Ethan and I recently decided to buy a bigger house. During the selling and buying process, we hit some road bumps that caused us to stop and assess how wise it was for us to make that move. We’re in the process of paying off student loans and although we’d love to be nearby family, closer to Ethan’s work, and in a bigger house, moving would mean that we couldn’t effectively pay down the loans. We needed to realize we could be contented without change.
The more we discussed it, the more excited we were to stay put and find contentment right where we were.
Since losing our babies, I’ve had moments of aching for another. As time has progressed and I’ve wrestled with the thought of possibly only having one child, greater appreciation for our boy and what we do have has dawned in my heart. I know now that I can be content with our O and the perfect little family that we have. Because we do have so much right here.
Cool, right? I thought so too.
So what are the things that have brought us and myself to this place of deepened contentment? Here’s what I figure:
Keeping a Thankfulness Journal
A what? You heard me right. A Thankfulness Journal. It’s a cute little journal who’s sole purpose in life is to hold a record of the things I’m thankful for. A new car. A new baby. The sunshine. A chocolate chip cookie. The nice stranger that held the door open for me at Target yesterday. Mud everywhere because that means spring is coming. You get how this works?
I keep track (daily, every other day, whenever a thankfulness urge tickles my fancy) of little and big things that I’m thankful for. Because you know what? No matter what, no matter what, there is something for which you can be thankful. If you can’t find something, then I suggest you take a look at this book by Ann Voskamp. You’ll learn big things about how counting your blessings can transform your perspective on life. Game changer type stuff, my friend.
Thinking Happy Thoughts
You might be thinking, “Is this lady the type that is exhaustingly positive all the time? If she loses a limb, does she exclaim, “It’s but a flesh wound!”?”
Certainly not. I’m partial to my limbs being connected to my body. All I’m talking about is simple discipline of thought and action—or thought which leads to action, however you’d like to slice that pie. When you decide you HAVE TO HAVE THAT ADORABLE PILLOW BECAUSE IT WAS MADE FOR ME LOOK IT EVEN HAS BICYCLES ON IT WE LOVE TO GO BIKING—hold your horses, sensible being. Take a deep breath. And look at those beautiful pillows that are smiling up at you from your couch. The ones that you bought but a year ago. They’re just waiting to be fluffed and loved on. Those are nice pillows. Be happy, be content with your pillows.
Think happy, intelligent thoughts and remember what you already have.
I’m terribly near-sighted, guys. I haven’t been told that I’m legally blind without my corrective eyewear, but if there was a citizen’s arrest equivalent to optometrical diagnosis, I’d diagnose myself.
Ahem. Excuse the mouthful of words.
Not only am I physically near-sighted, but I tend to see only my immediate future and surroundings in a soul-sense. When we lost each of our babies, my sight was painfully but effectively adjusted to see this world we live in as temporal rather than the be-all-end-all of my existence.
Our lives here are a vapor in the continuum of eternity, yes? You needn’t lose a child to recognize this truth; some of us are simply more daft than others.
Master tip: Don’t be daft.
So let’s forge ahead marking each day as the gift that it is until Paradise becomes reality. Longing for that Paradise is how you’ll find the source to fuel your life. Light it up, baby.
Reveling in Simplicity
This loops back to the thankfulness piece—be in awe of the simple things in your life. A jaw-dropping sunset. A sleeping baby (or toddler—this is truly something to revel in, can I get an amen?). Your garden springing to life. A bonfire. Roasty toasty marshmallows. A s’more.
Can you tell I’m ready for summer?
Life is amazing. Remind yourself regularly.
Be content with what you have—odds are, it’s more than enough.
Look upward and outward instead of inward. This is how you’ll be fulfilled. This is how you’ll find incredible joy and contentment.
Happy Wednesday, beautiful people!
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