Tag Archives: thankfulness

The Smell of Rain

The sliding glass door is open leading to the small balcony off the master bedroom.  Rain has been steadily falling since early this morning and the scent is refreshing.  Nothing like the smell of freshly fallen rain, except maybe crunching leaves in autumn up north.  But, today, it is Florida’s version of winter weather – although fairly mild, of course.

The showers not only replenish the earth but invigorate the senses.  This is not our typical rainy season that occurs during our hurricane season from June 1st through November 30th.  It has caused some dead tree limbs to be strewn across the lawn and our swimming pool to be pretty full.  The creek that runs behind our house has become rather full with water gushing as it makes its way over the large rocks, creating a small waterfall.  It’s always so peaceful to look out at the waterfall.

Water is so soothing, isn’t it?  I think of the ocean with its waves that ebb and flow.  Visitors flock to it and find relaxation.  I also think of a warm bath to calm the mind and body.  Waterfalls in the mountains.  People will hike miles just to catch a glimpse of the beauty of majestic waterfalls.  Perhaps the most famous of falls, Niagara Falls, is the destination of thousands of visitors each year.

God certainly knew water would bring mankind peace and nourishment against life’s stresses.

Although it’s very overcast and rainy today, I am thankful for the precipitation.  Everything has a season and today’s season is rain.

Some complain when the weather prevents them from participating in outdoor activities or dulls their mood.  Instead, why not take advantage of a rainy day to do something indoors that you’ve been putting off?  I like to turn on the lights and play some cheerful music on days like these.  It sends a signal to the mind that we still have cause to be happy, despite the weather.

So, today I will enjoy the fresh scent of the rain.  Tomorrow it will be gone.  The sun will be out along with a few clouds, but the rain will be over.

Ah, to breathe in this invigorating fragrance is a beautiful blessing!  You see, there is beauty in the rain.  Yes, unpleasantness too.  Like when you step into a deep puddle.  Isn’t that life?  You take the good and the bad, mix it all together and it is a beautiful gift.

 

 

 

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Before Goliath, a Lion & a Bear

David conquered a lion and a bear before he ever faced the greatest challenge of his lifetime – Goliath.

And prior to governing all of Egypt, Joseph ran Potiphar’s household.

Have you ever considered that previous battles in your own life were preceded by similar ones?  Battles that we survived and ones that we developed stronger faith through.

As I contemplate my own health challenges at the moment and my role as a health advocate for my daughter, Sarah, I am reminded that there were former struggles that prepared me for such a time as this.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I used to take my father to all of his medical appointments and have helped him during his recovery on a number of occasions.  I am his medical power of attorney and have advocated for him countless times.

And, of course, being a parent of three children predisposes one to seeking the best treatment for another.

Prior to this, after the premature death of our mother twenty-three years ago, my younger sister and I became chief health advocates on behalf of our 98 year old grandmother.  (Yes, our maternal grandmother survived our mother by two and a half months!)

Life has a way of revolving in cycles, doesn’t it?  If you live long enough, cycles repeat themselves and you glean important lessons and wisdom.

I am thankful for the lessons of faith, courage, patience and compassion that I have learned over the years.  When we are facing the storms of life, it is very unpleasant and we look for the nearest exit.  But, if we keep our eyes focused on the God who calms the seas, our faith will grow and we will be stronger because of it.

When we were rear ended by a drunk driver in May 2014, I determined very early on that I would focus on the positives.  I was keenly aware that my children were watching my responses to the situation and that by highlighting the pain and negativity, it would only serve to prolong our healing process.

Sometimes we need to reframe a situation, to step back and focus on the unchanging truth of the Bible and God’s promises to be with us.

During difficult times, it is helpful to keep a “Thankfulness” journal.  It is hard to remain discouraged when we keep our sight on God’s blessings.

Each of us have much to be thankful for.  Sometimes it’s a matter of perspective.  We need to realize that while we may have needs and wants, most of us are more wealthy than a large percentage of the world.

Often, the feeling of being out of control is a seed of discouragement.  To counteract this, concentrate on what you can do to improve the situation.

Yes, you can’t change your spouse, but you can work on you.

Yes, you may not be able to avoid surgery, but you can occupy your mind with positive things in the meantime.

Yes, you can’t make the neighbor turn down their loud, obnoxious music, but you can turn on your favorite music and work on a hobby that brings you joy.

Yes, you can’t make your co-workers like you, but you can invest your efforts in being the best employee possible.

I’m not suggesting mind over matter.  I’m suggesting changing your focus/mind in order to change your reality and future.  Life’s realities often begin in the mind.

I am reminded of a story I heard a while back:

A lady who happened to be blind was being relocated to a new room in a retirement home.  A nurse asked her how she felt about this change as she was about to be taken to her new living quarters.  The blind lady replied, “Oh, I absolutely love it!”  The nurse was astounded.  How could you love it already?  The blind lady said, “I already made up my mind that it’s going to be wonderful.”

Her situation hadn’t changed.  She remained blind.  But she was not blind to the fact that she should have a positive mindset in order to be happy.  I think that’s where many of us flub up.  When bad things happen, instead, we tend to focus on all the negative things and lose sight of the possibilities of a positive outcome.

So, if you find yourself in a raging battle today, friend, remember that, “This too shall pass.”

I think that’s another fallacy we often believe.  Life is ever changing.  Bad things come and go.  Good things come and go.  Ebbs and flows.

We will be in a better position to face today’s battle if we remember, like the Israelites did in the Old Testament, all of the previous battles along with their lessons.  They would build monuments in the desert where God performed miracles in previous battles.  We, too, should do the same.  Remind ourselves that the same God who delivered before, will again, deliver us!

“Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.”

 ~ Psalm 107:6

 

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15 Things I’m Most Thankful For

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  1. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Word of God and the great hope of heaven
  2. My family and their love
  3. My children’s spiritual growth
  4. The gift of motherhood
  5. That my siblings are also my best friends
  6. Wonderful friends
  7. My husband’s job
  8. Good health
  9. Our home
  10. Freedom
  11. A godly heritage
  12. Music
  13. The ocean, flowers and all of nature’s beauty
  14. Photography
  15. Fabric, quilting, sewing machine

Gratitude chases away feelings of discontentment.  It’s difficult to be disgruntled and thankful simultaneously.  Why not compose your own thankful list and reflect on the many blessings of God in your own life?  We serve a faithful God and His blessings are endless.

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An Attitude of Gratitude

Have you ever found that sometimes it’s far easier to grumble and complain than to accept what is and be grateful for it?  I certainly have.  It takes an intentional mindset to simply resolve to be thankful rather than discontented.

Some circumstances we can do something about.  For instance, we may get frustrated with ourselves because we’d like to lose weight.  In reality, there’s an action on our part that can change those ugly numbers on the scale.

However, many times in life there are situations beyond our control.  It is in those times that it is prudent to give thanks to God while placing our concerns in God’s hands.

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  ~ I Thessalonians 5:18

Then, there’s just a general attitude of life.  Have you ever met someone that had such a sour expression and just exuded such discontent?  I certainly have.  Are those people happy?  No!  And they make everyone around them unhappy as well!  Who wants to be around a sour puss?  Life is too short to see the glass half empty all the time!

Did you know that you can do most anything you set your mind to?  It’s true.  If you have a made up mind to change, with God’s help, you can do it!  Today, you can decide that from this day forward you will stop complaining all the time and, instead, thank God for the positive things around you.  Thank God for waking you up this morning, for giving you breath in your body, for full function of your limbs, for your family, for resources, for provision, for the hope of Glory!  There are countless blessings we can praise God for!  And, before long, you will see a pattern forming.  Your heart will be full of happiness when gratitude is in your soul and expressed through your lips!  It is hard to stay disgruntled and upset when your heart is thankful.  Ponder that for a moment.

You can either dwell on all the things that aren’t right about your world or you can determine to focus on the good things that God has blessed you with.  Perhaps there are some things you can change to make your world better.  In the meantime, cultivating an attitude of gratitude will bring tremendous fulfillment to your life!

A tool that can help you to do this is a notebook where you write all the things you’re thankful for.  Keeping a journal of answered prayer is also a great reminder of God’s blessings and increases our faith.

When we are constantly grateful to God for His many blessings, for the sunshine, for the rain, for another breath to live … don’t you think it’s His good pleasure to further bless us?

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” ~ Psalm 34:1-4

 

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