Contentment and Joy

It’s Monday, which means I’m once again following a prompt from The Homemaker’s Club. This week’s was, “How does a homemaker maintain a joyful heart, so that she may seek beauty in the small and humble acts of homemaking?”

How does a homemaker maintain a joyful heart? Gosh, I wish I knew!

I’ll be 100% honest: I’m not living in my dream house. Our cobbled together two story house in the middle of the Appalachian mountains has some charm, but it is a far cry from what I would have chosen. It has some things I love! Our stone chimney… connected to a fireplace that doesn’t work. The wooden beams that span the length of our massive bedroom… which is draughty and cold. The giant laundry room… with the washers that are falling apart. It’s quirky, like me I suppose. For all the attributes that are gorgeous, there’s heating issues, water pressure issues, unfinished projects, and don’t even get me started on the ungodly amount of spiders, the mice, and the bears!

Yes, it’s not my dream house. But it’s my dream home because of the people who live here. My family is so precious to me and I would love them in any setting. For them, I must create a joyful environment and a space full of love. So how do I remain joyful through the days of huddling by the space heater, watching my husband kill a mouse in the kitchen sink, spraying down an invasion of grass spiders, and the endless sweeping of a floor that never feels clean?

Contentment.

Philippians 4 is one of those bold, truth speaking passages. Not only is this where we find the ever controversial command to be anxious for nothing, but this is where we are told to rejoice in the Lord always. It is no surprise that Paul also speaks here of contentment.

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:12

I’m pretty sure a jail cell wasn’t Paul’s dream house, but he was content and joyful. My house is a far cry from a Roman jail, so I too am striving to be content and joyful. I have everything I need and more! I have the world’s most amazing husband and two incredible daughters and the best job EVER of being a homemaker and a homeschool mom.

Is my house sometimes so creepy that I’m using it as the inspiration for a ghost story I’m preparing for my Creative Writing Tuesday tomorrow? Yeah, sure. It’s the spiders. But when I am content, then I am able to work with the canvas I’ve been given. Contentment allows me to enjoy adding little personal details to the house and transform it into my dream home. The fireplace may not work, but it’s decorated beautifully. We may have spiders, but that’s just because we have gorgeous trees all around us. This is the house my husband walks into at the end of the work day, the house filled with the giggles of my daughters as they imagine their way through their bedroom, the house where we started our marriage, the house where we delight in one another. This is my house and I will find joy in it!

So how does a homemaker maintain a joyful heart, so that she may seek beauty in the small and humble acts of homemaking? By being constantly grateful for and content with what she has. Our hearts are joyful because we know we have what we need and we can make beautiful the things we have. It’s spinning straw into gold. The ordinary becomes extraordinary when our hearts are filled with love, joy, and contentment.

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