Living A LIfe Of Contentment
I sit in my living room watching my children run around, chasing one another in circles. Around the kitchen, dining room and living room they gallop. I am filled with joy at the sound of their jubilant laughter and the light in their eyes. It’s loud and obnoxious but I love it. (For a limited amount time!)
My eyes move to the wood floors on which they are traipsing. My countenance falls. Now I’m seeing the scratches and dents that inevitably come from thirteen happy years in a one-hundred-year-old house with four active little girls. My eyes follow the wide, stained cracks along the floor of the living room into the dining room. Even more disappointment overwhelms me like a heavy blanket. My eyes settle on the space underneath the dining room table. I see the finish is worn away. I see marks from the chairs being pulled and pushed back and forth an innumerable amount of times. What was once a beautiful maple wooden floor sealed with a shiny finish has become old and dull. Many years of family meals, games, and homeschooling around my grandmother’s old table has stolen the floor’s luster. I become unsatisfied. I feel ashamed. What will people think when they walk in and see these dirty looking floors? They will surely think that I don’t sweep and mop. They will think that I’m lazy. They will think that I’m a bad wife. They will think that I’m a bad mom.
My mind is now racing. My stomach is now sick with feelings of inadequacy. I am hit with the realization that we cannot afford the $2,000.00 that it will cost to refinish our entire lower level floor-plan. I become incredibly discontented. My thoughts move rapidly from “we need more money” to, “we need better jobs” to, “we need a newer house”, all within seconds.
If I allow my mind to indulge in these negative thoughts, it runs away like a wild beast! It happens so fast, in a matter of seconds. I have to make a conscious choice to stop my mind dead in its tracks and turn it around. As soon as I identify the path of discontentment my mind has traveled, I confess it in prayer to God. I admit my sin of discontentment, asking for His forgiveness.
Now for a change of mind, a change of direction. I pick my eyes off the floors and fix them on my children. I watch. I see Violet’s light blonde, long hair swooshing back and forth as she runs. I hear Isabella’s infectious giggle. I notice the joy in Kathryne’s eyes. I watch as Abigail leaps for joy. Now the thankfulness returns and with it my joy. Thankfulness has overpowered my discontentment. I have forgotten all about the floors. They will wait. Maybe someday we will have them refinished, maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. My children matter. My attitude matters. My contentment matters.
What determines your contentment or lack thereof are the things which you allow your mind to focus. Focus on the things that will bring you thankfulness, not on those that will foster discontentment. What do you need to stop and give thanks for today? What area of your life do you need to ask God to make you content with?