I have struggled with contentment over the years. It is definitely an up and down battle for me. I get control of it, feeling like I live in a place of gratitude and then I go right back. I want more and feeling like life’s given me the short end of the stick.
A few things that have helped me stay in a place of contentment while being more grateful for the blessings God has given me.
I heard a story a few years ago that made a big impact on me. There was a couple that moved out of their apartment and bought their first home. They loved it, it was perfect and they were amazed at how much God had blessed them.
It was a small home in a beautiful neighborhood but, it was all theirs and they felt it had more than enough room for them. They were on top of the world.
Soon after they were invited to dinner with their friends from college. When they arrived, at the friend’s home it had a long driveway that led right up to a massive home. The couple was the same age and had acquired much more. They didn’t understand how this was possible.
After dinner, they drove home quietly as they both were feeling sad. Their new home now seemed and looked pitiful compared to the mansion. Within a few hours they went from being on the top of the world, amazed by God to feeling like God wasn’t being fair, feeling sorry for themselves for not being farther in life.
I have totally been there.
I have felt like the world’s most blessed woman and amazed by all that God has given our family. I have been in love with my home, my life, grateful for my husband’s job, feeling like we have more than enough.
Then, I would go and be around women who would only talk about money and how much they make or spend. These women worry about going broke even though they are in the top 10% of this nation. They have large savings accounts that they never felt was enough. My attitude would change dramatically. My view would change to thinking… I need a bigger house, bigger bank account, better cars and better jobs.
Over the years, I’ve realized the danger of having all of your friends share the same “bubble” or same income class as you. Whether that is middle class, very wealthy, or struggling to put food on the table. Make a point to befriend those who are not in the same place as you. It changes your perspective and can challenge you as well.
I’ve spoken to so many women in the upper middle class. The “problems” and things they “stress” about are just shocking to me but, that’s because, I’ve been in a place of having very little before. So, as our income increases I still don’t forget where we started.
Watch documentaries, read books, help out those in serious need and your perspective of your own life will change dramatically.
Watch shows like “Hidden America” on ABC, showing how most of America lives. Read books like “Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a world of Consumption” by Jeff Manion.
If those types of scenarios describe you today, know that God will provide all that you need. He has provided so many miracles for us and we have held tight to Psalm 37: 25 ” I am young, now I am old but I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.”
He will take care of your family. He will provide for you. Trust Him.
Comparison really is the killer of joy and contentment. The truth is that our house isn’t huge but, it is more than enough for us. We aren’t in the top 10% but, we make enough to meet our needs and many of our wants too! We might not be able to take crazy trips out of the country every year but, we can still take our family on a vacation every year.
I’ve realized the key to staying content and grateful to all the blessings that God has given me is by counting them. Constantly listing and reminding myself of them. When I do, I can’t help but praise God for all He has done. In many ways, this world is all about money, selfishness and materialism.
Our sense of feeling “blessed” should not have anything to do with money.
We often equate God’s blessings to prosperity and wealth.
He is so much greater than that. He blesses us in so many more ways than that. The greatest blessings I’ve experienced in my life aren’t monetary but, things money can’t buy.
They are the health & life of my kids, being able to be a stay at home mom, having a man that I truly love to spend this life with, having great friends, a great relationship with my extended family, an amazing church, and I could go on and on.
If we had a mansion, a jaguar and a million dollars in the bank but, I hated my husband, my child had cancer and my friendships were all superficial, I would trade it ALL in a snap for this life right here.
This beautiful life.
So, today I encourage you to stop comparing and start counting the many ways you are blessed and you will find that you have more than you need. God is a good God and He loves you dearly. He blesses all of His children. Not one more than the other. The blessings you have are the ones that so many people would love to have.
Enjoy them. Be thankful. You have enough. You are enough. You are blessed.
*For more articles on faith, check out ” How I’m letting go of perfection.”