Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

Challenges are blessings...that's what I learned this last week.

Actually if we are going to be perfectly honest, it's not the first time I've learned that lesson...except that apparently I am a VERY slow learner and have to learn it over...and over...and over again!  I'd like to say I'm done learning this lesson of life and ready to move on to the next one (an easier one ideally) but, truth be told, I'm pretty sure I'm in this one for the long haul.  That's right, LIFE!

I can be, what I like to call, an internal complainer.  Okay, so maybe it's not ALL internal, but I'd like to say I complain far more in my head than I do out loud.  Sure this is great strategy when you are trying to appear positive all the time, and to avoid being extremely annoying to those around you, but internally, it has the same effect as external complaining.  It destroys your overall perspective, attitude, and happiness.  

However, I have found a tool that sweeps the nasty complaining bug right out of your system.  It's magical really, in an oh-so-simple way.  Are you ready for this "magic pill?"  It's called gratitude.  Okay, I know it's cliche and sounds way too simple to be effective, but it's SO TRUE!  Don't believe me?  Put it to the test!  

This last week my car broke down while I was on an overnight trip with some friends.  It was supposed to be this awesome getaway to rejuvenate my soul and my spirit, and it started out that way.  However, the first night, on the way back to the hotel, we were stranded in a parking garage at the mercy of my insurance company and anyone else who may stop to give us assistance.  This is the third time this car has gone in to the shop in the last few months...for the same problem which they apparently had fixed.  There, of course were few rental companies in the city I was in that actually had cars available, and the only one left charged $170 for a one day rental on an economy car if you can believe that!  

I felt ripped off and frustrated...UNTIL I heard another story from the gracious women who came to our aid.  Heaven bless them for their service in more ways than they will ever know!  In the course of conversation the mother and daughter unfolded to us a tale that made me grateful for my challenge of the day.  The daughter had just give birth a few months earlier to a beautiful baby girl...a miracle baby who came two months early.  Previous to her birth, her mother had almost died due to complications and had spent seven weeks in the hospital, while friends and family cared for her five other children at home.  My eyes couldn't help but well up in tears when she told us of how she and her husband had had to prepare their five other children for the possibility that Mommy may never come home again.  How can you cry over a car after that????  When I knelt down to pray to my Heavenly Father that night all I could muster were words of gratitude for all of my blessings.  There is not room enough for complaints in a heart full of gratitude for there is little to complain about when you tally up your blessings next to your adversity.  The car was a small trial in comparison, but the truth is that no matter how bad things are, it can ALWAYS be worse.  I KNOW that, but it's not always easy to REMEMBER that.  


Read this article Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt and you'll see what I mean!  One time through it and you'll feel better already!

I recently also saw a movie that did wonders for my perspective and gratitude for everyday simple gifts that I've been so blessed to have in life.  It's called The Good Lie.  I think everyone should see this movie and any others like it, over and over again!  We need reminders every day for how good we really do have it in life!

One of my favorite decorations in my home that I made last year for the Thanksgiving season is a frame that says grateful on the glass.  Inside the frame is a typed list of the things I'm thankful for.  I chose an old-style font on browned paper for an antiqued look, but what I didn't know was that the font was extra tiny even in larger print!  It took me a long time to type the list, but the reflection it caused me on my blessings was priceless!  

The more we focus our attention on what we do have, the less time and energy we have to focus on what we don't!  

So, this Thanksgiving season I encourage you to take time each day (or even better, in each moment of complaint!) to reflect on the good, to thank God for the blessings, and to find purpose in the challenges of life for there is a reason for EVERYTHING...we just have to look for it!  Then when you realize all you have, you can't help but want to share it!  The week after I saw The Good Lie, I watched this talk...time to put that gratitude into action!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful reminder! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.