This year I made a promise to myself to be more content. Sounds easy enough right? Well, it's not. But let me back up a bit and let you in on why I ever made this promise to myself. A while back when we had first moved into our house and I was pregnant with Sophia I was kind of on a rampage. A decorating and cleaning rampage which may be also called "nesting"? Anywho, I spent so many hours on Pinterest, spent a lot of time trying to get everything in order before Sophia arrived. I worked really hard but found myself still restless. Everything I did just wasn't good enough. I wanted that feeling of restlessness to just go away so after spending some time in prayer the word content popped into my mind. At that moment I felt that God was calling me to just be content, to just be grateful. But how would I do this? Too often I kept falling into the trap of wanting more, buying more, "needing" more of this or that. MORE, I say! But God was saying, enough. I had two healthy kids, a supportive husband and we just bought our first house. What more did I really need? The answer was simply nothing, except for gratitude. I think when you live without gratitude you tend to become a little selfish. Selfish with your time. Selfish with your finances. Selfish. It happens so quickly as well. When I began to recognize my need to be content and thankful for my life I sought out different ways that would help me to feel that what I had was a blessing and enough and if anything more came along to take it as a blessing as well. A couple of things I did that helped me a lot.
- Stopped the comparison game: After being involved with FOCUS for 5 years and having to fund-raise our salary, I felt like people our age had so much more than we had. I was trying to keep up with the Joneses and it was so SO ridiculous. Instead of being jealous of what others had whether that be a newer car, a newer house, a vacation to somewhere exotic...I decided to be genuinely happy for those people. When I got excited about others success, it brought more joy into my life. Have you ever heard the quote, "comparison is the thief of joy"? I love that quote because it is so true.
- Gratitude list: At the end of each day I wanted to journal all of the good things that had happened that day and focus on the good. I really like the idea of this, but have not been so successful in executing this idea out. Once in a blue moon, before I doze off for the night I do try and remember some good things through out the day that happened. When I take time to remember or reflect on all the good that is in my life, I'm grateful and what I have in my life suddenly becomes enough.
No one is perfect and there are still times where jealousy can creep in and times where I want more-more-more. But I think that's okay, we are only human and humans are pretty greedy at times. I think recognizing this feeling is important and changing my perspective on some of these things has helped with that annoying restless feeling. Take some time today to reflect on what you are grateful for, you'll be happy you did, I promise!
Side note: The Live Greater Foundation has also recognized the importance of gratitude and what better way to reflect on what you are thankful for with Thanksgiving being right around the corner! Go on to our page on Facebook and share with us what you are grateful for. Make sure you use the hashtag: #greatergratitude so the rest of us can be grateful right along with you! I'll start...
I'm so grateful God gave me the family He did...not sure what I'd do without these maniacs. #greatergratitude