I’ve been blessed with a beautiful home. From it’s high ceilings, extra cabinetry and storage, and granite kitchen countertops, my current living space is a far cry from some of the cramped, dirty, old apartments I’ve rented in the past. And even though my house now is a mobile home, no one would ever know that from the inside. It looks just like a home with a solid foundation. I truly am blessed to live in such a gorgeous house!
But as wonderful as it is, I’ve begun to notice a sprout of discontentment springing up about my living space. You see, with four kids - three of whom are boys, 1 of whom is already a teen and another who soon will be - I’m starting to feel the squeeze of moderate square footage and teeny-tiny yard.
It’s easy to get caught up into dreaming about a home with an extra bedroom and bathroom, and perhaps a dedicated school room as well. As far as back yards go, I’d love to have at least a quarter acre with a big green lawn, a tree or two to climb, a basket ball hoop for the teens, and a play structure for the younger kids. (I may or may not have given a bit too much thought to this. Ahem.)
While there’s nothing wrong with dreaming by itself, inevitably, I get carried away with my wishful thinking, and I begin to covet that which I don’t have. When I start to develop discontentment with my current situation, that’s when sin sets in.
Truthfully, there are moments when I’d rather wallow in my pity instead of chasing discontentment to the curb. It almost feels nice to fuss about my lack of space! And that’s exactly why I need to root out the seeds of dissatisfaction immediately: so that they don’t take deeper root and grow into resentment or bitterness.
I’ve found the absolute FASTEST way to uproot discontentment:
I list aloud all the things I’m grateful for.
It’s that simple. Anyone can do it. It follows the Biblical example of “putting off/putting on.” If I want to put off dissatisfaction, I put on satisfaction. If I want to put off discontentment, I put on contentment. It’s not always the easiest or most popular choice, and I don’t always feel like doing it. But it is completely worth the mental exercise to put off and put on!
When I list out my blessings, I focus on finding the good in the things that I’m most discontented about. For example:
I may wish for a bigger footprint for both my home and yard, but I’m so grateful we have as large a house as we do and that we actually have a usable side yard for the kids.
Our last home only had 2 bedrooms (a small difficulty when you have 4 kids who aren’t all the same gender), but our new house has 3.
The side yard might be small, but many of our neighbors have no yard at all.
We may not have a dedicated school room, but we have a huge living room and places to store all of our textbooks.
And the list of blessings goes on and on. I now have two hall closets, whereas before I had none. I have a brand-new dishwasher, definitely a luxury that’s not always been there. Truly, I have it so, so good!
Before I know it, listing out my blessings has quickly driven out my discontentment. Although I’m often tempted to wallow in my dissatisfaction, deliberately focusing on my blessings instead brings me so much more joy, peace, and contentment than I could ever hope for.
It’s definitely worth the mental struggle to choose gratefulness over grumbling!
Your turn: What areas are you tempted to complain about? How do you uproot discontentment?