Finding Contentment at Home

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Finding Contentment at Home @ AVirtuousWoman.org

The Ministry of Homemaking

For as long as I can remember I dreamed of one day living this perfect life in a perfect house with a perfect family. When I was as young as ten years old I would pour through my mother’s Country Living Magazines and books filled with house plans – making plans of my own for the future.

Somewhere along the way, life happened and things didn’t always go as I had planned and my perfect life, perfect house, and perfect family wasn’t quite as perfect as I had hoped.

I found myself married at a very young age and by the time I was 21 years old I was divorced and the mother of three small children. Over the few years of my first marriage we moved – a lot. In fact, every time our lease came due I found myself itching for somewhere new. A new home {or apartment as it were} represented what I thought would be a fresh new start on a stale and bitter life. I wanted more than what my life was presently offering and the walls of my home seemed to hold all of that unhappiness like a trap.

Years later, I found myself remarried and much happier, but still somehow not quite content with my life. I wanted more than what my life was presently offering and I dreamed of something different.

Life was hard. I had too many obligations and too many people who needed me – my time and attention so much that I felt they were sucking the life right out of me. And I thought, if I could just have my dream house – a white clapboard farmhouse way out in the country with horses and chickens and goats… then everything would be perfect.

I could see myself, apron clad, tending the horses, gathering eggs, watching the sun rise over the mountain from my big wide front porch. And the dream felt so peaceful.

Contentment isn’t a place. It isn’t a house. It isn’t some elusive dream that doesn’t exist.

Contentment is a state of being – where ever you find yourself.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12,13 NLT

As homemakers, sometimes with the daily demands of life pressing in on us from every side, it’s so easy to fall into a pit of discontentment. Restlessness. Dreaming of a better life instead of bettering the life we have.

[Tweet “It’s so easy to become discontent. Restless. Dreaming of a better life instead of bettering the life we have. “]

The Ministry of Homemaking

Contentment plays an important part in our ministry as homemakers. Home is the one place in all of the world that our families should be able to come to that gives them the freedom to be themselves, find forgiveness, and escape from the harshness of the world.

How is Homemaking a Ministry?

Let’s look at the definition of minister: verb: attend to the needs of someone | synonyms: tend to, care for, take care of, look after, nurse, treat, attend to, see to, administer to, help, assist.

Sounds like a wife and mother – a homemaker – doesn’t it?

Whether you work outside the home or stay home full time, you are called by God to be a minister to your family through the ministry of homemaking.

She looketh well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:27

[Tweet “Homemaking is so much more than merely keeping house. Learn more:”]

But homemaking is so much more than merely keeping house. Yes, cleaning up, doing laundry, organizing, cooking meals, raking leaves, and more are all a part of homemaking. But you can have a spotless house and still have a home that lacks love, joy, laughter, forgiveness, grace, and kindness.

You could have a perfect well organized living space that doesn’t feel like a home.

We’ll be looking at how to create a space that feels like home during this series – a space that is neat and organized and a space where your family finds a deep connection and where love and laughter permeates the walls.

For me, I’ve finally found contentment in my less than perfect house. I’m working to better this life I have instead of dreaming of a different one.

Valuing our roles as homemaker begins in a content heart. A heart that believes making a house a home is important.

Home Work

Answers these questions below in a journal or notebook. Or, download my journaling page here.

I am Called to the Ministry of Homemaker

  • Contemplate your state of contentedness. Are you content? Are you chasing after dreams instead of creating the life you long for?
  • How has discontentment played a role in your life and how has it affected how you see your role as homemaker?
  • What does home mean to you?

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  1. This speaks volumes of being a stay at home mom. I can certainly relate with these exact feelings and connections to contentment. It is such a hard life and we work so hard but find ourselves lost in our own ideas of what we want and how we imagined things to play out. What an inspiration of purpose. I love it and thank you so much for sharing.
  2. Good stuff! I really like the statement, "Valuing our roles as homemaker begins in a content heart" - so true.
  3. I can relate to this post and happy I am following to this series. I been struggling a lit bit been at peace with been a "homemaker" since to me I always looked at it as a limiting word. I guess I always assumed a woman doing house work and only that. Recently I had my first baby and being a career/goal oriented person I've seen myself sort of change and struggle with finding a balance between the two. Thank you for clarifying what it means in terms that doesn't limit anyone whether you are stay at home mom or a working out of the home mom. I am enjoying day 1 of this series that I even began to write down my thoughts answering to your questions. Thanks again!
  4. Thank you for your transparent testimony Melissa, it's so powerful. The truth of your article regarding homemaking being a ministry reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman. Her husband's heart trusted her, she laughed at old age, kindness was what she taught, wisdom came out of her mouth, she dressed with strength and dignity, she had compassion for the poor and needy and courage for her children. She did all that plus sewed, bought a field, planned meals. Basically what you are saying, that running a home is so much more than just checking the boxes. Thanks for your ministry of serving us moms out here by linking your faith with ours to be all God intends for us to be.
  5. Thank you for your honest, heartfelt writings, and your wisdom based on living through what many of us are just starting:) I am the mother of 4, two toddlers home with me during the day, two in elementary school. I live in a small, 3 bedroom mobile home, which seems to be in a continual state of decline. Before i had my 3rd child i worked harder at keeping a neat clean home, had a much neater yard, flowers in the yard, etc But the last few yesrs ive gradually given up basically? I make list after list, study books, but cant seem to make myself DO what needs to be done- besides the basic make meals, wash clothes, vacuum, sweep, wash dishes, everything else falls to the wayside. An ill get to it tomorrow when im not tired thing- but it never does. I find myself increasingly comparing my home to others, and wishig for a brighter, bigger house. My husband works hard, we live on a large acreage, my boys are able to run free, build forts, help on the farm- i have much to be thankful for and i know it. But still i dont feel content. Im looking forward to this series, often in doing these type questions i uncover sticky things i might not want to see but need to- Like today, doing these questions. Im not proud of my home, walls need painting, floors mopped, windows cleaned, pictures hug, etc..but i have to make myself DO it! I think ive fallen into a trap of feeling overwhelmed so i just do nothing:)
    1. Aubrey, I'm going to be touching on some of this coming up in the series. You might also want to read my series: A Time to Clean: http://avirtuouswoman.org/2014/11/02/time-clean-30-day-challenge/ Let me know how things are going for you. I'll be praying for you!
  6. Melissa, Thank you for this series! I just started today and I am soooo looking forward to going through this! I definitely need this a million times over! Aubrey shared my heart exactly! Ashamedly, I am not content right now. I love my husband and children dearly but I know I'm always looking to the future when "I will have arrived" but I don't want to miss out on the time I have now. I know I need to make some changes but don't have any clue where to start or what things I can do to start living in the here and now. I know it's not an overnight change and will take time and lots of prayer but if you have any tangible things that you can share I would really appreciate it! Kind of like a continuation of your post, "If you're not content and recognize there are some things you need to change, here are some things you can start doing right now to begin the process of living a life of contentment." Thank you for anything you can share, for this series, and for being transparent! I'm looking forward to all you will share throughout the series!
  7. I am very excited to see this series. Your life is very similar to mine. I have 5 children all together. (2 from previous marriage at a young age, 2 from current marriage and 1 step) and I am always looking for the future when "this" happens then life will be "complete" or "comfortable" so I'm very excited to learn how to make it comfortable now! I just have to also say, I'm a Seventh-Day Adventist so I really appreciate your insights and alignment with the Sabbath! Thank you xoxo
  8. Yay!! As a full time working mom, this is going to speak volumes to me. The thought about bettering what I have is what really spoke to me. I am a wife and a mother, and while I do have to work outside my home, I can and am called still to be a homemaker!
  9. I have been married for about 9 and a half month and my husband and I are expecting our first in January! Though I haven't been a homemaker for very long I still find this very encouraging! The reality of setting up a home is more than I expected.
  10. Hi Melissa, very refreshing!! Thank you. I am very content, enjoying what the LORD has provided. I will be focusing on Proverbs 31:27 at this time...taking an inventory ! Claudia
  11. Hello! My situation is a bit different in that I am a Geandmother with a houseful. My daughter and her 3 children ages 8, 5 and 4 mo have been living with us for about 2 years along with a nephew just about to finish college.. I also work full time. The Lord has been dealing with me on joy and contentment for over a year now (slow learner I guess and a lot of chaos to boot). I am looking forward to this series as well - thank you!
  12. Thank you for sharing your experience! This has really helped me in my walk with the Lord and in my life in general. I've been dealing with discontentment for the past several years and it seems to be getting worse as time goes by. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful children, but I somehow am bogged down in discontentment. The Lord led me to your website/blog just yesterday, and already I've learned so much. You're an inspiration to me, because I'm also a pastor's wife with a less-than-perfect past, and I've experienced the harsh judgement of others who expect pastors and their families to be perfect. I appreciate everything you have on your website. I never had the opportunity to learn what being a homemaker is all about . I've struggled for years to learn but always felt like I was just spinning my wheels. Your ministry is a God-send for me. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you!
  13. Thank you son much for all that you do. I enjoy reading your articles so much. Im going to share your blog with all of my girlfriends. I know you can make a difference in their lives as you have mine!
  14. I don't usually write comments on blogs. But I just want you to know how truly grateful I am that I found your blog. Your words are heartfelt. They are just what I needed at this stage of my life. I felt I was a 2nd class christian for not being able to volunteer at church. I felt guilty that I chose to be a stay at home mom to 1 yr old son. You are truly God's instrument. Thank you.

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