No matter what season you are going through in life, contentment is the key to being happy. You might be a young mom hardly sleeping through the night, or a faithful father who needs to work a lot to provide for his growing family, or in any other busy or hard time you find yourself in life. We might not always like the season we are in but it's truly up to us if we will be happy in it or not. Accepting who you are will help you live life to the fullest. For me the most difficult time was having kids shortly after getting married, we had four kids in four years! That all felt like it happened way too fast and I had to learn how to process it all and find true joy in life despite my circumstances.
My first step to finding true satisfaction was ACCEPTANCE. Accepting who I am and my season in life. Letting go of wishes, my past, my failures or regrets and laying it all at the feet of Jesus. Letting go of the plan I had in mind for my life and the way I thought it was going to play out. Certain dreams I still have, I hold on to those but I've learned to be patient in the waiting. As a mother I had to let go (maybe just temporarily) of my plans of traveling the world and changing lives for Jesus. I had to realize that having children and raising them up to love the Lord was just as important in God's eyes, as me missioning to the nations. (Don't get me wrong missions are very important) I have a few friends who are living out the life that I had planned for myself in that area and I'm so so happy for them but never would I trade the life I have now for the life I had ones wanted. The Lord knows us and has better plans for us then we do for ourselves!
God opened my eyes and transformed me radically. He showed me that there is just as much need in America as there is in Africa. The needs and the way they look are very different but people here need God just as much as anywhere else. He broke my fear of man and is helping me become the person He's created me to be. My mission now is to live out His word and to give Him praise, to be a testimony for Him each day and in all areas of my life. There is need all around us if we take the time to stop, look and listen. That perspective changed my life and brought so much more meaning to it.
There is no one else for me, none but Jesus, crucified to set me free, now I live to bring Him praise.
Theme song of my life "None but Jesus" by Hillsong
The next step for me was GRATITUDE. Literally counting our blessings every night before we prayed as a family, we went around and said three things each that we were thankful for. This practice helped all of us realize how much we do have and how blessed we truly are. Over time there was nothing left to complain about.
I also used to go "window shopping" but then realized that it only left me wishing for things and wanting for bigger, better or more. So I had to stop going out just to look around, I only let myself go out to get what I needed and not get distracted by anything else. It was weird at first and kinda hard not to go on target dates and dream of one day having a furnished home that I wanted. But over time I noticed a big change in myself. This same practice goes for online "window shoppers", pinterest or anything else that causes you to "want". I know it might be hard to do but taking time off from looking at stuff and wishing for things you don't need or can't afford can seriously be life changing.
One big thing I had to do a few years ago was to cancel Instagram and Pinterest. Yep here it is, the reason to why I haven't had those accounts. I was in a place in my life where I was getting impatient with not having our own place and being able to buy this or that for my home or my children. I tried not to but found myself comparing the things I had with others or the styles that were trending. It was very hard to be grateful and patient. Out of that insecurity I found myself being agitated and more angry as a mother and wife, then I knew that I wanted to be. I might be extreme but I decided to uproot all things that were distracting me from finding true contentment and that happened to be all forms of social media and pinterest at the time (which was about four years ago now). People don't usually post their worst or raw photos of life, so all we see are the perfect families, homes, etc.. and it's great I enjoy periodically seeing how my friends are doing and I'm happy for them. But I don't like to live only for social media or even having my phone on me all day every day. I like to know that I'm happy with my life, my children just the way it all is. I don't like to be controlled by or obsessed with anything. If I ever start to feel like I can't live without (whatever it might be) then I usually take a break from it, to regain my focus.
During that year of abstaining from all that, I had two kiddos and was about to have my twins. I was able to connect more freely with the Lord and grow my faith and have the supernatural childbirth with the twins. I was also able to soak in, every precious moment I had with all my littles without any distractions. It was a sweet, slower, relaxed atmosphere we had as a family. Warms my heart just to think about it :)
Picture from a previous entry To do lists will always be there.
When I was pregnant with the twins people insisted that I make a baby registry and so I did. Starting off I knew I only had a few things I wanted and needed but by the end I had pages and pages of things on that registry. In the process of looking through all those baby things I got really overwhelmed and realized that I don't need most of them but by looking at them I started to feel that I do. That was a good lesson for me not to waste my time looking at things I wasn't going to buy anyway, because it eventually makes you want. And want leads to discontentment and an unsatisfied life.
To be honest it took me some time to learn how to be truly content, one step at a time. As many of you probably know, we still don't have our dream home or even a big enough house for our family but I couldn't be happier in this season of our life. And in the waiting if I do feel impatient or just too anxious or excited I have to go back and re read my own post Learning to trust and remind myself to trust that He will miraculously do the same for our next home!
This year I feel I have the 'go ahead' with the Lord and my family to take on new challenges of ways to grow. To learn the internet/social media world, so don't be surprised to see me on Instagram or pinterest one of these days ;) I'm not perfect but I'm accountable to the Lord and a few other people who help me not lose the right perspective in life. I am so happy and thankful that the weight of all that is lifted and I can fully enjoy my family, our little cabin and our quiet life here in South Carolina.
So dear friends I'm living proof that it IS possible to live a content filled life and to be grateful in every season that you go through even though it's hard sometimes.
Would love to hear your perspective on how you stay content in your life?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. -Psalm 23:1
Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience Gods peace which exceeds anything we can understanding. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-8
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. -Philippians 4:11
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. -1 Timothy 6:6
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.- Proverbs 14:30