Choosing contentment and forgoing perfection

So this is coming to you a bit late. I sat down New Year’s Eve and reflected and journaled, and that’s what this is based on. I tweaked it when I presented a devotional to my women’s Bible Study and so I thought I’d share that version with all of you.

I regained the fifteen pounds I lost last year. My counter tops aren’t granite or my appliances stainless steel. My kids don’t keep tidy rooms and they ask how much of my cooking they have to eat each night to get dessert. I feed my kids processed snacks sometimes. My windows and doors are full of smudges and I dust maybe twice a year. My life, my body, my house, my kids, aren’t perfect, and that’s perfectly ok. There was a time I strived to look like the bikini model, to have a home that Chip and Joanna would approve of and to constantly be striving for “better”. Maybe it’s time, maybe it’s my age, but I actually don’t mind my house being a bit outdated as long as it’s well cared for and cozy. I might not even mind a couple extra pounds if it means I have a healthy relationship with food. And my kids might not be the tidiest or play on the iPad more than I’d like, but tonight, I watched them play together in the basement, trying to pass the time until midnight. I watched my son try to drink Martinelli’s from an oversized martini glass. We worked on puzzles and played Mario Cart and took down Christmas decorations.

It was easier for me to see the blessings in that ordinary imperfect day, somewhat because I was content in it’s imperfection.

I pray we don’t miss the beauty in our lives today, because they aren’t our definition of perfect. I pray we see God’s blessings in the mundane, in the ordinary and even in the chaos. There’s a big part of me that wants to live in the countryside, with horses in my backyard and a huge garden and small town streets. It’s too easy to let the constant traffic and crowded stores and restaurants plant themselves in me as resentment and ungratefulness. I may not live in the country, but we are cleaning out part of our shed and making a chicken coop. I may not have horses in my backyard, but God gives me opportunities like Wind River Ranch to scratch my itch.

There is power of contentment and finding beauty no matter what’s going on around you and no matter what your life looks like now. That doesn’t mean life is always beautiful, but there is always some beauty in it, even if it means you have to dig for it. Philippians 4:11-13 says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situations 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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

No matter what your day looks like today, don’t forget to stop and look for those nuggets of glory, those moments you can savor, even if it feels like everything else is a tornado around you.

Let’s embrace the beauty in the mess.


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