A couple of weeks ago I began blogging about 5 Keys to Contentment - a list written by Ella Speers that has meant a lot to me over the past few years. That's not to say that I have by any stretch perfected this - quite the contrary, but I am trying.
The first key was never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather.
I love the word "allow" here. This means that you really do have control over what you permit yourself to do. In other words - self-control!
Key #2 is: Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
Our imagination is often times our biggest defeat in life! How many women grow discontent with their homes because they are constantly looking at pictures of what they could have if only they had a newer home, better home, more money, better furniture, a handy-man husband, etc, etc.
We hear of our friends going on cruises and wish we could.
We look at our bank accounts and wish we had more money so we could buy all the stuff we want or feel we deserve. (An easy way to cure discontentment in this area is to refuse to look at store ads and commercials on TV. That's how advertisers get you - they present a product that you never knew you needed, and suddenly you feel you just can't live without it.)
We imagine ourselves with children who are grown and out of the house, and grow frustrated as moms of small toddlers who are in the "terrible-twos" stage (me!) and long for the peace and quiet our friends have.
Many stay-at-home moms feel discontented and useless remembering how fulfilled they felt as career women, while career moms wish they could stay at home with their kids and not miss all those "first" moments.
Worst of all, we often cling to an image we think our husband ought to be - usually a picture of someone we admire, who is a great super-spiritual giant, a handy-man, who works a great 9-5 job that pays super well, who has every weekend free, and an unmeasurable amount of energy so he can help around the house and with the kids without ever growing irritable or tired. And when our non-super human husband fails to fulfill this role we have created in our head (and lets face it - that image can only exist in our head - because it is nothing close to reality!) we grow discontented as his wife. Truth be told, that person we admire, who is based on that image we have, isn't like that either. Just ask his wife!
But, what if we would reign in our imaginations and never allow ourselves to imagine ourselves in any other circumstance than the one we are presently in? What if we threw out all imaginations of perfect husbands, perfect homes, and utopias and chose to enjoy what we have and live in the moment we are given? We would be the most contented people on earth.
Let's start today by taking control of our thoughts. As Paul said, "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
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