The Thankful Life

The Happiness Secret

Why are so many people unhappy?

I don’t know the secret to happiness, and I have yet to meet anyone who does. What I do know is that gratitude makes a difference. Being thankful, even for the smallest blessings, can change the way we look at life.

As I celebrate another birthday this week, I can look back at the past year and remember it in two ways. I could focus on the bad things that happened, or I could celebrate and give thanks for the joys instead.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians‬ ‭4:12-13‬

Happiness vs. Contentment

The Apostle Paul had certainly seen his share of adversity prior to writing to the believers in Philippi. But throughout his trials and imprisonment, he knew that his brothers and sisters in Christ loved him. They were praying for him. Paul also knew that Jesus provided him with the strength to persevere. Paul found contentment regardless of his circumstances.

My brother and I celebrate our TWO January birthdays with Mom

I may not be happy with everything life dishes out, but I am learning that contentment is more precious.

I sometimes feel sad that my mom no longer remembers who I am. It’s frustrating that she remembers her granddaughter’s name, and my brother’s name, but not mine. Yet I know beyond a doubt that she loves me. Her face lights up when she sees me, and she loves being with her family. I am content sharing her joy.

Although dementia has taken over my mom’s life, I am still her daughter. In this role, I am content to be her cheerleader. I can help find the word she is seeking, or guide her next steps with her walker. These may seem like small gestures, but they can make a world of difference to someone in need. Contentment has helped me to be more patient, more thoughtful, and even more creative in the ways I communicate with her. This has made a difference in my everyday life.

Sunday thought for the day: Sometimes happiness is found when we finally relinquish control of a situation, and give it over to God.  Why? Because God loves us. He always has a very specific plan and purpose in mind. And so, we can be thankful that life’s dilemmas are no longer our problems to figure out. 

Isn’t that a happy thought? 😊



A Mother’s Day Wish

The sun is playing peek-a-boo behind the clouds today, but it is Mother’s Day and sunshine is not needed for me to feel loved and very blessed!

My son headed back home to Arizona two weeks ago after spending the winter months with us, so we celebrated Mother’s Day early this year. I loved having both grown children at home with me for a while . . . something that is a rare occurrence since they both lead such busy lives.

My wedding day, August 21, 1982

Today will be all about celebrating my mom, whom I love so very much! It doesn’t matter to me that her memory is failing and that we can no longer reminisce about days gone by. I just love seeing her smile and hearing her laugh as she listens to our stories and looks through old photo albums. Every now and then there is a glimmer of recognition and we are able to have a short conversation.  I will always be grateful that God has blessed me with a lifetime of memories and the ability to make many more. That is the best gift I could receive today!

Wishing you a Mother’s Day full of precious memories, both new and old.