Five Things I like most about…

Sometimes, life sucks. And I can’t always do something about it–weather, situations, peoples, bodies getting old, unexpected stuff… you know, all those things that tend to make me feel frustrated and powerless.

But I am not. Powerless, that is. Because no matter how nasty things might be at a particular moment, my choice as to how I look at that nastiness remains mine alone. And it’s always going to be mine, no matter how much pressure pushes against me. And that choice, it’s simply called an attitude.

“Just change your attitude,” I often want to tell my boss when his terrible mood makes all those around him miserable. And what I mean by that is, “change your thoughts and inform your face!” and “Just get over it!” and “change your mind and let your actions show it.” And the other day, in the midst of my I-just-want-to-cry-and-be-angry-and-frustrated-yucky-attitude, I heard myself say the very same thing to myself. And I was compelled to go look at myself in the mirror.

1-12-09-mmm-mirror

 

 Funny how God won’t let me get away with telling others to do what I don’t do myself. Talk is cheap, isn’t it? Is the woman in the mirror walking the walk, or just talking the talk?

So while I examined the woman in the mirror, God reminded me about the need to be thankful. And I was quick to answer, “I have practiced saying THANK YOU daily for the last eighteen months, and I don’t plan to quit any time soon, because it’s good for me down to my toes.”

But God, He knows all of that, and yet He gently reminded me about the need to be thankful. Because even though I practice thankfulness, I still get caught into frustration–mostly because I forget to remember. 

So my God, He helped me come up with a strategy to help me deal with that stench that resurfaces when things don’t go my way; a strategy to remain thankful and keep things in perspective when life feels like it sucks; a strategy to help me remember truth. I make myself finish this statement:

Five things I am thankful for concerning…

and I fill in the next part depending on the reason I am so angry, frustrated, upset–why I feel that life sucks:

  • my husband
  • my job
  • my church
  • my friend
  • my body
  • my family
  • my home
  • my car
  • My schedule
  • my….

And then, I make myself say those five things out loud, to myself at least, and maybe to someone else.

And you know what? It works. Because as I make my list, my attitude is changing, and I remember to remember.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

one-thousand7#886 Coffee with a friend in the middle of the week

#887 A sweet send off to Heaven for a friend

#888 coming home to a nice cozy fire in the fireplace

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,

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21 comments

  1. Love this … “I remember to remember.” So true, isn’t it? The problem is with our memory. May God help us to remember to remember today. So easy to say, so hard to do. May I be intentional in remembering today! So glad I stopped here from Testimony Tues. this morning. Blessings!

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  2. Dear Barb,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift of writing with all of us. I am daily encouraged by your willingness to share your journey. Today I am THANKFUL for your son’s choice of my daughter for his bride and for the blessing of the extended family that has grown around us as a result.

    Love you!

    Ginny

    Expressions! face painting and body art Ginny Sieminski 426 Chimney Rock Rd Earlysville, VA 22936 434 409 4796 http://www.expressionsfacepainting.com

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  3. Barb, I love your list, “5 things I like about…” I have a friend who repeats “I love my job, I love my job!” when she is frustrated at work! Sometimes it is all about perspective and we just have to be reminded. Thanks for your encouragement and for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

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  4. That is great advice – to narrow the thankful list down to the thing that currently seems frustrating or annoying. I am going to do this. Thanks!

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  5. Love the part about changing your attitude and informing your face. As a teacher of 3rd graders, it would be a great lesson to share with them. I also agree that verbally saying or writing down what we are thankful for each day creates a loving and gracious attitude which we need everyday.

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  6. I’m starting to feel that frustration with people who complain about the weather! In fact, I wrote a post listing all the positive things to focus on. It is what it is, and no amount of grumbling is going to change it.

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  7. Gratitude…it does work doesn’t it. I just finished reading Ann Voskamp’s book for the first time. I know I’m late to the party but oh my!! Thank you for sharing with Three Word Wednesday.

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  8. I loved the part about “forgetting to remember.” That’s so true. So many important things aren’t necessarily hard to do; they’re just easy not to do. Great reminder!

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