"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

April 18, 2012


I was talking to my nephew, Brian, a while back. He has been buying and selling cows for the past few months, on a small scale, for his own enjoyment. His daughter, Lillian, is 4 years old. Brian told me that he had bought a small cow that was really gentle, and Lillian has adopted it as her own. She goes out and brushes it every day. I'm a country girl, and I don't think there are very many people who brushes their cows, unless they're showing them for 4-H or something along those lines. Brian said that they have the prettiest cow in the country! I saw some pictures of Lillian and her daddy brushing the cow; Lillian riding the cow with Brian leading it with a halter rope; and Lillian leading the cow around with a rope. Who needs a pony, when you have a gentle cow to brush and ride?! Brian told me that he'd rather she have a cow instead of a pony because if she gets tired of it, he can get his money back and it's worth a lot more than a pony is. Lillian is perfectly content with her gentle little cow named Daphne.

Philippians 4:11 says, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

A lot of times we think we have to buy our kids the best and newest of everything, when they'd be content with a lot less. We even buy things for ourselves, because someone else has it, when we'd be content without it. I'm sure we've all made impulse purchases, seeing something that we thought we had to have, only to get it home and never use it or decide we really don't care for it. How many of us have just had to have something because someone else has it and loves it; then we wonder why it's so popular after getting it? But we heard others talking about how great it was to own one, so we "think" we absolutely must have one too!

Some people seem to go through life, never ever knowing what it is to be content. They think, "If I can just get through college and get started on my career (with a paying job) then I will have it made." Single adults think, "If only I can find the right person and get married, then I'll be satisfied and all will be great." Young couples think when they start having children and building their own family, or buy their own home, that will bring them a sense of fulfillment. No matter what stage of life people are in, they always think something else will be better and easier. The truth is, all stages of life bring about change and responsibility. Contentment doesn't come from what we have or who we have in our lives, but it comes from within. People and things can't assure us happiness, we have to find it in God and within ourselves.

I've encouraged single friends to embrace life and enjoy it. That doesn't mean that they stop praying for God to send them the right spouse, but they don't need to stop living life until that happens. I so often have wished that I had done more and enjoyed my life more when I was single. It was as if I felt that if I embraced singleness and enjoyed my life and had an adventure, then God wouldn't bless me with a husband; and I didn't want to spend the rest of my life alone. But I ended up wasting a lot of years doing nothing and not enjoying life to the fullest. It was only when I discovered joy in life and stopped focusing on getting married that God brought Jon into my life. Perhaps He wanted to show me that Jon wasn't supposed to be my source of joy, but was intended to add to the joy that God had already placed within me.

Another way we find contentment is by using our talents for God and blessing others. I feel a great sense of contentment when I'm singing or playing the piano or writing. Why? Because those are gifts that God has placed within me and I'm using them. It's when I stop using them that I begin feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Taking care of our home and doing things for Jon and my family also give me a great sense of fulfillment. The moments that bring me pure joy is when I get to be with family. When Jon and I go to Lampe, I get so excited if I get to see relatives or friends. Enjoying time with Jon or my family brings me unmeasurable joy! And If I have to plan a party or activity to get to do that, then I will do so.

Each of us has talents and God-given gifts in different areas, and we need to find what those are, if we haven't yet discovered them. You won't find joy in trying to be like someone else or copying their abilities, but you have to find what talents God has blessed you with. God-given talents go far beyond singing, playing an instrument, speaking, etc. It can be engineering, carpentry, organizationals skills, cutting hair, teaching, cleaning, landscaping, designing, writing, caring for children, waitressing, cooking, and the list could go on and on and on.......

My sister, Janie, has a gift for teaching. She can make a Sunday School lesson come alive and so understandable. I'm not saying this because she's my sister, but she's the best teacher I've listened to in church; and I've heard a lot of different teachers. She has that specific gift and it's obvious when she teaches.

I know a lady who has great organizational skills when it comes to closets and household things. At one time, her desire was to begin her own business, teaching and helping others organize their closets and homes. That sounds like the most boring thing in the world to me, but she was good at it, and was fulfilled when that was what she was doing.

Jon's talents amaze me; probably because I don't always thoroughly understand them. His abilities to write software programming looks extremely complicated. He has an ability to figure out ways to design and make things. It is not often that Jon will say he doesn't know how to do something, but he will say, "I may not be the best at it, but I think I can figure it out." God has blessed Jon with some very special talents and a can-do attitude. And it's when Jon is working or piddling around with projects that he enjoys doing that I can sense his contentment. There was a short time at the beginning of our marriage where he worked a job that was not where his talents lay, and although he did it uncomplainingly, he didn't exude the self-confidence and contentment that he has when he's doing engineering or software programming. Jon has the ability to see the good in situations and find enjoyment in whatever he's doing; whether it's figuring out a difficult software program or mowing our property in Lampe or tinkering around with a new electronics project he's designing at home.

There are many things in our life that can affect our contentment. It may be not utilizing our talents, not reaching out and helping others when given the chance, wanting things we can't afford, or wishing for our life to be different than what it is. But no one can give us contentment. As Paul wrote in Philippians, "I have LEARNED in whatever state I am, to be content."

Contentment and fulfillment isn't something we come equipped with, but it's something we must each learn. We learn to look beyond our feelings or circumstances and be content. It may be something as simple as having a small gentle cow to ride like Lillian does, and feeling as if she's the most blessed little girl in the world. Let us choose to learn to be content, regardless of whatever state we are in.


For some people, being content in any circumstance seems to come naturally. And for others, being discontent seems to come naturally.

I've seen people in other countries living in what Americans would call poverty. They seem very content or even happy in their lives. Maybe it's because they don't compare themselves to others. They enjoy what they do have, and who they are with. But they don't focus on what they wish they had or what others have.

We have God in our lives. What else could we possibly need more than that?


Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

3/4 cup whole milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

2 oz. Mini Pepperoni

4 oz. Sausage, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup Pizza Sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes. Stir the batter and divide mixture among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.


Bake cupcakes for 5 minutes and then drop a Hershey Kiss in the center and continue baking until done. It sinks to the middle and makes a chocolate center. Yummy!


Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you. - unknown


We love you!

Loretta & Jon