Looking Ahead to 2011: What is the Good Life?

My heart is genuinely happy as I reflect back on 2010 – for the blessings of friendships, new and old, for milestones met and accomplished goals, and for all that I’ve been given. I think about the word, “happy,” which seems to be the “buzz word” floating around in magazines, blogs, books, and projects. People are looking for true happiness, trying to find satisfaction and contentment, and desiring simplicity.

When I came across this reading this morning, as I was reviewing my “to do” list and gearing up to help my friend with a big New Year’s Eve party tonight, I decided to end 2010 here at RE by sharing these insights, as I’m optimistic, excited, and hopeful for what 2011 will bring our way. It’s called … Savor Satisfaction.

The good life – the one that truly satisfies – exists only when we stop wanting a better one.

It is the condition of savoring what is rather than longing for what might be.

The itch for things, the lust for more – so brilliantly injected by those who peddle them – is a virus draining our souls of happy contentment.

Have you noticed?

A man never earns enough.
A woman is never beautiful enough.
Clothes are never fashionable enough.
Cars are never nice enough.
Gadgets are never modern enough.
Houses are never furnished enough.
Food is never fancy enough.
Blogs are never perfect enough (I added this!)
Relationships are never romantic enough.
Life is never full enough.

Satisfaction comes when we step off the escalator of desire and say … This is enough. What I have will do. What I make of it is up to me and my vital union with the living Lord.

(Chuck Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way, Page 54)

My friend Edie’s house completely burned to the ground last week. I am heartsick for her family. For someone whose faith must be wavering, who’s just lost everything of material value (which we often look to for our happiness), I’m in awe of where she stands. Her words to me in an email this morning were simple, hopeful, yet profound.

He’s remaking us and we will pray for grace to surrender.

May 2011 bring a simpler and sweeter life to all. That even in our pains, struggles, disappointments, tragedies – when our fears become real – that we’ll settle in to a contentment with God and savor the satisfaction of His blessings. Again, as Chuck says, “The good life – the one that truly satisfies – exists only when we stop wanting a better one.”

To me, this is where true happiness begins.

Thank you for your friendships, comments, love and support (especially toward my new book). Again, I am thankful for much! Happy 2011!

What does true happiness mean to you?

21 comments on “Looking Ahead to 2011: What is the Good Life?”

  1. I wish you peace in 2011. Your Blog has granted me peace in a very uncertain world.
    Thank you for slowing down long enough to savor the blessings around us everyday.

  2. Sandy,
    Thank you for this post today. This is the ONE area I continually struggle with — contentment.
    I will take to heart what Edie has said and what you have posted today. Thanks to you both!
    May your evening be filled with the sweet aroma of family and friends as you ring in the new year.

  3. What a beautiful way to end 2010 and look forward to peace and contentment to 2011. God is good. May we all remember to stay focused on that which is truly important and not be overcome with the trivial busyness that can be a part of life. Happy New Year Sandy to you and your family. You are such a blessing.

  4. Thank you for this absolutley delightful post today……just what I needed! Have a Happy New Year! thanks again :)

  5. I just discovered your blog today & have been so inspired by it already! Thank you for encouraging me to be a better me!

  6. Thanks, Sandy, for this gentle reminder of what is truly important. I’m so saddened by your friends grave loss.

  7. I was struck by the line ‘pray for grace to surrender’. That word grace…

    it truly takes God’s grace (aka patience) over me to accept what He sends my way _gracefully_ (without balking or being stubborn or trying to twist His will to fit around my own)


    thanks for the reminder

  8. What a great “word” (of hope, of truth, of value) to end with – this year of 2010 – and to start anew with in 2011.

    thank you!

  9. Wonderful words! Thank you for sharing them. May the Lord bless you and your, and all your lives touch this new year… all for His glory~


  10. Dearest Sandy
    Thank yous so much for posting this video about Eddie it sure makes you aware of what is truly important in our lives. I watched the video and my heart went out to her and her family and to you too as her close friend. I pray God’s amazing grace is upon you all and that the true robber Satan has no place in your world’s this year. Much love and prayers from Susie in Cairns. Your book is going to be such a blesing to so many people here in North Queensland Australia and I pray in your home country as well as we regain the importance of having people in our home’s and blessing them with our hospitality and showing them God’s grace

  11. Happy New Year Coughlin Family! Hoping to see you soon.

    My momma said “contentment lies in not having what you want, but wanting what you have.

    May it be so.
    Love you guys,

  12. This is perhaps my favorite post on your blog for 2010. You are so inspiring and generous. I look forward to seeing what you offer here in 2011.

    Happy New Year to you and your family Sandy. Give those Balcony Girls a hug for me.


  13. Happy New Year to you and your family Sandy. Thank you very much for inspiring and teaching posts. All the best from Greece.

  14. What an awesome post to start off this year with! Happy 2011, Sandy. Hope this is your best year ever!

  15. Sandy,
    I love this post. We put so much value on material possessions. But there is so much more to life than that. Thanks for the wonderful reminder. I love your blog and enjoy reading it every day. I pray your 2011 is blessed beyond measure!


  16. Sandy, I so appreciated this post wrapped in reminders and encouragement to continue to consider what brings true satisfaction and fulfillment. Perfect focus for the beginning of a new year.

    Praying for grace to surrender in His remaking… without words to convey the stirrings this raises in my own heart and spirit. Continuing in prayer for your friends!

  17. I am not sure how I came across your blog, but this entry has truly blessed me today. Thank you! I wish you peace and happiness this new year. You have gained a new reader…

  18. I LOVE your insights and perspective!!! How wonderful to see someone standing up for God’s truth and reminding others of His promises…

    Be blessed!

  19. True happiness to me is when I stop & realize that no matter what I’m going through (good or challenging) I am exactly where God wants me to be. If I truly believe that God is Good & in control of my life then as His child I should be truly happy & content no matter the situation :)
    May you too find true happiness in your situation in 2011!

  20. Beautifully, beautifully said Sandy. I wish you a wonderful 2011. May it be the good life for you with complete satisfaction and happiness. :)

  21. Good Morning sweet Sandy! It’s been awhile…this post spoke to me and I wanted you to know that. True Happiness is having contentment…although its so hard to have in today’s world. I have struggled for 2 years with a broken friendship and finally surrendered…and it feels good.

    Thank you for this…

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