“I’m fine!” I proclaimed, tears streaming down my face.
My husband busted out laughing and even with new emissions of tears, I couldn’t help but join in, realizing how insane I must look.
“I’m just tired and hot and grumpy,” I complained, “I wish you would have put the air-conditioners in yesterday, like I asked. It’s going to be super-hot today and you have to work all day and I have to watch the kids,” I continued to whine. “I don’t want to be grumpy and yelling at the kids all day and really I’m fine and you better get to work, but I just want to scream and take a whole bottle of Nyquil and sleep for 10 hours!”
“You know,” my husband teasingly laughed, while wrapping me in a big hug, “the number one substance abuse is over dosing or wrongly using over the counter drugs.”
“I don’t care!” I teased back, punching his arm “I’m just tired! —I know I’ll survive,” I sighed.
We continued to banter back and forth for a bit longer as I tried to get my emotions back under control and he tried to do everything he could to make sure I was going to be all right, before he had to go to work in three minutes.
He left and I hurried to get the kids ready and packed up in the car, knowing I needed to get out of the house for awhile. Through a few more wrestling matches with my two-year-old and my nine-month old, I finally secured everyone in the car and took off for the store. Two blocks from our house, as I started going back over everything that had just happened, I realized how awful my attitude was. I snapped the music off and pronounced to my two-year-old daughter, “we should pray and tell God everything we’re thankful for.”
“No!” She defiantly stated from the back seat.
“Fine, I will then,” I said, not wanting to give in to a losing battle.
“Ok,” she agreed, as I started praying out loud.
“Jesus, thank you for giving us sunshine, which gives us vitamin D, which helps boost our moods. Thank you, for making everything green. For the green trees and green grass. Thank you that we have each other. Thank you that we have a car to drive in. Thank you that it has an air-conditioner that actually works. Thank you that we have food to eat and a roof over our head and so many clothes to wear. Thank you that we can go to the store today.” Stopping, I asked my daughter, “what are you thankful for?”
“Daddy work for food.” She responded, after a bit of a pause.
“Ah yes, thank you Jesus that Daddy has a job. Thank you that he can provide food for us and a roof over our heads.”
“What else are you thankful for?”
I smiled, “Yes, thank you for giving us colors. For blue…” We went on to name off all the colors and continued to name off things we were thankful for.
My poor husband can put up with so much some days. Sometimes I wonder why he married me with all my emotional mood swings and destructive, negative attitudes.
If you have read any of my blogs so far, you will notice that one of the things I go back to time and time again is thankfulness. Why is thankfulness such a big deal?
Well first off, it is found in God’s Word over and over again, telling us to give thanks.
As I have said before, for me, it really does help swing my downcast, awful, whiny, selfish, entitled attitude away from myself and onto Christ. Putting my focus not on the things that I want, but on the things I’ve already been so blessed with. Thankfulness helps me remember who it is that is actually in control, when I feel like everything’s spinning crazily out of control.
When we thank God for what He has given us, we acknowledge that He was the one who gave it to us in the first place. We acknowledge that He is in control.
Though, I could go on and on about all the reasons we should give thanks and the benefits, I think it would be more important to conclude with a few challenges, should you choose to accept them.
1st Challenge: Think of 10 things you are thankful for every single morning before jumping out of bed. (Slithering your way off the bed to your feet won’t work to avoid the challenge either). If it doesn't work before you are able to get out of bed then try it when you are brushing your teeth.
2nd Challenge: Before ever stepping out of the car to go shopping, make sure you say out loud with your kids or to yourself, 5 things you are thankful for that God has already blessed you with.
3rd Challenge: When you hear yourself start to complain or grumble about something, immediately stop what you’re doing and come up with three things that you are thankful for right then and there. You could also tape up little "thank 3" notes in thought out places around the house and every time one catches your eye, stop what you're doing and think about three things you're thankful for.
If you’re a sticky-note type of “rememberer,” try taping a sticky-note that says “Thank 10” either on your ceiling or somewhere where you will see it when you first wake up. Then tape a “Thank 5” note to the middle of your steering wheel, and random other ones around your house if need be.
If you’re more of a phone person, you can try setting an alarm or a note that pops up first thing in the morning to help remind you.
With a world filled with selfish, entitled people crying out their own agendas we need thankful hearts rising up in this fight against ourselves. It’s not something that comes naturally in an instant but a learned practice that takes perseverance and determination.
So together this week, won’t you join with me, one day, one fight at a time? Remembering, it’s not just about ourselves but we are to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18)
Melody, a proud mother of three beautiful, adventurous children and the wife of one very loving and caring husband. Molded, daily, by the Maker of the Universe and longing to become more like Him.