Lessons in Gratitude
December 5, 2016
I consider myself a fairly grateful person. I am well aware that I am blessed in many areas of my life, not least of which include:
- Finances (even while in debt!)
- Romance (hello – engaged to be married, remember?)
However, that said, we’re in a phase right now where I frequently find it hard to see the positives. Remember, Don’s had two heart attacks and three heart surgeries in the last 14 months, which left us behind on our financial goals and him unable to work currently.
In addition, I’m struggling with my own health issues, with a flare-up of a ‘chronic’ illness I thought I had put behind me forever, that’s left me unable to get out of bed about once a week lately. It’s probably brought on by the stress of an ongoing custody battle over my son, the details of which I won’t go into.
Needless to say, though, many of my days seem to be filled with just putting out the latest fire, rather than being intentional about anything, let alone stopping to actually smell the roses.
So I have no idea why or how it happened, but I came across the below book on Amazon (free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, incidentally) and downloaded it to my device. I then promptly forgot about it for several weeks, until I finished up another book on my Kindle and it popped up:
Clearly, I must have needed to hear its message. Although I’m really good at being thankful for the big things in my life, I’m not so great at being thankful EVEN IN MIDST OF THE BAD THINGS. Grateful for Don’s heart problems? Hmm…that’s going to be a challenge! Thankful that I am once again being dragged to court over custody? Not a chance.
So this week, I’m working on being grateful for the bad things. Or at least, for the opportunity they offer. For example, Don’s heart issues were his body’s way of telling him that his job and stress levels were going to kill him, and he needed to make a change. What a blessing that he found out through a fairly minor heart attack, rather than dropping dead one day. I’m also thankful that those events made him take a good, hard look at what’s important in life.
We head into family court this week, and it’s an opportunity to improve our lives and the life of my small son. It’s also an opportunity to make some meaningful changes that will reduce stress and amplify our joy in our day-to-day lives. There is risk involved, of course; and I am scared that the judge might believe the lies and half-truths. But I am also thankful that I have an amazing support system in my family, and that I have God on my side. I am thankful for all of the progress we’ve made so far, and all of the progress still to come.
What major negative stressoror event can you learn to be thankful for?