Finding Home and Contentment

Amelia Mayer

Isn’t it easy to want what we don’t have? The “grass is greener” mentality is real and not just something that affects us in younger and more vulnerable stages of our life.

I live in Yellowstone National Park. The view out our backyard is rugged and stunning. Bison, elk, wolves and who-knows-what-else make their home in our neighborhood. The most majestic thermal features of our country surround us.

But – there is so much more to it than that living here in the Park.

Things (material and unimportant things) are not always as they seem. The beauty outside is breathtaking (though admittedly sometimes annoying to get past a bison jam when you are in a hurry), but it’s our inside world that I struggle to find contentment in. My husband’s job (wild land fire) makes us a required occupant. Whether we like it or not, we are mandated to live in Mammoth Hot Springs. Rough right?!?! However, it also means that we cannot own a home, and are at the mercy of the government and the house they provide for us to live in and rent.

These “Mission 66″ homes are lacking in efficiancy and heating them costs an exorbitant amount of money. We choose instead to keep it just at 60 degrees in the winter and bundle up. We are required to live by the rules they ask us to and, to be honest, there are a whole pile of things we would change if we could.

Never in my life have I coveted other’s homes like I have over these past years. I dream of a place of our own where we can do what we want. I find myself insanely jealous of “normal” houses and the ability to paint walls a color other than eggshell white.

It’s absolutely ridiculous, but it’s real.

We are blessed to live where we live. We are fortunate to have the home we do. It’s regulated and nothing fancy, but it’s giving our family an opportunity of a lifetime.

As a Christian woman, I have spent a lot of time praying for contentment and peace and the ability to get past these material things. My home does not need to be perfect. My kids are content in the only home they have known well. They don’t pine for a play room or warmer hues or a wood stove. They are thrilled with a backyard they can play in. They love to hike and bike and feel loved in these mountains and these walls.

While I am far from breaking free from the challenges I really present to myself, I am doing my very best to shift my focus. As I speak about so much in this space, the most important memories are made in the time together, not in an ideal home. When it all comes down to push or shove, I’d rather spend time with my husband and children camping or skiing or adventuring than working on our house. I just need to remind myself of that more often than I care to admit.

I spend a lot of time at home. While my husband helps out plenty, and I make a great effort to get us out, I am the one who is in charge of cooking, cleaning, organizing and managing this household. I want to feel at home and proud of what I do. More than that, I want to be proud of who I raise. I want to be proud of the children that watch me so carefully.

And so this year I am focussing on the adventure, the memories, the love, the trials and finding home in one another. I want out of the self-infected competition to have the “perfect” (whatever that may mean) house. The battle will never be won in the material objects and, since I am human, I will always want more.

I’m doing my best to let go of the shallow dreams that will never truly buy me happiness, and to find pleasure in the moment, in my family, in where we are right now, and in this beautiful country we call home.



We always see the grass as greener from a young age. How can we be inspired to find contentment and happiness with what we have right now?

 This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.

Amelia lives with her husband and three young children (2 boys and a baby girl) in Yellowstone National Park. She and her family live each moment to the fullest, with the belief that life is precious. Together with her husband, she encourages adventures for their kids in the form of skiing, hiking, biking, running, camping and lots of outdoor playing. Amelia writes at Tales of a Mountain Mama in an attempt to inspire others to get outside daily too with tips and tricks, stories and lots of gear reviews and giveaways.