Friday, February 24, 2017

Thankfulness & Contentment

Blowing the dust off this ol' blog today.
While I truly wish I could say that I am writing here today with the intention of returning to blogging. That is just not the case. Today I honestly feel like I have too much on my mind for it to be squeezed into a Facebook or Instagram post. Also because I feel like I am going to need to revisit this here and there as a reminder.
I am by no means a writer, I tend to just use this space to blurt out my thoughts when I can't stand them bouncing around in my head anymore. That is exactly what this post is going to be.
Contentment is something I have always struggled with. As much as I like to say I don't, I fall prey to comparison far too often. For as long as I can remember this has been an issue for me. When I was younger I wanted to have the nice house and Abercrombie clothes that the other kids at school had. With teenage years came the purses, the makeup and the cars. Everyone else seemed to have the top of the line while I usually had the bargain stuff. As an engaged 20 year old, it became the Pinterest perfect wedding. When I endeavored into photography I constantly compared my talent, my equipment, my opportunities to other peoples that I was seeing. As a newlywed, I wanted a perfect starter home and a perfect clean white blog to talk about my new perfect house and perfect marriage. 
Then came motherhood and Lord have mercy did that open up a whole new can of worms. The nursery, the gear, the clothes, the bows, the pictures, the post pregnancy body, the activities, the preschools, the birthday parties, the food, the milestones. Am I spending enough time with her, should I quit my job? It felt like all of a sudden every single thing came with a yard stick attached and I seemed to always be falling short.
 I was breaking my back (and my budget) to try and have all of these "perfect" things. Unfortunately/fortunately my issue tends to fall on the materialistic side of the spectrum. I say it like that because it is a blessing and a curse. My downfall is not psychological, in fact I am pretty dang confident in my ability to be a decent parent, a wife, a friend, etc. But when it comes to materialistic things I far too often fall into the trap. I truly don't think like I am a shallow person I just tend to mix up the "wants" and the "needs". Does my daughter "need" a $50 twirl dress or a $300 birthday party. Absolutely not. Do I "need" 5 pairs of $25 "buttery soft" leggings or a $200 camera bag. Negative. Does our family need a $200,000 dream house or a $50,000 car. Nope. *Disclaimer: I am not knocking anyone who is able to live that lifestyle whatsoever. It is just simply not something that is within our means*
All my daughter wants is to play outside, to color, to carry around her baby doll and to snuggle between me and her Daddy every evening to watch a movie. When I look past all of the "things" all I want is a happy marriage, a happy baby, a strong relationship with God and a roof over our head. I need to grasp the reality that it may be a little longer than I had "planned" before we can actually buy the cute little home I envision for our family. And it may not have natural light, white walls, shiplap and a beautiful pastel playroom but that is OKAY. I have a beautiful, healthy family, we have clothes on our back, a car to drive, a roof over our head and jobs to sustain us. That is so much to be thankful for.
Speaking of shiplap, the whole reason I became filled with so much conviction (and resolve) today was because I was reading listening to The Magnolia Story at work (shout out to Audible for getting me through my workdays). I (like everyone else in the world) fell in love with Chip & Joanna Gaines through watching Fixer Upper, my love for them continued to grow as I witnessed their immense faith in God, their love for each other and their beautiful relationship with their children. Granted, I know all we see is what is on TV but I feel very confidently (especially after reading this book) that what you see is what you get with those two. I would be lying if I said Joanna Gaines wasn't one of the people I have been comparing myself too. Although I know how ridiculous this sounds, I always thought she had it all together, perfect house, perfect marriage, perfect kids. Everything she touches turns to perfection. This book truly made me open my eyes and think hard about my actions, intentional & unintentional. This is the part that truly spoke to me.

So I am adopting a new mission in my life, to be thankful & content with the path that God leads us on. To be intentional with my time and my actions. To stop the comparisons and be grateful for what we have not what I think we "want".
Heck, I may even take it step farther and adopt the Gaines way of living by getting rid of the TVs. What do you think about that Husband? Haha


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