A Grateful Heart

Gratitude; Thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation. A feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

Discontentment; Absence of contentment; dissatisfaction. A restless longing for better circumstances.

These two words do not go together. In fact, they completely FIGHT and contradict each other. We’re talking a full on brawl…chairs flying, windows breaking, people screaming….ok maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But, what I’m really trying to get at is that there is seriously only room for one of these in our lives. You just CAN’T have both. Much easier said than done.

 I totally find this to be one of my biggest struggles. While it’s good to want more for our lives, we can reach a certain level of dissatisfaction and discontentment where it’s as if nothing and no one will ever satisfy that craving we have for more, more, more. We end up really losing sight of all that we have to be grateful for. (Side note: I say “we” but I am truly just talking about myself in hopes that some of you may share the same struggles…)

Earlier today, I was on the phone with my Mom, talking, venting, and complaining to her (the usual) and being the sweet, loving, and patient parent she is, she listened. But, not without her two cents of wisdom, which Mom, you know I don’t always like it, but THANK YOU. Thank you for always putting things into perspective for me and reminding me to count my blessings. So that’s what I’m doing…she told me to make a list of all the things I am grateful for, so you win Mom. Here it is:

My amazing family. My sweet friends. My loving church. My home. Jesus. A healthy body. Coffee. Music. Books. Food. Education. My job. The beach. Sunshine. Surfing. Running. Hiking. Shoes. Clothes. Heat. My car. Computers. Phone calls. Emails. Communication. Sunsets. Sunrises. My crazy cat. My bike with bad brakes. Love, life, and happiness.

Here’s the thing: this list could go on FOREVER. I have so much to be grateful for, I could go on for days, literally days. But the thing is, none of it will ever leave me feeling the sense of fulfillment that I SO strongly desire. Over the last year, God has revealed some pretty crazy stuff to me and I have had my heart torn open, bent in half, and twisted around in a jumbled up mess. It hasn’t been easy, but WOW my heart has transformed in the best way possible.

See, here’s the secret….God is the ONLY THING that will EVER leave me satisfied, content, and fulfilled. Crazy, right!? No other job, guy, hobby, no person, place or thing will ever leave me feeling completely 100% satisfied because the only one true thing that can and always will leave my heart content and fulfilled, is God. Truth BOMB. When I first heard this I literally freaked out, like as in my whole world came crashing in around me as I finally realized how true this statement really was. Crazy how a few sentences like that can seriously change your life.

I’ll be honest, this is still really hard for me to remind myself of each day. I’ll catch myself feeling discontent with the small details of life and I can get so wrapped up in it that I lose sight of the bigger picture. But, it’s a learning process, it’s a growing process, it’s something that God’s grace has been SO apparent in within my life.

Moral of the story: gratitude + discontentment….they just don’t work together. Look to the cross and remember that Jesus is truly the only thing that fills our hearts with endless joy, gratitude, and contentment.

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