I love going on beach vacations. I like dreaming about vacation and planning where we’ll go next. However, when I return from vacation, I have a problem. I long to be back at the beach. I long to walk in the surf and ride bikes as a family on the hard packed sand. The small beach condo is easy to clean up and simple to maintain. I long to sit with my family on the vacation condo’s screened-in porch at twilight listening to nature sounds. My children are more active at the beach, and we have fewer battles over screen time.

 I fall into the comparison trap. Sure, there are ways to implement some of the positives of vacation life into our home life, and I’m trying to do that. I’d like to go on more family walks and bike rides. I’d like to sit around together in the evening with no screens on, just talking or playing a game.  However, as I reminded myself during the drive home from the beach, I need to be content with my life. I need to be content with where God has placed us.

Philippians 4:11–12

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Habakkuk 3:17–19

Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

GOD, the Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet like the deer’s;

he makes me tread on my high places.

Once I work through the process of being content with my life, then I can move onto being joyfully thankful for what I have. I can be thankful that I only live about five hours from a beach. That’s a doable drive for us. When I was a child we had to drives days to get to the beach. I can be thankful that God has provided us with a house that is large enough to meet our needs.  Even thought it’s a lot to clean, God provides time for me to manage that. I’m thankful that there’s a dedicated homeschool room and a dedicated playroom. I know from living in a very small house in the past, that I feel overwhelmed with a lot of clutter, so trying to fit toys and homeschool materials into a small beach condo would stress me out. God knows that and His plan is always best. Where we live, in a large suburb, there is a lot of traffic and noise. There aren’t any beautiful natural attractions like the beach, but there are positives to living in this suburb. God has provided the right job for my husband, and we get to live nearby. God has provided a homeschool partnership where we have a great community and supplemental classes for our children. Last but not least, we have an amazing church with an orchestra for me to play in and many activities for our children.

I tell myself that someday we can retire to the beach, but I don’t want to let myself get too far down that line of thinking. I don’t know what God has planned for our future. His ways are best. Maybe we’ll live near our children. Maybe God will have a purpose for us somewhere else.  I hope to keep practicing being content in each season of life and any location where God leads us.

Isaiah 55:8-9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Ephesians 5:20

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

#contentment #thankfulness #God’s ways are best

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