Saturday, March 19, 2011

Contentment adorns a lovely home...

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor. Benjamin Franklin

I heard a man speak about the power of prayer. He saw that his children were becoming materialistic and dependent on things for happiness. He prayed to God about that. The next thing he knew, while his family was away from their home, their house and all their possessions burned. They spent the next several years making a home in less than what we might consider to be ideal situations. Yet, their family learned many wonderful insights during this time and drew closer together. And, the materialism that he had seen in his children disappeared.

What about you? Could you be happy if your home and possessions burned. I confess that would test me. Yet, at some point, it's all going to go away anyway. The greatest lesson a keeper at home can learn is to carry home in her heart.

When my husband and I first married, we moved to a state with a climate and landscape far different than the one I had grown up in. I also left the beautiful home my parents had created during years of marriage and started out with my husband in newlywed digs. I loved our new home because I was with my beloved husband and also surrounded by a loving church. But, it took me a while to warm up to the different scenery. I did learn to appreciate it. Later on, after we moved back closer to home, I realized even more how beautiful that area really had been.

My situation was not unlike that that many of us face during various times of our lives. At any given time, we may not be living in our dream house or our dream environment. That's ok.

When we are trying to improve our home keeping skills, we have to avoid some pitfalls. These are envy, discontentment with our budget and living situations, comparing our situation to that of others', worry what others will think of our home keeping, and frustration with ourselves.

An antidote to all of these things is contentment.

Some principles of contentment are

1) Better to have a few things well kept than many things poorly kept.
2) A home is a matter of the heart. You can make a home anywhere -- in a one room apartment, in the projects, in one half of a room in a nursing home,in a college dorm, in a climate that you don't particularly enjoy, etc. Remember, Sarah made her home in a tent.
3) Don't wait for your dream house to begin making a home. Do the best you can with what you have now.
4) Remember Cheryl Mendleson's advice (Home Comforts author) -- cleanliness really has more to do with making a home feel homey than decorating schemes do.
5) People matter far more than things do.
6) The things in this world will not last; heaven will be eternal.
7) We can begin now to have our hearts and minds in the heavenly kingdom.
8) Treasure the memories you make together as a family in your home.
9) If you are a single woman, don't wait until you have a husband and family to create a home-like environment for yourself.
10) Show hospitality even if you don't think your physical surroundings are all that they want to be.

Spread out your petition before God, and then say, "Thy will, not mine, be done." The sweetest lesson I have learned in God's school is to let the Lord choose for me. Author unknown

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
C.S. Lewis

Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment and makes men torment themselves; it makes the spirit sad, the body sick, and all the enjoyments sour; it is the heaviness of the heart and the rottenness of the bones. It is a sin that is its own parent. It arises not from the condition, but from the mind. As we find Paul contented in a prison, so Ahab discontent in a palace.
Matthew Henry

Resource: Contentment by Money Saving Mom

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