When Being Grateful is Not Enough

Gratitude, thanksgiving
I used to believe that being grateful for what you have makes it enough.

Now I know it’s not entirely true.

By most people’s standards I would qualify as being a minimalist. My husband jokes that I’m the opposite of a hoarder and like to throw things away. After four international moves I know exactly how little we truly need. To start over. To survive and to thrive (insert washing machine and small portable oven). But it still seems impossible to escape the clutter.

This past week I sorted out some cupboards and I’m amazed how much stuff we have collected again in just over two years.

I know I have more than enough – not only in terms of material things. My life is rich in relationships with people I love and I’m grateful that there is no limit to how much a heart can hold.

My problem is not that I’m ungrateful.. It’s that I’m far from being content.

I find I’m struggling, especially in this season of being a stay at home mom. I have so much to be grateful for, and yet… it’s a daily battle against feelings of discontent.   

I always seem to want more. More time (for myself), more words of affirmation, more coffee, more knowledge, more sleep.. and the list goes on.

In South Africa we did not celebrate Thanksgiving growing up. I don’t know if some families started doing it, but it sounds like the perfect reason for a holiday; to gather people around the table, to be thankful.

Unfortunately it seems like consumerism sneaked in as well. Everywhere you look it’s Black Friday this and Cyber Monday that.. Now you can even ‘make amends’ on Giving Tuesday. I can pretend it doesn’t interest me, but I’ve also  checked out the books on my Amazon wish-list – you know just in case – and bought two more courses on Udemy 😉

I’ll be the first to confess that it’s not easy to ignore all the interest based marketing emails piling up in your inbox. It is also obvious that the social media algorithms have figured out my ‘weaknesses’ long ago.

We always want more of something.

Maybe being grateful is just the cure you need. The key to your happiness. But giving thanks is not enough to make all I have feel even close to ‘enough’.

What I need is longing replacements.

To long for more of the only One who truly satisfies, more heavenly treasures, more love, more peace, more patience and wisdom. To set my mind on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

I have a long way to go, but as they discovered in AA – “admitting it is the first step”.

Is being grateful enough for you? Or do you also need a longing replacement?

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  1. I’m a minimalist too, Dorette, but yes, I also need a longing replacement. ‘To long for more of the One who truly satisfies’ so that I can be a free-flowing river of His love to those around me. I so want it to be more about Him than me, but I have a long way to go. Thankful for His patience. 🙂

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