I’ve learned a big lesson over the last few years that is blowing my mind and changing my life constantly:
It is simply that there’s nothing wrong with being content.
I mean accepting your current state, and being grateful for where you are and how you are being blessed now.
I mean being present in your life “as-is”, and not always obsessing about the next thing, the new thing, or the different thing.
For years, the walls of my house were bare and things were hardly decorated because I was looking forward to the moment we would find our next house.
It all started with a burglary at the house in 2009, before I moved in. I wrote about it here in the weeks after it happened. That was followed by a severe onset of “the grass is greener” syndrome. I wanted a lush lawn, big fenced-in yard, an immaculate neighborhood with no teenage troublemakers, and furniture and window treatments you’d think were from a Pottery Barn catalog. And I didn’t want to invite anyone over until I got what I wanted, or at least, a lot closer to it.
Then the reality set in — that my dream was just a dream, and may not ever be my reality.
Besides, nothing will ever be perfect.
Not my house. Not my neighborhood. And not my decor– especially with two rambunctious cats (and now a baby I believe is destined to grow into a fearless and curious little girl)
I couldn’t keep trying to float through the life I had on a dream cloud. Instead, I had to live life grounded, and acknowledge the many things our little family already had to be thankful for.
We have each other. We have our health. We have a nice house we can afford, while being able to pay our other bills. We have furniture that looks good and functions well. We have a great support system. And we have the ability to be creative where it counts.
That’s not so bad.
So if nothing else, I needed to embrace that famous phrase from Project Runway’s Tim Gunn and “make it work.”
And that’s what I did.
And continue to do.
In the past, I thought being content meant you had to give up on your goals, put your dreams on hold, and settle.
But it doesn’t.
You can still have goals and work towards them; only contentment helps you stop doing things that can be destructive like complaining, neglecting your current space, or coveting what others have.
In a way, learning contentment can actually prepare you for the future. That’s because when you are content, you can be a better steward of what you have and all the blessings to come in the future. When you focus on what you don’t have, what you do have will never have enough.
In 1 Timothy, the Bible says,
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and cannot take anything out if the world.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7 ESV)
Now because of these words and others, I find freedom in contentment.
I also find room to breathe and live in a house I now call home.
A decorated home that I think fits me and my little family just fine.