Choosing Contentment

I lie here a bit anxious but filled with joy.

I lie here a bit exhausted but filled with life.

I lie here in a lot of pain but filled with peace.

I lie here on Monday night with my pup, Twig, snuggled up beside me, our faces lit up by the glow of the computer screen. I lie here smiling at this dog who is completely zonked out and not one bit phased by the constant clicking of the keyboard. I lie here and watch her body peacefully rise and fall as she catches her zzzz’s.

I lie here feeling a little bit nervous about my 4 day trip back to Minnesota. I lie here wondering what my health will be like. I lie here hoping that I luck out with 4 good days. I lie here smiling because I get to go back home. I lie here thinking about the things I will do, the people I will see, the place I will go, and the food I will eat. I lie here thinking about the things that could go terribly wrong, but I also lie here thinking about the things that could go surprisingly right.

I lie here realizing that I am a bit more tired than I was the last time I traveled by plane. I lie here realizing that I am also a whole lot more prepared than I was the last time I traveled by plane. I lie here realizing that I will be okay, as long as I pace myself, stay on top of the meds and don’t let anxiety get to me. I lie here realizing that the only way I will get through the trip, no matter how amazing it will be, is that I just have to smile.

I lie here praying for the best. I lie here throwing my faith and strength into God. I lie here silently yelling for peace and safety. I lie here silently shouting words of gratitude.

I lie here thinking about the dreams that Twig must be dreaming. I lie here wondering what she thinks about. I lie here smiling at the sleeping pup because she brings so much joy to my heart. I lie here realizing how much she makes me smile on a daily basis (and Birch – the other pup). I lie here feeling bad that Birch doesn’t sleep with me. I lie here reminding myself that none of us would sleep well if he was in here (he snores and kicks). I lie here smirking at my thoughts. I lie here with content in my heart and joy in my bones.

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I lie here hoping nothing goes wrong. I lie here praying that I have strength and confidence to pursue my plans in Minnesota. I lie here wishing that Twig could accompany me. I lie here anxious about my physical ability to walk through the airport. I lie here scared that my body will shut down because of overstimulation. I lie here praying for contentment.

I lie here amazed at Twig’s ability to sleep so soundly. I lie here wishing I was able to fall asleep that quickly. I lie here aching and itching to fall asleep. I lie here hoping that my pain will subside, my mind will quiet and my body will relax.

I lie here finding joy in the moment. I lie here with contentment coming over me. I lie here thanking God for my bed and my pup. I lie here with love in my heart and a smile on my face. I lie here realizing every reason that I have to smile. I lie here smiling because of Twig, because I am alive, because I am breathing, because I have a family, because I have health insurance, because I can walk, because I have water, because I have food, because I have friends, because I have a support system, because I have Jesus Christ as my savior; because I am me.

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I lie here telling myself to smile despite the frustrations of today, despite the pains of today, despite the chaos of today, despite the anxiety of today.

I lie here reminding myself to find joy, to choose joy, to spread joy.

I lie here with contentment because:

  • I choose joy
  • I decide to smile despite the tears
  • I opt for a positive mind in the midst of a downhill battle
  • I seek hope regardless of the brokenness
  • I work for my life even when it seems impossible
  • I am stronger than I will ever realize
  • I am more beautiful than I will ever see
  • I am smarter than I will ever know

I lie here with contentment in my heart and mind because Jesus Christ gave me the ability to do so.

So, thanks be to God.

Xoxo,
Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”

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