Finding Contentment in Your (Not So) Dream Home

cottage

My dream home is a small, cozy cottage with a screened in porch and a huge backyard. Just enough room for everyone to be comfortable, but not so big that we don’t ever see each other. It’s in walking distance to shops and restaurants. The crime rate is low, and so is the traffic.

Guess what!

I live in a three level town home, with no backyard, and tons of traffic.

There are days when my attitude about it just down right stinks.

But, what if I lived in my dream home? There’s a part of me that thinks I would finally feel satisfied…but I think that “part of me” is actually lying. I’m sure there would be a countertop that needed replacing, bathrooms that needed updating, and of course – dirty dishes in the sink are a given!

The truth is, I believe the majority of us are not living in our “dream home”…or if we are, there’s still that one thing we would change if we could.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think dreaming, updating, and decorating are wonderful, and actually healthy.  But, there is a difference between dreaming, and being just plain discontent.

Discontentment (noun):  a restless desire or craving for something one does not have.

Restlessness is not something that I want describing my life.

I want my life and my home to be characterized by peace.  Before I got married, my mom gave me the book “Let Me Be a Woman” by Elizabeth Elliott.  In it, she says,

“You can create a climate for him (the husband) according to your attitude…The home you make and the atmosphere of that home is the world he comes back to from the world of his work. Let it be a place of beauty and peace.”  

This quote was huge for me.  I realized that my attitude made the biggest difference in the temperature of my home.  I could choose to make it warm and inviting, or cold and harsh.

I think there are some practical things we can all put into practice daily in order to gain correct perspective.  Here are a few:

  • Begin each morning thanking God for your home. It only takes a few minutes thinking about the rest of the world to realize how blessed we are.  I recently read that the average american household is wealthier than 93% of the world.
  • Invite friends into your home regardless of how messy it seems. I was told early on that when people come over, they don’t remember the mess, they remember how you made them feel.
  • Find one tiny space in your home to be your haven.  Maybe it’s your favorite chair.  Go there when you are feeling overwhelmed by laundry, dishes or just need “you time.” Light your favorite candle, grab a fluffy blanket, and start thanking God for the little things that happened that day. It’s amazing how gratefulness can completely brighten your mood.
  • Get enough sleep, if possible.  There is nothing like sleep deprivation to get me on a rant about everything I dislike about my house.  Sometimes a nap is all I need!
  • Focus on the parts you love.  I love that I have a fireplace in the kitchen.  I love that our kids get along and like sharing a bedroom.  I love that we have a ton of natural light.
  • Embrace the things you want to change, but can’t.  I grew up with a yellow bathroom. The sink, the tile, the toilet, the bathtub…everything was yellow.  We did not have the money to renovate, but instead of complaining, my mom went to work making that bathroom as cute as can be.  She created a beautiful space out of something that she would have loved to change.

Are you struggling with discontentment with your home?  I feel ya.  I have to choose contentment daily.

For me, when it comes down to it, my hope and contentment is ultimately found in Jesus.  He is the only one who truly satisfies.

Have a great week everyone!

Steph

 

 

4 comments

  1. Wendy says:

    Well said, Stephanie! I distinctly remember sitting with your mom at her home, telling her about how Haggai 1:3 had completely convicted me about my discontent over my own “three level townhouse.” Every once in a while (not as often as I should!), I re-read that passage as a reminder!

Leave a Reply

*