How to Find Happiness

Happiness…we orchestrate our lives around finding it, yet it’s like grasping oil through fingers.

Why is it so hard to find? “I’ll be happy when…”

Because contentment, the thing we’re really wanting, is NOT found in our circumstances. Happiness is not a better something, more of something, or a different something. We immerse ourselves in the search for that “something” that doesn’t exist to make us happy.

Happiness is finding peace wherever we are.

We tend to view hardship, loss and waiting as surprising elements of life. We avoid them at all cost (this is natural, of course) and maintain that we could never find happiness there.

The reality is that hardship, loss and waiting are every much a part of life as prosperity, gain and “arriving”.

Life is made up of all these things and contentment is found when we rest in His knowing, His love and His goodness in ordaining whatever comes to pass.

I’m writing this to myself, learning hard–in this place–what true contentment is. It feels like I could be really content when there is more quiet spaces in our home, more room to put our clothes, more shelves for organizing our things, more sleep, more security for my husband’s future work, more counter space on which to cook…

My storm really began after the tornado. The battle for inner calm amid chaos and uncertainty. It brews even now, in the daily challenges to keep this home, to solve the dilemmas waiting each morning, to find contentment in the world that defied my best efforts to keep it constant and unchanging.

And then we all lose perspective, don’t we? Our “problems” so petty compared to others’.

Life is changing. Life is sometimes good and sometimes not. God loves us all the same and promises, not to orchestrate each detail to make us more comfortable, but to be sufficient in every place.

Learning from a tubless bathroom shared by eleven people 😉

 

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19 Responses to “How to Find Happiness”

  1. jen in AL says:

    I can relate in so many ways to what you are sharing. You are so very right. I am learning that joy is resting and trusting in God’s goodness and specifically His goodness toward me, my family, circumstance–you get the point–even when I life is very hard or painful. So good to read. So thankful we are “out in the Bush” together. I keep reminding myself that He is enough. Of course, when I think of all my blessings, i realize how easy my life is in so many ways and then I feel guilty for even thinking my life has any hardship in it! :)Ah, my vicious cycle…LOL Thank you for being honest and glorifying the Lord with every word! lots of love and hugs, jen

  2. Miranda says:

    You know what I love about the trials we walk through? is the fact that when we are through we are so happy we did and wouldn’t change a thing. Because the Lord know’s what he is doing and we can trust HIS plan for our life!

  3. Hayley Ferguson says:

    I had to laugh when you typed “learning from a tubless bathroom shared by eleven people.” I am learning patience because we had a bathroom reno that wasn’t done properly and we are a family of eleven (twelve in June, Lord Willing) sharing a tubless bathroom in a house with what is supposed to be two bathrooms (including a tub!) I loved your post Kelly.

  4. Susan says:

    Kelly, Thank you for this post. I’ve been up most of the night in prayer. Your words feel like the answer to my prayers. I have been so focused on the what ifs and the long term results of things that have been going on in my life. Your words remind me of the absolute necessity of contentment. In a way, I forgot about it. I was so caught up in my concerns. I am content. God is good. Tomorrow is not for me to worry about, God is in complete control. Of course everything will be ok. Jesus is Lord and Saviour. Your words are like a breath of fresh air to me this morning. I give a prayer of thanks for you. I would like to ask my sisters in Christ to say a prayer for my family. In Jesus’ name

    • 6 arrows says:

      Prayed for you and your family, Susan, and will continue to do so. Thank you for your hopeful words…God IS in complete control.

  5. Jordin says:

    Thanks, Kelly.

    My grandmother says something like, “When you get what you want, do you want what you get?” The things we want (even seemingly essential things) can’t satisfy. Only Christ can do that. I have to remind myself this daily–sometimes hourly.

  6. Summer says:

    Kelly, you have been such a blessing to me for so long now. I’ve never written in before, but I’ve followed your blog for over 2 years now. I know there are so many others out there like me, who although we’ve never met you face-to-face, still feel that you are a dear friend. I have laughed and cried with you, rejoiced with you, and prayed over you. Seriously, the tornado event could not have been more upsetting than if you were my personal neighbor! So, always be encouraged to know that there are many who are with you as you struggle and we glean so much truth and encouragement from you as well. Thank you for your testimony and allowing God to work through you. One thing I wanted to mention as well is a book that I just finished last night called “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. It was wonderful! It was exactly what you’re talking about and others that have left comments too. I would very much encourage you all to read this if you get a chance, especially you Susan. It has a whole chapter on “what ifs” and so much more. Anyways, Kelly, be encouraged. The Lord is so good.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Summer,

      Your comment blessed me enormously! There is such comfort in knowing others walk beside us, even if not physically. Thank you for saying it. That sounds like a book I really need to read. I am running to Amazon 😉

    • 6 arrows says:

      Summer,

      Thanks for recommending “Calm My Anxious Heart.” I found the book in our local library system after you mentioned it, and just finished reading it this morning. Loved it! It addressed a lot of issues that are quite relevant to me right now. And I loved its focus on contentment, a good complement to my study of the book of Philippians in a Bible study I’m attending at my church. Thank you 🙂

  7. AbbysMom says:

    Kelly,

    You really speak the truth here! My husband currently has a undiagnosed health problem(s) and I am still recovering from injuries that occurred as a result serious auto accident last summer. You have just provided me a great reminder to thank God the blessings we still enjoy and learn what God has to tell me about our recent tough times.

    Thanks!

  8. angel says:

    “God loves us all the same and promises, not to orchestrate each detail to make us more comfortable, but to be sufficient in every place.”

    Loved that! I am daily reminding my children( and myself) that we must be content to submit to Him in all circumstances- whether it is an easy thing or not…

    Thank you for this post!

    Angelena

  9. Mrs. Santos says:

    This is such a good post. So encouraging. Thank you. Sometimes it’s not things or circumstance, per se, but people. I’ll be happy when “so-and-so acts the way he should”. It is still a matter of control, only controlling people not circumstances. Can I be content if he never changes? If the children don’t fit into my mold for them? Can I trust the Lord is in control of this too? Been learning (though I thought I already had it down) that while yet a sinner, Christ died for me. He didn’t wait for me to be perfect to give his life for me. I don’t know how to say it really. But somehow, contentment and obedience seem to be connected.

  10. 6 arrows says:

    “Happiness is finding peace wherever we are.”

    Thank you, Kelly…I needed that this week 😉

  11. Marie-Louise says:

    Happiness…

    I work at a children centre where children come after school until their parents come to take them home. (I don’t know how it’s called in English?)I enjoy working there, but sometimes it can be hard too. Some of the children don’t listen so well… Last week I was very sad because I felt a kind of lonley in my own church/bible study because of different understandings. Today I was tired and very sniffy… Still one of the children, a 9 year old girl said: “Miss Marie-Louise, you have such a beautifull smile. I love looking at your face because you’re smiling all the time. I’m glad you’re not ill, although sniffy, because otherwise I couldn’t look at your face and see your smile.”
    After hearing this, you can guess what her next senctece was: “Now you’re smiling again!”

    She said something like this before. Next time I will explain her why. Because the Lord Jesus is always with me, strenghet me, lives in me, and I can cast every care on Him, ask Him every moment to guide me, aks Him to live His live through me, I can smile…! 🙂

    As you said: Contentment, the thing we’re really wanting, is NOT found in our circumstances. Happiness is finding peace wherever we are.

    Wow, I really need to learn this a lot more. But He ‘s the One who changes me, little by little.

    Keep on smiling! 🙂

    With love,

    Marie-Louise

  12. Kelly L says:

    Beautiful Post, I was feeling all serene until you made me laugh with the bathroom thing. Too funny. Well, not for you.

  13. Kim M says:

    Hey, We will be praying for you about this. We only have one bathroom, but there are only 5 of us… and I feel frustrated sometimes, but now I’ll try to remember what you are going through when I feel that way.
    Common scenario around here:
    Mom enjoying her warm shower. She hears, “Bang-bang-bang! I have to GO-O-O!”. ” Hold on… don’t open the door until I tell you. Lock it when you’re done”. Mom drips all over the floor and dives back into the shower so she doesn’t traumatize her boys. “O.k. Now you can come in” “That’s ok, Mom, I couldn’t wait so I went outside and hid behind the tree.”

  14. Charissa says:

    Thank you for posting this! My circumstances are not nearly as difficult as many, many people’s, but I have, at times, struggled with my circumstances. Your post was exactly what I needed to hear 🙂

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