Sunday, October 16, 2011

an attitude of gratitude.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  
It turns what we have into enough, and more.  
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger to a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie

continued from here.

it all started when...

we were praying for changes in our lives.  we yearned for land to build a house.  we had our house sold but the contract fell through.  we found the perfect land only to find a problem.  this went on for years.  so when a door opened up a few states away we said "yes!"
before we moved to georgia i distinctly remember thinking and crying out..."i deserve more than this." those are dangerous words and i'm regretful i ever had that attitude.  i thought because i didn't have the need to impress people or the desire for the greatest and latest of everything that i somehow was grateful.  i remember praying back then that God would " use me, change me, mold me" and let's just say He answers prayers all right.
  
 here's an example.
before moving at night after the kids were tucked into bed i would head to our only bathroom for a relaxing bubble bath.  only, it wasn't very relaxing.  there were rubber duckies, organic kids shampoo, cups, spoons..."i deserve more than this.  i deserve MY OWN bathtub.  i shouldn't have to bathe with toys.  i want a kid free zone!"

shameful. 

we moved to georgia to a 7,000 sq. ft. home that our employer was paying for.  we had 4 bathrooms.  yes! i could have my own potty AND tub!  except our first electric bill was about $800.  hmmm...i'm not so sure how important it is to have my own powder room come to think of it.

then we moved to the lodge in idaho that had 7 bathrooms.  now, if you've never had 7 bathrooms to clean {after strangers nonetheless} then you're missing out on a grand experience...suddenly, i had A LOT of work to do!!!

and now that we have moved back home we have one bathtub.  and i'm happy.  ever so grateful.  there is one tub to clean.  and only after my family and their sweet grime.  and we don't have a huge house to clean.  and i get to share it with my lovely family.  the ones that will grow and leave the nest...i will no doubt cry one day for the lack of rubber ducks in my bathtub.



do you see how my attitude changed? an entirely new perspective.  it wasn't until i saw an excert from the quote above at my kids' great grandma's house did it all come together.  then i found the entire quote on a friend's blog a few days later.  is someone trying to tell me something?

  i was thankful for what we had and thanked God often. but my heart was not full of gratitude...what we had wasn't enough for me.  we had a roof, food, health, family, friends...not enough.

can you believe that?  i'm embarrassed to type it out and hit the "publish" button.
in Hebrew gratitude means "recognizing the good."  there is good in everything.  everything and everyone.  it took God showing me literally "the other side of the fence" to realize how truly blessed we are. 

here's one more example.
my heart began to flicker when i watched a couple yearning to be parents holding a newborn baby at church.  i could see their hearts plain as day..they wanted to be parents so badly.  and they almost were, until the birth mom changed her mind about giving her baby up for adoption.  there was a longing in their tear filled eyes that i just couldn't stand, one that i will never forget.  and there i was, fertile myrtle who has never known their pain.

was i truly grateful to be a mom?  did i cherish the sticky kisses and hand prints like i should?  i dare say not.
i share this part of my own personal journey humbly...my desire is to become everything God wants me to be.  to have His heart and to see things and people the way He sees them.  to never, ever take one thing for granted.




the end.  for today.

14 comments:

  1. Oh I really like this a personal story that touches many hearts. I, like you, have wanted more than I had and regret that I ever felt that way.
    I am very happy with my life my simple one bathroom life, I really do not miss the no bathroom life, so maybe I still have a few more lessons on gratitude to learn.
    You will miss those rubber duckies I know I do. Take care. B

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  2. Ooooh, this hit a chord. Yes, I know lack of gratitude, and I know that I'm a slow learner :(

    Thanks for posting. His ways, truly, are amazing. He takes us on paths we'd never have chosen. Praise God we know Him, and know He is our loving Father, who does what's best. Always.
    Blessings,
    Anne x

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  3. I love how the Lord shows us in such deliberate ways of what He is trying to teach us. It sounds like you have not only learned a lesson here but you also have embraced it.

    Thankfulness....I'm sure you have read Ann's book 'One thousand gifts'? If not, this will just seal the deal of what your path is right here. Amazing!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your personal stories. It is a brave and unselfish testimony that I admire so much.

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  5. So true, nicely said. I like the quote too.

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  6. This is a great testimony. I'm glad that you had the courage to share it.

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  7. Wow! What a wonderful story...have you ever thought...that maybe someday you would be a speaker.... you have so many lessons well learned that so many could learn from!

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  8. Thank you for sharing this quote and your life stories..
    I too have been unsatisfied with my lot in life always wanting something more, always wanting bigger and better,believing I was very grateful and yet.
    A couple of years ago something changed, my whole world turned upside down, My dad suffered a major massive stroke.. he still lives but barely totally paralyzed down one side and unable to even turn over by himself in bed.
    Sometimes it takes something major to wake us up.
    We are blessed people.. My attitude has changed to one of gratitude for all I have.
    I too want to be used by him for his Glory.
    Bless you and Thank you for sharing your story.
    NEll

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  9. what a beautiful perspective. I'm always grateful when God helps me see things a little more clearly by putting situations like this in our lives! :)

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  10. Oh to 'never take one thing for granted' - yes, how my heart echos your words. The good Lord has been so gentle and reprimanding of my attitude and I see His gentleness in your experiences as well. Just that...His gentleness grows a heart of gratitude in me...that swells in humility and love.
    PS - one job I had was cleaning million dollar houses with many bathrooms...I hear ya about cleaning up after strangers, lol.

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