Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I love seeing everyone's lists of things they are thankful for this year. We have so many blessings in our lives, so many things that are good and positive! Myself included! I read Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts not too long ago...and in fact, have just started reading it again. She dares us to live our lives in thankfulness, opening our hearts and minds, our very lives, to God's grace....and being thankful for every moment - good and bad - for His grace, His gifts.
I realized the other night that I spend far too much time feeling sorry for myself. I AM a happy person. I LOVE to smile, laugh, have fun. I love to see the good in things. I love to be with people. I like hugs and high-fives. I like quiet moments alone to reflect, to pray, to breathe. I like sunshine, and rain, and warm days that go on forever. I like holding my cat, playing with my dog, watching my fish slide through the water, and talking to my bird. I love my children and all the laughter and chaos they bring. BUT, I let the stress of this life crowd those things out far too often. I let the upsets, the grudges, the fears, the strains overrule the good. And I forget that those things that seem bad...are lessons in the making and don't always turn out to be such a bad thing.
I lost my journal that I started writing my list of One Thousand Gifts in....so last night I started a new one. And an attitude adjustment....or shall I say, a GRATITUDE ADJUSTMENT. I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to see the good...and the bad...as opportunities to learn, love and grow. I want to grow old and look back at my life and see true joy shining in the memories...and NOT grudges, anger, resentment, bitterness, regret.
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13
Happiness isn't created by other people doing for you, giving to you, being there for you...true happiness comes from within YOU...true JOY comes from knowing Jesus and letting Him cover you with grace and love. And when we make the effort to be thankful in all things...we will experience a much different life than if we dwell on the things that make us sad or angry. If we express our gratitude, our joy will grow because His grace will overflow...