Five Ways to Find Happiness

Finding HappinessNever Ending Chase to Find Contentment…

I moved into my dream house in August 2004.  It was lovely. The entire house surrounded a courtyard with a pool.  It was above and beyond anything I ever imagined I’d own. It was a perfect “empty nester” home.  It was truly a blessing from God.  Our house sat at the back of a very nice subdivision.  Our group of homes were smaller lots and smaller footage than the houses toward the front.  Every day I’d pass the million dollar homes as I exited the neighborhood.  At first I was just thrilled to be living in a “million dollar neighborhood” but day after day, after looking at the magnificant homes, I started feel like I wanted more.  Suddenly, the house that was above and beyond my imagination, became ordinary.  Seeing the bigger and better homes, coaxed me into a dissatisfaction with my own home.

I discovered that my contentment at the time was fragile.  I became bored very easily.

After two years of living in my dream home, we decided to sell the house. Our newest addition to our family was two and starting to reach the door handles.  Since every room in the house practically had a door to the courtyard, we became a little nervous.  By the grace of God, we sold our house in a weekend, and made a decent amount on the sale.  We moved into a rental house that was supposed to be temporary until we could build a home that was suitable for raising a little girl.

Then the economy crashed and the real estate market tumbled.  Again, by the grace of God, we are still in a very nice rental house, but nothing compared to my beautiful dream house on the hill.

I realized that my attempt to fill my contentment with a beautiful home was like filling a bottomless pit with water. My chase for contentment via a beautiful home, or possesions was useless, and was only creating more discontent in my life.  “Stuff” and my chase for the better things was distracting me from the most important things in my life:  faith, family and friends.

When I chase after God’s best for my life, I’m finding so much more freedom and energy to enjoy those things that are most important to me.  And I truly believe that honors God.

Here are five ways to start chasing after God’s best and finding contentment:

  1. Create a list of what’s most important to you.  (My list at the top)
  2. Assess what gets in the way of each item.  (For me I needed remove a few things from my life, like certain television shows and time wasters.)
  3. Create a list of what you’re thankful in your life.  (I listed my husband, my daughters, my home, my church, my lifegroup, my friends Jacque, Sharla, Rhonda, Dee Dee, & Diana, my neighbors Shawna, Amy, Monica, Annie, & Donna, and my poker friends Matt, Tom, Bob, Ronnie, Pat, Jesse, John…)
  4. Create a list of goals. (Mine:  to get fit, to de-clutter my life, to organize and declutter my home, to encourage others)
  5. Identify what hinders those goals and remove or change it.

On May 10th, I joined CrossFit (next blog to tell my story.)  I eliminated off the DVR most of my shows that didn’t fit in with my list above. (I removed Dallas, soap operas, housewives of…, etc.)  The only shows I watch on tv is news or something with my husband and daughter.  (Except I will watch Greys Anatomy in the fall.  Sorry…can’t give that up yet.)  I’m limiting my time of reading through facebook to evenings ony.  The first thing I do in the morning is grab my coffee and bible and head out to my porch.

My contentment has never felt so solid (aside from being heavily medicated after surgery) nor happy in my entire life.  I’m hungry for God….and what He has for me.

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