It's been nearly two years now since I first wrote this post about finding peace in contentment. And in that time I have found myself increasingly frustrated and overwhelmed by the rental house where we are living.
One night, not that long ago I began a pity party. I couldn't sleep. I listened to the dehumidifier scream in the hallway.
I was counting my frustrations with this house: it's lack of insulation and insane electric bill, cow pasture in the winter that smells to high heaven and the mice. Oh dear heaven, the mice.
We have to run the loud dehumidifier 24/7 to keep mold from growing in the closets and on the walls. It makes me feel bad about where I live.
I could go on and on but I think at this point everyone, including myself, is tired of hearing about this house.
SO one night when I couldn't sleep. I made a list of things I have to be thankful for. When I do this I find that my problems aren't really problems, they are annoyances that I can live with. When I make a list of things I am thankful for it is easier for me to find contentment.
1. I am saved by Grace. I have a God who loves me, saved me and forgives me when I throw little pity parties for myself.
2. I have a husband who loves me and our children. He is a hard worker and he loves the Lord.
3. I have TWO healthy children. This is like winning the lottery. I have many friends whose children have chronic illnesses, or have suffered through difficult starts in life.
4. I have been able to get pregnant and carry two healthy babies. I have the ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant and a lot of women would wish for that.
5. Both of my parents are still alive and I have a good relationship with both of them.
6. My sister is my best friend. She is kind and funny and encouraging and listens to me when I complain over and over again about this house.
7. I am healthy. My family is healthy. None of us are disabled in anyway and my child has not physical or mental limitations that keep him from growing or communicating with me.
8. My husband is employed in a job that allows me to be at home.
9. I live in a country where I can worship freely, without persecution.
10. I have the right to vote, I have the right to be educated, I have the right to make my own decisions, and many women in the world do not have that.
11. I have a place to live. And this was the one that I had to really think about. But I have a place to live where my family is safe. Where we have a roof over our heads. Where we are together each night in a peaceful place where no wars rage outside our walls. We can walk out of our house and look up and see stars. My children can play in the yard and I don't worry about them.
God honors contentment. In fact, he tells us this in 1 Timothy 6:6 "A God-like life gives us much when we are happy for what we have."
And I have a lot!
What about you? What do you to to help you have an attitude of gratitude?