Contentment in All Circumstances

Pure exhaustion. That would describe me right now. Having found little sleep last night leaves me feeling pretty drained. Fear has been attacking me lately at the thought of trying to sleep. I was up folding laundry, reading, and simply crying out to the Lord. Can I possibly joyfully serve my family today when I have no brain? Where can I find the strength necessary to just focus on today, rather than worrying about tomorrow?

What does it mean to be content during these challenges seasons?

I love the way Nancy Twigg states it, “Contentment is being able to come to terms with where you are and what’s going on in your life, even if it’s not what you would have chosen for yourself. True contentment is not having everything you want, but learning to appreciate everything you have.” (From Clutter to Clarity)

Being content means being at peace with your circumstances. It means laying down your desires, and finding joy in all that the Lord has given. It is easy to let the mind wonder to unhealthy thoughts of comparison, asking the what-if’s and if-only’s, but being content clarifies life by keeping us focused on reality.

Contentment is possible when I focus on cultivating a thankful heart. When I fill my mind with a verbal reminder of all the sweet gifts he has poured out on my life – my husband, children, home, church family, etc – contentment is a companion of thankfulness. It requires taking control of my thoughts. It is not easy. When you are weary and tired, the mind does not function so easily and can wander back to thoughts of self-pity. There is no fruit in these thoughts. It is a daily battle for me right now. Self-pity is a work of the enemy to destroy our productivity and service to the Kingdom.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)

Let’s take control of our thoughts, dear sisters. Let us stand with Paul in declaring, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). Let us put our hope in God who never changes, rather than the fluctuating circumstances around us. Even if nothing else may be going right, I can be confident that God is with me. Let’s discover together that God is enough through every season of life! I am speaking out loud to my soul today, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why are you in disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalms 43:5)

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

47 Responses to Contentment in All Circumstances

  1. Bri December 3, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    I woke up this morning with tons of anxiety and a heart broken by lack of contentment and thankfulness. I had just seen my ex-boyfriend’s wife’s facebook and I had been comparing my life to hers – looks, finances, children, etc. And I’m happily married myself but for some reason I couldn’t stop comparing.

    I googled “how can I be content” as i sat down to read God’s Word and your blog popped up. Thank you so much fo this word of encouragement. I wrote down a lot of what you said in my journal so I can go back to it. I am ready to take all of my thoughts captive and focus on Christ. Thank you so much friend.

  2. Betsy Derr September 9, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Dear Lindsay,
    I’m new to posting on your blog. My name is Betsy. I’m a 50 yr. old mother of four sons, two daughters-in-law and one granddaughter. I’ve been walking with the Lord for 20 years.
    My first husband died and I got remarried two years after becoming a Christian and had my last two sons with my second husband.
    When my boys were little, I couldn’t sleep well for several years. Once, when it was particularly bad, I found myself saying too much, “I need to sleep! I need to sleep!”. After listening to me say this over and over, my DH said something to me one day that changed everything for me. He simply said, “If you really needed sleep, don’t you think the Lord would give it to you?”. Hmmmmmm…….I had to think about that one. But the answer had to be “Yes”, because we know the Lord gives us everything we truly NEED. As I pondered that truth and prayed, a transformation began to take place and soon I was sleeping through the night. It was as if I needed to learn that lesson before I could sleep again.
    Looking back over the time I wasn’t sleeping, I can tell you I never lost my mind, I never got sick, my kids were fed and clothed and survived, and so did I.
    Trials are to conform us to the Lord’s image, and I’m sure He is doing a good work in you.
    Learning to be content in all circumstances is something that takes practice, but it will yield its fruit of peace and joy!
    Hope this comment will help you.
    In Christ,

  3. Cherish September 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    I needed this today. Thank you.

  4. Rebecca September 8, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I have struggled with insomnia and sleeplessness and I know how hard it is in the middle of the night. I know the fear of wondering how I can provide for my family and be the best mom and wife I can be without any sleep. I have also felt that the middle of the night is definitely a time where Satan really attacks me with worry, fear, depression, etc. I know where you’re coming from! I did want to let you know about something that really helped me. My chronic insomnia had started up for me after my child weaned himself and so I started doing internet research on hormones and found so much help on It seemed that all of my symptoms matched up with low progesterone and so I started using a natural progesterone cream (and there are a few named on this website that are the best to use). The lady that maintains this site is named Wray and she has her testimony on there of all she went through with low progesterone until she found a doctor that started her on natural cream. She will also answer your questions if you share your story and the blog. This was SO helpful for me and the progesterone cream helped me sleep better again. I just wanted to pass it on to you, too! I had prayed to the Lord to ask Him to guide me to any info that might help me with my insomnia and He brought me to that site!

  5. Susan September 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Thank you for this post, Lindsay. I admire you so much, you are an inspiration to me and my homemaking. This is a vulnerable post, thank you for sharing from your struggle as you’ve also shared from your strength. I’m so sorry sleep is such a struggle these days. It probably seems like something so simple to get, but is elusive at the same time. My kids are about the ages of yours and I want to encourage you, (me) and anyone else reading with this verse:

    “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” – Isaiah 40:11

    God knows this stage with little ones is hard. His grace is still sufficient. Just breathe it in when you don’t feel like you can go on. His strength is perfect and we realize it all the more when our strength is gone.

    Keep holding onto Him, Sister in Christ!

  6. Nicole Abele September 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Wow – I needed this tonight! Thank you for posting. :)

  7. Amber September 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Dear friend, I am reminded of Jesus as He looks on His disciples struggling against the sea in the watches of the night. They’d just spent an exhausting day ministering to thousands upon thousands, and here was Jesus praying through the night and they, without Him, struggling against the elements. They’d gone to that hill originally to rest, but Jesus’ compassion for the crowds who met them there exceeded that need and His mercy carried them through exhaustion to meet the countless needs and multiply the little bread they had for the masses. They all were still awake, and likely tired. In the middle of their exhaustion, in the middle of the night, in the middle of Jesus’ midnight intercession, when they thought they were struggling alone, He came to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” They never did get to rest. They continued to meet on every side those needing healing. (Mark 6:30-56). In your exhaustion, dear friend, may Jesus strengthen you with His compassion to meet the ever present needs of your family, and though it seems you never get to rest, may you hear His voice telling you that He Himself is near – don’t be afraid! And may you participate with Him in the hours you cannot sleep in His midnight intercession. Love you, Lindsay, thank you for the encouragement you are to us all!

    • Lindsay September 3, 2010 at 7:24 am #

      Thanks dear friend for your encouragement!

  8. Lindsay September 2, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    Excellent post. Praise the Lord for how he teaches and encourages us through our sisters in Christ, even though we don’t know each other. I have been struggling with contentment recently and after praying about it and talking through it with my hubby, your post was like the icing on the cake. Thank you for your openness.

  9. Dream Mom September 1, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    Take care of yourself Lindsey. Perhaps a sleep study would help identify the causes of your insomnia.

  10. Jessica B September 1, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    it sounds like you need to remind yourself of who you are and Whose you are :-) Open up your Bible and remind yourself of the promises of God.
    I love this one;

    “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me.” Jeremiah 32:40

    Isn’t it so amazing to think that God has promised us that He will not stop doing good to us? Sometimes we are asking God for bread (or sleep), and it seems as though God gives us a stone (by not allowing the sleep), but when we remind ourselves that God always is out for our good, it helps us endure those trying times. Somehow, someway the lack of sleep that you are experiencing is for your good and HIS glory!

    Praying for you my friend. May you be filled with more and more of the Holy Spirit. May He open your eyes to see wondrous things from His word. May He remind you that you are His daughter and that He loves you and always (in every circumstance- even lack of sleep) has your good in mind- for His glory!


  11. Jessica August 31, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I’m so thankful for your message – His message – through your post. I have recently transitioned from stay-at-home mom to working mom this past month. I have 3 children under 3, and my husband and I are both teachers. I cry out to God every day for the strength to press on, as I struggle to raise our children, be a good wife, and work this very full-time job. It is not my desire to go to work, but I am literally helping to put food on our table at this point. I find myself wallowing in self pity, as I stay up late to catch up on housework and prepare lessons for my students, so it’s good for me to be reminded that those thoughts are from the enemy. I am certainly not content with my situation, and this is not the path I would have chosen for myself or my young children. But I know God is still working in the midst of our young family. Thank you for your words today.

  12. Katie August 31, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Thank you for this post. It’s a wonderful reminder and is going to help me in the days to come. I’ve got a few very long weeks ahead. God is in control of it all no mater what!

  13. Jane August 31, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Loved this post about contentment. I want to recommend a great read on this topic by someone I admire a lot. Lisa McMinn wrote “The Contented Soul” and I am re-reading it for the 2nd time this summer. McMinn was a professor at Wheaton College when I went there between 2002-2006. I had lunch with her one day to discuss several issues that she had written about in another book – I’ll always remember her wisdom and gracious spirit. When I read, The Contented Soul, I heard the same wisdom and graciousness on that topic. I highly recommend all that she writes!

  14. Molly White August 31, 2010 at 9:27 am #


    This is the one thing I read this morning, before my coffee . . . as I was trying to wake up my mind and get going for my quiet time with the Lord. I am so grateful that His mercies are new every morning, as I certainly needed a new, fresh start today. Yesterday was mired in disobedience and disrespect from my precious 5 year old, and by the end of a very long day, I was just done. I wallowed in self pity, crying and raging after they were in bed. My dear husband had worked a very long day, and while I felt bad for him, I confess I felt worse for myself. I had not had any help all day with the boys. I was just plain toxic to everyone around me by the end of the day. On Sunday I had been greatly stirred by the lesson at church. Passionately determined to be creative in my ways to serve, even in this season of being the mother to little ones. I don’t think the enemy cared for that much, and I failed to brace myself, to ask God for protection over my mind yesterday. By the end of the day, once I fully understood what was going on, I was exhausted. I finally just went to bed, asking God to please deal with me in my sleep. And HE DID! Without going into great detail, I dreamt specifically about being a work in progress, and that He is guiding me. He is so faithful, to renew our minds, even as we sleep (even if our sleep is brief : ).

    Thank you, Lindsay, for serving through your blog. I have been grateful for your encouragment many times.

  15. Ashley August 31, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    what a “coincidence” I got on here today to find a recipe and found this. Theres so much I could say right now about how I have not been a content wife or mother lately….but I’m just going to add my thanks and say its been a struggle but I think God is working in my heart, teaching me to be content with what I have and content with what I can get done in a day for my family (as well as doing those things for my family out of love and willingness). Glad to hear another woman speak of ‘those days’ and write about being content and turning it over to the Lord.

  16. Charissa August 31, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Exactly what I needed today! I am down. My body is broken, I am broke, my car is broken and my house is broken! I can’t take much more! I am printing off this blog.

  17. wittywife August 31, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, my son has been sick as well, and I can’t say I’ve been the greatest wife lately. I’ve been a bit crankier than I have intended.

    Your post reminded me that I do have a lot of great things going on in my life, and that even though I’m having a tough time, I truly and content and happy.

  18. Katie August 31, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    I needed this one. Thanks

  19. Tara August 31, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    Thanks so much! I hope you get a better night’s sleep :)

  20. kelly August 30, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Thank you for this excellent post. I think tiredness is really destructive to mental equilibrium, I know it is for me. Hope you can catch up on some sleep soon.
    God bless

  21. Kim August 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    I know you know this Lindsay but He is a good shepherd molding you and conforming you into the image of Christ so that you may shine with His perfect glory and draw others to Himself. I am praying for you tonight.
    Romans 8:28 He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

    It is so hard when I can’t control my emotions but I know He still loves us in our darkest pit and *YOU WILL SEE THE LIGHT of His spirit as he comes to rescue you.* The Lord just gave me that for you and I believe it is a prophetic word for you right now. Bless you, sister.

  22. Jaime August 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Thank you for your encouraging words. Had a tough day myself and that was very encouraging.

    I know you did not ask for advice but I just wanted to recommend a natural homeopathic rememdy (melatonin). My husband also struggles with insomnia to some degree and melatonin has really helped him regulate his sleep cycles.

    Take care. I’m praying for more sleep for you (and me!) tonight.

  23. Brigitta August 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Thank you for being transparent. It brought me under conviction as I have been wallowing in self-pity over a situation that affects my daily life. How constant we need to fill ourselves with God’s perspective and truth! May you be encouraged and strengthened as you have encouraged those of us who read your blog.

  24. Lindsay August 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Not only do I understand because I’ve been there, but because I am there today, too. My favorite verse to pray in these times is Psalm 62:5…My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. May He be our sole source of expectation and strength today!! Blessings, sister!!

  25. heidi @ wonder woman wannabe August 30, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Such truth you are dwelling in, my friend. I’m sharing a similar season of struggle and coming to many of your same conclusions (see below). Thanks for spuring me on!

    ps – have you ever read “Battlefield of the Mind”? I’m gearing up to re-read it.

  26. Kim August 30, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this! I just wanted to say that when I went through a season of being attacked by fear and having trouble sleeping this verse help a lot – Psalm 4:8 “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”

  27. kristi August 30, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    And everyboday said – “AMEN!”

  28. Kay August 30, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Thank you for posting this! On my blog, each Monday I do ‘Multitude Mondays’. I am following Ann at Holy Experience. I try to reflect on just 10 ‘gifts’ each Monday, from the prior week. This helps me in so many ways with being content for the past week and to prepare for the upcoming week! I’m learning to reflect on the blessings and it minimizes the negatives!

  29. Jessica Benson August 30, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Very encouraging! Thank you for your honesty. See you at Nathan’s wedding.

  30. Lori August 30, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Thank you for the reminder about contentment! I had to learn it as a long time single lady, and now am relearning it as a wife and mom. Thank you.

  31. Chelsea August 30, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Bless you for this post! I needed to hear this in a big, big way today. God is definitely mighty. A few minutes after walking downstairs to our laundry room to find that our sewer has backed up all over the floor (while my husband is out of town, no less), a friend mentioned this post on her facebook wall. It just couldn’t have been more timely. Thank you, Lindsay! I hope you get some sleep!

  32. Lauren August 30, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    I’m praying for you, Lindsey. Thank you so much for sharing this, for honoring God in the midst of struggles, and encouraging others with His Word and your honesty. You are a blessing!

  33. Anna August 30, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    …Another “amen” added… I struggle with letting my thoughts control me, instead of taking them captive, too. And how much you can change your whole attitude around, (and sometimes it transfers to your whole DAY) just by purposely changing the pattern of your thoughts.

    It’s hard. It’s easier and more self-satisifying to give in to self-pity at the moment. Thank you so much for sharing your encouraging words, though!

  34. Shawn August 30, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Amen Lindsay! This post is a great way to start the day. I am battling a sinus infection and have no money to go to the doctor so I am making do with home remedies and a dose of prayer to get through today with my baby and toddler. May God be with you today and bless you with rest.

  35. Amanda August 30, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    I’m praying for you. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles with us – and sharing your comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2 Cor. 1:3-5). Praise God that as we find our satisfaction in Him, we can have joy in any circumstance! I have been struggling with this too… so thank you.

  36. J August 30, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Once again perfect timing. We have a new foster daughter and I’ve been struggling with being content with however long we have her. I would love to adopt her, but…knowing that God is in control and will do what is best for all of us, and all to glorify him. I will be content!

  37. Angie August 30, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Amen to it all!

  38. Lauren K August 30, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    The timing of this is clearly from above, thank you thank you!

  39. Devon August 30, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    I am going to second everyone who has already said this..Thank you so much for this post!! I have been in self pitty about my job because I would rather be able to take care of just my son. I need to look at the brighter side and be happy with the fact that at least I work from home and he has companionship with the other children I keep. God has giving me this opportunity and I need to glorify Him in all I do!!

  40. Jenny August 30, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Jeremiah Burroughs said that contentment is, “that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” In other words, contentment is satisfaction in God Himself, who never changes, and the pursuit of contentment is the pursuit of Christ, the Bread of Life and the source of Living Water. What we have can be taken away, but God will never cast out His own.

    I had the same problem after the birth of my daughter this past year, Lindsay (and still do, intermittently). At first, it was a medical and hormal issue but, like you, it is now a fear issue. But God used it to expose the way that my view of grace was wrong. I am no more capable of caring for a baby in my own strength with 8 hours of sleep than I am with 2, yet somehow my perception was that I needed his grace less with more sleep. Insomnia is the trial that I need right now to be drawn to Him – as can be said of all of our trials.

  41. Hannah Stevenson August 30, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Thanks for taking the time to write this. I really needed it today. It’s amazing how much stronger I feel after reading words from our Father. Thanks!

  42. Kristin August 30, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Thanks so much for sharing. Not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear. I’m struggling greatly with my husbands decision to not have any more children. Honestly, right now I don’t even want to be content, but I know I need to.

  43. Leslie August 30, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Thank so much for this post….I really needed to hear it. I have been thinking that I need to learn to be more content, and really is something I was going to try to work on this week, and wow your post was on contentment! You are such an encouragement to me as you share through all your struggles!! May God bless you!

  44. Sarah-Anne August 30, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    Lindsay, indeed, you encourage even in the midst of your struggles. Thank you for sharing what God placed on your heart, and thank you for sharing yourself. You are in my prayers today – for each moment, that you may be fully present with your little ones, and that you may simply outpour God’s love and joy, even when you’re empty and have nothing left of yourself. May you set aside your worries, and indeed, together may we know in the core of our being that our God IS enough.


  45. Erin August 30, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    I agree with Jessica. Your selfless encouragement was a balm to my soul this morning. Thank you!

  46. Jessica August 30, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    Thank you for being an encouragement even in the midst of your own struggle. I really needed to read this today.