So, I think I consider myself to be a pretty 'glass half full' kind of person. Scratch that, typically, I think my cup is overflowing. I love my life and yes, I realize just how sickening I sound right now. What can I say? I love my life.
This is all very much true on a global level. But over the course of day today, I started to think about the little things that I let sabotage my contentedness; where the gratitude starts to wear away. And, as I like to think that God has an awesome sense of loving humor, he presented me with another situational learning activity in this weekend's events.
For me, the 'love my life' outlook stems from Colossians 3:15. For anyone who might not be terribly familiar with that verse: "Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts; since as members of one body, you were called to Peace. And be thankful." There are 2 major words in that phrase, in my humble opinion "be thankful."
BE thankful. The word 'be' here denotes a verb, an active state of being. But, how do you BE 'thankful?' I mean, isn't that something that you show at Thanksgiving and maybe other National Holidays?? Part of it is looking at what 'thankful' meant then - now we use it as 'grateful.' Then, it still meant that, but it extended beyond to include 'grace.' So, it's taking the duty of appreciation/thankfulness for what's being done around you, allowing for the grace of imperfection, and extending it on to those that touch your life. At least, that's my way of looking at it.
Looking at it that way, it's hard for me to be overtly critical or harsh with people. Now, I've had my moments (Read: Months) when I've let this go by the wayside. When I stopped looking at "BEING" thankful and was simply 'situationally-appropriately appreciative.' The change in how it colored my life was pretty staggering. But, through God's graciousness and a few good friends ;) I got back with the program.
This weekend, though, I had a little bit of a slip-up. I hadn't really had enough sleep before leaving on Sunday - not complaining, was totally worth it. But, as the day wears on, you know.. your nerves do, too. So, Lindsey gets carsick on the way home, I spent the day with my ex-husband (whom I'm currently not thrilled with), and evidently, I'm more fond of road trips when I'm driving. By 7pm, I couldn't feel my butt anymore, I was WORN.OUT, and I just wanted to be home. Got to my parents and remembered that I needed gas... I could keep going, but you get the point - there was just a lot of little stuff that was building on me. I started to feel a little sorry for myself and got a little grumpy - I was NEVER going to get home! This stinks!
Yeah, I had JUST shot a text message saying something to that extent when BAM! Enter situational humor - Lindsey throws up all over the backseat (and floorboard) of my car. All of a sudden, my weariness no longer mattered and was very focused on a) my kid, b) the fact that my car was about to smell like vomit, and c) darnit! MY new handbag!!! Few minutes later, I got back into my slump - it couldn't get much worse than that. BAM! Situational humor again - she pukes. Again. Ok, I get it.
I started thinking about it - from a micro level, I was not 'being' grateful/thankful for my situational circumstances. Scoot back from the individual circumstance - I had just spent the day with my Father driving to see my Girls compete in a COOL competition where they placed extremely well. They were getting to do the things I had wanted for them (extra-curricular activities, not cheerleading specifically - that's what THEY wanted). They could do that because I have gainful employment, we live close to the gym, we've got friends that help make it all work when I'm working.. and I'm focused on the fact that my evening bag might be ruined and my car temporarily smells like puke?
And then it came back - I was grateful again. Not just for my life, but for the reality check that allowed for me to remember how much I have to continually be thankful for. To be happy about. And maybe that's how you "BE" happy when it's just you - you back it up when you start to get stuck on one bad thing. And maybe, sometimes the best way you can do that is to help other people do it, too? I'm working on this with my kiddos right now - there's SO much drama when you're younger.
There's probably more to say on this, but it's crazy long as it is and I'm kind of tired of being on the computer. Later folks!