Musings of my Grateful Mind
A lot has been going on lately and I’ve been inspired to write again, which I’m glad, because I love to write! Anyhow, in keeping with my theme of beauty I want to write about another way to be beautiful; being thankful.
That’s something God’s dealt with me on and off about over the past few years but recently it’s been more and more. I started reading a book that dealt with thankfulness and in it, the author writes a list of 1000 things in her day to day life that God has given her purely to enjoy. I started doing the same thing and the results have been incredible!
It’s been a month since I started writing down everything that caught my eye and the main thing I’ve noticed is the change in my perspective. I’ve given myself the goal to get my 1000 gifts in 6 months which means about 166 things a month which would be 5 or 6 things a day. Easy, right? Well it’s been a month and I’m at 80. I’ve realized how ungrateful I am! I’ve never been the type to “stop and smell the flowers” or whatever the phrase is. I never appreciated views or skylines or anything like that until just recently.
As I’ve started to pay more attention to my surroundings, I’ve realized how much beauty and awesomeness is in every situation!
For example, right now I’m driving to Santa Monica with my husband. It’s 7:30pm. I could either look at this as:
1. This road is so long and boring.
2. Wish my mom and dad still lived in CA and not MD!
3. My butt hurts.
4. My leg has fallen asleep.
5. How long til we’re there?
6. Stupid car in front of us, get out of the way.
Or as, things to be thankful for in this situation:
1. My husband. Nuff said! But I’ll say anyway…
a. He’s talking away about random stuff, which I love. (He’s not a huge small talker, so when he does, I enjoy it very much because I’m a huge small talker!)
b. I just love spending time with him and we’ve got 8 hours together in this car!
c. The reggae music that is playing is a product of our compromising. He can’t stand my girly music and I can’t stand his hard rock music so reggae works for us both.
d. He wants to ‘help’ me write my blog which is making me laugh. He makes me laugh. He makes me happy.
e. Even when we’re both being quiet, his mere presence is enjoyable.
2. Unfortunately even though there is not much lighting on this stretch of road there aren’t many stars BUT there is one lone star directly in front of us, which my husband pointed out. There is also a planet, I believe Venus, to our left, of which we discussed whether it was a plane, a star, or a planet. (non flashing, non moving = planet. Iphone constellation app to confirm.)
a. I concentrate on looking just to the side of the star so I can actually see it (you know those kind) and think about the wonder of how God created every single one.
b. I start to think about the planet and my husband’s jokester voice interrupts my thoughts which is perfectly ok because…well…he’s funny.
3. Other cars and trucks on the road.
a. Where are they going? Who are they? Who are they going to see? Who did they just come from seeing? What’s their life story? Why are they on this road, right now, at the same time as me? God, help me to see people through your eyes …
4. The road.
a. It connects me to my family in California and in Maryland.
b. I wonder how long it took to make and how many jobs it created?
5. My Destination
a. My 1.5 month old neice who I haven’t seen in a month.
b. My sister aka my best friend
c. My brother in law
d. The ministry we are going to perform
e. The beautiful weather we’re heading into
See how a simple situation can be thought of completely differently?
I mentioned earlier how the main thing I’ve noticed is my change of perspective. By that I mean, the way I look at life, every day. Instead of getting annoyed or stressed out and complaining, I am trying (key word – trying) to see what good could come out of that situation.
Remember I also said earlier I’m only at number 80 when I should be at 166? It’s easy to not see the good things in life, we really have to try and pray for God to open our eyes.
At the ladies Bible study at our church, we are talking about deep hurt and how every time we go through something, God means it for our greater good. I think every day can be like that and should be. As I look for things to add to my list of 1000 every day, it causes me to have to see past the obstacles life throws at us. I’m not allowed to write down “Knowing God is good even though I’ve had a terrible day” so I pray and ask God to help me see my terrible day through different eyes so I can write down “a change of mind and heart from a good God”.
So basically….be beautiful…by being thankful…so you can be happy…and smile…! And smiles are beautiful! (Notice how I threw in the cheese?!) But seriously, have you ever looked at a happy person and thought they were ugly? You can’t! Happiness and gratefulness is beautiful.