Contentment: A state of happiness and satisfaction. I like how the definition says “a state.” Like most words of its kind it’s how you live during a time. Much like the word love though, it can be tricky. It’s not just a “feeling” you have because you are happy in that moment. It’s deeper than that and I believe you choose it rather than it being the feeling that just happens to you. It’s just that things get in the way of the choice, which make sticking to it, a little trickier. Contentment is something I always want to live in or with and occasionally I have it for a day here and there but then it vanishes when desire presents itself. It’s funny too how some desires conflict with others and therefore seeking after one negates another and you’re stuck in discontentment.
Discontentment: A longing of something better than the present situation. Better? How do I know that it’s better? The reality is that even though some of my desires seem super awesome and worthy of desire, I have no way of knowing that they really are “better.” And better for who? Me, others, my family, the Kingdom? How in the world would I know? Good thing I believe in and see the real impact of prayer and discernment! The reality is, if I am not content when life is breezy, how can I ever be content in hardship?
There have been probably close to a dozen times that I have begun a post on the battle of “to be’s” in motherhood only it’s just turned into journaling for myself and I felt there was no need for a post after reading this woman’s: http://momastery.com/blog/2013/02/04/friendly-fire-3/ Well said! “To be a working mom?” or “To be a stay-at-home mom” that is the question. It’s the question that I battled last year at this time like crazy and it’s the battle that has reared its ugly head again. I hate it and I hate that it’s trying to mess with my state of contentment! Back off be’s!
I received an email last night about a job that I truly believe I would love! It’s a job that would “fit” well and where I feel like I could be an asset and use my education and passion to hopefully make a positive impact. I enthusiastically told John about it, and I was about to ask to cancel our plans of doing a Dave Ramsey lesson so that I could polish up my resume. After all, this budget stuff would be a lot easier with double our income right? John looked at me like I was some crazy person and without much thought said something like “it’s available now and will be again several years from now when Mahlia and our future child or children are at least in preschool.”
That’s it? No discussion, no weighing the pros and cons? What!? The discontentment snuck in and attacked like a vicious poisonous snack and began to strangle my thoughts and heart. John and I did come back to the discussion after our class and he was more than willing to discuss making major changes to our life and his work so that I could consider a huge change. But, why was I wanting it? Just six hours earlier I strolled the halls of my old school for the first time this school year and chatted with old co-workers and hugged amazing students I miss but confidently and honestly I told those who asked that I’d made the right choice and was happy being at home with Mahlia. So, what happened in those hours that I could suddenly be in such a different “state?” Desire. If it’s not for a day off from the routine, or more income, or adult interaction, or something else to identify with, it will be for something else my nature leans toward or that Satan uses against me. I feel like if I’m not careful discontentment could turn cancerous in my life and grow out of control. So, tonight, I’m choosing to be content. I’m choosing to be grateful for where I am, who I am and what I do, today. I’m choosing to be content with my family, our circumstances and the road we’re on, together. I hope I choose contentment again tomorrow!