Contentment in the DesertYears ago I told my then newlywed husband that I would follow him anywhere except the desert. While some people love the desert and others think–say it with me–“it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there,” I did not even want to visit. I’d been there three times and that was three times too many!

The Lord tested my loyalty. Apparently, I passed the test, because we moved to the desert three years into our marriage, and we have been here ever since.

God has funny ways of eliminating the clutter of discontentment. The desert is one of the tools He uses on me.

While I frequently chose to be blind to the stunning beauty of the mountains surrounding our home in all directions, He forced me to see. He used little girls calling us outside to watch the glorious sunsets paint our mountains. He used my husband’s songwriting ability to focus me on the wonders of Creation and Creator.

Whereas I was immune to the amazing weather we experience nine months of the year, He forced me to appreciate it, setting my husband to the task of making a mini-paradise in our backyard. There we have enjoyed hours of simple fun, exercise, laughter, and togetherness.

When I grew oblivious to the remarkable day-trip destinations that surround us, He filled my camera with pictures of the stunning places we have been, possible only because of where we live.

Discontent clutters the mind, contaminates the soul, and saps life of joy.

Contentment is not a right. It is a battle. It is a struggle. It is a prize. If I cannot be content right here in our desert valley, then I cannot be content anywhere. I would like to say with Paul that I have learned to be content in all things….but I’d like to forgo the circumstances that brought him to that truth! No shipwrecks for me, thank you! I’ll stick with my beautiful desert.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on tips to declutter the discontentment.