That One Thing That Keeps Your Family From Being Happy

That One Thing That Keeps Your Family From Being Happy —Oh, how I wish I could tell you that only my kids do this annoying thing. I’d be lying if I told you I don’t struggle with this one bit, but I do.


Just last week, I sat in a jacuzzi overlooking the glorious rolling Andes mountains. I had the whole tub to myself, not a single kid in sight and the humming birds were buzzing all around. I had time to read, think and pray. And did I mention there were no kids splashing around in the hot tub with me. I was in heaven!

Only 20 minutes had gone by since I got out of the tub and we were headed home when I began the downward spiral of complaining. I started complaining about the hotel. Then I moved onto discussing the state of the roads. Then the weather…

I caught myself. I was appalled! I was just sitting in a jacuzzi tub with the most breathtaking views, no kids around and thanking God. Now I’m sitting here in my car complaining–how could I forget so quickly.

How can I go from basking in “heaven” to spewing off ingratitude.

How? Forgetfulness.

No one said anything to me, but I felt the thick cloud of “yuck” all around me. Even after catching myself, I still had to watch what came out of my mouth , I couldn’t shake off this attitude of entitlement. So, finally I just closed my mouth.

You know that saying, “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.”? Well, it’s not just for a room full of kindergartners. Oh no, my friend it’s for me, an old woman about to turn 41 years old.

As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. ~A. Voskamp

That One Thing That Keeps Your Family From Being Happy

So I might lose some of you here, who are not faith-based, but still don’t miss this important point. Earlier last week, I was reading in my devotional by Ann Voskamp and my eyes were opened to something quite amazing that I had no idea was coming. So my quiet time started off with reading the passage from Romans 1:18-21,28.” I read that passage countless times especially in seminary. I read it and I thought, “Hmmm, okay.”

I read it again, but this time it was like, “Whoa!” How did I ever miss that?”

You go read it.

Did you see it?  Do you see what happens there in verse 21.  Crazy huh! Now I’m not a theologian and I know there is so much more in that passage but I’ve read “the so much more” and I’ve totally missed this little nugget.

What stirs God’s anger? It’s not our wickedness. It’s not hatred. It’s not murder or stealing. It’s our ungrateful hearts.   That my friends is what is keeping your family from being happy. That is what is keeping me from being happy. That is what is robbing our joy–forgetfulness which bears the fruit of ungratefulness.

All the wickedness in the world begins with an act of forgetting.” Mark Buchanan

So back to my spewing off negativity in our car. For the next 20 minutes while in my car, I just opened my mouth to share something that I was thankful for from the weekend. This act of gratitude helped me get out of the “forgetfulness funk”.

I kept remembering.

Oh my friends, remember with me–it’s in the remembering that we find thankfulness.

Let’s stop and remember! Remembering gives birth to thanksgiving.

The world needs fewer complaints and more thanks.
Our home needs fewer complaints and more thanks.
My heart needs fewer complaints and more thanks.


Let’s open our hearts to thoughts of thankfulness! And if you’re like me and you just can’t shake off that attitude of ingratitude, then spout off thankfulness for 20 minutes until you realize the abundant and full life you live.

It takes a full twenty minutes after your stomach is full for your brain to register satiation. How long does it take your soul to realize that your life is full? The slower the living, the greater the sense of fullness and satisfaction. ~A. Voskamp

Want More?

This article is Day 3 of 21 Days: (Re)Discovering the Heart of Your Home series! As we consider our house let’s think beyond making beds, cleaning dishes and doing laundry. As we think about homemaking let’s look beyond whether we work outside the home, work in the home, are single, empty nesters or don’t have children…  Let’s put all of that aside and let’s view it through the lens of relationships and let that guide us. What is the purpose of the space between these four walls? What do I want to overflow from our home and from my heart to my children, my spouse, my guests, my neighbors…?  Cultivating a home is so much more than keeping a clean house, making food from scratch, having an organized and tidy home it’s about cultivating beauty, laughter, peace and love in my family and in my relationships. Follow along HERE to get updates on the latest homemaking, parenting and recipe blog post!

I made these printables for you to enjoy this month and all year long.

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