What Would the Waltons Do?
By Donna Collins Tinsley
"Oh no, Dad, not The Waltons again," our daughter Shiloh said.
The Waltons was a television series that my husband Bill and I both loved. This was a family who lived and loved through the Great Depression. We have old DVDs of their program and for our Sunday night family time we usually had pizza and watched something together. We had already gone through Roots and Bill decided our girls and little Isaiah needed to see how people lived and loved on Walton's Mountain.
Sometimes I would weep as I watched the programs. Not because of the things I see, but the things I feel as I see the contentment of a family pulling together during lean times. Times have gotten leaner in our family the past few years as my husband's construction business has surely felt the effects of the economy. Jobs seem to be getting even scarcer. We are not the only family who has learned that even adult children with college educations can't always get full-time jobs. Many adult children are returning to their childhood homes and the Waltons' experience of generations living together is becoming common again. But it doesn't always work out the way it did in another era.
Even with all their hardships it seemed the Waltons always were content with the things they had. Contentment seems to be what is lacking in our lives today.
We look at our situations in our homes and we don't have the family of our dreams. We aren't content. We may have a physical ailment that God has allowed, even perhaps for His glory, but we aren't content. We may be single, having tried marriage many times and failing; we aren't content, but yet we don't want to be alone. When days are hard, parenting seems impossible and dreams aren't coming true. Is there is a way to get your contentment back?
"But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment."(1 Timothy 6:6 NASB)
We could turn that around and say that without contentment it means nothing at all. How can we say we are of God (godly) and complain? Do you find yourselves complaining about your home, family and finances at times?
Can I challenge you, when you open your mouth to complain, instead to speak out about a blessing that you have?
Patrick Henry Hughes was born without eyes---yet he sees clearly the many blessings of his life. He has shortened limbs and has never walked but he was bestowed with the gift of music, which has opened doors for him to travel. He does not look at his disabilities but uses his abilities. He is content, and that has brought great gain to his life.
What would the Waltons do? I think they would take time to count their blessings. That's what I am going to do right now!
God, I believe that gratitude brings contentment and I am so grateful for all the good things we have: the freedoms that so many other people don't have, the resources, homes and provision that You have given. Let the gift of contentment show all over our face and lives as we count our blessings daily and accept Your presence during these times of trouble!
This scripture points the way to contentment: "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." Philippians 4:8-9, The Message
Copyright © 2012, Donna Collins Tinsley, used by permission.
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Donna Collins Tinsley, wife, mother and grandmother, lives in Port Orange, Florida and has been included in several magazines and book compilations. Find her at Facebook.
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