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“Godliness and contentment are great gain.” Philippians 4:11

What are you full of? Perhaps since it was just Thanksgiving, you are full of turkey, pie, trimmings and memories, even football. If you are rushing now to get to the Christmas sales, or get your tree early, then you may be full of holiday plans, frustration at holiday crowds, or things related.

While we were driving home from our own Thanksgiving family visit, I was pondering how, in our culture in America, so much of what we are full of is temporary. Fullness of plans, of decorating, of lists and activities to go to, fullness of anxiety about finances, and bills and the future…it goes on.

I can’t get the picture of a scene I witnessed just a few days before the holiday break, so I will bring you in to it. As I arrived at 8:30 am to my preschool classroom, a four year old girl was spinning and twirling about on the far end of the room on the carpet section. She whirled about colliding with furniture, almost oblivious to the room, with her hands up in the air. When she caught my eye, watching her, she shouted in a joyous voice, “I am full of dancing!”

Her abundant explosion of joy struck a deep cord in me. As a Christian I have been given the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus to fill me with Joy. Joy is a fruit of the Kingdom of God, as I receive it. But daily I can lose it by being sidetracked with fear of lack, worry about people and things, by circumstances not going my way, and critical thinking, weariness and “stuff”. I have just celebrated a feast that gives thanks to God, my source of all things, and I know thankfulness is not a once a year party. I need to be thankful in His presence daily, at least. The Lord offers me a feast of blessings, joy, fullness, peace and contentment in the life He has given me.

Thinking about the dancing child challenges me in my heart. Her life is not good a lot of the time, for that is the kind of family our school serves, but she carries a cheerful acceptance of each minute, and a childlike expectancy each day. I want to think of that daily and submit to her dance, even if I am dancing on the inside instead. God is good, and I want to be thank-filled 365 days a year.

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