4/24/13

A Lamp Full: Gratitude


Our family experiences our share of trials. The sun does not shine on us everyday. Sometimes the much needed rain does not fall. Sometimes the hills we climb seem higher than usual. It is truly a part of life that we stretch and grow when times are tough. And it is also true that nothing worth having comes without hard work and sacrifice. It is uncomfortable to build muscle or endurance. It takes discipline and hard work to see a garden through from seed to harvest. Dinner does not cook itself each night. Laundry doesn’t fold itself. None of us are immune from hard work and sacrifice and suffering and sorrow.

I have been asked on many occasions, “how do you bear your trials with such cheerfulness?"
My answer is always the same and it is so simple. I am grateful! When the sun is not shining, I am thankful for the rain. When the rain is not falling, I am grateful for the sun. When we are sick, I am thankful that we are alive to feel that pain. When we are hungry, I am thankful that we have food in the pantry. When winds blow and lightening strikes (literally and figuratively) I am thankful that we are safe within our walls. There is always so much more to be thankful for than to be bitter about. Sometimes it takes great effort to find it. But good is always there. I do not believe it will ever be swallowed up by evil. I will not allow it to be overshadowed by bitterness. The only time that will happen is when gratitude is forgotten. We must be thankful. There is so much to be thankful for.

I read once that if all of us gathered around and pulled all of our problems out of our pockets and threw them in a pile, when we saw what everyone else was dealing with, we would grab our own problems right back! I do not doubt that for even a second.

When I fill up my body with real food like fruits and vegetables and meat and cheese, I find that I have less room for junk. The same is true when we fill our minds and hearts with gratitude. If I fill my mind with thoughts of my many blessings, I have much less room for bitterness and anger.

Where can you start?  A gratitude journal. Each day write down a blessing in your life. It could be as simple as I ate today, or I prayed today, or my baby made me smile today.
We can not borrow gratitude from another. We must have our own lamps full so that when the trials come, and they will, we have a reservoir to draw from. What are you thankful for?

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4 comments:

  1. This is so true! Everyone has their share of problems, but it's really how you choose to handle them that makes the difference (key word is CHOOSE!) If you don't want to be a grump, then don't :) Now it's not always that easy, I understand, but like you said, sometimes you need the bad things to make the good ones all that much better. It's that dynamic nature of life that really makes us able to see & feel & experience all there is!

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  2. I like these lamp full posts. I don't know if this is the second or third one I've read but I know when I saw the lamp on the link-up I was happy!

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  3. Thank you for that, I hope to have one each Monday. Please come back!

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  4. I love your food analogy about being full of gratitude so that there's not being room for complaining or ungratefulness or anything else!

    I would love it if you would add a courtesy link back to my blog next to your other links! Thanks so much!

    Also, thanks for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

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