joyful recipient of my daily bread is about. I realize that things that I love to do, like hiking; getting tattoos; exploring museums, science centers, and other places of interest; going to movies, plays, and concerts; and taking family trips are all wonderful things to do, but I can live a very joy-filled and contented life without doing those things as frequently as I may wish. 

I strive to fill my heart to bursting with the luxury of receiving my daily bread. 


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