Goals · Life

The problem of discontentment

joy1

I had planned to share a sewing project with you today, but instead of finishing it, I spent all weekend reading. I regret nothing. There’s always next week.

I decided instead to share with you something that is on my heart. I’ve had several conversations lately about discontentment and then this morning my devotional was about it. Being real here: I’ve really been having a hard time with this lately. It is so easy to get caught up in looking at other people’s lives and wishing you had what they have. Need some examples? (I’m sure you don’t, but I’m going to give you some anyway.)

“They travel more than me. I wish my kid traveled better and we could go more places!”

“Oh sure, ‘Getting coffee! #myhusbandisthebest’, don’t you ever fight?” (Social media is the worst, am I right?)

“That person gets to hang out with her friends. Look at me, stuck at home by myself!”

I could go on. And on and on and on. But I know you understand. I feel like we are always wanting things we don’t or can’t have. Before having a baby, I desperately wanted a baby, and now I get frustrated that I can’t do some things BECAUSE I have a baby. What is wrong with me!

Last week when I was in Rome, I was with a large group of girls who were all single and had very mobile jobs teaching English or being au pairs. I found myself thinking that I missed the days of being single and childless and could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to do it. But in the middle of wishing I had what they had, I realized that THEY all wanted what I had- a husband, a kid, and a (somewhat) stable life. Dude.

In Philippians 4, Paul writes “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (v 11-13) The book of Philippians is overflowing with Paul’s encouragement to choose joy, to choose contentment. I am amazed that he was able to be so joyful despite being in jail for his faith. Huh, I’m not in jail. I have everything (and way more than) I need. What do I have to be discontent about?

So I challenge you (and most of all myself) to choose joy. Choose to look at the wonderful things in your life, the opportunities, the blessings. If you need to, and I find I do, limit the time you spend on social media. It is so much harder to choose to look for the joy in your imperfect life when all you are seeing is that fantastic “highlights reel” of someone else’s life*. Rejoice in your struggles because God is strengthening you. We are all in different seasons of life, so comparing ourselves to others will just make us unhappy.

*I’m not saying necessarily to cut out ALL social media use, just minimize it. I think it’s still important to rejoice with your friends over the wonderful things in their lives (like I had a friend whose team won an Oscar last night!). But seeing too many vacation pictures and coffee date selfies and cheesy hashtags can breed discontentment so easily.

So who’s with me? Today I choose joy! I choose to rejoice in my season of life and look for blessings where I am. I also choose to ignore my dirty house and take my kid to the park because it’s a beautiful day.

joy

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5 thoughts on “The problem of discontentment

  1. Take your kid to the park!! When he’s older he will not think “oh my house was so messy growing up”, he will remember “my mom used to take me to the park and it was amazing”

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  2. Thank you so much for your willingness to talk about how you really feel and what you are going through Rosebud!!!!!!….In my opinion..some of the problem of life is what you are questioning…is the grass always greener somewhere else??…..have I made the best decisions? …….AND you are finding your answers…the best thing is talking about it so that no longer do we all have to “pretend” that all is well when it is not!. I think the way to be able to “improve” or “get better” is just what you described…tell yourself the truth, “ACCEPT” where you really are…(that doesn’t mean you have to love it) and then remember that in the very next moment of time….your thoughts might and can change!!! (for the worse or for the better).. ha ha ha .. the excitement of being!!! … The saddest thing is when a person is down, thinks they should commit suicide…and forgets that in the next moment all might get better………sigh. I guess the phrases “hang in there” and talk about it.. don’t try to pretend are best. One last thing.. you seem to be discovering that Parenting has its ups and downs….becoming a Parent surely had me appreciating my Parents and forgiving them a whole lot more than before ha ha ha ….My “kid” is 51 now and I still “worry” about her and want the best life has to offer for her etc….shrug…and now i can no longer “impose” my rules on her ie bedtime, food choices etc….I am 74 and still feel the same as you.heheheheh. sorry .. its something to chuckle about not feel sad about. (grins) Noah is so lucky to have a Mom like you cause all along you let him “have his own emotions” and try to nurture him through what ever he is going thru….he will be able to discuss stuff with you cause you have been there……………i am rambling so forgive me .. just some thoughts. Hope this is a bit encouraging to you. Love and hugs,
    Rita

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