Contentment is a learned skill.
I am still adjusting to the stay-at-home-mom gig. I commend those who make the choice to stay at home their top priority. But, it was never part of my plan. Nor was the unexpected illness that put me here. My unexpected journey required numerous adjustments. The adjustment from a dual income to a single income resulted in the downsizing of our home. My health decline also meant we needed to search for a one-story, potentially wheelchair accessible home. Our children said goodbye to their friends of ten years at a private school and enrolled in public school. We had a complete re-shifting of financial priorities. I am several years into my new role. I thought I would have adjusted to my new gig by now, but, honestly, I still struggle.
During the transition to our new home in 2017-2018, I read The Resolution for Women, by Priscilla Shirer. Priscilla instructed readers to pen these words on an index card and attached it to the front of their fridge.
“I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portions of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment.”
—Priscilla Shirer, The Resolution for Women
Contentment is a new skill I’m learning to develop. Like any new skill, it requires frequent repetition, trial and error. The first summer in our new home, our neighbor excavated their backyard to make way for an in-ground pool. I am embarrassed to admit the stinkin thinkin thoughts that welled up. Thoughts such as, Oh great, we have to sell our lake house and our neighbors have the money for a pool. I had to take these thoughts captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and practice contentment.
Learning to embrace this new season of life.
As the bulldozers excavated my neighbor’s yard, God excavated my heart to make room for contentment. I had to choose to let go of life’s disappointments and learn the new skill of contentment. Why? Disappointment points to lack whereas contentment turns what we have into enough. Now, I recognize we live in a great neighborhood, and we adore our neighbors. In fact, we have two neighbors with pools and an open invitation to swim anytime.
More than being content to swim in my neighbor’s pool, I had to learn to practice the skill of contentment. I had to learn contentment with what I had, where God led me, and what was ultimately in my hands. This required God’s tender compassionate bulldozer to excavate my fragile heart. These verses resonated in my heart during this time of gentle excavation:
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
Overwhelmed by all the changes in our lives, I recited this daily prayer, “Lord, find me faithful. Amen.”
This simple prayer kept me focused on honoring God with my hands, rather than comparing myself to others.
Daily prayer for contentment.
The prayer, “Lord find me faithful,” keeps me focused on what God has called me to do. The learned skill of contentment synchronizes with gratitude. Contentment and gratitude are learned skills. When sharpened with daily use, they can usher us into the presence of heaven.
Friend, whatever your circumstance, may your hands and heart be found faithful to the Lord.
© 2020 April Dawn White