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Finding Contentment in the Life You Already Have

Finding Contentment in the Life You Already Have

I spent most of 2017 longing for something I wanted but couldn’t get—a new house. My husband and I went so far as to repaint and update all the carpet in our current home, prepping to sell it, but nearly a year later here we are still waiting on God’s “go.”

And it almost ate me alive.

Because I became so convinced that my pride, my joy, my rest would be found—finally—in the next house, the next home office, the next bathroom, the next spacious kitchen with a double oven and a walk-in pantry—that I started neglecting the home I’m already in. Worse than that, I resented it. As if this house is the root of all my problems.

Well, actually, it is.

Earlier this winter a dear friend opened my eyes to the real trouble beneath all my longing and whining. She asked, “Why do you really want a new house? It’s not for the house itself. What is it?”

I thought for a moment, then realized. “I want a sanctuary,” I told her. “I want space to breathe, to enjoy loveliness and comfort, where I’m not constantly battling noise and clutter and piles and piles of papers and shoes and library books. I want peace. I just want peace.”

In other words, I want what only God can give—no matter where I am. And I went looking for it elsewhere.

You know what that’s called? Idolatry. Sin, plain as day. And I’m done allowing it to steal my contentment.

Do you resent your circumstances? Do you long to shake off parts of your life for something better... something more? What lies beneath those desires? Learning to have contentment this year might mean learning that you've really wanted something you didn't realize all along.

This year I’ve resolved to count my blessings, starting with this house. Instead of dreaming of the next place, I’m making this one my sanctuary by focusing more on the people within it.

I’m rediscovering a love for my space by making simple, inexpensive updates and better stewarding what God has already provided.

And I’m recommitting to staying organized, purging stuff we don’t use and sorting inevitable clutter in pretty baskets and bins. Plus hey, why not prevent some of that clutter in the first place by folding laundry as soon as it’s washed—what?!—and emptying the dishwasher before another batch of dirty plates fills the sink. Crazy thought, but how about I take care of this house “as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” These are the little steps that say, thank you, God, for this home—yes, this one. 

I’m relearning gratitude for God’s provision, even if it’s different from what I imagined.

Even if it has some flaws.

Who doesn’t, really?

So tell me. What have you been grumbling about this past year? What’s the cause of your discontent? Focusing on the things we don’t have will ultimately blind us to the joy we already own. Will you join me on the hard-fought journey to contentment? 

Let’s begin by opening our eyes—our blessings are all around us. Let’s count those first, appreciate them, dwell within them. And we just might find our sanctuary has been there all along.

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3, NLT)

Becky Kopitzke  

P.S. The Better Mom Prayer Journal is a great resource for jotting down your conversations with God about finding contentment in your life.

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