Sunday, October 28, 2012

Contentment

Tranquility Defined
by Erin Dertner

Contentment drives away anxiety and worry. To be content means to adjust to any given circumstance, however, it does not mean to accept things that are not right. A woman may be content at home, yet not content with unswept floors, unwashed clothes, and an untidy kitchen.  To be content means that she accepts her responsibilities at home, and although the circumstances might be difficult, she will overcome them by prayer and hard work. Smiles and songs add to the plate of contentment, for while she is busy, she is creating pleasantness around her.



Overlooking the Pond
by Erin Dertner

There are some simple things to do, which will strengthen contentment:

Take the time to fix things that are within your ability to fix. I have known young women who started their adult lives in the most discouraging circumstances, but they figured out how to be orderly and clean and have time to develop their interests in art, poetry, interior decorating, gardening, music, and other things. The house and the income may not suit your needs, but it can bring out the best in you if you do what you can.

Work around the limitations and the discouragements. To have true contentment means to do your best to work around  inconveniences which are part of life. Some things will take care of themselves in due time, but do not wait to make life better for yourself and your family. Working around them builds personal fortitude, one of the attributes of good character.


Resourcefulness inspires creativity. This just means using what you have, or learning to do without, if you have to, yet compensating in a creative way.  There are many women in the blog world who have shared their discoveries of how to find free things, or make things at minimal cost. They also know how to help others be more content. Being resourceful means to look at things as resources that maybe you have overlooked. Discarded items may have value in other ways, and they can become resources. The dirt in your lawn or flower pots is a resource that can be used for something good. The scenes around you are resources for art inspiration. People who have learned to be resourceful have discovered contentment.

Use your home as a ministry.  Knowing that someone is going to be influenced by the way you keep house or the way you "sit in your house" (Deuteronomy 11:19) can foster  a feeling of contentment. Knowing there is a potential and a purpose in the home, in the way you live, the way you dress, the way you approach the early mornings, can be reassuring, and create contentment.
Shade Terrace 
by Vail Oxley


Use examples from the past to inspire contentment. The story is told of a woman whose husband's employment caused the family to locate in a relatively remote area of the country.  Though in the beginning the woman was daunted by the isolation and the dismal scenery, she realized that her family might have difficulty adjusting. She set about to make life as beautiful and as pleasant as possible, by engaging in the hard work of improving the place. She planted and watered and created an oasis of her home that exemplified the cheerful hopefulness she believed in. Sometimes travelers would drive by on the lonely highway and slow down toi get a better view of the house and property around it. Eventually, other people in that land took courage from this example and make the best of things where they lived. This took determination, courage, resourcefulness, hard work, and creativity. All those ingredients applied, brought about ultimate contentment, because then, people could enjoy the fruits of their labors. 

Do the things that are the most urgent, and be willing to let other things go.  When I have the Ladies Bible Class in my home each week, I realize it is not within my strength or within time limits, to get the entire house viewing-ready or tour-quality, so I just do the rooms that will be used, and close the doors on other rooms. This sort of approach has to be done with caution, especially when raising children, as they may use the technique as a short-cut and not achieve excellence in cleaning up their own rooms or helping in the general cleaning of the home. In a family, it should be everyone's job to understand the goal of the homemaker and do what they can to help her achieve it.

When life is disrupted and there is chaos, remember small things. Find contentment in a soft wind, the warm sun on your face, hanging the clothes outside on a line, the sound of birds, the beauty of a flower, fresh garden vegetables, the scent of something baking, the moments sitting alone reading, the ticking of a clock. When these things are unattainable, you can sometimes buy plants and fresh bouquets inexpensively in some places.  

Allow some things to be neglected when there are opportunities to do other things. Sometimes we need to take advantage of the season or the time when the sun shines. There will other things that need immediate attention, or there will be events that only come once or twice in a lifetime. While we need to be content at home, there will be chances to do seasonal things or travel, that will not always be there. Contentment means to be happy in whatever the circumstance.

Look back and take note of all the things that you have been discontent about, and see how they faded. If you tend to be anxious, which is the opposite of contentment, you will be able to see God's care over you in the past.

Plan Something. Make plans for an excursion or to host visitors, or to build something, to create something. These plans will involve a lot of steps that help the mind get organized. In doing so, you create contentment just by reaching for a goal.

Pray when restless discontent occurs. Examine the source of it, and, if it is possible to do something about it peacefully, make changes. If not, pray for contentment.

Philippians 4:11-13
... for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.



19 comments:

Lynn M said...

With my love of the country life, it would hard for me NOT to be content in one of the sweet homes you have shown us....look forward to your posting thoughts too..

Anonymous said...

I am homemaking under difficult circumstances right now, in the path of the hurricane and trying to get ready for what is to come. Please pray for us and everyone else in the path of the storm. We are in for a rough time and we are scared.

Anonymous said...

Our family will keep all those in harms way in our prayers.

Lynn M said...

Very succint words of wisdom....thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

This post is most appropriate right now.

Over the past year I have been praying over things that I had no control over and figured the Lord would correct the situations sooner then this. I became discontent when a silly minor thing occurred with my computer this morning.

I asked the Lord to show me why I was so discontent. He showed me that I had not yet come to him for fellowship this morning and had not put on my spiritual armor for the day.

So straight away I got on my knees and repented, asked forgiveness and did the appropriate things.
Sometimes we just need to follow through with spiritual disciplines.

The situations are still the same, but I have peace and am content and can get on with my life. I continue to pray over things that I have no control over and trust the Lord for his timing to correct them.
I realize that satan would have liked to disrupt our home environment by getting me upset.

In Christ Stay Calm And Carry On.
Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

I too will be praying for those in the path of the storm Sandy.

Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, it's as if, sometimes, you know exactly what goes on inside my head! Many are the times that I've had to use these very ways of dealing with myself, as I see the enemy creeping in & robbing me of the sense of contentment.

God has been so good to me, in that He's given me a sensitivity to beauty in small things, & the ability to enjoy them. When you mentioned the soft breeze, or hanging out laundry, it brought to mind the very things I do appreciate on what might seem to outsiders just an ordinary day.

What a fine post....I hope others will take your words to heart.

Also, I send my very best wishes to those in The Superstorm's path. As I write this, I know that it's become, technically, a "Nor'Easter" now. May your communities & neighborhoods rally to each others' needs. God bless!

Brenda

LadyLydia said...

We at home have been praying that the electric and utilities will not be off for long, especially in the cities that depend soley on it. It is a little easier in the country where we can find alternative power, build fires, and catch rain water, but it is more difficult in cities and neighborhoods.

Holly said...

I absolutely enjoyed this post. I had been struggling with contentment in my life as of late, but God has revealed to me reasons in my life to be content- and there are a lot of them!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for this post of encouragement. I am currently living in a state affected by "Sandy" but my husband has also been admitted to the hospital with a rare condition that may cause him to lose his job. I appreciate your post this morning and hope that when I am able to get back to the hospital, I can be a blessing and encouragment both to him and to our 8 children.

budgeteer said...

Thank you for such pretty pictures! Where DO you get them from? And another excellent post. I will be savouring it tomorrow morning along with my little pot of tea.

Bible Babe said...

Bravo yet again! Wonderful wisdom on a subject that is too often overlooked.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

Could you make this post printable, please?

In haste

A

lynn m said...

Lovely home in the seclusion of nature as your headline painting.

a homemaker said...

Lydia, this was beautiful!
Thank you for a most encouraging and wise post.
I will be printing it out to keep in my journal for inspiration on those days that challenge my sense contentment.
bless you

Christine said...

I can always find something powerful in your writings. This is worth rereading over and over agian.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting such a lovely, encouraging article!

Anonymous said...

Lydia,
I have not been to your website for a while. But, I thought it was time to visit. I am so glad I did. Your latest article on contentment was just what I needed.

Anonymous said...

Bless you, Lydia. You will never know what an encouragement your posts are to me.
Right now the kids and I are going through the "Write Upon My Heart" series from Keepers of the Faith. We just finished "Diligence", and now we are on "Contentment". I will read your article to my children too.

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