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the struggle of contentment ...

Friday, January 25, 2013

One of the things I struggle with most is contentment. It's not that I'm unhappy - quite the opposite, really; this season of life has been incredibly joy-filled and continues to be. I genuinely love my life, it's just that there's always that anticipation in my heart for more ... for the next phase ... for greater, bigger, better. I'm sure there are lots of definitions for the word "content" but, for me, it means being satisfied. It means having your heart in a place where you are able to look at your life and think "yup. This is enough. This is more than enough. There may be better but if this is all I get, then I am blessed."

Oh sure, there are areas where it's easy to find contentment. I am perfectly content with my husband, thank you very much, and I'm not looking to trade him in for someone better because I believe I've already got the best guy on the planet! But then there are other areas where being at a place of true contentment would be nothing short of a miracle. My hips, for example. I am far from content with my body, and that's all I'm gonna say about that.

When it comes to contentment, one area where I've found myself struggling is with our current home and living arrangements. We are SO crazy blessed to have a two-bedroom apartment in our favorite part of the city. If you're familiar with Vancouver real estate at all then you know that it's not cheap to live here. To have found such a great apartment at such an affordable price is incredible. We're still putting finishing touches on our home's decor and there's still work to be done but, overall, we've got a darn good thing going on here.

Friends come over and tell us how fortunate we are to have so much space and even a balcony!  My girlfriends tell me often how much they love what I've done with the place. This home is more than enough for the two of us ... and still, every now and then I let discontentment creep into my spirit.

I whine about how unfair it is that my Montreal friends pay less in mortgage than we pay in monthly rent. I think about how inconvenient it will be when we have a baby and we need to move our office into the living room area ("will there even be enough space for that? Probably not. It's gonna look terrible!") When I'm elbow-deep in soap spuds doing dishes I find myself wishing we had a dishwasher. The neighbours upstairs are too loud, the guy next door smokes pot, the laundry room is always occupied and for crying out loud we can't even see the snow-capped mountains from our dining room!! (The fact that we can see them from our balcony often goes unmentioned and unappreciated)

For the past few months I've been dreaming and scheming about how awesome life will be when we buy our condo or townhouse. In doing so, I've been completely missing out on the joys this current apartment offers. I'm so thankful that my heart has been changing, albeit slowly, and that I've been appreciating our home more and more. The more I consciously tell myself to be content, the more blessings I notice and the more loveable, cozy quirks I find. This is home, and it is wonderful. Imperfect, but wonderful.

Contentment. It's a great lens through which to see. And now if only I could get a hold on my body image issues ...


  1. What a wonderful post! I love this! It's so true. In fact this is something I often think about myself. Instead of thinking about all the wonderful things that I'm thankful for right now, I think about how great things will be 'when'... 'when we have this' 'when I'm making this' 'when I look like this' 'when the kids are that'. In reality it doesn't let you take time to appreciate the now. Wonderful blog post! I love it! keep them coming! xoxox


    1. Thanks Tiff, I'm the same! When I was single it was "life will be so perfect when I'm dating someone" ... then, when Alan and I were dating it was "life will be so perfect when we're engaged" ... then, when we were engaged it was all about "when we're married" and then it became "when I'm pregnant" .. lol. Once you start the discontentment cycle, it never stops unless you just nip it in the bud!


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