How I find happiness

Icount blessings.  Gifts.  Each day I wake spying out in wonderment what gift the Lord will reveal to me today.  This ... the looking—the longing, the wondering, is how I stay satisfied.  Content.  Happy.

It is through the looking ... the changing of the lenses on my perspective of life that I am able to see the heavenly Fathers most ordinary and unexpected gifts.  His ways.  In this way of living I learn to find His joy.  My passions.  Gratitude.  Gratitude even for my very existence in life, and for having the sort of relationship with the Almight Creator that teaches me truth ... truth about life & living.    

I wish I could tell you that the searching and penning of blessings {gifts} originated with me, but it didn't.  Another soul—a mother, who has just as many children as I {she has half-a-dozen} is teacher.  She's my Canadian friend ... wife to Farmer husband and blogger—writer who has a book that has been on the New York Times bestseller list for some weeks now.  She is my inspiration.

Learning to not just find the gifts, but how to express thanks to God for the gifts is what is making the difference for me.  Be it a seemingly ugly-gift or a beauty.  Gratitude for all His hand gives is the key.

Elisabeth Elliot says, "Everything if give to God can become our gateway to joy."

Ann calls it, "Turning the ugly into the ugly-beautiful."

I found peace in the knowledge that I was in the hands of God.  Not in confidence that I was not going to be killed.  Not in any false sense of security that God would protect me, anymore than He protected my husband, the four missionaries or Honorio from the wooden lances.  simply in knowing that He held my destiny in His two hands and that what He did was right.  Elisabeth Elliot

Please know that what I am talking about here is not a sense of false security, or like Ann says some "Pollyanna" sort of faith.  What  I'm speaking of is a faith in knowing that all who are His children can rest in knowing He will always do what is ultimately right and best for us.  And because we know this we can view "all" as coming from the gracious loving hand of our Father.  And because of this, we can accept, even if it is a gradual acceptance. 

As Ann showed us in her book, "Eucharisteo always proceeds the miracle."  And our spiritual mother

Elisabeth Elliot has taught us that, "Everything if given to God can become our gateway to joy."

Are all of His gifts pleasant when we experience them?  No, of course not.  Who wants to be led to the wilderness—to a dry and parched place?  In reading Exodus though, I am helped when I savor these words, "Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, 'The people might change their mind when they see war and return to Egypt.'"

"Hence, God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea. ..."

Did this gift of leading from slavery into wilderness by the loving Father feel?  No it didn't.  We see in Exodus 15:24 how they felt. "So the people grumbled to Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink? ... the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.' "

But wait!  Who led them by the way of the wilderness and why?

My point is that I count gifts, and in the process I find happiness ... joy, peace, and in doing this ... the process brings me closer to Him.  This process helps me focus on Him, and not give too much attention to certain situations that I may develop in my life, be it the wilderness or not.  Am I always successful in keeping my eyes solely on Him and not looking at the water that I'm walking on per se, or the wandering in the dry wilderness?  No.  But as soon as I see that my gaze has shifted from the beckoning of His gracious love — I work hard at putting my attention back on Him.  'cause I have tasted God.  I have tried Him, and yes, He is good.  He is magnificently-fantastic and He—  above all others love me and knows what is best for me.

So how can you find your happiness?  Begin to count your gifts.  Appreciate where you are and remember that where ever you are He is there too.  Take a look around your life, and learn to live fully right there where God has you placed.

"Wherever you are are, be all there."  Thank God for the gift of right now.  Thank Him for showing you how to appreciate the here and now, and how to move on to the next moment where ever that may be ...  wilderness or not—just as He was there in the wilderness with the children of Israel, He is with you and me. ... leading us by pillars of clouds ... feeding us His heavenly bread..  Accepting what His hands gives is where we find solace, and more importantly remembering that He is a good God who loves and walks with us even in the unpleasantness of life will carry us through the wilderness moments to help us live fully where we are.  The biggest gift that God gives us in life regardless of where we are is the gift that regardless of where we are, if we are His child He will always be beside us —guiding. 

Now, grab a pen.  Get that paper, and start looking for those gifts. Write them down.  I promise this will help you so much in your search for happiness ... contenment ... joy, and a worried free life.  And whatever you do, don't forget to always give Him thanks!

Giving God thanks truly is the way to a merry heart!

The gifts #'s 140-150

~ love

~ contentment

~ joy

~ solitude

~ thinking

~ sitting on the back porch feeling God's breath blow on me

~ blogging

~ books written by women

~ talking on the phone with girlfriends

~ laughing with girlfriends

~ having a friend love me even after I tell them the truth {sometimes truth hurts}

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