Happiness in What We Have

“Happiness is not the cause of gratitude…. It is the result”

What does it mean to find happiness in what we have?

Being the mother of a lot of kids can be challenging, especially when teenagers and toddlers are mixed together.

We definitely have some rough times as well as many beautiful moments.  It can be far too easy to focus on the hard days; especially when they seem to get stacked together.

You can feel as if you’ll never come up for air.  There are times and moments where I wonder if it is possible for the youth nowadays to find happiness in what we have!  


Happiness in what we have

When I picked up one of my teenagers from school today she shared a short paragraph she had to write for English.  They were to write a paragraph based off of  the question “How would you change things so that you could have the perfect life?”.

My daughter’s response was: “I don’t really think about trying to have the perfect life.  I have good parents, a nice home to live in and A LOT of siblings.  I don’t think of having more because I have so much.”  She continued in written paragraph by saying:  “If I could change some pieces, I would have more sisters and less brothers.  I don’t think that’s obtainable to just get rid of some brothers and have more sisters.  Other than that I have everything I need.  I don’t have to think about the perfect life because I’m happy with what I have.”

At such a young age and with all she has been through; you can read more about our family struggles and tragedies on my about page and here at Scars on my Heart.  I can say this sweet girl has found Happiness in what we have.  She truly has the meaning and love of gratitude in her sweet heart.


Confidence and showing how thankful in what we have

This teenager that struggles with depression and self-esteem issues is developing an inner confidence and resilience.  She doesn’t want for anything other than to be who she is, to have the family she has and to be happy.  She may want to exchange some of the boys in our house for girls but in the end she loves her family just the way we are.  Flaws and craziness and all….

In this day and age with kids having every new toy and the next “it” electronics; to have my sweet sassy teenager, be satisfied makes my soul soar.  For her to pick out the positives, gives me hope and strengthens my faith.

I’ve seen families obsess over spending an obscene amount of money on Christmas and birthday gifts. Everywhere I go all I see is Christmas propaganda to get people to spend money.  Nowhere have I seen anything mentioned about the reason for the season.


Happiness is what we have

My focus this time of year is working on getting through Thanksgiving and making sure as a family we remember why we always need to stop and be grateful.  We have had many losses but we truly have so many blessings.  I plan to spend time being in a state of thankfulness for what I have and who I am.

I never shop on “black Friday”, maybe because I’m too full and sleepy from the day before and don’t want to even think of fighting the traffic and packed stores.  Or maybe…..   because it’s hard for me to spend a month in gratitude to then switch into wanting more mode the very next day?

I am so very grateful and blessed for a daughter that is content and happy with what she has.  Sometimes less really is more.

What things make you happy?  Are you able to find happiness even when things have not gone so well?

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  1. Bismah

    Great post! Bless your daughter! She sounds very intelligent and beautiful. For me my family is the most important part of my life. If I didn’t have them then I would feel as though I didn’t have life.
    Stopping by from the Bloggy Mom’s November Blog Hop. Following you via Bloglovin, Facebook, and Twitter.
    Have a great day :)
    Bismah recently posted…Sock Sorting Activity For ToddlersMy Profile

  2. Debbie

    Thank you Bismah! She has her moments :)
    I really appreciate you stopping by. I love your blog and the sock sorting idea. My youngest drives me crazy undoing all the piles I make. Our children are such a blessing and they grow so fast.
    I’m following you as well!
    Debbie Tom recently posted…Life is not a Carnival!My Profile

  3. maria

    Your daughter sounds like a great girl, stopping by from the blog hop, Have a great holiday, Maria


    1. Debbie

      Hi Maria, I stopped by your blog and linked to your facebook and twitter too! Can’t wait to hear more from you!

  4. Kori

    How lovely that she’s learned that lesson already… that seems to be such a big issue with the youth of today. It’s always about what you want/what’s better/what’s best vs. what you have

    1. Debbie

      Hi Kori, It’s so hard to keep them rooted in what’s healthy vs. keeping up with the “Jones” mentality. It’s a never ending job teaching our kids and ourselves to remember balance in every aspect of our life.
      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

    2. Debbie

      Hi Kori, It’s so hard to keep them rooted in what’s healthy vs. keeping up with the “Jones” mentality. It’s a never ending job teaching our kids and ourselves to remember balance in every aspect of our life.
      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

  5. Mandi @ All My Happy Endings

    Beautiful written, Debbie! I have both teens and toddlers myself.

    What I love most about this post is that you have a very similar perspective of the holiday season. You see it, too — the affluence of lights and decorations and shopping and presents amidst the absence of Jesus and the real reason for the season. I suppose there’s nothing we can change about that in the grand scheme of our society, but we can certainly start at home. And from the sounds of things, whatever you’re doing is working — your daughter is living proof. How wonderful!

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Mandi @ All My Happy Endings recently posted…LET’S BE FRIENDS BLOG HOPMy Profile

    1. Debbie

      Thank you so much Mandi, it means so much to hear that from you. I admire your blog and writings so much. I’m new to writing and the whole computer stuff, I have so much to learn.

      YES! Jesus is the reason for the season. We can’t change society, which is a shame. We can teach our little ones and be an example and hopefully they will carry on our beliefs. I do believe when others see Jesus working through us we can make a little difference in their lives.
      One of the things I have enjoyed the most about joining the blog community is how many strong Christian woman there on here. Such inspirations and beautiful stories.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, I’m so excited about your sweet new blessing on the way :)

  6. Joanne Viola

    What a precious memory for you to always have! So glad that you shared it. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Giving Thanks & PraiseMy Profile

    1. Debbie

      Thank you Joanne :) I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

  7. Beth

    Oh Debbie this was a delight to read. {Hugs} to your daughter!! I’m with you…not a black Friday shopper. Less really is more! A beautiful reminder for us all. Thank you for linking up for Three Word Wednesday.
    Beth recently posted…Three Word Wednesday: Be Like Mary {Guest Post}My Profile

    1. Debbie

      Hi Beth,
      Thank you so much. I passed the hugs on to my daughter :)
      I can’t wait to continue to follow you blog and joining your link up :)

  8. Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    Hello Debbie! Wow! I’m so impressed with your daughter’s writing piece. Being a teen is almost synonymous with selfishness and greediness so for your daughter to be perfectly happy with what she has says a lot about her and you as a mom. Great job!
    Vashti Quiroz-Vega recently posted…“Turn It Up Tuesday” Blog HopMy Profile

    1. Debbie

      Vashti, you’re right the teen years can be so filled with selfishness and greed. My daughter has a very big heart, and even with her up and down hormonal roller coaster she is such a blessing. Thank you for your sweet words :)
      Looking forward to checking into your new book, it looks interesting. What an amazing accomplishment to be a published writer. I love reading and unfortunately didn’t allow time into my schedule to continue. One of my many things I plan to start doing again.

  9. An Ideal Mom

    A very nice reminder to take a moment and realize all you have instead of thinking about all you want! It is wonderful that your daughter realizes this at her age. For many of us it takes much longer and some of us never seem to learn this. You are obviously doing something right! Thanks for sharing.
    Jan@ An Ideal Mom
    An Ideal Mom recently posted…Simply Sweet : Show Him How Much He Means To You and Your FamilyMy Profile

    1. Debbie

      Jan, It’s amazing how caught up in materialistic things we and our children can get. Thank you for stopping by and your kind words :) Looking forward to checking out your blog.

  10. Angela

    What a beautiful post. I teach teenagers and I LOVE when I come across something like this. As a mother it has to be so wonderful and reassuring to hear your daughter write that. You are obviously doing the right things, momma. Stopping by from the Tuesday Blog Hop but looking for a way to follow too. Really loved this post.
    Angela recently posted…The Damn Elf on the Shelf May be the Last Straw, MomsMy Profile

    1. Debbie

      HI Angela,
      Thank you for your encouraging words. Teenagers must be such a challenge to teach. Looking forward to stopping by your blog!!!! Have a wonderful week :)

  11. Ugochi

    Wow! Coming from a teenager in these times, this is mind blowing! I can imagine how proud and glad this made you feel. I am pretty sure God was glad about this too. Please help me tell your daughter that She has just encouraged me to know that there are still people her age who think different from the world. Thanks a lot for sharing Debbie and have a super blessed day!
    Ugochi recently posted…Life And The Three Little PiggiesMy Profile

    1. Debbie

      Thank you Ugochi, I shared your message with my daughter. You made her feel proud. I am very proud and feel so blessed to have such a gentle sweet daughter. God is working through her. I love reading your posts and you encourage me so much. Thank you for stopping by.

  12. Kim @ LiaH

    Debbie – thank you for reminding each of us to find the gratitude in what we have, not in what we want. Your daughter is an old soul and has the wisdom of those three times her age. It took me many, many years to get to where she is as a teenager. Being grateful for all that we have, enjoying the perfect life that we already have, that is a true gift and blessing from God above.

  13. Angela A Simmons

    Aww thats beautiful and very touching. what a sweetheart <3

  14. Andrea Slagle

    Great post! It is hard to find the good things when things are not going well, but it is so important to try to do so! It makes things so much better!

  15. Traci U

    I used to think that happiness meant having the best of “things” and then i was diagnosed with lupus and it’s been diagnosis after diagnosis since then. Happiness to me now means that I have a good support system (family & friends), that are there for me when i need them to be. Happiness is knowing my fiance really loves me, or he would have left when my health started going downhill almost 3 years ago. Happiness is having both of my sons in my life. Happiness to me now is being with the people I love who also love me for me.

  16. Michele Ash

    Well, I was extremely depressed and having panic attacks about Christmas this year because we just couldn’t afford to go out and get whatever we wanted to for the kids and grandkids. When we were wrapping gifts, I saw how little we had and I was so upset! I was staying up until 2-3:30am every single night entering contests to try and win gifts for Christmas! As well as being depressed, I was also sleep deprived! My kids at home are old enough to understand why there wasn’t much, however, I still felt bad! I explained to my Oldest Daughter that we just couldn’t afford much for her, her husband and my little grandchildren! When Christmas finally came, I though here we go… To my surprise the kids didn’t say a word about what they didn’t get but approved of what they did have! When my daughter and son-in-law and grandkids came, I was amazed that my grandkids were so happy with opening their gifts and loving what they got and thanking Santa for leaving them more presents at our house! My daughter seemed ok and my son-in-law seemed to love what he got as well! It was terrific to see all of them! They came up for the holidays and were staying with his parents. They live at Fort Campbell in KY due to my son-in-law being in the ARMY! I know my daughter hates it there and she hates the housing there. They just moved there from Fort Knox, KY about 5 months ago. Since No one was complaining, I felt like “wow and all this time I’ve been a mess about this day!” It still got to me about having to stay here at home while the rest of my family was at my middle sister’s house enjoying their Christmas dinner and having a terrific time being together! We played some games and watched TV, took naps and had a nice dinner here just the 4 of us! I should be thankful for my wonderful family here and I am, but, I just wish that my younger sister would finally come around and get over herself! I would love to be included in their holiday traditions as well! I’m trying to be happy for the things that I do have. I have a loving husband, who may be looking at another surgery. I have 3 wonderful children and 2 terrific beautiful grandchildren! So, if I look at things like this, I am truly blessed! Thanks so much! Michele :)

  17. Sandra Watts

    My son tells me the other day I will never be happy in life if I set my expectations too high. What a kid.
    Sandra Watts recently posted…I just entered for a chance to win a FIAT® 500! Visit…My Profile

  18. Carolyn Massey

    I think we all want more than what we have and don’t appreciate what we do have. When I was married my husband and I both had good jobs and could buy almost anything we wanted. We didn’t need a lot and everything was good. He passed in 2007 and it’s been hard on me financially and emotionally. Hard to have to buy used cars now and takes just about everything to live. I am thankful for having a roof over my head and most of the time food on the table. I have a great granddaughter now and she’s such a joy to have around. I’ve learned we have to make our own happiness,

  19. Esperanza Gailliard

    It is always important to be thankful for what we have in the here and now. I know so many people are wishing beyond wishes that materialistic items flood their doorsteps, but life is not about that. We can be happy with a little as long as we have lots of love!

  20. Marsha A

    Bless your daughter! You are raising her right! I do not have children, but like to think I instill these values on my niece as well.We must all be thankful for what we have and count our blessings each day for the life God has given us!


    BLESS her little precious heart! Yes, even very young children think they should have everything. They have no idea about being raised in a large family of 9 children like I was. I grew up with 7 sisters and 1 brother. I was what you’d call the black sheep of the family-the different one that nobody understood. I was constantly told this, still feel this and still being told this. But, I learned to be happy with anything I had and learned very early on to share, to love, and to forgive. Your daughter is a wise young girl!

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