A few weeks ago I had a little wake up call… In a conversation with someone close to me it was mentioned during our discussion that I wasn’t as “positive” or “cheerful” as I used to be. Unfortunately, I did not react very positively to the comment. The comment hurt. It struck a raw chord, something I already knew in my heart, but didn’t realize how much it was effecting the people around me.
I know the comment wasn’t meant to be mean, but to call out some things that are going on my life that they have noticed recently. I am truly thankful for people in my life who are honest, even if it hurts a little. This was a sincere concern about me and the things I have been struggling with these last few months. When someone feels comfortable enough to speak the truth even if it is difficult to say you know they care deeply about you, your spiritual growth, and the struggles your hanging onto.
My first reaction was that I had a reason to be a little more frustrated recently. It has been a tough few months. I herniated a disc in my neck back in October and I am still in pain from it. It has been a very slow and painful recovery so my first instinct was to excuse my behavior. This person knows how much I have gone through these past few months so it was seen as the excuse that it was. The purpose for the comment was to encourage me to take my focus off all the crazy stuff that has been going on and focus on the good things that God is doing in my life as well as the lives around me.
After a couple weeks of praying, wrestling with it some more, thinking about it, and admitting I have been grumpier lately I decided I needed to do something specific. In addition to prayer, having someone I had to be accountable to, I also needed a daily activity to refresh my memory of the good in my life. I wanted something that would redirect my focus back to the many positive blessings everyday that have been overshadowed by some other more stressful items going on in my life. What I decided to do is to write down at least 10 things I am thankful for each day. I titled my list “Counting My Blessings”. I hope that this activity will encourage and help turn my focus more on the positive things in my life. I want to appreciate and enjoy the amazing blessings I have been given. To be content with the season I am in at the moment.
I want to be accountable to you as well. The following are snipits of some of the things I am thankful for this past week. Counting My Blessings – Week In Review:
Monday – Thankful for the car ride into school where I can chat with the girls about life, their days, and more!
Tuesday - Thankful that Jake reads devotions to the girls and patiently answers their many questions about God, life, the bible, and so much more.
Wednesday - Thankful for a chance to catch up with someone I have known for years, but haven’t seen in awhile. Her twin grandkids are now 3 years old. I remember how excited she was waiting for them to be born. It was great catching up for a few minutes.
Thursday - Thankful for a fresh snow fall so the girls could have a day off school and we could build a snowman, go sledding, hike in the woods, play games, read, play, and have fun together.
Friday – Thankful for additional time with my girls since school started two hours late due to black ice today.
The kids and I enjoyed this beautiful sunrise earlier this week. It’s not every day we see these great sunrises in South Carolina. Our drive to school was perfectly timed with the sunrise on this special morning.
Thankful for a chance to share this with my kids. All of us were glad that we got stopped at the stoplight that morning so we could soak in the beauty around us. It’s the little treasures throughout each day such as a beautiful sunrise that remind us of the many blessings in our lives.
What a great way to start a new day!
One of my daughters had a minor surgery (she got a set of tubes put in her ears) a couple weeks ago. Her sister wanted to pick up a get well balloon for her for after the surgery. We went to the Dollar Store and she picked out a balloon that she thought would “make her smile”.
Instead of the traditional get well balloon she got a star balloon because her sister loves anything related to space. The balloon was a big hit and is still floating above her bed even now. It amazes me how long the Dollar Tree balloons can stay up!
This little gesture of kindness, from sister to sister, reminds me of how thankful I am for kids who are thoughtful and loving (most days) towards their family members. Sometimes it’s the little things you do or acts of kindness that make the biggest impact on the lives of others. We need to do more acts of kindness to show we care for our family, friends, and those around us. It only takes a little effort from us, but it may go a long way in lifting someone’s spirits, much like this balloon lifted my daughter’s spirits.
Recently I was reading the devotional book with the girls about the donkey in the Bible that talked. Several days later as I was going through a decision process in my own life I was again reminded about the talking donkey. If you have prayed about something for so long God will give you an answer even if that means being as direct (like a talking donkey) to get your attention.
Other times it may come from Scripture:
Often times after weeks of praying you can come across a verse during your quiet time that hits home. You have been praying earnestly for an answer and on that particular day and at that time He gives it to you through Scripture. He knows exactly what you need and when you need it. You may have read that verse many times in the past, but it really struck a chord on that specific day and time.
Or it may come from people in your life:
I don’t know about you, but a donkey has never spoken to me, however, God has used people in my life to speak truth to my heart. Sometimes they speak truth not even knowing the situation I am currently facing. God uses their words of encouragement to help answer my prayer.
It’s amazing how having kids can open your eyes to so many things, including learning more about yourself, life, and God. A couple years ago my cousin got the girls a rock tumbler. They LOVE it and are always on the look out for neat rocks (yes, my girls love rocks). On numerous trips, hikes, or walking through the yard they can be found collecting various rocks to run through the tumbler. It is a great activity for kids and can be a neat teaching tool as well.
The rock tumbling process goes something like this……
The whole process takes days and seems forever for the kids, but the end result is something beautiful and well worth the wait.
Recently, I came across a bag of rocks while I was cleaning. I had to smile knowing exactly why one of my ziploc bags had been used to stash a handful of ordinary, dull, and plain rocks. The girls know that even though they look like any old dirty rock once they are tumbled and polished their true colors will shine beautifully.
As I was standing there looking at those old, dusty rocks it struck me that my heart is much like those sharp and dirty rocks. There is a lot of junk that needs to be knocked off my heart and life before the beauty of God’s love can shine through. Thankfully with His help and a tremendous amount of patience on His part He slowly and faithfully cleans the dirt away, smooths out the roughness, and round the sharp edges. When His love, goodness, mercy, and kindness radiates from my brokenness it opens the doors for opportunities to make a positive eternal impact on the hearts and lives those around us.
An example of a rock tumbler you can get from Amazon if you are looking for a fun activity to do with your kids!