Preventing Discontentment From Growing In Our Hearts…Guest Post!

This past summer, my kids, dog and I went to a cabin by a lake for a week. We enjoyed the quiet mornings and, in the afternoons, went cave exploring and ax throwing. It was a great vacation except for one thing.

My son couldn’t seem to enjoy himself on vacation because he wished for something more. You see, we’d previously discussed getting another dog since our toy poodle passed away in February. I’d said we would wait until after vacation. Now that we were on vacation, he was obsessed with thoughts about a new dog.

A new dog was all he could talk about. He wanted to end the vacation early so he could get a new dog. The Monday after we returned home, we went to the animal shelter and found the perfect snuggle dog for us: Twizzler.

The kids were in love. It took just a couple days for our German Shepard to get used to her, but once she did, our Shepard started paying more attention to the new dog instead of my son.

Suddenly my son began complaining again. He wished our Shepard would act like she used to and not be obsessed with the new dog. I wanted to scream, “Can’t you ever be happy?” I’d just bought him a dog for goodness sake.

Discontentment Grows When We Aren’t Focused on God

After I stepped back and calmed down, it left me wondering how often I ask God for something and the moment I receive it, I wish for something else or for the way things used to be

As a single mom who faced depression, I know firsthand how discontentment can grow in your heart. I don’t want to set my son up for the same cycle of wanting then wanting more. 

Our default reaction is to complain. Being people of thankfulness takes work. But it’s worth the effort. No one wants to be around a grumpy, complaining person. We seek out those who uplift and inspire us and make us smile.

I want to be that kind of person for others, and I desire the same for my children. The strategies I look for contentment in my life is very similar to the way to prevent discontentment from growing my heart. 

Beating Discontentment With Gratefulness

I’ve been working with my son to replace our complaining with thankfulness. Each night when I tuck my son in, we take turns naming things we are grateful for that day until we hit ten things.

He resisted the first couple of nights, but we’re starting to hit a stride. Plus setting this routine with him allows me to list my grateful items to God as well.

I’m not naïve enough to think all the complaining is gone, but I do hope to cultivate more gratefulness than grouchiness in my house.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Replacing Complaining with Serving Others

Immersing yourself into someone else’s pain and suffering will quickly quiet complaints about yourself.  Serving others works exceptionally well with children.  I’ve taken my kids to serve sandwiches after school to other children who often go without dinner. We spend a couple of hours serving these kids dinner and cleaning up afterward. 

Seeing a young child walk blocks by herself to get a sandwich for dinner reminds you everything you have to be grateful for in your life. 

Often kindness begets kindness. The more acts of service we participate in the more ideas my children come up with on their own. Whether it be surprising their bus driver with chocolate or inviting a lonely child to sit next to them, all of these acts naturally cause us to look outside of our circumstances. 

Pray for Contentment

Above all, pray for a heart change, whether it’s for yourself or your child. It’s a prayer God longs to answer. 

Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer writes at Sunflower Mom and podcasts at Grace for Single Parenting to encourage single moms to live fully in the season they’re in through God’s grace and love. At any given day you can find her eating chips & salsa and binge-watching Modern Family with her kids.

Are You Struggling? Scared? Not Sure How You Will Make It Another Day…Jesus Already Has a Plan For You!

Are there days, weeks, or months, that you wonder, how on earth you will make it through? How you will pay the mortgage, put food on the table or gas in the car? Are the mount of bills piling up resembling Mount Everest? Every time you make a deposit to save, are you also making a withdraw for some unexpected expense? I’ve been there, and this month in particular seriously brought me to me knees financially!

I started a new job that I absolutely love, but I get paid monthly. I’ve been paid monthly before, but I miscalculated the pays from my previous job and it left me in a pickle, to put it mildly. I’m not a big spender, but I live in the DC metro area, which is extremely expensive. So, miscalculating a paycheck is enough to throw a serious monkey wrench in the budget. Not to mention there were unexpected expenses, such as eyeglasses for my daughter, I higher deposit for a new school, and all those little things that add up. My bank account was thin and I was struggling folks.

I felt anxious, scared, angry at myself and to be honest I was exhausted! A big part of that unrest came from not trusting in the Lord’s provision. When I was reading John 6 this morning, I was struck by the passage, 6:5, “When Jesus looked up and saw the great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip,” Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.” Jesus already knew what he was going to do. Philip was faced with this situation that appeared to be insurmountable! How would he feed these thousands of people?

Philip automatically went logical on Jesus, right? He said, look, 8 months wages wouldn’t be enough to feed these people! I can totally relate to his reaction, because it was the one I had this month. The impossibility of the situation was overwhelming, and logically I could not see how the dollars would stretch. Just like Philip who gazed out and saw the hoards of people with no plan to feed them.

But, Jesus had a plan! Doesn’t he always? Jesus was testing Philip. Those pesky tests, get us every time, don’t they? When we are tested whether it be in our finances, health, family, or whatever area, it isn’t God being cruel. It is the Lord showing us his awesome provision, and sovereignty in our lives. It may not feel so awesome at the time, but there is a reason for the season we are in. We often have the tendency to look for an outward solution, instead of turning to Jesus. We look at our problem with human instead of spiritual eyes. Human eyes rationalize and don’t take the spiritual in account. Spiritual eyes, see the limitless possibilities of Christ. Spiritual eyes remind us that Jesus takes our impossible situation and show his love for us through it in the most remarkable ways.

What strikes me to in John 6 is the instrument that Jesus uses to feed the people. He uses a boy with 5 small barley loaves and two small fish. I’m sure the disciples were confused and hardly convinced that mere amount was enough. But, Jesus not only made it enough he created an abundance! Notice, too , he didn’t have a rich king show up to feed the people. He used the least likely, the smallest… a child as a vehicle to show his power. How many times has Jesus used the people you’d never expect to show up, and show up big in your life! We need to remember that through tiny vessels Jesus does extraordinary things!

Through this crazy and scarce month I’ve been shown the love of Jesus through so many unexpected blessings. My new boss gave me a title change, and a $5,000 raise in 3 days! The finance office at my daughter’s new school worked with me on pushing up the first tuition payment. My 13 year old daughter earned over $250 in babysitting money, so he had her own money to spend if she wanted to hang out with friends. My parents gave me money to make up the difference on my rent (and my sweet dad, has made it a point to tell me to not worry about getting it back, but I will ). I was able to push up my car loan payment and insurance as well. God has just spread a blanket of provision and abundance over me and my daughter!

God took my barley loaves and fish, and created a full meal. Friend, he will create a full meal of provision and abundance for you too. If you are facing a tough time know this…Jesus already has a plan! I so desire for you to rest in this truth. He knows your suffering, fear, and most of all your heart. This difficult time, may be a test for you to draw closer and lean on Jesus rather than your on capabilities. He will come though! When he does I hope you sit at the table full of gratitude and enjoy and not waste any morsel of his absolute love for you.

I will be glad when August 30th rolls around and that first paycheck comes in, but I know until then and afterwards, Jesus will feed me! He always has and he always will!

Show Acts of Kindness Not Judgement

Judgement hurts. Judgement spill out so easily, doesn’t it? We look at people and their actions and in a few moments we make a snap judgement about who they are, and what their actions say about them. Maybe it’s easy because it has become a norm in our society. There’s a whole lot of judgement going on these days and you can’t tell me it doesn’t hurt, and if you’ve been on the receiving end then you know that is the truth.

Single moms are often unfairly under the eye of judgement. How often has the mom whose kid is having a full blown tantrum received darting stares of annoyance? Or the person who comes late to church service every Sunday are given the disappointing stare? The woman who passes on adding to the collection plate is whispered about behind their back? We are so quick to give a disapproving glance, or cast a stereotype without looking beyond the surface. Are we so trained to take things at face value that we don’t really see the complexities of what is happening behind the face we are judging.

If we only stopped to ask, maybe we would learn that the child’s tantrum is because they are sick, and have been poked and prodded for months on end, and their mom is too exhausted from her own anxiety to do much about it.
Maybe the woman who is always late is fighting depression and just getting out of bed and getting dressed is a battle, so showing up to church is a win for them. The person who passed on the collection plate, may be struggling just to put food on their family’s table and is hoping not to get evicted, so there is no money to give.

The point is there is usually something deeper that lies beyond what we see. If you’ve ever been unfairly judged you know it cuts you to the core, it’s humilating and it makes you feel less than. Jesus wants us to be the light, to shine in that place where others see darkness. We are beautifully flawed and complex beings, so, before we judge let’s stop and look deeper. Instead of passing judgement let’s pass on acts of kindness and love so that judgement has no place to reside.

Get Some Rest! Stop Counting On Man & Start Trusting In God

Who do you rely on? Most of us rely on someone, right? Often times we rely the most on ourselves. or we trust in those around us. When we fail or others don’t meet our expectations, we get nervous. Anxiety starts to set in and we forget about who is in control…God.

Placing our faith in everyone and everything else causes us to be tired…spiritually tired. The type of tired that causes unrest in our spirit. The kind of unrest that makes us feel sad, helpless and desperate. We have limitations. God is limitless . We see burdens, God sees the blessing. We feel alone and God sees our troubles as a way draw us closer to him. How often do we call on everyone else but God? We seek advice from our friends, family, and therapists, but how often do we stop and call on the Lord?

I can’t tell you how many times I have felt stuck, with no way out. I cried until I couldn’t see, I sat for hours trying to figure out a solution, I tried to think logically, I had sleepless night and anxiety ridden days. Guess what? None of it solved the problem or got me through the trial. It was only when I surrendered it to God did I find rest. My issue wasn’t magically resolved overnight (sometimes it was!) but I found rest for my spirit. I could walk through the day knowing that God would take care of me.

As a single parent, I know there are struggles that are unique to you and your children. I also know that you have the best partner, one that won’t let you down, that will support you, and give you the wisdom and strength you need to move forward. It’s easy to become tainted to look outward, to feel like you are a lone ranger on your own, but I beg you to look inward to that place where God resides in you and hold onto him, because he is always holding onto you.

Our problems and circumstances seem impossible or insurmountable because we view them with human eyes! In our humanness we can’t see a solution, or a way through, but God already has the plan in place! The best thing is unlike human plans, there are no flaws in God’s plans! It may not be the one you had in mind, but you can trust that he has your best interest in mind.

Are you tired? Find rest through trusting in God and not man. Trust in the power of the one who knows you better than anyone, who knit you into your beautiful complex self and whose love For you is eternal and endless! When you put your faith in him then you will find true rest.

Bible Study Binder Available! Special Price for August…$12.00! There’s More…You Get One FREE for A Friend! Use the Code: studyfor2

I am super excited to launch the project that is closest to my heart… The Bible Study Binder! The most important thing you will ever do in this life is to nurture your relationship with God. Through that relationship you can reflect the love of Jesus through your life to your kids. I think of it as a way of leaving somewhat of a spiritual legacy for your family. The Bible Study Binder was born out of my love for taking sermon notes, bible study notes, dissecting scripture and having a desire to build up a library of spiritual wisdom and guidance that I could eventually give to my daughter and her family. This binder will help you do that!

I know that the month of August is busy and it is usually a time when we are shelling out the bucks for back to school. So, for the month of August I’m offering The Bible Study Binder with 68 pages full of resources for $12.00, which is about .06 cents a piece! But, there is more! Sisters need to support each other so you get a Code for a Free Copy for a Friend. Click here to see the printables. Use the Code: studyfor2

Take a look at all you’ll receive!

  • Beautifully Designed Dividers & Cover
  • Daily Prayer Printable
  • Prayer List Printable
  • Personal Prayer Printable
  • Count Your Blessings Printable
  • 2 Page Scripture Memorization Printable
  • Favorite Scriptures Printable
  • Life Circumstances Printables to write down scriptures for encouragement (faith, fear, courage, anger, idleness, health, gossip, forgiveness)
  • 3 Different Designs for Sermon Notes 2 pages each
  • 2 Sets of Bible Study Class Notes 2 pages each
  • In Depth 3 page Bible Study Notes
  • Bible in a Year Schedule
  • Bible in a Year Tracker 
  • 12 Month Calendar Bible Study Schedule
  • Extra Bonus: My 1 page personal study of God’s Character through Psalm
  • Extra Bonus: My 1 page on Choosing God’s Plan for Your Life Over the Enemy
  • Spiritual Goals Printable 2 Designs
  • Spiritual Discipline Tracker

It’s a lot, but this is going to change the way you study and how you keep track of your personal spiritual growth. 

Print these pages out every week, every day, and build an amazing Bible Study Binder

Get 20% Off On a Grocery List/ Grocery Haul List Printable! Use Code: Grocery20

Happy Saturday! If your pantry is looking a little bare after a busy week, then you’re probably heading out to the grocery story. It’s probably not the fun activity you had in mind for a lovely Saturday afternoon, but a girl got to eat right?

I’ll make this quick, so you can get back to your weekend, but I have good news! Don’t spend hours scouring the aisles, have a game plan in place! Download my Grocery List or Grocery Haul List and make shopping more efficient, so you can do what you enjoy this weekend!

Take advantage of this FLASH SALE of 20 % Off by using the Code: Grocery20 when you check out!

Simply do the following for your 20% Off Deal!

  • Click on the link  to choose the design you like
  • Add to cart and click on the Check Out Button
  • Add the Discount Code Grocery20 in the discount code option
  • Click Pay and your discount is automatically added!

You’ll receive your download immediately! Enjoy!

P.S. Remember to check out the options for the Kitchen Binders! Hard Copy is now available!

The Complete Kitchen Binder is AVAILABLE! 96 Printables!

It is finally here! I’ve launched the Complete Kitchen Binder for all you busy moms and anyone who is running a household! This binder is chockful of printables with different designs that you are going to love! Not only are they pretty, but they are practical and AFFORDABLE! You will get all 96 printables for $12.00! That is 8 cents a copy. This is a great value and you can print it out over and over again! So, what do you get?

As you can see you have options! If there are any revisions you will automatically receive an updated version of the printable. If this is too much for you, I offer smaller versions of the kitchen binders in two collections, the Floral Collection and the Orange Blossom Collection both have 29 printables and are $8.00. You can also purchase the Complete Recipe Binder with 54 printables and the most adorable designs if recipes are your jam!

Once your purchase is a link will be sent to your email with the complete set of binder printables.

Take a look around Home Sweet Home Binders for a ton or printables that will help you create systems to make your home life more organized!

Enter to Win A Digital Download of the Kitchen Binder!

Guys! I’m so excited about launching the Kitchen Binder that I just seriously had to do a giveaway! This one is so easy! All you have to do to enter to win is Subscribe to! You will automatically be entered to Win all this:

  • Digital download of a full Kitchen Binder with dividers
  • Weekly Meal Plan (3 design versions)
  • Grocery Lists (3 design versions)
  • Grocery Haul List (3 design versions)
  • Pantry, Fridge and Freezer Lists (3 versions)
  • Recipe Cards (Includes: Beverage, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, and Veggie recipe cards. 4 versions which is 24 resources just with the recipe cards!)
  • Kitchen Cleaning List (3 design versions)
  • Kitchen Weekly Cleaning Planner (3 versions)

Do the math, that’s a lot of resources! If you are already subscribed to Home Sweet Home Binders, no worries! Thank you and you are already entered to WIN! 

Subscribe by July 14th. The Winner will be contacted and announced on July 15th the day of the Kitchen Binder launch.

Good luck!

Don’t Break The Piggy Bank! Download Your FREE Expense Tracker!

Money, money, money, money… Can’t you just hear me singing that tune 🙂 Listen, money matters. We all need it to put a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our body and a whole more. You work hard for your money, so know where you are spending it and what you’re spending it on. The collection on finances include monthly budget printables, expense and savings trackers, a 6 page packet on keeping your accounts in order and there are more resources coming soon. I’m serious about keeping track of your finances because I know how important is to your peace of mind.

Download 1 of 3 designs of the Expense Tracker Printable for FREE as part of this week’s promotion until July 7th. All you have to do is enter the Code: Money19 when you click purchase on the design you choose. You’ll receive a confirmation and your download soon after.

Don’t forget to check out the other individual printables in the Finance Collection! Visit homesweetho to subscribe for updates and promotions!