How to Find Contentment on a Daily Basis

October 17, 2018

How to Find Contentment on a Daily Basis

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. - Philippians 4:11 NIV

Last week we talked about the anxiety-filled “what ifs”. Now let’s look into “what ifs” sister, “if only.” While what if is rooted in fear, if only’s foundation is discontentment.

I remember the years leading up to meeting my husband like they were yesterday. I had a fun job, worked with amazing people, spent time with incredible friends who always had me laughing, and lived within a mile of some of my closest family members. From the outside looking in, you might even say I was happy. But that couldn’t be further from my truth.

Happiness from my viewpoint only included a husband. While God had blessed me with more than I could’ve ever imagined, I had a fixed viewpoint of what I wanted and wasn’t willing to accept anything less. What’s more, I was telling God I was content in the hopes I could trick him into sending someone into my life sooner. But with my actions and my emotions, I was saying, “Things are good, but…..”

It wasn’t until years later when I married my husband that I realized the “if only” perspective didn’t go away when we said, “I do.” The mindset only grew worse. I wanted desperately to be settled but found myself following up every blessing or good thing in my mind with another requirement for my contentment.

“If only he’d affirm me the way I do him. If only he’d plan more date nights. If only he’d pursue me the way he used to.” As the list grew longer, my perspective only worsened. My discontentment became my gateway drug to resentment, loneliness, and bitterness, only pulling me farther from my husband and my joy.

What was I missing? What could I do differently to beat the if only disease and find joy? I needed to cultivate gratitude.

Paul’s letter in Philippians chapter 4 is very specific about his contentment. He wasn’t finding peace from God in only the good or satisfying situations. He was seeking and finding the good when he was hungry, sitting in jail and in danger. He was thinking about things that were excellent and praiseworthy. His gratitude and the deepening relationship he had with God resulted in his contentment.

Over the past few months, I’ve made a point to start my day with gratitude right off the bat and it’s made a massive difference in my mood and in my marriage. By taking my eyes off my circumstances and lifting them up to the Lord in thanksgiving, I’m finding joyful contentment on a more consistent basis. And I found the more joy I have, the more it spreads to my environment, resulting in even MORE joy.

I once had a mentor tell me that contentment is a moving target. While that statement encourages me to not lose hope when I have down times directly following great ones, I have to add to it. Contentment may be a moving target, but it’s a target we should wake up and aim for every day. Even when we miss the bullseye, we’re creating the muscle memory to seek it no matter what our circumstances look like.

Challenge: Create a practice of cultivating gratitude every day. Set aside 10 minutes to journal what you’re grateful for every morning, and put a reminder on your phone to reflect on each day’s goodness every night.

Also in Wheatful Woman Blog

Give us strength to persevere
Give us strength to persevere

March 22, 2023

Today, when we find ourselves overcomplicating, overthinking, overdoing, and striving, ground us in your truth, God. Give us strength to persevere in the things we’re working towards this year, but remind us often of what really matters. Keep our eyes fixed on you when distractions come our way. Help us to not miss the dozens of opportunities you’ve given us today to practice love with the people around us. Help us to make space in our lives to experience your love first today and as your lo...

View full article →

Postpartum "must haves" for mama & baby

March 19, 2023

Some of my favorite things I didn't know I needed the first few weeks postpartum. I pray this helps one expecting mama out there (or a friend or family member looking for the latest things to help during newborn life!) to have something she didn't know she needed in the crazy of those first few weeks with your newborn!

View full article →

Today's Climb
Today's Climb

March 15, 2023

Lord, we all find ourselves facing obstacles and challenges today. We’re all trying to figure things out and find ourselves failing and falling often. Help us to see the rocks before us today as opportunities. May we confront them today with confidence as we experience your grace and goodness in them. Help us to extend grace to those around us, too, knowing that everyone is facing their own “climb” today. Thank you for reminding us that we’re surrounded by fellow rock climbers and are not al...

View full article →