This morning my daughters were fighting over Mardi Gras beads. My youngest had two beads, and my oldest only had one. In my eldest’s mind, it simply wasn’t fair that her sister had more than she did. She was insisting that my youngest hand over one of the necklaces, so I had to intervene:
“You will never be happy in life if all you ever do is complain about how someone else has more than you do. The only way you will be happy is to appreciate what you already have.”
As the words tumbled out of my mouth, I was hit with serious conviction in my own heart. I’ve been going through a major season of discontentment … like a two-year season …
Only Seeing Negative
Ever since moving into our 1960s fixer-upper nearly two years ago, I’ve complained about it.
My kitchen and bathrooms are so outdated. I don’t have enough counter space or power outlets in my kitchen. I wish we had an open floor plan. My appliances don’t match. I can’t wait to gut this house.
I have spent hours on Pinterest and Instagram lusting after beautiful designer kitchens and bathrooms, and I have a binder full of floor plan sketches that I think would work better for this house. I am constantly looking at what is wrong with my home and how to fix it, rather than appreciating all that it is.
A Change in Mindset
Instead of focusing on what my house lacks, I want to see the positives. My home is a safe place for my family to live with running water, electricity, and heating and air conditioning. The backyard is huge with tons of room for my girls to run and play. It’s in a great neighborhood with a fantastic public school less than a mile away. These basic luxuries alone are more than a lot of people could ever hope for.
The kitchen may not be the best layout with the nicest appliances, but it has been exactly what I’ve needed in order to prepare meals for my family and gather with loved ones. My bathrooms may have blue bathtubs, but my girls don’t care what color the tub is as long as the bubbles are overflowing and the toys are plenty. I may not have an open floor plan, but that just means my little family gets to feel extra cozy in whichever room we are spending time in.
Attitude of Gratitude
This afternoon, I found out that a woman from my old church lost her husband in a helicopter crash as he was headed off-shore. He left behind his young wife and three children. I was convicted and humbled even more by my discontentment. I quickly realized that not only am I thankful for this quirky old house, but I’m incredibly grateful for my husband who has worked and continues to work so hard for us to have this home. And I’m thankful for the sweet babies that I get to raise and make memories with in it.
At the end of the day, none of the material stuff matters. If I continue to live in a state of discontent, I will miss the experience of truly appreciating everyone and everything that God has given me.