Contentment–a state of happiness and satisfaction

I’m sitting here, in the living room, watching a number of birds at the birdfeeder. There are Tufted Titmouse, Black-Capped Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, Slate Junco, Cardinals, and a whole host that I have yet to identify. Watching the birds gives me enormous joy.

My son, knowing my love of birds, gives me birdfeeder poles and feeders as a gifts. Each birthday and Christmas I am taken to the store and told to chose. It is a simple pleasure. Yet, I find profound happiness in picking out a new feeder and deciding what kind of food to use in it. I have 8 different ones now and feel like I now attract a good variety.

I’ve learned such lessons from the birds this year. Lately the world has seemed cold and harsh — and not just the weather–but the birds come on schedule. Some decked out in brilliant plumage, some dressed a bit more humbly, but they all come to the same place. They are equal here: I whoop in delight at the plainest sparrow and I whoop in delight at the woodpecker with his brilliant red and deepest black.

They all come seeking sustenance. They are industrious little creatures. They’ll work away gathering and eating, flitting from feeder to feeder in search of the perfect combination for that meal. They do not favor the fancy food over the simple.

They come trusting. The dog, Opal and the cat, Cricket may sit in the window and watch (or stalk, in the case of the cat) but the birds seem to know they are safe at the feeders. The birds also come trusting that there will be food in the feeders.

Yet, it is not a blind trust. They will carefully observe a new feeder for a few days before beginning to partake of the food. Opal’s trips across the porch lead to a short term mass exodus. Our trips to refill the feeders are met with watchful curiosity. Nobody gets too close, except the chickens but that is a different story, yet they don’t go far.

2014 was a good year. A year of much growth and feeling settled. There were times I wondered where the love of God was, where the money to pay medical bills would come from, and doubtful that God could sort out the mess that four adult family members are bound to create. Yet, God was faithful: I have a church home and traditions that I am growing into that give me enormous comfort; I have zero medical bills that need to be paid freeing up much needed room in the budget; and mutual respect and love seem to win the day when things get strained.

2015 is a clean slate, an open book, and journey just started. I wonder where it will lead. I’m content to let the lessons come as they will. I’m content to just put one foot in front of the other. I’m content knowing that a prayer book, Bible, and candle are helpful reminders that as I delight in the birds, so God delights in me.

And that my friends is the real secret to contentment.


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