Lately, I’ve been wrestling with discontentment. My man and I feel so close to our goal of having land and a home. If the Lord, bank and land owner are willing, we hope to move forward in the spring.
But I’m getting impatient. Really impatient! And though I haven’t yet experienced what (I hope) is to come, I can almost feel the upheaval of moving, taste the salty sweat of hard labor, sore muscles that come with building and developing, exhaustion from working long hours.
It doesn’t deter me! Not a lick! I’m hankering for a place to call my own!
Not that our current rental situation isn’t good. I couldn’t ask for better! Really! Truly!
But I want to invest our labor, energy and money into something that gives back. I want to experience ownership over a home and piece of land. I want to tailor things to meet our particular needs, instead of always making due with a setup that once suited someone else!
I’m not getting any younger and we do still hope to have more than one or two children. Problem is, we still feel it would be wise for us to settle in a clean home and prepare the land to meet our needs before making babies. Just sayin’!
Time is slowly slipping away and I want a place to call my own!
Today I was thinking about contentment, realizing how easy it is to overlook what I do have because I’ve become accustomed to the things around me. What once filled my cup with gratefulness, I now (mostly) take for granted.
Yet I was thrilled when we first found our current rental home. The outdoor canning kitchen was too good to be true, as was the cold room. I was more than delighted over the fact that we could both garden and keep heritage turkeys at the end of the property, ecstatic that we were once again living out of town, surrounded by mountains and the beautiful creation of God’s mind.
Recently, I’ve been losing sight of what I do have in the ache for something else.
Something to call my own.
This yearning has been fearfully strong in this ole’ heart of mine. So fierce it was, that I had to stop and consider: was it positive? Is my lack of contentment with my current situation good? Or bad?
I had to chew on it. Like a dog with a bone, I seemed at first to only slobber on the outside of it all. But then, I found one crack here, another there and suddenly, I was chewing the bone with purpose, getting at the marrow…er, the heart of it all.
The longer I thought on it, the more convinced I became: my lack of contentment wasn’t all bad and wasn’t necessarily all good.
It’s a lack of contentment that pushes me forward, toward change. By nature I’m an easy-going person. I really am! I’ve got a tough backbone and can stand my ground (I blame the 4 brothers just above me in birth order!) but overall, I’m easy. My husband has often commented on how easily I am content. All too often, I don’t expect or require enough.
And that can be negative. I sometimes miss out on life’s opportunities and positive growth because of this trait. A lack of contentment in my life is good, even necessary or I’ll sit where I’m at…P-L-O-P! and never move.
Yep. A lack of contentment can be a positive thing.
However, if my lack of contentment leads me to overlook or become ungrateful for what I do have, suddenly its not so good. Ungratefulness tells me I’ve forgotten/brushed aside what I do have. That I’ve become covetous. That I’ve become too focused on things that moth and rust destroy, things the thief can steal.
When it comes to my current home I have so much to be grateful for, even if I’m not perfectly content with everything about our situation, even if I have a deep longing for something of our own.
Today, I choose gratefulness.
I’M GRATEFUL FOR:
-a large home where we can host and help others in need
-generous landlords and an amazing deal: without this we would be several years behind in finances
-the perfect location: in walking distance of town and it takes mere minutes to reach our friend’s homes
-a very large pantry just off the kitchen, though it be painted bubble gum pink!
-the cold room and the years I’ve have to learn and fail
-cold, heat-free entrances where we can also store apples and produce over the winter
-all the garden space we could ever want, along with pre-worked, rich soil
-the ability to raise heritage turkey for meat and now ducks for eggs
-a thick hedgerow that separates us from our very close neighbors and the highway
-space where we can butcher our own animals or the neighbor’s old hens
-maple trees in our back yard that we can tap for maple sap and make syrup
As I write out this list, I’m once again humbled. Gratefulness does wash over me as I recount these things. I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better place. Literally! We have all we need and so, so, so much more.
Renting in a new location has given us opportunity to learn lots, without the pressure that comes when developing land, building a home, etc. We now know where to hunt for our meat and source locally grown food. We understand the quirks of gardening on this land, of pests and positives.
We know (some of) the challenges that come with raising poultry. We’ve even learned how to deal with the skunks that are everywhere and love eating baby birds! Our landlord showed us a special trick for that one…!
We’ve been given an (almost pressure free) head-start.
So while I am discontent and have a longing for something to call my own, I’m also grateful for what I do have. Deeply grateful! And I’m gonna strive to remember this….