Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Webster defines it as being satisfied.

I was reading this post at Scribbit earlier in the week and she references an article she recently read on Being Content With Our Homes which references a book  by Linda Dillow entitled, "Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment"

Contentment is something I find myself struggling with every single day and if you will recall, being content was the only resolution I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

Unfortunately as this year draws to a close, I still find myself struggling to be content.

Whether it is my house (my kitchen is too small, my  house is not organized and my couches are old and ugly), my appearance (if only I  could lose just 3 pounds, I have zits and wrinkles and my wardrobe is so plain) or the job I am doing as a mom (my kids aren't helpful enough,  kind enough, respectful enough).

I never feel satisfied with the way things are.

The article lays out these five principles of contentment from the first chapter of the book:
  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything — not even the weather.
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstance or someplace else.
  • Never compare your lot with another persons lot.
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  • Never dwell on tomorrow — remember that tomorrow is God’s, not ours.
 The first principal immediately threw me for a loop!  I complain about everything.  And maybe not out loud (well, all the time anyway!) but to myself.  I grumble all. day. long.

So I am going to strive to spend the last 6 weeks of the year following the above principles.

And I am going to try to turn my complaining  into thanking God.

In the last two days for example, I have turned the following complaints into thank-yous and my attitude is already changing:

Old: I wish Dan didn't have to work late -  again.
New: Thank you God for Dan's job. Through it he is able to provide everything we need.

Old: This kitchen is so small nothing fits in here!
New: Thank you God for my warm and cozy home.  We are so lucky to have a house when so many don't and we are lucky to have food when so many are starving.

Old:  My kids are driving me crazy!
New: Thank you God for the gift of my kids.  They are healthy, smart, beautiful and energetic.

What a whiney, selfish, unthankful brat I have become in my old age.  No wonder I can't find contentment.  I'm too busy complaining.   

And just in the last two days, as I have started praising God instead of asking him to changes things, I have felt more peaceful, more satisfied - more contented.

I have six more weeks until the new year, and I think this year I have a chance at actually accomplishing my resolution!

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

(And I can't wait to get that book!)


Grandma T said...

Beautiful! Thank you!

Mari said...

What a perfect post as we approach thanksgiving. I love this idea and I could certainly use some work on not complaining too.

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Oh, I feel your pain my friend. I have struggled with contentment as well. I think I am getting better, but I still struggle. Thank you for sharing these tips. I am going to put more effort into not complaining ;)

Take care my friend!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Colleen said...

What a great Thanksgiving post! I think it's in a woman's hormonal makeup to complain, but we must fight against it! Thanks for the great reminder :)

He & Me + 3 said...

Beautiful post...I so needed this. That has been my hearts desire this year to be content in all things. I see I have failed miserably...I will strive these last six weeks to do better as well.

Lindsey said...

I have just started reading your blog recently and I love the posts about your kids! I just got married two months ago and went from being single with a cat to having a husband, 7 year old daughter, a dog, and a crab!! It has been hard to combine our two houses into one and I constantly find myself complainging that this house is too small. THANK YOU for this post! We all need to stand back, thank God for the blessings he has so abundantly poured out on us, and be content with what we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

Angelica Bays, said...

Umm, ok, HELLO!? This post was just for me!

Thanks, pal!
Happy Turkey Day!

Jaina said...

That first one threw me for a loop just reading it. It's a great idea though. I'm really glad you gave us examples. I bet the next 6 weeks are going to be wonderful :)

Corey~living and loving said...

it really is amazing how a bit of an attitude change can make a huge difference. :)

Great post!
have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Gloria said...

I learned some time ago that I get more of what I am focused on. If I focus about the gaps in my life, all I see is the gaps. If I focus on all that I have, then I see that I have so much and I am grateful.

I realize that every day I get up, I have to put that natural person inside myself in its place (I think you know what I mean--the part of me that thinks only of myself). Whenever I am lost in service to someone else, then I find it easier to do.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.


Denise said...

Awesome post.

Pam said...

As you probably know from my blog, that book is one of my current favorites. I highly recommend it. Great reminder to all of us about contentment.