Thursday, July 8, 2010

Contentment is a Choice

Hope you are all having a great week!

Summer is finally here and we have been having incredibly warm, bright, sunshiny-popsicle days. The garden and flowers are flourishing and I am just trying to keep up!
 Weeds are creeping into every nook and cranny, trying to obliterate my poor little stalks of corn. 
The past few days, I have felt a little undermined looking out my kitchen window each morning...especially when I feel like I just can't catch up.
For the most part, I really don't have daily bouts with being frazzled, but when too many things pile up...oh boy! I know that is my trigger. Overbooking myself and not being able to keep up with the home chores makes me foggy. 

This time of the year is busy, busy for our family! 
Housework, gardening, yard work, helping with the farming, cooking, cleaning, laundry, mowing.
I so enjoy the summer and all of its bounty. 
Canning and freezing are just on the horizon:). I am excited to fill jars with sweet, sticky strawberry jam this week. The aroma in the kitchen is intoxicating. My Arrow and Sugar Ann Peas are flourishing in this heat and will be ready to freeze by the beginning of next week.  We usually eat more just fresh, pod and all! 

Sometimes, though, the work load looks pretty daunting.
I start to feel a overwhelmed, lost and my brain starts to melt like the orange swirl ice cream cones I've been giving the kids that wither in the heat.

Do you ever feel like that? 
 As a mother, we are so very much the HEART and soul of our homes. 
We set the tone and feeling that is recognizable the second someone walks through the door. 
 We set the mood...the ambiance and the entire atmosphere. 
If I am having a bad day, everybody is feeling the pain!
My home is the center of everything and my desire to make it comfortable and inviting really has an effect on how I feel.
If I am at the point where I can't seem to stay ahead of organization, my whole demeanor changes. 
I'm bombarded.
 It's pitiful, really, that I fall into that trap each time. But I know it is a normal part of motherhood. I am not sure I have ever met a Mom who hasn't felt like this once in a while. 

So what about all of this talk about being content?
 I think about it a lot. 
I have come to the conclusion that it is not something that is based on emotion. 
It is a decision
It is a decision to be at peace when everything around you may not be perfect. 
Yes, just saying that makes me sigh.
Because it is harder that way.

It is much easier to give in to emotion and float away on a rainy cloud.
 This also makes me relish the fact that I need to do a comparative amount of weeding in my own heart.
There are days when I have let discord, discontentment, and plain old every day tasks within a beautiful life become a weedy, tangled mess.
And all I really wanted was clean, straight rows.

Good thing God has a green thumb because only a Master Gardener could sort through to find and nurture our new and abundant growth. He ever so softly brings peace to a cluttered mind. 

When my feelings start to say there is nothing to be thankful for, that is when I really need to "up the annie" and start praising God for all of the blessings around me.
 Just focusing on what is good, true, and worthy of praise changes my entire mind set. 

It is something I am trying to make a habit of. 
I think there are many of us out there facing challenges right now. 
I know that my complaints amount to mere grains of salt compared to what others might have to face. 

I read somewhere that if you praise God with your mind, your heart will soon follow.
Oh, they are so right!

So, here is my combat list.
It is really nothing new, but OH do I feel refreshed and out of the fog when I follow the plan of attack:).

1. I focus on the little things.

Kids who helped with the dishes and cleaned their rooms.
Kids who weed:).
Pictures that they drew to show their love.
Kindness in their relationships with one another. 
A thoughtful hug from Hubby.
Peas fresh to eat from the garden {in spite of the weeds}.
Filtered sunshine sitting below our pear tree.
I praise God for all of my blessings!

2. I make lists.

Yes, I am a list maker. 
They make me happy and help me feel like all of this will get accomplished in due time. 
They help me to get back on the path towards staying ahead of things.
I try to start with small goals and then assign a task to each day of the week.
 Usually, I am caught up in no time.
The trick is not to get overwhelmed with the big picture. I like to break everything into small pieces. For instance, if I am worried about trying to clean my house for the week,  I take 15 minutes where I can find it and start small. It might be just straightening the pantry or quickly mopping the floor. I'll move on and try and tackle one room, one task at a time.

3. Just do it.

 Don't think about it too much. Just do it. Way more gets done when my mind is not reeling in how much I need to do. When one task is completed, I am so energized to take on the next one. It is addicting:).

4. I declutter.

Nope. Not a clutter bug! Stuff makes me anxious. 
There, I said it! 
Having less brings peace and contentment. We are a society that promotes acquiring more brings happiness. It is a lie. Try giving away unnecessary items to someone who needs it, or have a yard sale and do something fun as a family afterwards. You will feel so peaceful and your home has a sense of renewal!

5. I get help:).

The BEST kind of help: my kids. We have tried to plant the seed that we are a team and no one person can do it all. Darren and I have worked hard to teach them to take pride in their family, their work, and to take care of their things. Are they perfect? No, and neither am I. We are all a constant work in progress, but we try our best:).

I know that my children will learn most from my example. 
Do I really want them to be discontent with a life that God has blessed them with?
Do I want them to always take the easy road, the lazy path? 
Life is full of challenges to face. 
How we handle those challenges is what gives our children the basis of what it looks like to stay on the right road. 
I want that for my kids so innately and pray daily that we show them what it means to hold strong to God's loving hand. 
He knows what is going to happen in the next second, so what reason do we have to worry? 

It warms my heart to think that even though I may have a muddling day once in a while, the Lord is ready to clean my heart, and make those rows straight and weed-free again:).
He guides me and shows me that everything has a time and purpose.
And I am content.


Bargain Hoot said...

Thank you for that beautiful post...God's love and guidance is so amazing!!!

Robin {keephomesimple} said...

Can I just say amen to everything you just said?!? I'm sooo glad I'm not the only one who feels all of those emotions you just listed and yet it's important to still try and find joy through the journey.

Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva said...

I love your blog. I am passing along the "Beautiful Blogger" award to you! Check out the rules, and pass it along.


The Pennington Point said...

WE are a lot alike, you and I. I love a good list, with the tasks broken down. Then I can do a small job and still something gets marked off the list...oh the joy! I am so glad to have "met" you. Lisa~

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your wise words. I needed to read this tonight. Peace from Him. Beautiful. Blessings to you from Michigan.

Jamie said...

I'm not exactly sure how I got here but this is exactly what I needed to hear tonight! Thanks!

Kate @ Bliss and That said...

Beautiful words and a wonderful, wonderful reminder!! Thank you for this blessing...

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