Living Gratitude

Recently I’ve been reminded that a heart of gratitude can shape your outlook on every thing. And I do mean every thing. The days I purposefully find all that I have to be thankful for I feel better emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. All seems right in the world and I know without a doubt I am blessed. It doesn’t mean that my day is smooth sailing, but my outlook on how things go is noticeably different.

No matter where you are on your life’s journey, you have TONS to be thankful for. More than you probably know.

This morning, on the way to work, I listened to a sermon entitled “Soul Detox” by Craig Groeschel (It’s also a book he wrote by the same title). He shared a story about a man who had planned to take his life. Craig asked him to tell him 100 things he was thankful for and the man was frustrated, saying he has absolutely nothing to be thankful for. In his wisdom, Pastor Groeschel pressed on until the man began listing off things he was thankful for and when it was all said and done he had 100. Years passed and at a meeting the man walked up to Craig and introduced himself, his wife and his son. It was the same man that had wanted to end his life years earlier. The man took out a wrinkled sheet of paper with the list of 100 things and gave it to Criag and told him he no longer needed it. He knew his worth in God’s eyes and was amazed by all the blessings he sees daily.

Yes, we all go through hard stuff. Some harder than others, but we ALL have things to be thankful for.

Start a list today and keep it going. When the Enemy or someone negative in your life tries to attack you, pull out that list and read it. Read truth into your mind and your heart. You are who God says you are. Not what anyone else says you are.

God created you for a specific purpose. He ADORES you! You were worth sending his only son, Jesus, to die for you.

Now that’s something to be thankful for!

You Know Your Vacation is Over When…

So vacations are amazing and wonderful although I have a love-hate relationship with them.

On the one hand, a vacation allows me the freedom to let go and have fun. No schedules or chores which frees me up to be the fun Mom. Oooo, I like her. No stress, just good old fashioned fun – sleeping in daily, eating what we want, spending money on fun things like there’s no budget, etc.

I know this because it’s been exactly one week since my kids and I got back from Colorado. If you’ve never been…what is your problem? Just kidding. But seriously, it’s so beautiful and if you can’t relax there, there is seriously something wrong with you. Or you just happen to be type A. And if that’s true, I’m sorry. You kinda got robbed in the whole birth order deal, ya know?

On the other hand, the “coming off” from vacation is enough to put me over the edge. This year was no exception. In fact, our vacation wasn’t even officially over when it all started crashing down. I decided to make a list just so you’ll be aware of when you’re vacation is over. That way you can start taking something for that headache that’s bound to happen. You’re welcome.

You Know Your Vacation is Over When…

1. Your flight is delayed not once, but three times. And you’re traveling alone with three children. And the flight before you emergency landed and when you finally board the plane’s power suddenly turns off. So you are silently freaking out because you don’t want to freak out publicly as to not freak out your children. Then you freak out knowing you’ll be getting into the destination airport at 3am IN THE MORNING. You realize you were NEVER good at the all-nighter thing and pray you’ll be able to keep it together for your kids’ sake. This could so be a new rendition on the “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”.

2. You drive down a one-lane road, get lost twice and then FINALLY make it to your house. And yes, this is the city you’ve lived in for over 15 years but hey, things look different at wee hours in the morning. Your oldest declares that she’d better stay wake… just in case… and you agree.

2. You bring home an unwanted souvenir – sickness. Blech.

3. You are welcomed home by brown and crispy shadows of what used to be green grass and beautiful flowers but you’re so dang tired you really don’t care.

4. ¬†You mess up WAY more at work than you normally would because you’re so behind that you’re trying to do tasks way faster than humanly possible. Take it from me, just slow down. You’ll end up doing things twice to make up for the mistakes. No fun.

4. You have a flat tire on the way to work and are stranded in 100 degree temps.

5. The mountain of laundry that stares at you all week mocks your name but all you can do is sit on the couch and watch episode after episode of well, just about anything.

6. You wear clothes you didn’t even know you had but they were the ones clean so you go with it. But they’re a bit too tight because of all the “eating what we want” philosophy you had going on vacation.

7. Someone eats your sandwich at work. And yes, your name was on it.

 

8. Your dog starts chewing on furniture for the FIRST time EVER.

9. You find yourself drinking WAY more caffeine than you ever did before vacation but you’re still exhausted.

10. Your fun and exciting “no budget” spending spree on vacation came to an alarming halt when the $5 pizza you tried to buy wouldn’t go through on your card.

And all you can think about is going back to your peaceful destination except this time you consider driving because you’re SURE that getting in at 4am is the reason for all the other crap stuff that happened bad in the week.

But instinctively you know better. And next year you’ll do it again. :)