“If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches.” (Maria Rilke)
You know, I used to be quite the romantic. In the two weeks that we lived at Greystone House, I’ve felt that part of me stirring up again. It’s almost as if it took a series of less-than-ideal living circumstances for me to realize just how much of my daily joy and happiness was based on the aesthetic of my home, on comfort and readily-available conveniences I had grown so accustomed to.
I needed to do better.
Intentional or not, it’s what we’re taught from a young age: When we achieve a stress-free, comfortable life, when we fill our life with the right amount of conveniences, when, when, when – oh, THEN life will be good.
We spend our entire life postponing joy with this internal dialogue, “I will finally be content when…”
But friends, the conclusion of our current less-than-ideal circumstances will not cure our grumbling heart. There will always be another “When…” to overcome.
Life isn’t about being comfortable; it’s about finding contentment regardless of our circumstances. The secret lies in trusting Him who has brought you thus far to complete the work He started in us.
Philippians 4:11-13 says, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Mundanity is not the problem. Our circumstances aren’t the problem. The aesthetic of our home – or lack thereof – isn’t the problem. The problem is our heart posture. The problem is our inability to see richness, to see blessing, to see beauty in our current circumstances when they differ from what we imagined for ourselves.
1 Timothy 6:6-12 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
I tell you, the two weeks we spent living at the Greystone House – and now, this transition to full-time RV living – has been such a blessing in ways I never expected. None of it is without its challenges, mind you, regardless of how it may look on Instagram.
Our less-than-ideal living circumstances heightened my awareness of my inner grumbling. Those two weeks truly opened my eyes to the sacredness of a quiet cup of coffee on the empty porch long before the rest of the world is awake, or a home-cooked breakfast with the family gathered around the kitchen island, or a rainy Sunday with my children.
It’s all so mundane – yet so very special, you know?
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness. It’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” Brene Brown
The apostle Paul tells us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
It doesn’t start when you’ve finally renovated that kitchen of yours, or bought that dream homestead, or when you finally have space to plant that garden or make bread from scratch. It definitely doesn’t start when your house finally looks “worthy” enough to be shown on Instagram.
Friends, it starts where you are.
In the musty basement apartment with no windows…in the tiny rental with no yard…snuggled on the mattress on the floor in the empty house.
Let’s be grateful for our current circumstances. They are an essential part of our story, the backdrop of our most treasured memories. They are full of opportunity to learn, to grow, and to teach our children contentment.
Surrender your dreams and your worries to the One who carries it all anyway. Be okay with God’s timing being different than yours. Let go of societal expectations, of entitlement that you deserve something more, and watch God change your heart.