day 23 - an interior battle...

from www.aholyexperience.com

Contentment and loneliness...

My daily battle frontier.

Hubby leaves at 7 and returns at 7 ( if it's a good day)...

#1 son sleeps here but works crazy hours so if I see him it's usually leaving for work.

Miss Courtney is really cute but not such a fabulous conversationalist.

Most days I spend wwwaaaayyy too much time in my head. That is not always a a good thing.

Actually it never a good thing.

Today was one of those "the grass is always greener..." days. You know the ones where everyone else's daily life looks way better than mine. My grass doesn't feel so green, more like brown lifeless grass. It seems like the world is having a party and my invitation got lost in the mail.



As I tried to shake myself out of this negative head and heart space, I started to compile my gratitude list. It's the only thing I know to do when my side of the fence looks so unappealing. What I noticed is that for every blessing, I immediately thought of something negative.

For example:

Today I am grateful for:
** a video I found on bread making
(who the heck am I going to make bread for. There are just two of here who can eat it)
** choosing a pattern for a quilt
(good grief. every bed in this house already has a quilt. why do I need more?)
** discovering a recipe to make my own vanilla extract
(why? you can just buy it at the store and save yourself the trouble)

It was a very discouraging exercise to say the least. So I put my notebook down and did a few household chores to take my mind off things. 

Contentment has always been hard for me. I tend to look for it outside my home and that is a problem these days. I am a people person and to be without interaction for very long is hard for me. Loneliness seeps in and my grass on my side of the fence looks less than appealing. It's why I know church, the library and mall so well. They are places Miss Courtney and I can safely go and be around people. It's way to easy to for me to bunker down and disconnect and that never ends well. 

After I finished my chores, I sat for a moment and took a look around my home. There were piles of paper pretty much on every surface, magazines overflowing the basket, laundry needing to be folded and put away, too many books stacked here and there, too many unfinished projects...just too much stuff cluttering my home. 

Too much stuff cluttering my heart. 

Too much stuff cluttering my soul. 

...and the veil was lifted...

Tonia wrote about it so well here. 

Simple, intentional, meaningful. 

I think I need to make a few changes. Clean out some of this "stuff" cluttering my home, my head, my heart and my soul. Wether I am with people or not, if I am living HIS way, contentment comes and gratitude is overflowing. 

If I am doing what God has asked me to, taking care of my daughter, take care of my husband and son, create a home that is open and welcoming to all, create things of sustenance and beauty honoring the gifts and talents I have been given, then it shouldn't matter what anyone else's yard looks like. I need to stay focused on my own and do a little maintenance and sprucing up. 

After my little realization I sat down once more to write out the days list.

Thanks therapy is God's prescription for joy...

This time, there wasn't a second voice. This time there was a sense of peace. 

That must be what contentment feels like. 

I think I like it. 

Today I am grateful for:

#1759 - #1781
** an empty recycling bin that I plan to fill by weekends end
** Tonia's words...they encourage and inspire
** a video I found on bread making...I am determined to master the skill
** choosing a new quilt pattern
** discovering a recipe to make my own vanilla extract (thanks Katherine)
** saying "no" to one thing so I could say "yes" to something more important
** recommitting myself to daily morning prayer
** cleaning out Miss Courtney's closet and donating a few things she no longer wears
** realizing that the only attitude I can change is my own
** recommitting to no late night snacking...only tea after dinner...I feel better all ready
** ironing my table linens...they look so crisp
** the delicate cycle on my washing machine allowing me to save some $$ on the dry cleaning
** cleaning out "junk" drawers. If I can't find a use, I pitch it or donate it
** realizing that contentment and joy can only be found in one place...the loving arms of My Savior
** loneliness will come, but I can offer it up as a sacrificial gift for those who need a little prayer support
** the privilege of praying for others
** sweet friends who live 3,000 miles away who send a craft project through the mail.I can't wait to make it happen this weekend. (Thanks Rebecca!!)
** turning on the heat for the first time this season
** realizing that jealousy and envy will bring me nothing but pain
** knowing exactly what makes my husband happy and being able to provide it (hey...not that!)
** finding joy in a stamed letter ready to mail
** going through old photos trying to choose the right ones for Courtney's freshly painted walls
** so grateful for my two mother's helpers, Tori and Hannah. Oh, how I will miss them

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