Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Slaying of Discontent

"Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands." - Proverbs 14:1

Our move to Florida 11 years ago made me realize what a discontent person I had become. In fact, I cannot wait until this year's retreat to hear BA's mom speak on contentment! I have learned so much, but there's so much more I need to learn.

As a newlywed and later a new mother, there were many things I did to destroy contentment. The biggest wound, however, came from being ungrateful. When did I stop being thankful for the things I had and continually long for the things I didn't have?

When we moved to Florida and were forced to do without so many things, I began to see material goods in the light of their true value. I was amazed at what I could live without, and my eyes were opened to all the STUFF I had - so much that I couldn't even care for it - and yet I still thought I needed more.

The things I did to feed my discontent were:

Pour over catalogs
Subscribe to magazines
Tour model homes
Get decorating books from the library
Watch television
Go window shopping
Read romance novels (even "Christian" romance!)

By pouring over catalogs, I was convincing myself that I needed the items on the pages.

By subscribing magazines showcasing beautiful homes, I began to see my home as shabby and ugly. This led to constant rearrangements of furniture, an endless search for home decorating items that only collected dust and eventually looked dated, and no attempts to beautify my home with the items I currently had.

Do I even have to talk about touring model homes? Both in the desert and here in Florida, I would walk through and dream of the "some day" when that gorgeous home would be mine with everything perfectly placed. I became an expert at room function and could even look at them with a critical eye; my home would have this, but never that.

Watching television made me lethargic and irritable. Still does, when I watch an occasional show on line.

Window shopping taught me that my clothes were ugly and outdated, and that I needed to feel badly about my appearance. Window shopping at a furniture store made my couch extra lumpy/bony/dirty.

I'm glad I caught the destruction of romance novels early on. Because the men in the books were so romantic, I was unable to see even the smallest efforts Himself was making. No wonder he gave up!

If I think back to my childhood, the homes I enjoyed the most never changed. I loved them because I was welcomed with open arms, the mom was cheerful and loved to do things with the children, and people spoke to each other with kindness.

I know that God is sovereign, but I also pray I have not damaged my children with my discontent. I hope they have seen me as a sinner saved by grace, and a woman who is continually learning and growing in the Lord. I have stopped doing the things listed above, or at least read magazines that are helpful (I love Real Simple!) and not feeding discontent. I pray I can make efforts to further embrace my role as housewife and mother; I want home making to become my craft and profession, and not just a stop until the kids are grown and gone. I feel fortunate that Himself loves and encourages me in my roles. In fact, when the kids are grown and gone he hopes to become even more of a "kept man" than he is now! With the 20 years he's put in as sole provider, I think maybe he's earned it.

He once asked me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A grandmother."

"Right on!"

Back off ladies. He's mine.

1 comment:

BA said...

Too true! I, too, am in need of my mom's retreat :-).


DaisypathAnniversary Years Ticker