It’s about making the most of what you have.”
These wise words were said by my daughter Emily several years ago to one of her siblings who was complaining about what they did not have in life. Contentment is an issue I am sure we have all struggled with from time to time. A pastor that I admire once said in a Sunday morning sermon on contentment, “How much is enough? Just a little more than I have.” If I just had this or that then my life would be great. But if we do get “this or that” then there is always something else to long for.
Many years ago my family was living in the city in an 1100 square foot house. We had 7 children in that 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. Oh how I wanted a life in the country with a bigger house and room for my kids to run and play. I prayed a lot for this and still nothing happened. There was so much in this situation to be discontent about! This situation provided one of the biggest lessons in my life on learning to not just be content with where I was at but to make the most of what I DID have. It is so easy to overlook the very things that are sitting right in front of us while wish, hope and pray for more.
So I decided that if I didn’t have my dreamed of homestead I would make my home on my 50 x 100ft city lot my homestead. I worked at the life skills that were needed for my family to live a “homestead” life right there in the middle of the big city. I worked to be a better house keeper and to keep organized in a small space, I learned how to cook frugal meals, bake my own bread, and I studied herbs and herbal medicine so I could do more home care when my family got sick. A friend of ours would come to our home in the spring and rototill my garden spot for me in my back yard. I planted veggies and was even able to have enough to can a few things. I took my kids out to the u-pick farms and we picked strawberries, peaches, apples and more to can and preserve.
During those years I was homeschooling and having those 7 babies and I learned so much on how to be organized with my days, how to plan and shop and cook to save us money. We did not have much extra income for entertainment but we found ways to have fun. My children and I spent countless hours walking the neighborhood, going to parks and the library. For very little money I was able to get my children involved in the activities that were at available at our local community center.
I still continued to pray for that home in the country. And after a great deal of searching we did find a home that worked for us. Today I am thankful for God allowing me to have the time and circumstances to understand what it means to make the most of what I have. Life is to short to spend wishing for more, better, different. Being thankful for today and making the most of the blessings that God has for us each day will make a content heart. What incredible lessons and blessings are there if we accept our lives for what they are today and not just accept them… but learn to make the most of what He has blessed us with!!