Guest Post: Food, Clothes, and Contentment

Today we have another guest post here on Treasuring Home!

Author: Anna Hall

{My comments are in italics. Everything else is from her.}

About Anna: Married to my brother-in-law Tim, who is a pastor. She is the mother of five girls: Emilee (9), Kara (7), Lydia and Alayna (5-twins) and Evalyn (8 months). During the years that I have known Anna, she has always been a sweet encourager who shows genuine love and concern for others. I asked Anna to tell us a little bit about herself.  She replied, “I enjoy reading, playing the piano and singing, and playing volleyball. I also love Mexican  food, chocolate, and having coffee with friends. Most of all I love sharing Jesus with my children and others.”

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Anna with Evalyn

Playdough under the table, overwhelming piles of laundry, crying babies, dirty dishes, and toys…toys everywhere—does this sound familiar to anyone?  A few years ago when our girls were smaller, life was a little out of my control. I could NOT keep up! Our twins could still be contained in exersaucers, but our second daughter (also still in diapers) was “exploring” everything. Our oldest was learning and trying to be a helper, but a preschooler can only lend a hand so much.

I hated the messes but wasn’t sure what to do about it. In fact, there was more than one occasion where I cried and told my husband I could NOT do all of the housework and cooking AND childcare. I would pray and pray and complain to the Lord about my struggles of day to day motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, taking our needs and burdens to the Lord is the right thing to do, but I had forgotten something along the way. You see, I wanted a quick fix. I wanted God to give me what I thought my house should be, and I had forgotten to be thankful. Instead of focusing on my God and what He could do in and through the challenges of life, I focused on myself and my own expectations, which is a perfect recipe for misery.

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Left to right: Emilee, Kara, Alayna, Lydia

One day during my personal devotions, amidst all the burdens of life, the Lord brought this verse to my attention:

“But godliness with contentment is great gain…And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (I Timothy 6:6,8)

Ouch. We may not have had much variety, but we had food to eat. And though the clean laundry was piled out-of-sight high on the spare, I had reasons to be thankful—I had food and clean clothes! It was not my checklist that would make me a success. It was not having a perfect home that would make me a good housewife.  God did not have the same expectations as Pinterest, Facebook, or even I had. His desire was that I would be godly and content.

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Don’t you just love these smiles?? Left to right: Lydia, Alayna, Kara

God has since had to remind me on a number of occasions about the importance of being content (happy, thankful) with the home He has given us. We have since had our 5th daughter, and if you dropped in on me, you’d probably find a basket or two (sometimes four) of clothes to fold. At times, we have to order pizza, and more than sometimes the house is not quite as clean as I’d like it to be. I cannot always control the outcome of my day, but by God’s grace, I can take time to thank Him for the good things He has done for me and the provision He gives to me.

 

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Sweet little Evalyn!

Paul said it this way: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

 

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Back, left to right: Alayna, Kara, Anna, Evalyn, Emilee Front: Lydia

Putting these verses into context and perspective is extremely encouraging to my heart. Paul had learned that Jesus could help him have a joyful heart no matter where he was or what he had.

So today instead of counting the number of chores we have to do, let’s count our blessings, for they are many. Let’s set a godly example for our children. Let’s rejoice in Christ and rest in the truth that Jesus is enough.

 

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Left to right: Alayna, Kara, Lydia

 

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One last picture of adorable little Evalyn, with her Daddy, Tim.

Anna first shared these thoughts with me a few years ago, and I have always remembered our conversation from that day. She said she would tell her girls, “We have food, and now we need to work on clothes!” I love this perspective on motherhood. Those of us surrounded by little ones can surely relate. Food and clothes, and contentment.

4 thoughts on “Guest Post: Food, Clothes, and Contentment

  1. Only those who go through the tough valleys of parenting many children can really understand just how overwhelming being a housewife and mother truly is. Good for you Anna! Your husband is blessed to have a Proverbs 31 woman like yourself! Nothing….nothing great ever comes without great sacrifice….and one gives up many things in order to have many blessings of children…..but from a mother of ten with a now empty nest….these are truly the most wonderful years of your life. God bless! Helen E. Aardsma

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