The day had finally come, Jill and Tom were moving into their first home. They had spent many years in apartments and living in many different locations, but they were finally settling into an area where they could make memories and lasting relationships. Some of the apartments they had lived in were small and less than ideal, but they were able to make it work. The excitement of all the possibilities this new spacious home offered seemed surreal.
There were many things that were perfect with the home, as well as a few things that needed to be fixed or changed. Their excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to be homeowners gave them the energy and determination to work to make the changes that would occur over time, creating the home they desired for their family. They were quickly welcomed into the neighborhood and invited to dinner at neighbors’ homes. They enjoyed meeting new people, learning from these new friends and gaining knowledge to fix some of the things their house needed.
Over the next several years Jill and Tom were able to make the changes to their home that were desired when they bought it. They were really enjoying what they had created. However, at some point they found themselves growing bored with their home. Several of their friends had moved on to bigger or newer homes and the home that they had spent so much time improving was no longer enough as they watched their friends move on to other things.
We may all find ourselves, at times, growing discontent with something that was great for us. It is not bad to want to improve our situation. But is our lack of contentment leaving us chasing the next big thing we hope will make us happy? This can be exhausting!
Tony Gaskins said, “To be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re thankful for what you have and patient for what’s to come.” So how do we find contentment in life? Life is ever changing and evolving, so being content or pleased and satisfied with things as needs or circumstances change, while trying not to compare ourselves to others or wishing things were different in life, is the balance we are striving to get to.
No one wishes for difficult circumstances, whether it be financial, a new medical diagnosis, or life events such as death or divorce. As these hard circumstances come into our lives, our first thoughts likely are “why me?” or “why this?”. Yet when we go through these situations, if we lean into them instead of away, a new part of us will be born and the experiences will build us into who we are meant to become.
Rachel Cruze taught “Contentment encourages you to walk. To trust that your needs will be met, and your life will be full of joy. Contentment reminds you to fix your thoughts on what really matters and to move toward those things.” So even when the difficult circumstances in life come, we can choose contentment.
What are 3 good things in your life right now? Taking a minute to answer this question is one of the first steps to finding contentment. We all have blessings in our lives, but we can lose sight of them if we do not actively pay attention to them.
Contentment can be found anywhere. It is a state of mind. The environment we are in will contribute to some of our contentedness, but it doesn’t take much to find joy in the little things and be still with them. Where do you feel content at this very moment? Maybe it is your job, making dinner, taking care of someone you love, buying a new home, creating a new space in your home, or reading this article. As we take time to realize the areas of our life where we do feel content, it can help us recognize the areas we don’t and perhaps gives us a chance to reflect on why we feel content in one space and not in the other. This is when we can make some adjustments, and it may just be in the little things.
It is quite possible that we will see that hope, joy peace, purpose, fulfillment, and simplicity have been with us all along. Perhaps it is a new way of looking at life and seeing priceless value that is there for all of us. Contentment is in the little things. Be there, be still, enjoy it!
Jill and Tom had that contentment when they entered their new home. They found contentment in changing things within their home. Perhaps the discontent came as they were missing their friends being in close proximity, therefore moving would not fill that void or discontent, or perhaps it came simply because they lost sight of the good things they still had. As they re-evaluated and reflected, they realized they had created a beautiful home and now had the opportunity to welcome in new and old friends alike into their space to feel welcome, safe, loved and content, using their abilities in what is needed and what matters most. That is where they found contentment.
At Believe, we know that contentment comes through working on things you believe in. We would love for you to join us in finding fulfillment, purpose and peace in the little things, that ultimately bring contentment in working together for good.