Lessons from the Travel Trailer

So I meant to publish a post about lessons we learned during our year in the travel trailer, but we hit a year way back in July and I still haven't found time to tap something out...

In the beginning it was so exciting but I wasn't sure that once the newness wore off I'd be able to survive a year in the trailer.  It has been over a year now and everyday has been an adventure. But there is also lot of drudgery.  Pushing through it all, I would have to say the most valuable lesson I have learned is one on contentment.  Well, I can't really say I have learned it, I should say I will be learning it for the rest of my life.

It doesn't matter how big (or small) my house is, how well it is decorated, how much laundry is piled up, or if I have a dishwasher. It doesn't matter what my grocery budget is- if I am eating healthy food or not, using an oven or a skillet, or even if I have running hot water.  It doesn't matter if I am able to buy every little thing my heart desires or if I am searching the van cup holders for a dime to buy a meal.  It doesn't matter if I have a thousand dollar top rated homeschool curriculum or a library card and a pencil.  Not one bit of any of that matters if I have a crappy attitude.

My mind is full of a nagging little never ending list of wants:
"If I could just learn this, go there, or buy that" or "I really need a...(insert just about anything from a fingernail file and hair dye to a laptop and a kitchen aid.)" If I keep thinking about them, they begin to gnaw on me and before I know it I am grumbling at everyone around me because my "poor me with out my such-n-such" attitude drips out of my mouth.

Contentment in every condition is a great art, a spiritual mystery.  It is to be learned and to be learned as a mystery. And so in verse 12, [Paul] affirms, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed."
The verse Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1647) is referring to is Philippians 4:12 and it follows "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."  Burroughs also states that:

Contentment is a sweet, inward heart thing.  Not only must the tongue hold its peace: the soul must be silent.  It is the quiet of the heart.
Some people may be good at keeping quite on the outside, at wearing a poker face in whatever situation life throws at them, but if there is a waging war in their heart, they are no better off than the person throwing a full blown temper tantrum.

I have only a few short months left in this tiny little abode that is bursting with memories.  It is my prayer that I will learn a great deal about contentment before we move on to a "real house" and I am tempted to fill in the empty spaces with something from my little nagging list of never ending wants.  In fact, I hope to throw out my list all together!  So~ be looking for my new series of posts on Contentment as I dig deeper to find what it truly means.


  1. Yes! And while you're at it add some practical advice about what physical things we can do to help get our hearts straightened back out during the worst of ill content times. I don't find myself in that position as much as I used to but boy, when I am I can be really selfish.
    Oh, and we *may* pay a visit home this week. Ryan won't know for sure till tomorrow. Gotta see what his Friday schedule is like.
    Desperately trying not to get my hopes up.~:0)

  2. Are the Burroughs' quotes from his book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment? I have it on my shelf somewhere and should probably dust it off and read it some more.
    I know we only see that which you choose to share here on your blog...but you've been so upfront and honest about struggles that I can't imagine there has been too much hidden away. In each challenge and hardship you've faced this past year you have shown humbleness and grace to a degree that very few of us submit too. Your journey has brought much joy and encouragement to me and pushed me to evaluate my thoughts and my life. Thank you for that.
    I'll continue to hold you in my prayers and wait eagerly for new updates as your life moves forward in the direction God has already prepared for your family.

  3. I loved this, and can totally relate to it, and struggle daily with the same thing. I am so encouraged by your blog!

  4. Mel~I will do my best!

    Marty~you are too kind! Thank you for your encouraging words! The quotes are from that book. I am reading it one page at a time, to really chew on it.

    Amanda~this is exactly why I choose to "bare al!" I am so encouraged when I hear about another mom's struggles, not because I want another mom to struggle, but because I know satan works hard at keeping us isolated, making us feel like we are all alone. We are not alone!!!


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