Finding contentment can be a long and hard road for some of us. Especially when we love to decorate our homes. Don’t you just love to look through home decorating magazine photos? It’s always inspiring to peruse through the latest Country Living magazine and Pottery Barn Catalog. Sometimes I struggle with contentment…Tonight I look over at the gaping tear in the back of my sofa, which I have to cover with a throw blanket so I can ignore how bad it really looks. My sofa has now become lumpy and uncomfortable since it’s lost its shape to the point that we stuff pillows behind our backs, to keep ourselves upright!
Contentment wars with reality
We need a new sofa (well actually all new living room furniture,) but other things have been more pressing for us. Just this week our transmission in our car went out, and there went that sofa money I was saving up. So we will wait a little longer, because that is reality-that is life. I long for my house to look like those glossy magazine images, but that home exists only in my imagination. My reality is that I live in a house with three active boys. We home school, and we are all over each other every day. If I strive for the perfect magazine photos I would be so stressed and none of us would actually be truly living here. As a family, we occupy every room of our rather small farmhouse, there is no dead space here. You won’t find any open concept rooms, no walk-in closets, no large laundry room, or master bedroom suite. Those kinds of rooms just won’t exist at this point in my life or maybe ever.
Contentment is a journey
My reality is that my home doesn’t look anything like those rooms, because even though I have a torn sofa, that sofa is where I sit every day to read aloud to my boys as we snuggle up and spend quality time together. My kitchen may have mismatched appliances, and an outdated sink, but it’s where we sit around the table and share a meal. But in that same kitchen, we laugh, I bake cookies, and we join hands each supper meal to pray and thank God for the roof over our head and the floor beneath our feet. Our farmhouse might be small and quirky and old and charming all at the same time, but I wouldn’t trade it for any magazine perfect palace, because it is home. This is where my contentment settles in.
Contentment tells the story
In our home the memories that are made, meals shared, muddy boot walks, and the tears wiped are what really matters at the end of the day. My kids won’t remember whether I chose a perfect shade of paint for the bedroom wall, or if I picked out the right flooring for the living room, but they will remember whether I had contentment and was happy in my home. I want them to remember the daddy wrestling, the mommy hugs, and that we shared laughter and fun in the midst of the imperfect house. I always tell my boys that practice makes progress. So that is the philosophy we take on for our home improvement projects. We don’t strive for perfection here, because perfect doesn’t exist. I found this quote the other day, and had to share it with you.
“Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. “
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Contentment brings peace
Maybe you feel discouraged with your home, like I have. Maybe your living conditions aren’t ideal or what you want right now, and just maybe you are like me, who has to each day keep counting my blessings instead of the amount of home improvement projects that have to be done. What if we could just live in contentment, knowing that all we have is all we need, and strive for creating a home not a magazine photo.