31 Days: Contentment That Won’t Flee

Links to all posts in the series can be found at the end of this post. 

It’s already here! The Nester’s 31 Days series starts now, and I’m taking the plunge. Honestly, I wanted to write about something light and fun–personal style or the like–but I’ve had something heavy on my heart that’s begging to be written.

So here we go–31 days of fighting for contentment that won’t flee, won’t fade, can’t be stolen.

Why this? Because I’ve been right there, under the weight of discontentment, wishing away days and overlooking the magnitude of blessings. And then, when my toes were sliding over the edge, God gently pulled me back to safety. No magic formula, no self-help quick fix, just submitting to God’s loving, sharpening, beautiful work.

My hope is that the comfort I have experienced might be passed on to someone else, as Paul tells us God intends (II Corinthians 1:4). I’m no expert; this is just my story. I’ll share the deep-down, painful things I learned as well as the daily, pragmatic practices that have helped me move from crushing discontentment to persevering contentment. All posts will be listed here as they’re posted for ease of organization.

I hope to see you back tomorrow, and be sure to check out the many others linking up this month!

Update (October 15th): I’m a few days behind due to being completely (and wonderfully) distracted by the Influence Conference. I’ll be playing catch up daily this week.

Day 2: Pour Out Your Heart

Day 3: Perspective

Day 4: Decide Who to Please

Day 5: Give

Day 6: Contentment Is Not…

Day 7: Paul, An Example

Day 8: Plans

Day 9: When the Way is Dim

Day 10: Community

Day 11: When Contentment Is Hard

Day 12: Soak in Truth

Day 13: Rest

Day 14: Whose Glory?

Day 15: Keep Eternity in Focus

Day 16: Protected Purpose

Day 17: The Small Moments

Day 18: Romans Eight Twenty-Eight

Day 19: Be Present

Day 20: Look For Growth

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The Real Deal

Are you heading to Influence in a couple few weeks?

I am, and I’m giddy about it. Making new friends typically leaves me sweaty-palmed and wanting to fake sickness, but for whatever reason, God has gotten my heart thrilled about this opportunity.

If you’re attending–or if you’re considering attending next year, perhaps–head over to theinfluenceconference.com and watch the simulcast video from last week (link on their blog). It will give you a glimpse of the authentic, funny, grace-soaked heart of these women.

My favorite part? The discussion of not recognizing each other in person because our avatars don’t actually look like us. Um, guilty.

That picture on the right? That was pre-baby–so add 20 pounds, a major hair cut, and the darkest hair I’ve ever had, and you have what I actually look like now.

So there you go–that’s what I’ll actually look like at Influence Conf. No visible jawline and Alexa Chung-wannabe hair. Someone else please tell me they won’t be looking their best October 11th.

Parenthood

Baby is teething. Mama is struggling to accomplish more than the bare minimum. It’s just one of those weeks at the Stewart household. But….Parenthood is back! (If you’re not excited about this, I don’t know what to say.)

Something odd happened to me during this week’s season premier episode.

I started to identify with the adults.

Technically, I’ve been an adult for 8 years. Committed to marriage for nearly 5 years. Have a Master’s degree. I’ve noticed, though, that I have a difficult time seeing myself as “one of the adults.” It’s not that I behave like an adolescent; in fact, I’ve been weirdly responsible and sensible (read: boring) since childhood. I just don’t feel like an adult. Watching a show with the family dynamics of Parenthood, I’m still more likely to empathize with the kids and think the parents are a little over-the-top.

Watching those parents preparing to send their oldest daughter off to college on the other side of the country, though, something just shifted. My heart said, “!!!!!!!!!!” If you can’t translate exclamation points, that means, “Oh no! My daughter is going to leave one day, too! No! Not my baby! Don’t leave me! Ah! My baby!”

And now I’m a crazy lunatic mother who can already envision the day we will move to the city Caroline chooses for college. Someone help me.