April 6, 2010

Does Gratefulness Enable Us to Dream?

Why is it that we think by wanting something different or something new, things will be better, more enjoyable? Make us happy or happier? Why do we complain about what we have or our situation when really it is not all that bad? Why are we so negative about it? Why do we only see the negative instead of appreciating what we have and/or realizing that we are indeed blessed? Why don’t we see the blessings that surround us?

I sometimes think, “I want to own a rancher house someday.” Or ‘this house is too big to keep up or clean.” What about this, “It is such a long drive out here.” Or why can’t I lose the weight I want.” How about, “I hate exercise.” or “this is too hard.”

I question why am I so unhappy sometimes, why am I so negative. Do I really have a reason? No, I think not. So where does this negativity come from? I think it has a lot to do with the lack of appreciation. And, I have forgotten not only to dream, but how to dream!
I have been given so much. I have no excuse to be ungrateful. But that is what my attitude speaks so loudly much too often.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s
will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
think about such things. Philippians 4:8

I was driving home yesterday after a walk in the park with my husband and 3 dogs, thinking of such things. What more could I ask for?

I enjoyed the company of my lifelong best friend & our loyal, cheerful ‘puppies’ and some much needed exercise. And how awesome is it that GOD saw fit to allow us the pleasure of goofy, domesticated animals in our lives – HE knew & it brings a smile to HIS face too. It was a beautiful morning. The fresh air felt wonderful and I feel so much better – physically and emotionally – when I get out and get moving.

I believe we just need to take the time to notice. Just notice. Pay attention. Look. See.
I did just that on the drive home. Enjoying my overdue morning cup of coffee from 7-11, I rolled down all the windows and let the wind blow through my hair! Sorry, couldn't resist! I know that is so clich̩ & cheesy but that is exactly what I did. And I found myself driving slower and choosing the most back road route (not that getting to my house gets any more back road than it already is!) and looking. Simply Looking Рobserving Рseeing. I enjoyed the homes, the landscapes, the blooming trees, grass and flowers of the season. There were deer crossing in front of me. The sun was bright and sky so blue. I felt and smelled the air. Something changed, I changed. I began to appreciate the drive. That long drive that usually gets complained about. I enjoyed it and became grateful not only for the drive itself but also the fact that I had been given that beautiful drive to get to my home in the country, in the woods.

So what is so bad about that drive? Nothing. Absolutely nothing!
I want things. I desire things. I want to see the future and dream. I want to be satisfied with the gifts, the blessings I have been given. How? I think I need to look & see and dream. And be grateful!

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

I couldn't be more thankful for the grace GOD has shown Jeff and me; in our relationship, our family and the unique ministry that HE has so graciously given us the privilege to be a part of. We have struggled in life but we have not experienced the tragedy or extreme difficulties that others have had to face. And HE has helped us through many battles in our relationship allowing us to remain together 27 years. HE has met our needs and then some. We have never been without.

Though there are things we cannot control, I can still dream. What are my dreams? I want to be around to see my 2 boys grow their lives: getting married, having kids, become successful. How? By doing what I need to do TODAY to change, to be healthy and able for their future as well as for mine. To stop complaining about exercise and eating right and losing weight but instead do something about it.

What is wrong with this house that GOD has given us? Nothing. I have no doubt that GOD brought us to this house, HE gave it to us. We couldn't match what we have here in town or in a subdivision. I want to make it our home. We allow the busyness of life to get in the way and then we forget to be home. I not only dream about ways to improve it or make it more comfortable, but to make it ours. For it to become the place that our boys’ families come to, that our future grandkids come, to visit grandma & grandpa, to play, create, explore, have adventures & make memories. Our home, the place we grow old together.

How it must break the heart of GOD when we cannot see what we have, what has been given. And when we practice, living in the here and now; when we take notice and thank HIM for all HE has given, for the grace HE has shown, something happens in our soul.

We begin to live and become satisfied with life! We have JOY! And we begin to DREAM!

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

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