In which we speak of Happiness – a guest post by Annie Hawthorne.

(This marks the 150th post on this blog - congrats, Annie, and thank you for this lovely post ^_^.)

Since I’m fond of scribbling up blog posts (in my head) I was thrilled when Joy asked me if I could guest post on her blog whilst she’s away in the Land of NaNo. The last time I guest posted for her I had a grand time. So, I happily agreed …and then promptly forgot all about it (Blame NaNo). At any rate, this morning I realized that I still had to type up the post. I knew what Certain Subject I wanted to talk about, but I had no clue how to express it. Which means this might end up being somewhat higgledy-piggledy. Ho hum. Moving on.

The Subject I wish to discuss is Thankfulness. Yes, yes, I know it says ‘happiness’ in the title. But thankfulness and happiness go hand-in-hand. I once read a quote somewhere that said, “It isn’t happy people that are thankful, but thankful people that are happy.”

I know from personal experience that this is true. People who haven’t learned to be content and thankful with where they are in life, their circumstances, etc. will likely never be truly happy. They’re always wanting something more, something else; they don’t like their job, or where they live. And because they weren’t content or thankful for what they did have, generally when they are given what they wanted, it never ends up making them happy like they thought it would. But, if you learn to be thankful where you are and with what you have, you can be happy and contented right now.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ 1 Thess 5:18

This is a lesson that God has been teaching me over the past few years. My family’s gone through some rough times financially and medically. Because there’s been times when--due to Daddy’s paycheck coming in late--we’ve had little food or soap in the house, or our well went out and we couldn’t afford to have a new one dug right away, or our washer stopped doing the spin cycle and we had to stir the clothes around by hand (and let me tell you, the water going to our washer is not warm), because of all that, and more, I’m learning to be thankful for what I have right now.

Several years ago my older sister, Holly, had a severe medical condition where the membrane of her throat was damaged and she could only have liquids. She was becoming malnourished, literally starving to death. There were several times we thought she was going to die. But, God was there with us all the way, guiding us, showing us what to do. Holly survived. Now she can eat most any food (save nuts), her hair has grown back (a lot of it had fallen out), she’s not as skinny as a twig anymore, and she is healthy again. Through that trial I learned to appreciate her more and be thankful for her…for every day that we have with her. I think this also helped me be more thankful for life itself. Because when you think about it just the fact that we are ALIVE is enough for us to be thankful and happy about. We have no right to be ungrateful when a loving God has chosen us to be his children. The very fact that we are washed clean by Jesus’ blood is enough and more than enough to be thankful for… to make us content with what he has given us, and with our lot in life
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“I have everything to be thankful for…everything to be happy about. And God is good. I’m alive, truly alive, and I am a child of God. I am loved by the King of Kings, and Saviour of mankind. I am loved by the Creator of the Universe. And I am in his hands.”
~ an excerpt from one of my Journals.

Sometimes when I stand outside under the night sky and tip my head back and look at the stars, with a breeze rippling my hair and the sound of wind in the pines, I am so full of gratitude and happiness that tears run down my cheeks. Sometimes all it takes is a smile on a stranger’s face, a giggle from a tiny baby, the smell of coffee, the sharp black silhouettes of trees against the deep blue of an evening sky, a bird chirping, a tight, never-let-you-go hug from my brother, a flash of vivid colour, the clink of heeled boots on a wooden floor, teardrops from the sky splashing against the glass panes, the feel of satin, or the smell of rain to make me remember again how much I have to be thankful for, how good my Saviour is, and that life truly is beautiful.

Count your blessings. Be thankful for everything. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.

"Gratitude is all-important. Everything is a gift. Every smell, every second, every ice-cream dollar. Gratitude for the whole story, from beginning to end, gratitude for the valleys and the shadows that lead us to the novel's final page. Take a step and thank God, for He holds you in His hand. Never ask to be put down. Never struggle for separation or for worth apart from His gifts. Breathe, taste His world, His words, and marvel that you are here to feel the blowing swirl of life. To be blown by it. Enjoy your ice-cream." - Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, N.D. Wilson (Disclaimer: I’ve never read this book, thus cannot recommend it. But, I’ve heard it’s quite good)

“It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones--I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be forever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant... I'm going to enjoy every second, and I'm going to know I'm enjoying it while I'm enjoying it. Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not.” ~ Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster.

“Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings...It's something we make inside ourselves.”
~ Corrie ten Boom

Annie Hawthorne is a homeschooled young lady between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She is a saved by God’s grace. Daughter of the King of Kings. Multi-genre writer. Avid Bookworm. Knitter. Seamstress. Whovian. Singer. Country girl to the core. Beauty in any form thrills the very fibres of her heart and music is the unspoken language of her soul. A writer by blood and child of God by grace she strives to live life with joy no matter the circumstances

Comments

  1. I meant to comment on this way back when I first read it. Most apologies, Annie-dear.

    This is breathtaking. It's an awakening-post. To say I enjoyed it is quite an understatement. These words need to be plastered on my wall. Don't you ever stop writing, dear one. This evoked such feeling... Thank you. :)

    And it is such a delight to see an actual picture of you! Be it that I cannot see your face, 'tis still something and for that I am glad. :) You are so pretty!

    Have a beautiful day!
    - emily

    P.s. I'm proud to say I know what a Whovian is, Annie. Not that I am one myself (much too creepy for me) but my brother is a strong and proud one himself. I gave him a sonic screwdriver for Christmas (the tenth Doctor's, mind you) and he kind of loves it. ;)

    P.p.s. I think I've said it before, but your blog is so pretty, Joy! I like it better than your old one. Keep writing, dear!

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