What Every Heart Wants – Just Enough

I’ve heard that stress levels and depression reach an all time high around the holidays.

Maybe it’s Rockwell-itis.

I’m referring to the unrealistic expectations we put on each other to live up to idealized fantasies of perfection ala this famous Norman Rockwell painting we’ve all admired over the years.

This was part of a series of paintings inspired by a speech that President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to Congress in 1941. It was before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into WWII when he outlined these four basic human rights — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear and freedom from want.

The piece above first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1943 at the height of the war and was met with instant popularity.

Not surprising because, isn’t that what we all want?  “Freedom From Want?”

Unfortunately, we sometimes become so consumed with filling our wants, that we forget what we really need. And deep down we know there’s no amount of stuff…or stuffing…(sorry, I couldn’t resist) that can make this longing go away.

In fairness, I don’t think Rockwell was trying to perpetuate the myth of perfection. He once said, “I paint life as I would like it to be.” 

And when I look at that picture, you know what I see? I see simplicity. Contentment. I see, not excess, but needs met in a room full of smiling faces.

Life, as I would like it to be.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” That’s how Jesus taught us to pray.

Give us just enough so that we don’t get to feeling arrogant or entitled.

Just enough so that we appreciate our blessings for what they are.

Gifts from God.

This Thanksgiving, I hope that you will find less stress as you enjoy more of Jesus.

And may you find yourself sitting at a table of just enough, where there’s plenty of happy to go around.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19


8 thoughts on “What Every Heart Wants – Just Enough

  1. I’ve always loved the simplicity depicted in Normal Rockwell’s paintings. These days we are so caught up in “keeping up with the Joneses, we forget about our basic needs and contentment. Thank you for providing the story behind this painting. Blessing to you and your family for a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Joan recently posted…Tranquil Sundays~ThanksgivingMy Profile

  2. Hi Angel! I chose this image for Thanksgiving day on my blog. I love it. (Well, I love Norman Rockwell!) I didn’t know the timing of the artwork though, so thank you for that information.

    Thank you for being my blog-friend this year. And it started with a Bible you sent me too. That was so fun! You have been constant support for me, and I really appreciate it.

    I know that we will be thanking God for all our blessings this week. And oh yes, no food will that place in our hearts where God should reign. I pray I will always remember that!
    ceil recently posted…ThanksgivingMy Profile

  3. I have never pondered that phrase before, “freedom from want”. How fantastically appropriate right now, this week at the brink of a season of want. Thank you for sharing–this was so needed!
    Karmen recently posted…Dog TeaMy Profile

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