It’s so easy to allow ideas and feelings to creep into our thoughts and take root in our hearts. These thoughts will destroy our lives if we allow them to settle in and stay. They’ll also be more difficult to destroy. In my last post, I wrote about traveling to the Land of “If Only”, what I found there, and how I made the choice to leave. This metaphorical land of discontentment is a place we also visit from time to time, but some of us stay longer than we should.
As mothers, (really, as humans) it’s so easy to let discouragement take up residence in our hearts to the point where every aspect and relationship in our lives suffers greatly. When the dishes, diapers, unpaid bills, dirty clothes, grocery lists, and work schedules overwhelm our lives, it’s easy to wish for something better. Friends, there IS something better!
Here are 4 important ways to help you embrace contentment.
1. Make A Personal Commitment
Anytime you embark on a new change in your life, it involves an internal decision. Regardless of what is going on in your life, the Lord has you where He wants you for His glory. As humans, this can be tough to reconcile. Also, understand that the Lord uses your circumstances to mold you and shape you into you He created you to be. When you allow discontentment to creep in, you’re missing the blessings the Lord is giving you in the here and now.
This personal commitment to contentment is often a daily act. The moment you wake up each morning, you make a conscious choice to seek ways to be content in your circumstances. Essentially, you’re forming a habit. The more you make the commitment to strive for contentment, the more it’ll become routine. Filling your days with God’s promises will enable you to make this daily commitment.
2. Dive Into The Word
Friends, if you struggle to achieve contentment, you are not alone. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote about his personal struggles with embracing contentment. It’s quite comforting in a way to know that even the ones closest to Christ struggled with the same issues we do.
For the longest time, I struggled in my personal relationship with the Lord. I grew up without a proper understanding of the importance of God’s Word in my life. I believe it is a primary reason I struggled with contentment for so many years.
It’s not enough to simply read the Scriptures. We must truly study, meditate, and then practice what we are reading. It begins with a few verses each day as we meditate on the passages. Then, as we begin forming those habits, it becomes second nature.
3. Practice A Servant’s Heart
Discontentment often comes from the desire for something we feel is better than what we currently have. Doing things for other people helps squash this desire. When we’re dwelling on what we can do for others rather than ourselves, it’s hard for discontentment to take root.
I often think of Jesus in John chapter 13 when He washes the disciples’ feet before the Passover feast. Jesus was demonstrating a few things with this act and one of which was a servant’s heart. The Lord was on his knees washing the filthy feet of others. He commanded them to serve others also.
Perhaps you know of:
- Someone who needs a break for a few hours and you can watch their kids
- A family who’s been ill and would be refreshed with a meal
- A friend in need of your time and encouragement
- A neighbor needing a hand cleaning
Actively seek out needs in your community and plan to fill a few. You’ll be refreshed as much as they will. It’s so important that our children see us doing this as well and it’s a wonderful training time for them.
4. Spend Time In Contemplation (Quiet Time)
Let’s face it, Mommas. We work hard all day long and sometimes the night as well. Whether you work outside or inside the home, you do the work of many people just by being Mom. When we, as mothers, spend many hours each day pouring into our families and our jobs, we run out of energy. It’s vitally important that we take some time each day to refuel so we have that energy to give our families the best parts of us. What does that look like?
Every one of our days looks very different. No matter what is going on in your day, spend time in quiet. You can do this at times such as:
- Before the kids get up in the morning
- On your way to work
- While doing the dishes
- After the kids go to bed at night
Ultimately, when it comes to quiet time, you may even have to split up that time into chunks throughout the day. That’s okay! Do what works for you. It only needs to be a few minutes, not hours. The important thing is that you take time to reflect on WHY you do what you do. Reserving a time of quiet is an opportunity for you to feel guilty about the things you’re not accomplishing at that moment (i.e., dishes, laundry, etc.). This is a precious time to refuel so you can give your best “offerings” to others.
When you take time to remember and think about everything you have and the goodness of it all, it’s easier to embrace contentment.