Photo by Lisa Turner Photography.
On Saturday night, I felt like nothing around me was good enough. Our still-largely-undecorated-after-almost-two-years-in-it home wasn't good enough. My most-of-it-I've-had-since-college closet wasn't good enough. My Photoshop-less PC wasn't good enough. My MIL is coming into town for a few short days this week. We always want her to have a wonderful time, and I think both Tim and I are guilty of going into show-off mode during the few visits a year we get from family and friends. "We're not going to be able to do much of anything ..." I thought grumpily.
When I first got on the phone with Tim, I was short with him. After he worked his butt off for 12 hours, in flippin' freezing North Dakota, to support our little family -- to ensure that we keep all that we have -- I was short with him. Thankfully, with a few kind, supportive words, Tim was able to turn around the tone of our conversation, and we chatted for over an hour about my wonderful day with Maile.
But just an hour later, I caught myself trying to make a deal with God. "If we could have just this much more money ... I promise, I'll never complain again." Whoa.
The word grateful was laid on my heart. Was I grateful? Not. even. close.
That night, I told myself: "I am going to be grateful. I am going to thank God for, and in, everything. I am going to praise Him. Even when I don't feel like it."
How good do you feel when you praise God? For me, even taking a second to say thank you can help turn around my attitude. This is not to say that I won't ever complain again. As I'm sure you all know, that's laughable! But I would like to make a concerted effort to always give praise.
So, on Saturday night, I said, "Thank you, Lord, for these walls that give us shelter. For a wonderful home in a safe neighborhood, where Maile can grow up. Thank you for my clothing, especially for the coats that keep me warm through the winter. Though well-worn, they are much, much more than many could ever hope to have. Thank you for my computer, which allows me to communicate with my friends and family (however much I may want to throw it out the window sometimes)."
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others, or complaining, try this! Say thank you instead. It takes practice, but I promise that you will see a change in your heart.
Happy New Year's Eve! If you are celebrating tonight, please be safe. See you in 2013!