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Content vs Happy

28 Nov

cmaslaugh
Day after Thanksgiving, eating a full Thanksgiving meal for breakfast…sigh, who cares! This Thanksgiving was really great for me. As my kids and parents sat around my table I was so overwhelmed with gratefulness that my heart felt like it was exploding at times; not only did I feel so much joy and contentment, I was happy. I saw this quote…The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.~Doug Larson
So what’s the difference? I looked up the definition of both; happy-feeling of pleasure or contentment, content-satisfied state of peaceful happiness. Did you catch it? Happy=feeling, contentment=state (state of mind). The past few years have been the most challenging in my life but I have always looked for the blessings or the lessons, I had to or I would’ve gone crazy. Here’s the deal, when you look, you find and I can honestly say that despite the struggles before and maybe some in the future, I’ve been content (but not always happy).

People often ask or comment on my strength, where did that come from? Well, as I looked at my parents yesterday, I know exactly where. My dad grew up in the Philippines. He is the oldest of 7 kids and was their protector. He lived in Bataan where some of the major events of WWII took place. He told my son of the times he had to run with family and carry some siblings to fox holes for protection (he was only 6), and of seeing the death march as a young boy. At 35 years of age he brought me and my mom to America (Detroit to be exact) to help provide a better life. Think about it, at 35, he left everything he knew, his family, his country, to start again. My mom was the youngest of 4. As a teen her father passed away suddenly after an accident. With her 2 older sisters gone and working, she took care of her brother with muscular dystrophy while getting a college degree and working to help provide. At the age of 28, she agreed to come to America with my dad. Two people, one 2 year old, looking for jobs, new country, new life. It wasn’t without struggle and sacrifice. I remember living in an apartment in downtown Detroit, no furniture except a mattress for awhile, but I never remember not being provided for. It was a simple life and a great one raised by two of the strongest people I know.

Holidays have always brought a little sadness to me because I can still see my dad’s face remembering and missing the family he left. Not to mention I was told I had cancer for the third time on Christmas Eve 2009. In the past 40+ years my dad has only been back twice with all of us then 3 times after by himself; for his younger brother’s funeral, then his dad’s, then his mom’s. I can’t imagine. This year has been different. No sadness or nostalgia, just joy. Looking around my table I got the true sense of peace, joy, and contentment and all I could do was thank God. Ephesians 3:18 says, ‘may you have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’. Yes, I totally get it, I’m overwhelmed and grateful.

Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.~Pearl S. Buck

No need for lipstick today since I’ll be eating non-stop all day long, maybe Dr. Pepper LipSmacker. Happy Holidays! Cheers!

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