Cultivating Joy through Thankfulness

Being a Stay-at-Home-Mom is hard…and wonderful.  Endless dishes, cleaning, trying to drive while listening to a tired child wail because they “just can’t wait” until you get home for a snack…in eight minutes.

It’s hard to be joyful when you wish you were somewhere else…it’s hard to be joyful when you’re not content.

Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind. Colloquially speaking, contentment could be a state of having accepted one’s situation and is a milder and more tentative form of happiness. (Wikipedia)

It is easy to say, “just be content with what you have and you will be happy”…it is a lot harder to do.

You run into Target to pick up laundry detergent and you pass a really cute shirt/throw pillow/lamp/bracelet and you want to buy it because you think it will bring you joy.  Whether you buy it or not you still have an internal argument…”I wish I could afford to just buy something when I want to …not having to stick so closely to my budget…I wish we had more money, life would be so much easier.”  “look at this great new throw pillow…it will make our living room so much cozier! Oh no, my kids just spilled grape juice on it!”  Lasting happiness (joy) doesn’t come from our external circumstances; it comes from inside.

So, how do we change in order to have more contentment (and joy) day in and day out?  A good place to start is with thankfulness.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17

I’m choosing to see the small things in my life that I can be thankful for.  Especially in the areas that could cause me the most discontentment.

  1. I’m thankful for our 1998 mini van because it has a tape player…it brings me joy to here my kids singing along with tapes that I enjoyed as a kid. (Psalty, Bullfrogs and Butterflies, Music Machine).
  2. I’m thankful for a small house that forces us to keep our possessions and purchasing under control…we only have room for what we need and love.
  3. I’m thankful for our large yard in the country where our kids can run and yell and experience the joy of animals…even though I have to mow it each week…it’s great exercise!

What are you choosing to be thankful for this week?

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