There is always much to be grateful for – the very existence of God makes that abundantly clear.
But I recognize that there are times where an attitude of gratitude takes some effort to cultivate. This is usually because something I don’t want to be grateful for comes along and dominates my thoughts. And then the battle is on!
This past week we discovered a major mistake by me – not one rooted in a particular sin, just a mistake in numbers (I’m prone to that). Before we knew of the mistake we had relied on incorrect information to create certain expectations for our business and our family.
Discovering the mistake put a big stink on my attitude of gratitude for a day or so.
First, not meeting the expectations was a huge disappointment and required some re-thinking of what the next few weeks and maybe even months would look like. Second, I don’t like to make mistakes. It humiliates me. (Yes, that is a pride issue, and I am trying to work on it and get over myself, but that is a battle too).
Fortunately I was able to come out of the stink before too long. No need to wallow, even though the implications will be with us for a while. And there is so much to be thankful for that once I turned my attention to gratitude the bounce back was pretty quick – a gift from God in and of itself for sure!
But I still don’t like to make mistakes. I am working on cultivating gratitude about the learning opportunity – learning to forgive myself, learning to let go of expectations, learning to adjust, learning not to make that same mistake again. It is just hard to get too excited – I’m not ready to scream from the roof-tops “Hey world, here are the details of my mistake, but look at all the learning opportunities it brought me.”
I may never be ready for publicly revealing all the details of this mistake or others I am bound to make. But I do hope I learn a bit of something.
This is a great chance to do what Ann calls “the hard euchristeo” – giving thanks for even the things that do not feel like a blessing but recognizing that God has the best in mind for me even in these things. It means allowing myself to be humbled so that I can have an accurate view of how really awesome God is in all the little details of my life as well as the big giant things like forgiving my sins.
So here are some of the things of the last week that have given me the opportunity to have a heart of gratitude.
1084. Blog comments
1085. Getting to work with my husband all day 5 days a week.
1086. J connecting with friends and the joy that brings him.
1088. Warm mornings
1089. J invited to a friends’ house after church.
1090. church business conducted well.
1091. J enjoying E-Free youth activities
1092. J wants to return to Sunday School next week
1093. Money coming in just in time to encourage us.
1094. Dinner at the Wendell’s camp
1095. cutthroat caught by J
1096. Beautiful sunshine morning after days of rain and snow and hail and damp
1097. J’s confidence after working for Rachel
1098. S’mores with friends
1099. J being brave as he goes to football camp without knowing anyone there
1100. Photos from Hannah
1101. Tomato plants doing well.
1102. More opportunities to do art
1103. Kudos from unexpected places
1104. Watching the Belmont Stakes as a family and lots of good discussions as a result
1105. Phone calls with Rachel
1106. Time alone with Andy
1107. Checking out the dead snake with Andy (I know weird, but it was fun in its own way) By the way, it is a Bull Snake, and they get a lot bigger as the season goes on.
WARNING: PHOTO AHEAD
1108. Being grass/weed/pasture farmers and the jokes that brings
1109. Affirmation of integrity
1110. J’s blue eyes
1111. Rosemary flat bread
1112. Walk at the marsh with J
1113. Spontaneity opportunities
1114. Andy giving grace for my mistakes
1115. Long forgotten “deadbeat” client who paid his bill out of the blue (and I had stopped trying to collect because it was so old!)
1116. J doing so well with being at home during the days when I’m at work – chores done, assignments complete, attitude wonderful!