Holiness

Finding Contentment with Your Circumstances

Do you struggle with having contentment with your circumstances? I know I do! But we can learn to find contentment whatever our circumstances may be, here's how.

I have 3 beautiful children. Healthy, growing kids. Every day they make me laugh, roll my eyes, they drive me crazy but win me over with their hugs and kisses.

Motherhood wasn’t something I was sure I really wanted. For a number of years, I had been known to say that I didn’t want kids. Shocking to everyone around me because I always had a baby in my arms.

Not soon after our wedding, we decided to start a family.

Before we knew it we had 2 toddlers and an infant. My husband often jokes asking how these kids got here. From the outside, we looked crazy for having 3 kids 3 years-old and under. It was a crazy season. A season that was over before I was even ready.

I enjoyed all of the baby snuggles, every minute nursing my new little one, potty training and discovering a new playground. I loved seeing the world through fresh eyes where everything was new and fun. Yes, I did just say I loved potty training! No more diapers, what’s not to love?

I loved watching my boys become best friends, watching my 4-year-old taking care of his brother, how the boys would rush to make their baby sister stop crying.

On the flip side, I struggled with accepting the cards the Lord had dealt us. Since I love the newborn, baby and toddler years I wanted a whole house full. But God had other plans.

Not one of my pregnancies was easy. All were high risk, we lost a baby and nearly had our second son prematurely with placenta previa. My boys must think of pregnancy as a disease and fought it the entire 9 months. I threw up night and day all the way through. My placentas were always causing bleeding, I dreaded hearing placenta previa at each ultrasound. My daughter’s pregnancy resulted in a ruptured inner water sack break. Apparently, there are 2 layers and the inner layer closest to the baby ruptured around 18 weeks causing quite the scare for the remainder of the pregnancy along with the previa.

My body fell apart after that second pregnancy and my OB told me after that that I should think about being done or have another one but not more. Then when I was pregnant again she reminded me many times that that one needed to be it. When I hit my 6-week postpartum checkup she again said very frankly that she would recommend no more pregnancies. We had to say goodbye to our fertility.

My heart broke knowing that was it. Our quiver was full, despite what my heart was screaming.

I was literally a mess. I couldn’t put my last newborn down. Quite frankly, I have difficulty to this day around pregnant women and newborns. My heart aches for what I cannot have. Others would say “you have 3 beautiful kids, healthy and growing, be happy with that!”.  Thank you, Einstein.

While I am so thankful for these blessings that call me mama, the struggle is ongoing learning to be content with what the Lord chose for us. He closed that door.

Accepting God’s will is sometimes the challenge, isn’t it? We all have our silent struggles, struggles that on the outside look glamourous but behind the curtains you feel the battle raging.

Most of our lives can be put into both the positive and negative column.

  • Positive- 3 healthy, amazing kids
  • Negative- no more babies

What would your’s look like?

Life is all about where you focusing your eyes on. Something cannot be changed. Most things are out of our control.

God wants you and me to learn to be content in our circumstances, not when they improve. p. 29

Do you struggle with having contentment with your circumstances? I know I do! But we can learn to find contentment whatever our circumstances may be, here's how.

Philippians 4:6 gives us the remedy to fix our eyes on the positive and let go of the anxieties of those which we can’t control.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Paul is telling us not worry about anything but to bring those anxieties to the Lord.

Let your anxieties be the springboard sending you to your knees.

You can focus on the negative and be a negative nelly or you can place them at the feet of Jesus. This is a choice that we have to make with each anxiety or situation that makes you feel discontent with how God has arranged things in your life. You can peace over anxiety.

Not only are to pray about everything but we are to do so with thanksgiving. Ouch. That can be a challenge, can’t it?

Thank you, Lord, that you didn’t give me that raise that my family was hoping for. 

Thank you, Lord, for our car breaking down. 

Thank you, Lord, that traffic made me 20 minutes late. 

Thank you, Lord, that You gave me the number of children you felt was the perfect number for our family. 

Thank you, Lord, for a rough financial patch.

Ahem, I don’t think any of us are signing up for that type of praying. Am I right? That type of praise is a sacrifice. Those prayers are often the hardest one to let slip from our lips.

It’s easier to worry, fret, get heartburn, lose sleep,  yell at our husband or friends, the kid, or our roommates than it is to pray. We’ve flip-flopped the biblical prescription, no in belief but in practice. p 30

So we’ve discussed our part when it comes to finding contentment with our circumstances, let’s take a look at God’s part.

The very next verse in Philippians gives us God’s part:

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ‭Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭

If we make the choice to pray over our circumstances, worries and anxieties (verse 6) then God will give us His peace.

You can’t have the peace you long for without the prayer part.

You have to do your part first before God can do His.

If you are anything like me, I’m sure you give it to God and then the very next day you’re struggling with the same anxieties. Maybe it’s not even the next day but 30 minutes later. What then? What if you’re doing exactly what the verses tell you to do, you’ve prayed but you’re still wrestling with it?

The Bible says to cast your cares upon Him. Casting is like fishing. You cast out the line and sooner or later that one is reeled back into you. The cycle repeats. The Lord knows this is true in our lives as well. So each and every time that worry comes back to you cast it back to Him.

Take time to focus on the positives. Write them out, dwell on them, pray and thank the Lord for each and everyone. Take control over your thoughts.

The more you do these things, give your anxieties to God, pray, be thankful, and think about the positives, the more contentment will you find in your heart.  Even Paul needed to learn contentment, as do we.

Contentment is a shift in attitude than a change in circumstances. p.35

It’s not easy to choose content in the midst of rough times, in situations you can’t control, or paths you wouldn’t have chosen if given the chance. If it was you wouldn’t need this post and I wouldn’t have needed this book. Will you make the choice to be content when the next time comes? Or will you choose to dwell on the things you can’t change?

How do you find contentment throughout your anxieties?

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