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what is the One Good Thing?

I am so glad I chose to write on contentment. For starters, there are some other really amazing women (for example) writing on this topic during our 31 Days project and I am thrilled to be walking alongside them and using their hearts on the matter as a resource for my own growth. I’ve already been so encouraged and thankful for what I am reading! You know you can check this link for more awesome bloggers this month, right?

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When I started my One Dress Project almost three weeks ago, I couched it as a way to cultivate contentment and creativity. Growing up American, I am used to excess (comparatively speaking) and want so much to eliminate my secret inner “Wanter” in light of the great many gifts God gives me. And the thing I am realizing is that developing a heart that is content is largely about gratitude. It’s one of those things that is embarrassingly clear, when I stop my grumbling. Am I right?

These are some of the ways I’ve recently been picking up on my appalling lack of gratitude:

– When we first moved, I found myself driving by the lake and looking at all of the houses. Some were big stucco things that I hated, but there were enough quaint little brick or bungalow styles to make me feel like my home isn’t enough.
– Before I started wearing the same dress every day, I would stare into my closet and think none of these are right – my clothes are all stinky.
– A friend of mine was recently talking about some purchases she made (that are well within her budget and her current standard of living) and I began to dwell on our finances…we don’t have enough money.

I think you can see my point. It became painfully obvious that I was basically breathing ingratitude and telling Almighty God that what He’s given to me, to my family is not enough. “You’re not doing it right, God” is what I’m telling Him when I am allowing ingratitude to work discontentment. And to say I am under qualified to tell God what to do is a gross understatement.

That sweet poet Ann Voskamp wrote in her book One Thousand Gifts:

31 Days to a Contented Heart: Gratitude || sarahsandel.com

 

I don’t want to be guilty of this. I want to slay my dissatisfaction and discontent with the sword that is gratitude, so that I can make a way for a heart full of thanksgiving and gratefulness to God for His generosity to me. I don’t know who said it first, but that commonly heard quip that “gratitude turns what we have into enough” is proving to be true in my heart and home.

When I’m done grumbling about the bungalow down the road and cute wardrobe that other girl has, I see that the reality is I am quite undone by a good many things I do not deserve. A spacious home in which to host gatherings of the beloveds, a closet with more clothes than are entirely necessary (I’m definitely learning this, with the whole wear-one-dress thing!), and an income that meets every one of our needs (not greeds) to the penny. God, who is holy and full of lovingkindness, has provided for my home and heart richly!

And so I am picking back up the ole gratitude journal. Actively writing down those gifts that prove His faithfulness. Looking to set my mind on those many things for which I can be thankful, so as to turn my thoughts and heart heavenward. Battling discontent with the very simple practice of gratitude, so that I can end each day having nurtured my heart with this One Good Thing:

God is enough.

31 Days to a Contented Heart || sarahsandel.com

{click here to view the collective list of posts from 31 Days to a Contented Heart!}

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October 4, 2013 - 12:00 am

Koula - Thanks for writing about this topic; I think it’s safe to say that most Americans suffer from the “grass is greener” mentality, and I definitely feel the need for more gratitude in my life.

There is still something I feel like I’m missing, but in this season of my life, I treasure my close friends like pure gold. I have many wonderful, positive friendships in my life right now. It occurs to me that if I did have what I’ve been pining over for several years, I may not have such wonderful people surrounding me, and that would be a bummer for sure.

October 3, 2013 - 7:31 am

Day 3: When Mess becomes Worth | Cassidy Robinson - […] I was blessed to discover a blogger who is writing on this very same topic for the 31 Day challenge and she made a great point about gratitude: “I want to slay my dissatisfaction and discontent with the sword that is gratitude, so that I can make a way for a heart full of thanksgiving and gratefulness to God for His generosity to me. I don’t know who said it first, but that commonly heard quip that “gratitude turns what we have into enough” is proving to be true in my heart and home.” – Sarah Sandel […]

October 2, 2013 - 10:50 pm

Cassidy Robinson - Oh girl. When I first decided to write about being content – it was because of all the examples you listed (and more!) I am totally right there with you on needing more gratitude in my life. A thankful heart is definitely linked to contentment!

p.s. Thanks for the little shout out. 😉

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