The year 2010 was lousy. One more year at the end of a string of rotten years. We were glad to wave goodbye and step into 2011.
Well, so far 2011 is turning out to be a difficult year as well. I won’t call it rotten yet, because this year still has 9 months left to redeem itself. Since this year began, my mom, Ashley and Steve have all had surgery and Rachel has been nursing a bad sprain. It’s only March, but I can safely say I have no desire to see the inside of a doctor’s office or hospital ever again!
It’s easy right now, to feel a wee bit sorry for us. Nobody likes illness and pain affecting the people that they love. It’s exhausting and disheartening. But every time I feel like I’m due for a full-blown pity party, I think of Japan, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and the beautiful people around the world who live in situations beyond my imagination, clinging to a shred of hope.
I’m choosing to step away from the pity party and be reminded of my blessings. Here are just a few, in no particular order.
- I can worship God with fellow believers without fear of reprisal.
- Sam always knows how to make me laugh.
- I was raised in a loving, godly home.
- Ashley will be marrying Daniel, the love of her life, in 14 weeks.
- I have a car that gets me where I need to go.
- I am not dealing with the threat of radiation.
- I have an incredible, supportive network of friends and family.
- Rachel plays the piano every day, filling our home with worship music.
- I do not live in fear of violence.
- My daily commute to work is from the coffee maker in my kitchen to my computer.
- Steve and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this year.
- I don’t worry about my children going hungry.
- We have health insurance and Steve received the surgery he so desperately needed.
- The sun is shining today and the jasmine is blooming.
I realize now that there is an unending list of things to be grateful for. We have been blessed beyond measure and certainly beyond what we deserve.
I have a choice now, I can live snug and warm and secure without a thought for others, or think of ways that I can reach beyond me and extend blessing to those in need. To be honest, I’m not always sure how to do this. The needs seem so overwhelming that sometimes I’m left doing nothing.
I don’t want to be a nothing-doer but someone who is generous and compassionate. I choose to start today.
If you feel like life is dumping on you, try this exercise and look beyond yourself. Tell me, what are you grateful for today? How do you share with those who are in need?