Part of the Mary Moment Monday series

Not so long ago, I was talking to a wise woman in my life and she made an offhand comment that has stayed with me:

“It takes a lot of maturity to be happy with what you have.”

We were having a discussion about mostly material things, and later in the day I started thinking about whether I am happy with what I have. By the way I complain and moan about my old farmhouse, you might think I’m not happy here. You’d be wrong; though I gripe and laugh and nitpick it, I really do consider myself quite content within its drafty corridors.

But am I happy with the other things in my life? Am I content with the role I play with my kids, the work I do (in home and out), the material aspects of life that may (or may not) be what I envision for myself?

As I was thinking about how much “what I have” encompasses — family, friends, home, vehicles, pet, gadgets, clothes, dishes, toys — I started thinking about Mary.

Maybe it’s because I have had this week’s “Mary in the Kitchen” brewing; maybe it’s because I’m in a Joyful Mysteries mood this month; maybe it’s just more evidence that I really am a bona fide Mary geek.

Thinking about Mary made me think about humility. (If you heard last week’s “Mary in the Kitchen,” then you might see a pattern here.)

And thinking about humility brought me to this corollary:

It takes a lot of humility to be happy with what you have.

I have an ongoing lesson in humility from the Virgin Mary, and as I started connecting happiness and humility, I started to see, even more, how fickle happiness is. It’s such a moving target, dependent on the weather and your mood and so much more.

Humility, though, is a choice I make. I decide to think modestly of myself, as opposed to thinking I deserve a dishwasher or an electric garage door opener (or, for that matter, a garage). Humility isn’t thinking I’m worthless; it’s realizing I can only accomplish greatness with God’s help and grace.

Being happy with what I have — and who I am too — is a great battle in humility.

This week, I’m going to focus on the small ways I can show the people closest to me my choice to be happy and content with life as it is now. I’m betting it won’t kill me. (Though it might silence me a bit!)