Last week, I confessed my struggle to find contentment. Years of trials and sorrow left me frustrated and weary. I shared four secrets to learning contentment. Today, I want to share three more secrets of how I learned to be more content.
Contentment Secret Five: Meet with a Mentor
During some of my lowest points at work, when in my frustration and weariness, I made mistakes that made things even more uncomfortable, I sought out someone who could help me. I found a woman of wisdom, Sylvia. We met once a week after work in her home. Sylvia ministered to my heart and mind in many ways.
- Her home always invited me to relax. I felt special there, cared for, welcomed, and loved.
- She listened. Rather than telling me what to do, Sylvia asked questions and helped me think about ways to approach people differently.
- We watched Lysa TerKeurst’s video series, Unglued, and discussed the ideas and strategies. In between sessions, we read the book.
- Sylvia shared her own struggles, so I didn’t feel so alone.
- She celebrated my success and encouraged me when I faltered.
Sylvia and I met for a year, and then she moved. At first, I wasn’t sure I could make it on my own. But Sylvia’s mentoring made a difference. Three years later, I still call on the lessons we learned. Across the miles, Sylvia continues to encourage me with notes and texts.
Contentment Secret Six: Learn from Others
Through the stories of other people’s wrestling with similar feelings of discontentment, I felt less alone. They shared their journey and fueled hope. If they could change, so could I. My favorites included:
- I Don’t Wait Anymore by Grace Thornton
- Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
- Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst
- One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
Contentment Secret Seven: Look for God’s Goodness
Change your focus. Instead of dwelling on what I didn’t like, I kept a gratitude journal. In fact, I kept two, one in general and one specifically for work. When I needed to get away, I ate lunch outside. Just a half an hour in the sunshine, thanking God for the beauty of His creation put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
Using these secrets helps me be content more and more often. In the comments, share which ones you want to try. I’d also love to hear your own secrets of contentment.
If you missed Part One: Learn the Secret, Content in All Circumstances, you can read it by clicking here.