Sometimes a tragic end leads to a beautiful beginning. What a blessing it is when we discover that what we thought was the end of the world was the end of worry and stress and leaving a painful situation somewhere in our past. Sometimes it is only when we are forced to put something down that we recognize the burden of what we were carrying. Sometimes God completely breaks us before he can truly bless us and we look back with gratitude never realizing that what would lie ahead was way better than what we would be leaving behind. Sometimes our biggest disappointment turns into a blessing in disguise.
Whatever I have in this moment, help me be grateful. For it is enough.
Recently I took a trip home for Christmas. There were many of us competing for the hot water that comes on a timer. Today as I sank deep into my own hot bath water, I was reminded to have a grateful heart. Sometimes unknowingly, we stop noticing the blessings we have right in front of us. As I enjoy my tankless hot water heater, I think about those who never enjoy the luxury of a hot bath or three square meals every single day. It is easy to fall victim to our misconception of lack. We often compare ourselves to the people who have more forgetting there are those who have so much less.
Today, remember to have a grateful heart. Don’t lose sight of any little thing that would be a major blessing to someone else. Don’t allow the enemy to harden your heart or turn selfishness into who you become. Count your blessing and not your problems. Be kind, be tender. Use your empty hand to reach down and pull someone up. Be a blessing. Teach people the grace they have never known. Love them when they don’t deserve to be loved. Help them when you’d rather look the other way. This is a perfect time to be the change you know you can be. Don’t sit back and wait, do it now. Bridle your tongue, feed the poor, pray for the ones who bring you judgement and pain. Soften in your thoughts, in your actions and especially in your words. Stop being bitter and make the choice to take the first step forward to be better. Stop carrying your past, your anger, resentment, pain. Fill yourself with words that remind you who you are and who others were created to be. It is not your job to punish or judge. It is your job to love. Start by loving and praising every blessing in your life and I promise those destructive thoughts of lack will be replaced with appreciation and joy. Go ahead. Do it now.
This is tough to admit but I used to question why God gave me these particular kids. There were days I didn’t think I could do it because with them came challenges that threatened me on every level. They were so different than I imagined them to be and I have been forced to adjust every single day. Looking back now, I get it completely. The intention was never for me to grow them but rather for them to grow and transform the parts of me that had remained underdeveloped.
My son turned 16 yesterday. As I went to bed I apologized to God for ever questioning his knowledge. I was grateful for the tolerance I was forced to learn from having my son. Today I got a call from my husband asking if I could bring Chases contacts to the driving school or they wouldn’t allow him to take his drivers test. I admit at first I was furious, but as he gave me a big smile after his test I chuckled to myself and repeated the word tolerance. Those kids stretch me to be my greatest self and although I am often frustrated by the painful lessons, I am always grateful that out of all the kids in the world, I am blessed enough to be their mom.
It was a cold, dark, rainy day. It started out just like any other. Nothing was particularly wrong but at the same time, nothing was going right. I felt sorry for myself as I drove around crossing errands off of my list and getting completely drenched each time I forced myself out of my car. What a terrible day I thought to myself. Another red light was waiting in the distance for me. As I allowed myself to be the center of attention at my own personal pity party, I happened to glance up at the sticker on the car in front of mine. It read, in memory of, with a girls name and the dates 1997-2015. My heart broke as I thought of the short life of that precious, 18 year old girl. After all, my own daughter was eighteen and I could not even imagine the horror of losing her now. I felt my own shame in that moment for not recognizing the gift I woke up with this morning. My attitude did a complete 180 degree turn around. Today was an amazing day after a little shift in perspective. I am both sad and grateful for that much needed lesson today and I hope I don’t forget it anytime soon. Every day is a blessing. Make sure you don’t miss out on it.
How awesome is that we are here to celebrate living another day? We were given another beautiful chance to make this world a kinder and gentler place. What will we do with this precious opportunity?
If you can make someone happy today, I urge you to to do it! Anyone can create havoc and discord but it takes a REAL leader, a true warrior to create a place of love and peace. Peace be with each and everyone of you. Go out and shine today! Make peace your intention and be the change to HEAL the world. Be FOR something, anything. Start there. I’m for kindness, cohesiveness, civility, love.
Once in a while we wake up and realize miracles are in the little moments that somehow get overlooked. How do we even define a miracle? When I looked it up, this is the definition I was able to find.
Miracle-a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
This entire week has been filled with miracles or blessings in disguise and I am grateful that I looked up from the ordinary long enough to notice them unfold.
My wish is that you have an amazing day. Take a moment to pay attention to all the amazing things going on around you. Count your blessings not your troubles.
Angels come in many forms. Tonight in a very short notice, I found a sweet girl to come over and help Chase in math. A little help goes a long, long way and tonight I will sleep better because of her. If you can help someone out, do it! It is the little things that seem so insignificant that make the biggest difference to someone on the receiving end. Be a blessing any way you can.
Today’s the day. In a few hours I will be on a plane traveling to the place I have always called home. When I think back over the years, I am reminded of the joys and challenges that every year brings. There have been years when the loss of a loved one left the house feeling very empty. There have been new babies and new spouses that have added countless chairs around the dinner table on Christmas Day. There has been tough love and the kind of love that makes you drop to your knees and thank God for the opportunity to be together in one place on the same day. Through the immense mountain of wrapping paper and occasional fistfight over a board game not going our way, one thing always remains, love. That is the best Christmas gift of all. Breaking bread with people who will be there for me when the rest of the world goes away. I am grateful for each and everyone of them. They are so unique, so different from one another and they are my family. My people, my tribe, my safe haven. The people who make home so much more than a house on a road in a small town. They are my circle of love and life. I can’t wait to spend another Christmas there and will smile to myself at the new face that will be at our table this year. So many blessings.
I realize now, it’s when you are at your lowest point, you have to commit yourself to finding things to be grateful for. We all have tough days and sometimes those days can turn into weeks. It takes a dedicated effort to find the good in everything you can. You only see what you are open to look for and if you focus on the bad, things are going to be so much worse than they need to be. Keep your chin up and focus on your blessings. The rest will eventually fade away.
It’s really amazing to me how some days it feels natural to find gratitude in everything. Yesterday was one of those days. My husband is still away so I took the kids to see Martian. I was filled with happiness that the three of us were in the same vicinity, side by side for 2.5 hours. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but believe me it is. Often, we are running in so many different directions and we barely have time to sit down and have a conversation. It was nice to just hang out with them.
A friend of mine came over later that night and we shared some pizza and a bottle of wine. We sat on the couch with tears running down our face as we read Pinterest pins that seemed to be written directly for our own lives.
It’s the little things that make your life feel big. It’s someone who understands and accepts you exactly for who you are. It’s spending moments with the people you love and grabbing an extra hour of sleep when the weekend finally comes. It’s seeing your kids smile and feeling a smile spread across you face because you adore seeing them happy. It’s a box filled with pizza and a night you don’t have to cook or clean up any dishes. It’s feeling the suns warm rays that soak into your skin on a chilly day.
There is so much to be grateful for. Look around you and appreciate even the smallest things. A comfortable bed, food in the fridge, a house over your head. Don’t forget how fortunate you really are.