For months now I’ve shared how overwhelmed I’ve felt, how full our calendar has been, and how our suitcases spent months in the state of half packed. Then July arrived — a month, while usually not anticipated, was longed for by our little family. It promised no travel, minimal weekend commitments, and, at long last, a semblance of routine.
The first week and weekend was lovely — things checked off the to-do lists, dates nights had, meet-ups with friends and family, hesitant murmurings to each other — Do you feel it? Is it finally feeling like home?
Fast forward to July 8th — this past Saturday. Our calendar contained a brunch date and two last minute house showings — but was otherwise free. Elation should have been my only emotion throughout the day, but at 4pm (after being reminded again of how crazy the housing market is here and missing my Carolina house) all I felt was discouraged and frustrated that we didn’t have any plans for the evening. What should have been a sweet time of rest and relaxation turned into a pity party for myself and my lack of a schedule. (Oh the irony…)
As my sweet husband (who is much better than I at simply relaxing) kindly offered suggestions of things to do, which I promptly vetoed, I couldn’t help but think how much I would have given for a free Saturday the last six months. For a day with a blank calendar afternoon. A day of rest. A day of Sabbath. A day to spend with my boys, not with a textbook. And here it was.
Yet here I was…
Sure that somehow we were missing out on something.
But what I was really missing out on was contentment.
Contentment and gratefulness for another day of life.
Another Saturday with my people.
Another day of health, of a comfortable, air conditioned residence.
Another brunch at my absolute favorite diner.
Another chance to dream about future homes.
Another day to trust God with said future home.
What I realized anew Saturday is contentment is a choice. A conscious choice, a deciding to be present right where you are, doing whatever it is your doing, however “unglamorous” it may be. Whether it’s running from one thing to another, like our last months have been, or it’s sitting in the sunshine with a good book — neither is a contentment guarantee. Because contentment comes from within — it comes from the knowledge that life will never be perfect, will never be what we expected. Because disappointment will come — from those we love, from those we barely know, and from so much in life that doesn’t go as planned. Our circumstances cannot determine our contentment, or we will always be left disillusioned and wanting.
Contentment is a choice.
We must choose contentment despite our circumstances. Despite the brokenness of this world. Despite the hard days. All the while thankful for the good days. And hopeful for all the days to come.
Contentment is a choice.
What will we choose today?
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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 all this through Him who gives me strength.”