Searching for Contentment in the Valleys of Life

contentment in the valley 3

Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries

I felt like a fool! I knew I had walked across the house to get something from this room, but I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what it was!

How could I have forgotten so quickly what I needed and why I thought it would be located in this part of the house?

Have you ever felt lost in your own home, wandering from one room to another, searching for something you know you need but can’t exactly remember why?

There was a season in my life, not too long ago, where it seemed as though I was aimlessly wandering from one thing to the next.

I lacked purpose, and even when I felt like I had finally found my path, I somehow managed to lose my way before I ever arrived at the destination.

My heart desperately wanted to return to the  mountaintop, but a cloud bank had settled over the valley I was in, and I could no longer see how to get back to where I once was.

God, in His faithfulness, didn’t answer my fervent prayers to be rescued from the valley.

Instead, He lifted the fog just enough to show me how beautiful life in the valley can be, if I ask Him for the strength to embrace it.
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Today I want to encourage you to stop looking for mountaintop experiences because it is in the valleys of life that we discover what we are made of.

We each face our own battles in this life.

Some struggle with career or finances; others with unsatisfying relationships or wayward children.

I’ve known people who seem to collide with misfortune at every turn, and others who, by all outward appearances, live a charmed life.

I have come to the conclusion that it is not what life does to us that matters, but how we respond to our lot that defines us.

It is not what life does to us that matters, but how we respond to our lot that defines us.Click to Tweet

My own personal battle is a physical one.

I may look and seem normal to you.

If we met at a party or you saw me playing at the park with my children, you would never be able to perceive the inner battle I am fighting each and every day.

I have a myriad of health issues that plague me with chronic fatigue, headaches and body pain.

Pain is something I deal with on a daily basis, and it has forced me to embrace a  different kind of lifestyle.

Rather than longing for the mountain top experiences of my past, I have learned to be grateful for the grace God has given me in the valley.

Valley living has forced me to seek a balance and to look heavenward for strength when my own is faltering.

It has taught me the value of rest, the importance of asking for help, and the necessity of living to please God alone.

 I would not be the person I am apart from the lessons I have learned from embracing life in the valley.

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About three years ago, I hit a physical low.

I had been dealing with daily headaches for more than a year, and it was taking an emotional toll.

Even when we discovered the source of my problem {a low-level carbon monoxide leak in our home}, it took me well over a year to fully recover.

Through this process, we learned that my body does not detoxify properly, and I was encouraged to eliminate as many environmental toxins from my life as possible.

As I began taking tentative steps towards a greener way of life, I developed a strong desire to grow my own food.

I began to long for a different kind of lifestyle, one that connected me with the land and required me to get my hands dirty.

I needed a fresh start, and I literally found it in the valley.

sarah with produce

An opportunity presented itself for my husband and me to build a home in the country, and we embraced the idea of a new beginning.

The little piece of land we chose to develop wasn’t much to look at, that is if you were only to look inward at the property itself.

But when you look up, and out, the view was transformative!

I came to this land broken and worn, but I the rich soil and the sweeping views have inspired new growth in me.

I am so grateful the Lord allowed me to suffer because it was through that suffering that I discovered my need for a sacred retreat from the busyness of this world.

Today I want to encourage you to stop looking for mountaintop experiences, because it is in the valley of life that we discover what we are made of. | SarahKoontz.com

Our little valley is lush and green, surrounded by tall pines and blue skies.

Life in the valley has changed my family in every way.

We don’t rush about, nor are we eager to leave for any reason at all.

We spend our days working hard and our evenings enjoying fruits of our labor.

Today I want to encourage you to stop looking for mountaintop experiences, because it is in the valley of life that we discover what we are made of. | SarahKoontz.com

We grow our own food and we enjoy the company of our small flock of chickens.

We relish the simple things that we were too busy for when we lived in the city.

We found a new way of living in the valley, and we are stronger than ever before.

I do not want people to remember me for the fleeting moments I have spent on the mountaintop because I long to be known for the life that I lived in the valley.

The rich, fertile valley brought healing to my body and restoration to my soul.

Today I want to encourage you to stop looking for mountaintop experiences, because it is in the valley of life that we discover what we are made of. | SarahKoontz.com

I believe that we were created to embrace valley living, yet the world has somehow convinced us that the mountain top is where it’s at!

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life looking down on the world from the top of the mountain, I would much dedicate my days to looking upward.

The valleys of this life force us to look up and out at the beauty that surrounds us, and that is the sort of life I want to create for my family.

The valleys of this life force us to look up and out at the beauty that surrounds us.Click to Tweet

Encouragement for today. What if we were to stop searching for mountaintop experiences? What if our purpose was to embrace pain and suffering, search for balance and rest, and look up and out at the world from the valley rather than down at it from the mountain top? I am learning that it is the valleys of life where we discover what we are made of. Christian | Woman | Encouragement | Prayer | Hope | Truth | Women Inspired | Healing | Faith

I have built a new kind of life here in the valley, and I want to invite you to join me.

It’s a small life, a simple life, but it is full of contentment and purpose.

Bible Study with Sarah Koontz

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About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and a house full of foster kittens. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, an unexpected homeschooler, and a Dallas Seminary student.

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