How to be Happy with What We Have
by Daisy Townsend
Recently I became obsessed with finding a rug just the right size for a floor area we wanted to cover in our bedroom. The size rug we needed wasn’t easy to find, not being a standard size. I measured several times and pictured what the different-sized rugs would look like in our bedroom. I hunted at Ollie’s and online.
One day I noticed the carpet remnant on the family room floor left over from when we’d had our upstairs carpeted four years ago. The longer I looked the more sure I became that this carpet remnant was exactly the right size for the area we wanted to cover in our bedroom. (A standard size rug would easily replace the remnant in our family room.)
When Donn and I carried the remnant to our bedroom, we found it was a perfect fit! I kept thinking of the irony of how hard we’d tried to find the perfect rug when we already had exactly what we needed. I wondered how often in life we do the same thing─go out searching for what we think we need when we already have it.
One woman I knew had been married many years to a good man but decided she wasn’t happy. Eventually she left her husband and found the man she thought she wanted. Things didn’t turn out well. I asked her gently, “Do you have regrets?” Sobs shook her whole body as she nodded. “So many regrets.”
I read of a similar case of a woman who spent many years complaining to her calm, easy-going accountant husband and her friends about the unexciting life they led. When Tim died of a heart attack in his forties, Diane found the man of her dreams. He was debonair and charming, an exciting date. However, after they married, she discovered he wanted to party every night and cared little about managing finances. Later, Diane told a friend, “I wish I had married someone who was content to stay home and good at managing money.” Her friend looked at her and said, “Someone like Tim?” God had given her exactly what she needed, but she’d been too blind to appreciate him.
This reminds me of two of my favorite children’s books: Old Hat, New Hat and The Best Nest. The moral of each story is the same. In Old Hat, New Hat the bear sets out to buy a new hat. He tries on or looks at 31 different hats, but finds something wrong with each one. (Do you remember? “Too big. Too small. Too flat. Too tall. etc.”) In the end, he puts on his old hat, looks in the mirror and says, “Just right! Just right. Just right. Just right.” He leaves the store wearing his old hat with a smile on his face.
In The Best Nest, Mr. Bird loves their nest and sings often, “I love my house. I love my nest. In all the world, my nest is best!” Mrs. Bird has a different opinion but in the end, after looking at many other nests, Mrs. Bird also realizes that the nest they have is, after all, the best nest.
Old Hat, New Hat and The Best Nest have happy endings because the “people” come to appreciate what they already had. However, in the real world, as in the other two stories I shared, the endings aren’t always happy. We may leave a marriage, a job, a house, or any number of places or situations, and later, when we realize the value of what we had, we discover it’s too late.
Charles Stanley recently said many people love to quote Psalm 37:4 (Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart), but fail to understand that the promise has a condition we must fulfill. Psalm 90:14 says, “Satisfy me early with your love that I may delight in you all the day.” As the Lord becomes our delight, He aligns our desires with His.
If we find ourselves unhappy and dissatisfied with our marriage, our job, our church, our home, perhaps the first step shouldn’t be to look for a new man/woman, job, church, home. Perhaps the first step should be to ask God to satisfy us with His love so that we can delight in Him and trust Him to give us the desires of our hearts. In many cases, we may discover that He already has.
Father, forgive us for trying so hard to find what we want that we’re blinded to the fact you’ve often already given us what we need. Amen.
We researched the history of our home (over 100 years old) and I was so inspired by some of the former residents (late 1800’s-early 1900’s) that I decided to write a Christian historical fiction based on some of their lives. A 95-year-old friend whose husband lived in that house from the age of ten provided more history that prompted me to write the book.
That inspiration just sparked, huh? Did you always want to be a writer?
As a child, I wanted to be a wife, mother, and writer. I have published writers on both sides of my family an older sister and now a niece who are published writers. Maybe it’s in my blood!
Sounds like it! How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book was a compilation of devotionals written over many year’s time. It took me a year to compile them into an autobiographical devotional book, including writing more devotionals and editing previous ones. Sarah’s Legacy, my first fiction, was started in 1998, put away in a box maybe six months later when my life became too busy, then finished in 2015-2016 after Homespun Faith was published and people were asking, “What will you write next?”
Maybe I’m being sneaky here…but could you tell us something about your novel that is NOT in the blurb?
Polly Dye finds much more than she was looking for in the diary of Sarah Davis, previous owner of their 19th century home…
Intriguing… Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I’m working on the second book in the Sarah’s Legacy Series, Sarah’s Legacy Shared.
Daisy, thanks again for being on the blog and for answering my random questions. I won’t keep my readers from digging deeper into Sarah’s Legacy, so I best stop my rambling 🙂
Exuberant, 18-year-old Polly Dye, torn between pleasing her mother and pleasing her beau, moves with her family into a house that evokes a chilling sensation as she steps over the threshold. She can’t decide whether something bad has happened here or if something bad is going to happen.
Soon Polly discovers the diary of the original owner, Sarah Davis. She hopes it will answer her questions about the dark foreboding she senses in the house. Instead, she wrestles with the many losses Sarah experienced while still maintaining her faith in God. What good is a God who doesn’t protect one from pain, Polly’s utmost goal in life?
As Polly experiences losses of her own and learns through the mistakes Sarah made, Polly realizes it’s not enough to have faith in her mother’s faith. Will Sarah’s legacy help Polly develop a faith of her own and will her questions about the house be answered?
Enjoy an Excerpt
Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania
Polly burst through the front door of the large, two-story house. A sudden chill of apprehension stopped her exuberant rush. She shivered. Sunlight flooded the faded red and gray wallpapered room. It glistened off the leaded window beside the door, at odds with the darkness and oppression.
Footsteps pounded across the porch as the rest of the family pushed past her with loud, excited exclamations. The younger children raced through the empty rooms and up the stairs with Polly close behind.
The urgency of Mother’s voice squelched Polly’s enthusiasm just as effectively as the strange foreboding had a moment before. She teetered on the bottom step. Why wouldn’t her parents call her Polly as everyone else did?
More About the Author
Daisy Beiler Townsend had a life-long dream of being a writer and published her first story in 1981. Writing and honing her craft has been an ongoing theme while she and her husband, Donn, raised a family, did foster care, and mission work. Daisy also did Christian counseling. Her writing has been published more than eighty time in magazines such as Guideposts, The Upper Room, The Secret Place, New Man, Christian Home, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and many other Christian periodicals. In 2014 Daisy self-published an autobiographical devotional book, Homespun Faith and a historical Christian Fiction, Sarah’s Legacy, in 2017. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers.
Daisy was also certified with the National Christian Counselors Association as a Pastoral Counselor and ordained by the National Conservative Christian Church as a Minister of
Counseling in 1998. Her training created an understanding of the five temperaments which contributes to creating characters with depth. She and Donn also served with One Mission Society as missionaries to Japan for a total of four years, besides six other short-term mission trips to Japan between 2001-2016. They live in Greenville, Pennsylvania, and have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Connect with Daisy and her books
Website – https://www.homespunfaith.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DaisyBeilerTownsend/
Twitter – @DaisyDonaisy
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/daisybeilertownsend/
Daisy Townsend has generously offered a giveaway to one person – an ebook copy of her newest release, Sarah’s Legacy. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter (below). Entries will be accepted through Monday, February 5, 2018 at 11:59 pm. Best of luck!