I wish I had figured out long ago the secret to contentment.
For years, I pushed through life accomplishing what I thought needed to be done, whether it involved home-schooling my children, volunteering at church, freelancing as a writer, or being a good wife. I am a perfectionist and tried to be the best at every task I tried – often too many tasks, as it turned out.
I was overwhelmed and stressed out, and everyone in my life suffered for it, including myself – body, soul, and spirit. I didn’t take the time to care for my body by eating properly and exercising consistently. I didn’t make the time to love my husband as he deserved. My relationship with the Father was shallow and unsatisfying.
I needed the discipline to weed out what didn’t truly matter; further, I needed the discipline to plant my feet firmly and deeply in what did matter.
Though I didn’t have one particular moment of clarity, I did gradually come to realize that something had to change, or these busiest years of my life would fly by in a blur of stress and frustration. And that would be completely my own fault.
I disciplined myself to say no to many things, even good things. For example, I realized that I didn’t have to fill every ministry need at church. I didn’t have to stay up late watching television or reading a book to unwind. (Going to sleep was better!)
I took time to imagine my ideal life. For me, that meant praying and reading my Bible with intention and focus, as well as exercising with my daughter, every morning. It meant getting up earlier and going to bed earlier. It meant eating less sugar and more vegetables. It meant enjoying little moments with my family rather than always pushing forward into the next thing, and the next.
I haven’t got it all figured out yet, but disciplining myself to say no to certain things, and yes to others, has led to a calm and contented spirit.
I wish the same for you!
Verses to Consider
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33
And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. – John 8:2
But godliness with contentment is great gain. – I Timothy 6:6
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6,7
What makes you happy and content? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.