I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I have been thinking a lot about contentment this week...thinking back to our former house. A family member was overheard once telling someone it's a shame that we don't have our big, beautiful home, anymore. My reaction surprised even me, for I was shocked anyone would see this home as anything "less", even compared to the former.
I love this house at the edge of the woods. Yes, it's half the size of our former home and one does have to spend more time keeping it decluttered...and we have to work harder at getting along. Tempers can't simmer for long around here. Although, I have been known to "go rock" on the front porch when this female needs time away from the menfolk. :) But I don't see this house as less. After all, in the 1960s when it was built, this was the average size family home.
The young woman who "decorated" this house before we purchased it (the first home she and her husband owned) was a domestic artist. Although her taste was a little more Victorian than my English Country preference, the canvas she left me to work with made it easy to move in and create a cozy, pretty home. The cottage style kitchen was exactly what I would have done (and what sold me on this house the first time I went through it!), especially the cabinets all painted a pretty butter yellow.
There are times I miss the extra room, having had a formal dining room with two doors that shut out the clutter of projects as well as the table that has been set for a special event days in advance. I miss the nice basement but during a tornado warning, I miss having any basement. The larger kitchen came in quite handy, too. It was nice to have the space to have open houses, Holiday parties, etc. for a lot of people. But then again, that's not my lifestyle now so why look at the past?
The first verse just before that shown above (but in the KJV) is Phil. 4:11. "...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." I have had a sampler in my home for many years that has that verse on it, purchased during the four years we lived in Iowa where my husband worked as an engineer. It was my own private joke (although my daughter got it), that I would learn to be content in whatever STATE (as in living far away from home) I was in.
There were many years I was not a contended person. God has taught me a lot about being content and living in the moment. I believe that process of becoming content in our life is very important for living in peace. I'll write more about it tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'm going to sit on the porch for awhile and enjoy the day...no looking back and wishing for what was...no looking ahead and accepting worries today's grace cannot hold. Just sitting on the porch and enjoying a couple chapters of a good book before it is time to begin dinner. Contented with my pretty but much smaller house...in the country...at the edge of the woods.