Featured, Lifestyle

On discontentment.

October 31, 2014

Lake Michigan

(Note: I am in the woods with this topic –figuratively speaking, of course. So bare with me while I externally process, and please feel free to engage in the conversation.)

Whether we’d like to admit it our not, in some way, shape or form, we all struggle with discontentment. It may not be an ‘all the time’ struggle, and it may not weigh as heavy as other burdens, but I believe we can resonate on some level with the feeling of not being content in our present circumstances.

I am in it right now. And I feel like a jerk for saying this. Because I have so much! So, SO much! I believe though, that we can simultaneously be thankful for what we have, and still feel this dull hum of unsettledness in the pit of our guts.

Sometimes that dull humming is good. It can be an indicator of needing to push up our shirtsleeve and pursue what it is that we feel is missing. It can drive us to take a risk or a leap of faith. It can drive us to try the very thing that we are most afraid of. It can drive us to discover things about ourselves that we did not know existed. It can drive us to make our dreams and the very things we feel we are built to do, a reality.

Sometimes though, it can mean there are unresolved things in our souls that need to be addressed. When we are feeling discontent with our present circumstances, it may be a sign that our values are out-of-whack. Or we are insecure or feeling out of control. Sometimes this dull hum can lead to self-discovery in the hard and painful and ‘wow, I’m so selfish’ kind of way. (Which is really good for us, but tends to make you feel like garbage as you walk through it).

This blog is a result of discontentment; the productive kind of result. I know I am built to communicate, and when I am not writing, I feel a gnawing in my soul that I cannot ignore. ‘Write, write, share, share …’ so here I am. Doing just that. I have no idea what this outlet will grow into, but I am proud of the act of writing and sharing. That is enough for me.

But if I only lean into changes that make me feel better about myself, then I’m not fully growing towards wholeness. I started writing, which is great and has helped, but there is still the humming. The dull, constant humming.

This feeling manifested yesterday when I wanted to buy a pair of jeans that I cannot afford. And not being able to afford those jeans really pissed me off for some reason. Let’s all take a moment to pause and judge … I know, first world problems, ‘I want jeans I can’t afford.’ Boo hoo. I realize this sounds vain and trivial and gross. It sounds that way, because it is vain and trivial and gross. And I am at least smart enough to know this. But it is not wanting the jeans and not be able to have them that is the actual problem. The real problem is: why am I so upset that I cannot buy a pair of expensive jeans?

And here we go on processing the painful, and ugly side of discontentment.

There are a lot of things right now in Casper and my world that feel out of control: financial stresses, unrealized dreams and goals, timing questions around the possibility of growing our family. None of these issues are unique to us. Nor are they unsolvable, heart breaking, actual suffering-inducing issues. They are just a natural part of real life. Which is okay. But they are still tough things that we have to face and process. These tough things feel especially heavy right now, and for that reason, I feel out of control.

So instead of getting angry about the high waisted, distressed, black Madewell jeans that I’ve coveting … I need to dig in and do the real work. I need to talk with Casper about my feelings. We need to analyze how to exist in the midst of uncertainty. We need to pray. We need to seek truth. We need to surrender.

This may sound trite to some of you as you read it. But it is the truth. I know that when I’m taking my small hand, and tightening it really hard around something that I want so badly and cannot control despite my best efforts, it is time to let go. To step outside of myself and surrender. It is never easy, or fun or natural to do this, but it is always good.

So today, by writing this, it is step one in checking my heart. Vulnerability and authenticity are ALWAYS vital for knowing and being known. So I am sharing a little bit of my garbage and telling you that I’m working on it.

What are you working on? Let’s process together.


  • Reply Kelly November 1, 2014 at 2:15 am

    I want these boots from Borr’s that I’m not able to get (I don’t know why I go in there) & the reason that I’m upset is because sometimes life is just plain hard and tiring (just day to day stuff) and from time to time, a new pair of jeans, boots or 3D mascara (

    • Reply Jessica November 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Kelly, Thank you so so much for sharing! i resonate with the tiredness. man oh man!

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