How can I be content when this season of my life just totally stinks?
If you haven’t slept eight hours straight in weeks (or years!), this post is for you. If you can’t find contentment because your life is a terrible, awful mess, this post is for you.
If you have bills piled high on the counter and a lot of zeros in the checking account, this post is for you.
It’s also for anyone who is being literally smothered to death by small children, health problems, marriage struggles, or relationship issues.
If every single one of those things has landed upon you simultaneously, then let’s have a nice little chat.
I know you want to have a great attitude in the midst of the struggle. I get it. You’re not trying to mope around and spread gloom and despair. You see that Pinterest meme that says life isn’t about avoiding the storms, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
And you want to believe that’s possible, but your life is this terrible, complicated mess and all you want to do is have three free hours to nap. And then you want to be able to afford to buy some really cute shoes.
You’re not asking for much.
You just want a little bit of quiet time and a little bit of money to go further than the basics. You’d love to find contentment, but your season of life really
sucks stinks and you are sick to death of it.
I’ve been where you are. I was once a young mother with little money, a little house, and very, very little sanity. I felt stuck and crazy, and this was because I was stuck and crazy. There was no getting out of our situation unless a nanny and a trillion dollars fell from the skies.
I had no choice but to plug along, day after day, making the best decisions I could with what I had. It felt like things would never lighten up.
Contentment (and a better life!) can be sneaky
Here’s the thing– while I trudged along through the endless days, things did lighten up. The kids learned to sleep through the night and eat regular food and then they went to school. My sanity returned and eventually our finances balanced out.
I’d like to offer you a miracle cure to fast-track you through this season of life, but I can’t. I can only tell you this secret– it’s the trudging that eventually makes all the difference. Trudging along is really a thousand little choices every day that feel inconsequential all by themselves. Really, no one notices if you wipe a snotty nose a hundred times a day or restrain yourself from that $6 latte again.
You might be tempted to think those little choices don’t matter.
But, my friend, you’d be wrong. It feels like we’re going nowhere, but really every single one of those actions is digging us a little bit further out of the muck.
It’s the sum total of all those steps that makes the difference.
One day you look around and realize you’re in a better, more wonderful place. But you wouldn’t have gotten there without the thousands of tiny steps each day. You’ve found contentment, inch by agonizing inch.
We pay off debt with each individual dollar that isn’t spent other places.
We love our children with a hundred hugs and a million kind words. Also, many bags of goldfish crackers and trips to the park.
Marriages are healed with many gentle responses and so, so many words bitten back.
I know it feels endless and hopeless. But don’t underestimate the value of the tiny things in this very season of life. They might be the very things that change the future.