I’m a happy person. I enjoy my life. But here’s the thing. I’m not happy because my life is perfect. It’s not. Wanna know my secret? (And what I believe is the true secret to “happiness…”) I’ve learned to be content.
When I shift my focus towards what I don’t have, who I’m not, what I haven’t done, etc, I give in to scarcity culture and start to believe that my life is not enough….that I am not enough.
“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
People love to quote the last part of that verse. You’ve probably heard it as this, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” We like to use that verse as a mini motivational speech – something to get us through the last mile of our run or the tail-end of a big work assignment. But at its core, this verse is really about contentment.
Read this again – I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
So often we place our identity in our stuff….our achievements…our accomplishments…our relationships…our work….or our finances. When we rely on external things to define us, we’re never going to be truly happy.
So many times, I’ve allowed myself to fall into the “When/Then” trap. When I reach the next goal, get pregnant again, become more successful, make more money, fill in the blank…..then I’ll be happy. And you know what? Every time I got to the “when”, the happiness I felt was very temporary.
When our happiness is dependent on getting more, being more, doing more, having more – we will never feel as though we are enough. We will always want more. We must learn to stop defining ourselves by what we have and what we do and learn that out identity is in the One who made us. Christ loves us and that in and of itself is enough. You don’t have to earn your place at the table – it has already been given to you. Forget the hustle and sink into the life you’re living – that is where contentment is going to start. When you can learn to let go of needing to get that next thing to be happy and be okay with who you are and where you’re at RIGHT NOW, you’ll start to find the kind of happiness you’re searching for.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not quite where you want to be in life. You may have a lot of debt. You might not be traveling like you thought you would. Your life’s “to-do” list may still have many unchecked boxes. It’s still okay. You’re still enough. Your extraordinary ordinary life is enough.
When we start to believe that who we are and what we have is enough – we’ll find happiness. You are so much more than what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve crossed off your bucket list. You don’t need to achieve, have a certain amount of things, experience a list of specific things, etc to be enough.
“the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty – whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”