Tag: Gratitude

Gratitude When Seasons Change

Fall is my favorite season. It always has been. As a native Mississippian, autumn signals a nearing end to sweltering hot temperatures and oppressive humidity. In autumn the temperatures cool, the colors warm, and life seems to slow down a bit. It’s a natural time for me to pause and reflect on changing seasons.

I seem to be settling in to this new season of my life.  Kentucky has been good to us. Adjusting to a new location and a whole new way of life hasn’t always been easy. Change is good, though. It keeps us fresh. 
   Stimulated. 
      Challenged. 
          Curious. 
              Aware.
We left behind close family, good friends, and a more refined way of life.
We made new friends.
We found new adventures.
We embraced a new way of life.
We’ve found peace.

A Little Homesick

I need to get this off my chest.  You’ll be my sounding board, won’t you? I miss writing. I miss having the time to process all my ideas. I miss being able to finish a project. I miss my sewing machine. I miss bubble baths. I REALLY miss bubble baths. BAD.  Real bad. Wait… give me a second, I might just cry over the whole bubble bath thing…

Ok, I’m better. Where was I? Missing things: my family, my old home, my friends… Moving from Mississippi to Kentucky has been a great opportunity for my family.  My husband’s job is tons less stressful. We see him so much more now. Big plus! He has regular hours which is a huge blessing for us. South Eastern KY is so beautiful! Our town is clean, friendly, slower-paced- lovely in every way. Even though we are temporarily living in our RV (shower only, no tub) God has given us a special grace to deal with the close quarters for the past nine months. There’s been a learning curve that’s for sure but on the whole, life has been just charming.  

Still, there’s a nagging little longing for the people back home. A nagging for closet space. A nagging for my jacuzzi tub. A nagging for time to myself. I remind myself that these things will come.  Our house in MS will sell.  We will find the perfect spot here to build.  My folks will visit next month. One day my boy will be grown and I will have too much time and long for the days when he demanded all my time and attention.

How complex God has made us with the ability to feel and balance so many emotions! Gratitude for the many blessings here counter-balance the homesick blues there. We attend an awesome Church.  I’ve settled into a MOPS group.  We have made so many dear friends in a short time. Ah yes, life is good…

Still, I really want a bubble bath.

My Life Verse

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The Lord settles me in my home and makes me to be 
a JOYFUL mother of children.
Praise to the Lord!
(Psalms 113:9)
This has been my mantra for the past several years. I cannot even count the number of times I have recited it. I used to confess it before I even met my husband in a faith-goal sort of way. After we were married and conception became a challenge I clung to this verse as desperate promise. Now I say it as a thankful prayer and reminder- especially on the tough mommy days.
Do you have a life verse? Do you use scripture to keep you focused? Please share!
 

What To Do When You’re Hanging On

Today as I write this, I am sitting at Starbucks enjoying a latte and a kid-free morning thanks to the Mothers Day Out program at the First Baptist Church.  Big deal, right? Well…it is for me. TOTALLY new experience. I feel so hip and cool: writing, sipping coffee, grooving to Muddy Waters. (Thank you, Starbucks for making this Mississippi girl feel right at home with the blues. Someone must have told you I was coming.)

It’s funny, listening to blues music when everything in my body screams “happy, happy, happy!” Metaphorically speaking, I’m finally enjoying some warm sunshine after a long, very cold rain. You know how sometimes you feel like you are hanging on by a thread? For a long time? You get weary. You get gloomy. You’re tempted to give up hope. Everything gets a little gray. I just left that place, so I know how you feel.

I’m so glad that I didn’t give in to those feelings. Yeah, some days I switched to auto-pilot… Plastered on the smile anyway. You know the drill. After a long time, though it begins to feel like it will never get better. For my family it was a series of tough-break circumstances. Maybe in your case it’s an illness, job loss, divorce, or crisis of another sort. I don’t know what the event is but I do know that nothing last forever. Cliche’ but true. Sometimes it just takes a while. What do you do in the mean time? I’ll share what helped me:

  • Press in to scripture. Let God comfort you. Let Him guide you. Let Him love you through it.
  • Lean in to trusted friends. It’s okay to let others see you in your not so perfect state.
  • Smile anyway. I read in a medical magazine that smiling and laughing can improve a blue mood
  • Take a gratitude inventory. Really count your blessings. Be mindful in your everyday moments
  • Reach out to someone else needing help. Practice hospitality, sharing, and encouraging others
  • Objectively evaluate your circumstance. Change what you can and pray through the rest.
Don’t give up – just hang on a little longer!

Sometimes things get a little worse it seems before they get better. It did for us. God rewards the faithful, though, so keep on. I am pleased to say that the series of troubles is over for the moment. My family is enjoying a reprieve from spiritual and physical battles. My husband has accepted a career change that included a relocation to Kentucky.

Everything seems so new and fresh (and 15 degrees cooler). We have been blessed with a small town in the mountains full of friendly people. Autumn is bringing crisp air, changing colors, and a whole new beginning for us. I’ll post more about our adventure in getting here later.

Right now, I want to pray for you. “Father, I want to lift up this reader to you. You know what they are going through and you know exactly what they need. Bless them with, strength, direction, and endurance. Let them experience Your presence and fullness of joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

Feeling…crunchy? When You Have A Bad Day

Do you ever have days when you feel like this?

You know, the kind of day that overwhelms you. One that makes you feel attacked. Consumed. Crunched on. Maybe it’s a week, a month or even a season. Do you ever feel like circumstances are chewing you up and spitting you out?

I’ve been going through one of those seasons lately. It seems like stress and challenges are coming from every direction. Some days my husband and I look at each other with the “how much more can we possibly take?” look. While this is season is not yet over, I have learned a few things going through this difficult time.

  • Some things are just plain out of my control. Can’t fix it, can’t eliminate it, can’t do squat about it. I can; however, PRAY. I can pray for grace to accept it, mercy to deal with my frustrations, peace to let go of trying to control it, strength to endure it, and patience until it gets better.
  • Complaining only makes it worse. Sure its good to vent every now and then but getting stuck in an ungrateful, grumbling attitude is what got the Hebrew children stuck in the wilderness for forty years. I do not want to get stuck here! I want to move on to better times. I have to purpose my speech and my attitude to be one that God can bless.
  • It won’t last forever. Circumstances always change. Life never stands still. I will get through it. One step in front of the other and one day at a time, I will move through this season on to the next.  
  • Take care of myself in the meantime. Eat nutritiously. Get adequate sleep. Read uplifting spiritual material. Limit negative influences (TV, gossip, etc.) when possible. I must treat my body and mind well if I expect it to carry me through seasons of trial. 
  • Lighten up. Laugh. Be silly. Count my blessings. Appreciate the love and beauty in each moment. Sometimes I just have to get out of my head and into the present moment. I can enjoy life even when it is trying. I just have to look and try a little harder in the difficult days.  
How do you cope with difficult times? What are some of the ways you keep yourself from sinking into despair? Do you laugh in the face of adversity or do you grit your teeth and bear it? Share with me. Lets grow together.

Messy Blessing

Sometimes, in the hectic day to day tasks, in between the repetitive screams of “Mamma mamma mamma” and the “Honey, where is my ___,” and the laundry, and the cooking, and the spilled juice I get caught up in the events of the day.  I forget the true purpose of each day.  I get frustrated. I get down. And then I remember…

My job is to equip my family for God’s service.  I get so wrapped up in the chores of care-taking that I lose sight of the blessing that it is to be the care taker of my family.  I have the awesome privilege of being wife and mother.  I am the help-meet.  I am the glue that keeps us together.  I am the woman behind the man.  I am the teacher, the guardian, the…well you get it.  I don’t just sweep the floors- I am the Keeper of Our Home.  I am responsible for these people.  How they face the world and what they do in it are a result of how well I care for them, nurture them, train them, and KEEP them.  They are not just workers, not just students- they are Kingdom servants with Kingdom assignments.  Our home is to be a place of warmth, hospitality, and Godly instruction.  My job is to tend it and these people to the glory of God.  What an honor! What a blessing! I am so grateful for this blessing, messy though it may be.

Do you ever get caught up in grind?  Do you get discouraged in the mundane tasks of the day?  How do you see yourself and your duties?  Do you ever feel un-important?  Encourage yourself in the Lord. Of all the people on Earth, He has assigned that family to YOU- because of your unique talents and abilities.  He created YOU just for them.

Thankful Thursday

I’m so excited to be participating in my first Thankful Thursday post!

I am thankful for a kind and supportive husband.

He has been wonderfully helpful by entertaining our busy three year old in the evenings to give me blogging time.  Even though he really doesn’t “get it” when it comes to social media, he honors my need for a little time to myself.  I appreciate and love him so much.

To join Thankful Thursday, click here to visit Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Thankful Thursday

I’m so excited to be participating in my first Thankful Thursday post!

I am thankful for a kind and supportive husband.

He has been wonderfully helpful by entertaining our busy three year old in the evenings to give me blogging time.  Even though he really doesn’t “get it” when it comes to social media, he honors my need for a little time to myself.  I appreciate and love him so much.

To join Thankful Thursday, click here to visit Spiritually Unequal Marriage.