Saturday, February 24, 2007

gratitude

I had a hard time kicking my blah mood the other day. Even with some nice sunny weather yesterday, I was just feeling... I don't even know the word for it... agitated.

The other night I visited the spot of one of my favorite bloggers, an amazing woman and artist, Ali Edwards, and I found some great, much needed words. Ali could have been speaking for me, exactly. She, as well had gotten encouragement from another amazing woman, Heidi Swapp, and as Ali said...
I needed to hear her message (I am continually amazed at how things flow in just this way).

Gratitude. Not taking things for granted, and taking the time to appreciate the blessings in our lives, no matter how small of insignificant they can seem at times; gratitude is huge. It really does amaze me how much of a difference our perspective makes in our happiness and contentment. And how easily we forget that.
Heidi wraps it up best... here's her entry touching on the topic.


gentle reminders


I’m up with a really sick stomach. I am not sure at what point along the way I am going to realize that I CAN’T do spicy! Didn’t’ seem to matter last pregnancy… this time, even the slightest bit of zip in any food, causes great regret a few hours down the road…tonight I felt immediately sick after I ate, and I decided to lay down. That was at 7:30…it’s now 1:30am and I am not really tired…but I don’t feel good. So it’s a good thing that I have tues, wed and thurs nights episodes of American Idol on my tivo… so I am just going to sit here under a quilt and veg.

I had an awesome productive day, and I am thankful for that. Today was the start of week 8 in my Big Picture ‘year to remember’ class. In preparation for March, I have challenged my class to focus on ‘counting blessings’… and truly being grateful. I am enjoying the process of this class, and I get the luxury of focusing on the things that I need to focus on in my life. Today was a perfect example…I had a little lesson in taking something for granted. It’s funny how, when I go through my days or my weeks, I tend to focus on the ‘unaccomplished’ side of my list, and not so much being happy or content and thankful for the parts of my life that are accomplished and running well. Rather than really being pleased about what is working… what I have covered…I get so broken down about the things that aren’t under control.
I think that joy and happiness in life comes from finding it; appreciating it.
There has to be a balance of finding satisfaction and enjoying… and then turning it on, knowing what has to get done, and doing it!
But there is no time for ingratitude. Definitely reminded of that today.
So, I took cory to basketball practice today, and instead of dropping off and picking up and squeezing phone calls and errands in between, I sat on the ground on the side of the court, at the park… in the sun (sorry if you don’t live in az, so nice today), and watched cory play…cheer for him a little. Regroup. while I was there, my girl scout cookies were delivered (didn’t know we ordered) nice surprise! It’s the little things!
Much to be thankful for, pleased with and appreciate the reminder.



I'm thankful for the gentle reminders that come our way just when we need them.

Part of the purpose for my I like today because page was to be intentional about recognizing the good things of the day and to be appreciative of my blessings. However, it's become really easy for me to just slap a picture on there and then skip finding the likable parts of my life each evening. And when I do do it, sometimes I feel as if I sit there forever with my hands over the keyboard struggling to find some noteworthy brightspots in my day. Especially evenings when I have one of my headaches... that tends to put a darkness on my day that's hard for me to shake.

But I need to remember that it doesn't matter how small or silly or insignificant something may be. We always have an infinite number of things to be thankful for. Whether it's something as trivial as a good hair day or a favorite snack, all the way up to the bigger things like my children being safe and warm in their beds or the fact that we have enough to provide ourselves with those favorite snacks. Heck, how about the fact that I have a computer and the ability to type and that I can write these things, share what's on my mind, and get encouragement from total strangers just when I need it.

When you think about it that way, it's overwhelming all we have to be grateful for. And it makes my grumpiness and complaining seem awfully ridiculous.


p.s.
If you clicked on over to Ali's blog, did you check out her sidebar? Most importantly, her Autism Speaks Badge.

It's an awesome charity as well as an awesome network set up for some great causes. Ali's badge is in honor of her son Simon who was diagnosed with Autism two years ago. The six badges that have most donations (the highest number of donations, not the $ amount) by March 31st will receive a matching grant of $10,000 from Kevin Bacon. Here are more of the details, or you can go to sixdegrees.org. But please, click on the badge a make a donation. You can make a donation of as little as $10. Ali's badge is in the top 10, so let's keep it there. For Autism.

3 comments:

Nic said...

I needed to read this post this week, really. I glanced over Heidi's post the other day, never really "digging in" and getting to the point. All week I've been in such a bad mood about everything that is going haywire right now, I haven't stopped to think about what is going right. Thanks for the post. Now, if only Porter could read it.... HAHAH!

Mom said...

Thanks for the reminder.I have been in a slump.It seems so easy to complain or dwell on the negative. I need to thank God everyday for his blessings ,big and small.My husband,my children,grandchildren.That I have a washer/dryer & dishwasher. That my mother is doing pretty well at the age of 77,and that I will probably be able to visit her again this summer.Airplanes.Hummingbirds-they are amazing.Primroses in a rainbow of colors. Popcorn. Long walks. Salmon spread. Chocolate milk. Toilet paper.:)

Annie & Co. said...

Thanks for that post. I SO agree - I was just saying in our (marriage-topic) Bible study the other week that I felt like God had been teaching me gratitude as the key to just about everything through different trials or frustrating times in life. Whenever things are't going as well as I'd like or I'm just feeling down, I've found it is almost always directly correalated with a lack of gratitude in my heart at that moment. As soon as I step back and begin to thank God for whatever is going on & "count my blessings," things amazingly turn around - life isn't so bad and I'm freed from my self-centeredness to think about what others around me may need or how others may be hurting. We really are SO blessed and it is a good reminder to not sink into the slumps whenver things aren't "perfect." In my life, it has become a good gauge of how I'm doing at trusting God. He doesn't want us to just give into our downward spiral of a pity-party whenever we don't "get our way" (as I've often done)! He wants us to find JOY and love Him by trusting, not disengauge from Him and allow bitterness to stagnate our walk with Him. (Who would want to join someone who makes it look sad and pitiful to lead a Spirit-filled life? Wouldn't Satan just love to make us ineffective in our ministries). It has made and is continuing to make a profound difference in my life, marriage, relationships, etc. (Wow - that was a long comment). Thank you for the great reminder and thoughts. I appreciate your thoughtful posts.
Love you!
Annie