I've written and re-written this post several of times. In my head. As I'm cleaning, wiping bottoms, making meals, etc. And it has morphed each time into something different. I wonder how it will come out when I actually write it!?
The conclusion I've come to, in all my musings about contentment, is that it's not a place, it's a journey. A constant journey. You can never just be there and settle in because it's opposite will creep in and catch you unaware.
For example, in my life it has a lot to do with money-or lack thereof. I know. Money isn't everything. But it sure helps when the bills come due or you'd really like to get out of your house and do something. I will think I've made peace with our "station" and I'll be going along contentedly-even, dare I say it, happily-until someone gets a newer, bigger house. Or goes on a vacation. Or...or...or. You get the picture. Then I have to start all over again. Sigh...
Even the desire (almost need) to move somewhere else gets me. I found out the other day that someone is moving to North East Texas...I wanna go! But it doesn't have to be there...anywhere! Although I think it all stems from the financial thing. And from the long, intense hot summers here. Generally speaking, I prefer heat over extreme cold (if I have to choose. I'd rather have neither...but I do live in the real world.)
Scripture says: Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid" (Hebrews 13:5-6) (emphasis mine). That is my command from God!!!
Now, I don't think it's wrong to strive to better yourself and your home and your "station" in life. But that should not be your focus.
Another thing that can help immensely is to count your blessings. One by one. Really. I have so many. I have so much more than shelter. My house may not be fancy or big, but it definitely provides us: shelter, relief from the heat in the summer, warmth in the winter, a place to get clean and a place to eat and wash our dishes....so much more. I have a nice car! One that holds all of us and is safe and also provides air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter! And those are just a few of our material blessings. That says nothing of a husband that loves me and comes home every evening. Four children that really, overall are pretty good kids! A family that helps us and supports us. So many things to be thankful for!
So, yeah. This post took on a whole different slant than here than where I thought I was going to go with it. But I think it served it's purpose. It helped me to concretely say that contentment is mine to CHOOSE. Every day. Not somewhere I can get and say "I'm here. I'm content." But something I will choose each and every day.