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One simple word of gratitude

“Just wanted to let you know I am grateful for you and all you do for us! I love you!”

This was the text I sent after being challenged at the beginning of a company wide meeting to send a message to someone to let them know we were grateful for them.

It wasn’t hard to figure out to whom to send the text. And even though it wasn’t hard, I knew in my heart I would receive the following response: “Everything OK?”

It was an indication that while I profess to be kind and loving, I may not necessarily show gratitude as much as I should. Because this response was a humbling sign that sending messages of this nature may actually be out of my character.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 1 Thessalonians 1:2

Always. Never ceasing. To thank God for those who I have been blessed to have in my life.

I admit. I don’t always do this.

However, the Word tells us over and over to give praise. To offer Him thanksgiving for all He has done, but it seems easier to complain. To point out the things people have not done. To have a pity party when we don’t feel appreciated. Instead of setting a precedent and offering thanks and encouragement.

God desires thanksgiving in all things. In all circumstances. Instead, many times when we call on Him, we are spouting off a list of requests, and things we need. We don’t begin most of the time with a simple “Thanks!”

Thanks for our blessings. For all we have been given. Thanks for being present during the hard stuff, and the good stuff, too. Thanks for pouring out love, and when needed-guidance, direction, and protection.

Do we do this to people as well? Provide a list of wants, needs, and demands? Expecting they will always assist? Always help? Always come through? Without any appreciation for what they have done?

The response to my text was quite humbling, and it was a reminder that I have much work to do to continue to spread kindness and love in all the places I may be.

So, who needs your message of thanks today? Who needs to hear how grateful you are for all you have done for them? Who in your life needs to feel appreciated and feel your love? Stop right now. Send a message. And simply say “thanks!”

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2019 in Loving Others

 

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Who of you by grumbling?

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Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.                                                                                                                       1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, MSG

“But I don’t want water. But I don’t want to do that. But I don’t like that. Ugh, that’s nasty.  But he never. She never. I want this. I want that.”

Grumbling. No rejoicing. All on a day I had planned just for them.  I don’t think the day went by with one single praise for anything He had done, or I had done, in fact.

It is on days like these that I would like to pack up my family. Move to some distant land. Let them see what “living” really is. Without internet. Without clean water. Without air conditioner, and the drive-thru of their choice.

There are days I need this reminder, too.

Because, quite honestly I have a lot of reasons to grumble. And on the days I find that maybe I grumble a little more, I also have many more to be thankful. Many more reasons to be grateful.

I’ll be missing one more person again this year during the holidays. While it seems I should be used to it at this point, it seems to be harder this time around. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s because my little family is now a generation larger since I have become a MeeMaw and life has taken on new meaning.

I still find reasons to grumble. But the things that used to bug me, just don’t anymore. I also find the things that used to get under my skin, and make me angry don’t have the same effect on me as they once did.

I have not always been this way. I am a scream in traffic girl. A glass half-empty girl. A “I hate people” girl. Yes…there are days I don’t like people. I really don’t like to be around them. On those days, I just want to be alone, with a blanket, and a book.

And because I have to force myself to see life in that glass half-full perspective, I also have to force myself to count my blessings each day, not just during the Thanksgiving season. So I simply started keeping track of three small things for which I was grateful each day. And, while it may not have made me forget that there is something missing again this holiday season, it has done a few things. Forcing myself to be thankful has also forced me to think about all the things on a given day that don’t cause me to grumble. That make me happy. That bring me joy.

Those three things give me reason to praise God through the loneliness, thanking him for all the times He has placed someone in my path in those times of loneliness or defeat to breathe life into those empty places.

To praise God for all the times He did answer me, even when I thought he was not listening.

To stop rushing to work every morning, and actually stop and enjoy a morning sunrise. To enjoy the quiet, calm of an office before the morning buzz takes over.

To appreciate cute baby onesies picked up for the grandson. Or a new mug to enjoy my morning cup of coffee. To reflect on the conversations that have value and meaning, with the people that mean the most to me. To remember the times that I laughed with my kids, and the times they also did not complain and grumble through the day.

To relish the conversations that a 21 year old still wants to have with his mother. And the memories that an older sister has with her once again absent brother.

I can grumble over all the things that are wrong. I can complain over all the things that are bad. Continue to be sad over all the things that are not going as planned. I will always find something that will fit into one of those categories.

And, I will also always find something to bring me joy.

I just have to take the time to look for it.

Stop my grumbling. Change my perspective. Choose to be happy. Choose to be thankful.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Finding Blessing in the Inconvenient Moments of Life

 This is how my Monday ended…stuck in traffic on a two lane road on the way home from work. Stuck here for about 45 long minutes. For those that know me well, I can be impatient at times, have a tad bit of road rage, and come slightly undone over slight inconveniences. So, after working a longer day than usual, I was slowly starting to come undone. Dinner was already late, and now due to traffic it would be even later. I had a relative sitting at home with my children, and now I was sitting here-waiting and waiting, and complaining.

Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14

I wanted to complain. I was tense, wound up, and ready to explode.

Until I heard God say: January, what about that ambulance that just passed you? What about that accident you were able to avoid? Do you think those involved are worried about dinner being late?

But, I wanted to complain. When my husband called while I was sitting in traffic, I wanted to give him a list of all the reasons I was inconvenienced. I wanted to tell every social media source just how tense, wound up, and ready to explode I was. But, God’s still small voice told me to check myself, and reminded me that a late dinner is a minor inconvenience of every day life.

Be joyful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.                                                                               1 Thessalonians 5:18

I seem to be the queen of inconvenient moments, too. When I am running late, I get behind every bus and dump truck on the way to my destination. When I have 10 things I need to do when I get home from work, I get stuck in traffic, get side-tracked by another childhood fight, or the dog decides to chew on another toy, or destroy another object adding one more thing to my to-do list.

And in these moments, I admit it-I complain! Instead of thanking God for making me late to my appointment or lunch date, because it means I avoided being involved in an accident, I complain. Instead of thanking God I have a home to go to, and food to put on the table, I complain. Instead of thanking God for blessing me with children who are strong-willed and won’t back down, I complain they argue too much.

We all do this. We all complain. It is human nature, but I don’t want to complain about every inconvenient moment in my life. I also don’t want my social media friends to be the first people I tell about my horrible day. I want to be able to stop what I am doing, look up, and thank God for all the chaos and inconvenience that he allows in my life. Sure, it is frustrating, but these moments can be moments spent with Him, moments that He uses to fulfill a greater purpose, and moments spent thanking Him for all I do have, instead of complaining about the inconvenient moments of my day. It’s time to realize these moments are reminders that I am alive. I am blessed, and although everything may be going wrong, I have a much bigger God who will see me through all these small things!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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