The Journey back to Contentment

“Contentment doesn’t happen automatically. It takes an act of the will to decide to respond to life in a godly manner.” ~ Vonette Bright

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” ~ Proverbs 15:13

I have been living with a crushed spirit for the past several months … lots of situations and words – big and small – have weighed on my heart and mind, gradually overcoming me.

I’ve let it happen of course. Allowed those hurts and sorrows to take root … lost sight of graces and goodness and abundance. And I’ve been praying for the strength and wisdom to regain perspective and contentedness. And the Lord has reminded me that I let go of an important discipline … counting. {More on how this reminder has come in the days ahead but thanks to an obedient, honest friend for being His tool.}

For years I spent the early moments of every Sunday morning listing the blessings of the week just past … knowing that worship comes best from a grateful heart.

I’ve set goals for myself … counting blessings equal to the year, 2005 in 2005.

Then there was a listing on my blog, the Fab Five, where I continued to count … sharing my gratitude.

And this year, I stopped. Reasons that, at the time, seemed good, but now sound hollow and selfish.

So this morning, my listing begins again … in my journal, in my prayers … Gratitude for coffee and cozy sweatshirts, golden sunrises through oaks and pines, gentle snores of those I love, giggling girls sneaking into the door in the early morning darkness grace upon grace, gift after gift.

And with it, the sweet assurance that contentment comes with gratitude.

Celebrating good and perfect gifts (James 1:17) this day:

{1 – 20}

  • Sound sleepers curled up under the warm covers on a crisp morning.
  • Brewing coffee
  • Humming dryer filled with evidence of God’s abundance
  • Crackling fire that reminds me of the hearth of my Pepa’s house
  • Colors of gold and pinks and reds breaking through the trees as a new day begins
  • Opening door with two little girls peeking in – and the gift of being available to help others, even at 6 am
  • Proverbs, the daily refocusing
  • Two cars, so that a  flat tire on a Sunday morning can wait until later
  • The deep, long hugs of friends who know and love – no words needed
  • Jewelry that opens the door to share
  • Music that reminds me
  • Well-lived life of a godly woman
  • Sunday night conversations with my husband
  • Jokes that are only funny because my daughter is telling them
  • Favorite sweatshirts
  • Crisp, cool mornings
  • Challenging sermons
  • The girl’s messy room
  • “Hey babe,” said as he walks in the house after a long day at work
  • Sweet two-year old nephews

Each Monday, I’ll continue to share a Lopsided Living idea in the morning … but in the afternoons, a gentle reminder toward gratitude.

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!