Happy Saturday, dear friends. I hope you have woven at least a little bit of time for joy and refreshment into your day. Thank you so much for choosing to spend a few minutes here at Dressed for My Day. Monday through Friday we gab about fashion, beauty and fitness here. But on Saturday the conversation turns to inner beauty. And today we’re talking about the beauty of contentment.
What is Beautiful About Contentment?
Let’s start with the antithesis of contentment. Do you know a woman who always seems to be striving, discontented, unsatisfied? Maybe she complains about her husband incessantly, redecorates her home yearly, wishes out loud that her children had made different choices, deflects compliments because she “should have done more,” shops too much or just never seems at peace. Are you that woman?
I’ve been that woman. And while I’ve learned to be content in so many areas of my life, there are still parts of my life in which I struggle to feel at peace with what I have, who I am. Maybe that’s how you feel, too.
We all struggle with contentment at times. Even the apostle Paul said he had had to learn to be content. It didn’t come naturally for him and that pervasive sense of abiding satisfaction doesn’t come easily for us either.
But a contented woman is a beautiful creature. She is at rest. She isn’t grasping for that which is just out of reach or longing for what is no more. She lives in the moment, fully present, engaged and happy to be right where she is.
A contented woman is able to give more because she isn’t worried about getting more. When you’re around her you can relax because you know she doesn’t need from you more than you can give. In fact, after being in her presence, you’re more content with what you have, who you are, too.
How Can We Learn to Be Content?
Like the apostle Paul, we can learn to be content. First we must recognize that we have a God who gives us every good and perfect gift. He is gracious, generous and rich beyond measure. So we have no need to worry that we are lacking.
But beyond that important foundation, I’ve come up with several disciplines or habits we could develop in order to cultivate contentment.
- Don’t play the comparison game. Whether you come out on top or on the bottom, comparing yourself to others always leaves you frustrated in the end.
- Steer clear of breeding grounds. Whether it’s House Beautiful magazine, the mall, HGTV, Instagram or even this website, limit your time in those places that trigger feelings of discontent.
- Toss that romance novel. Stories of idyllic love cause the embers of dissatisfaction to burn intensely. Maybe look for better reading material.
- Limit your time with big spenders. Most of us have a friend who can afford to spend more than we can. But if your pal’s buying habits are prompting you to want more, you may need to find a different shopping buddy.
- Walk away from whiners. If you know someone who constantly complains about their spouse, job, church, etc., take heed. Negative attitudes and self-pity are contagious. Either change the tone of the conversation or flee.
- Begin your day with thanksgiving. Each morning thank God for some specifics.
- Count your many blessings. Go ahead, name them one by one!
- Keep a biblical perspective. Daily time in God’s Word gives you His take on life.
- Say something positive. Invited to a pity party? Rather than join the festivities, interject a biblical truth or an expression of your faith, and end the conversation there.
- Stay humble. When you do well, realize your success is not about you. It’s meant to bring honor and attention to God.
- Remember, you’re not home yet. When you look at your current circumstances in light of eternity, “the things of this world grow strangely dim.”
- Define your goals and stay focused. If, for instance, you put a lot of your retirement income into a vacation cabin or RV, you must stay focused on that choice when your budget restricts you in other ways. Rejoice in the choices you made and enjoy them.
- Spend time with content companions. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine.”
- Shop with a purpose and a plan. When you budget, shop with a list, scout out sales, and avoid impulse buying, you will be content with your purchases because you have managed your resources, whether great or small, wisely.
- Keep a list of rights, not wrongs. A running tally of your spouse’s shortcomings breeds discontent. Note all of his positives instead.
- Write thank you notes. Writing notes of appreciation is not just a social grace; it’s an exercise in genuine gratefulness
- Strengthen your serve. When you serve others, your eyes are opened to their needs and your own seem less significant.
- Get to know your Provider. The more intimately you get to know the God who has promised to meet all your needs, the easier it is to be content with His provision.
What have you learned about cultivating contentment in your life? If you have tips for living a satisfied life, I’d love for you to share them in the comments.
I actually wrote a Bible study on this very topic. Satisfied…at Last! is actually a Bible study, but it’s changed a lot of women’s lives. You can find out more about it here. You can also order the book there directly from me or you can order on Amazon.
Blessed for My Day
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. ~ Philippians 4:10-12