Intentional Living,  Relationships

Learning Contentment As a Single Mom

By: Kelly Elias 

Contentment is something that I really struggle with as a single mom. Well, lets just lay it all out there…

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As a single mom, as a mother of two very energetic boys, as a full-time teacher and coach, as someone with papers to grade on my own time, as someone with limited income, as someone with dinners and lunches to make and laundry… Well, you get the picture. I’m a diner at a buffet who has filled her plate to excess and now can’t get it back to the table.

In my faith, I am told to find contentment in my current state and not to worry about the next “thing.” One day at a time, etc, etc. Really? Anyone mastered this yet? Is there a class? Or, better yet, a class would just add to my already full plate. So, is there some tool with which I could ZAP myself clueless (like on “Men in Black”) when I start to let the hundreds of upcoming events and possible problems with those events, merge together into a bunch of little sticks of TNT that bundle, multiply and grow until my brain faces explosion and massive destruction?

OK, so maybe that was a tad exaggerated, but not much! I do trust God and have a strong faith in Him. I guess when I get in the process of filling out my calendar and going over things my kids need for school or home, or to go on whatever exciting excursion I so mindlessly planned… again… That trust and faith seem to get buried in all of the overwhelming plans and details.

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The ironic thing is that I am the one who continues to pile more helpings onto my already full plate, as I schedule, plan, and then worry. Hello, my name is Kelly, and I’m an over-scheduler.

What I’m learning, though, is that God isn’t asking me to be content with my circumstances but “regardless” of them. So though my circumstances may overwhelm me and my human nature is to stress and worry… God is reminding me to be content in HIM. Content in trusting that what He has brought me to, He will bring me through.

He often reminds me of the past I have overcome. In those moments, yes I was stressed and scared, but He pulled me through each one to become the much stronger, more faithful woman I am today. If I could trust Him and be content in that trust with those much larger struggles, I can certainly do so with my over-scheduled calendar, financial concerns, and getting all the places that I need to be.

For me, right now, this verse reads, “I am learning to be content regardless of my circumstances.” And… I have a really great teacher, who is also teaching me that sometimes it’s ok to leave a little of that food on the plate… and maybe even to pass on dessert.

In what area does discontentment sometimes creep up on you? How do you handle discontentment, stress or worries? I would love to hear your comments and any similar stories.

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One Comment

  • Shayna Karnick

    I think many people struggle with this, but not everyone is a single mom of two with a full time job, etc.
    Never be afraid to ask family and friends for help. That’s what they’re there for. Most importantly it’s OK to say NO. Although, we may want to always say yes so as not to let someone down, that’s just impossible. You can’t make everyone happy and life will go on if you say no.
    When I feel overwhelmed I ask God to take my burden away. To help me stop the worry I have of things I can’t control. If I truely give it away it’s amazing how God pulls through.
    It sounds like you have Grandma Lois syndrome:-) . She was a major worrier.

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