Simple living lifestyle challenge—1 Stop wishing

simple living

The change:  Stop wishing thing were different

In my life it took me some time to be thankful for what I had.  I would go through life wishing for things that I did not have.    I might of visited a friend for the day and loved her enormous home and great “brand new” items.  When I came home I would look around and start feeling “sorry for myself” because I did not have what she had.

You might look at a person and see all the “freedoms” that they had in their life and “wish” that you had those freedoms too.  Maybe you  might wish you had a different husband—if you were going through a tough time.  There are so many things that we can covet and wish were different.    I could go on and on about things that I “coveted” in my lifetime.  Some you could agree with me that I had a right to have and other things you might think they were silly.

But that all changed.   Not that I gave up “dreaming.”  But I gave up on the idea of wishing for things that were not a part of my life and I started being thankful for the little things.

In our lives if we stop looking at what we don’t have, we might be surprised at what we do have.

What the Amish families taught me was to be content in my season of life.  What I noticed about the Amish families that we visited were that it didn’t matter what types of homes the people lived in, it was the hospitality that they showed that was inviting.  We did visit some homes that were quite extravagant but to be honest the fellowship was much sweeter in the homes that the home was not in a great standard of living.  I don’t mean that disrespectfully, the one home that we stayed in was in need of great repair, it had many things that I probably would be insistent that my husband fix immediately.  But it did not matter.  The wife was very content and kept her home as best as she could without feeling embarrassed by the looks of it. She portrayed a sense of humbleness that was inspiring.  It made me think twice before I complained about the things that I did not have.

Why make the change:

When we look at life wishing things were different we will constantly live with a sense of conflict.  When we have conflict it creates stress.  When we have stress it makes us agitated.  When we are agitated we usually are angry with those around us.  All that is never good.  We are wanting to simplify our lives.  We need to stop thinking about the physical things and the relationship things that we don’t have and just start living.  We need to focus our concentration on changing the things that we do have: whether that be a broken relationship, a home that is not so pretty, or a body that is in need of exercise.  All things in life take time and energy.  You need to start focusing on the right things instead of living life wishing things were different.


How do we do that:

Start today by making a list.  Make a list of all of the things that you wish you had different in your life.  Now this list might get quite long, depending on how content you are and that is okay.  The key is getting something of tangibleness that you can physically refer to and start making slow changes to achieving your contentedness. I made a sample list that you can view here:

Download (PDF, 127KB)

On my list were things–that I have already started working on to change.

When I started feeling the “woe is me” syndrome I had to jump out of that instantly.  I wrote everything down that I wanted changed in my life and then started devising a plan to change those things.

Download (PDF, 144KB)

I started the change with one item.  I did the weight loss issue.  After I felt like I could do more I started painting a room at a time in our home.  Sure it took forever, but I worked diligently through naptime and after the children went to bed and in a few months I finished my whole home.  I then started making things for my walls of my home.  I researched different inexpensive ideas and made some great photo collages to hang on my walls.  I then made some shelves to decorate our walls as well.

The list goes on and on…..

All these things take time, I did not do them all in one day, or even all in one week.  But I started with one and added as I could.  I had my list and started marking off the things that I wanted to improve upon in my life.
Contentment is influenced by external circumstances, but  it is an internal attitude and can be cultivated no matter what our situation in life is.  We need to stop wishing for things that we don’t have and focus our attention on making the things that we do have better.

How about you?  Are you content in your life?  Do you complain that you wish things were different without acting upon them?  Start today and stop wishing and start enjoying.



6 responses to “Simple living lifestyle challenge—1 Stop wishing

  1. That is a great challenge! It can be hard to find the peace God wants for all of us. Looking forward to making my lists at nap time today!

  2. I am so excited for all these posts. Want to do more than one a week! 😉

  3. Pingback: Proverbs study for families |

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