Tag Archives: grateful

Through It All, There Are Blessings To Be Discovered

Sometimes it’s difficult for me to focus on my blessings. I let greed, self-esteem, and disappointment get in the way. I have moments when I grumble and complain and “poor me” myself throughout the day.

Those are the moments I really have to push myself to remember how truly blessed I am.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote some pretty heavy stuff about my childhood. Despite those years being a very difficult time, there were some blessings that came from them. I learned how strong I could be. It took me awhile, but I discovered that I was more than my past. I learned how to love myself.

Yes, I had a difficult time struggling with an eating disorder. But I’m blessed that it made me more aware of the importance of a healthy body image. It’s helped me speak to my daughters positively about self-esteem, nutrition, and exercise.

In my 20’s, I moved to the west coast for a job, knowing no one in my new environment. I’m blessed that that time away from friends and family taught me to be more independent and assertive.

In my 30’s, I suffered a miscarriage. While it was an extremely difficult time for me and my husband, the blessing from the experience was that we realized how much love we had to give to a child once we conceived one. That unborn child taught me how much I could love another being, and how painful loss is.

In my 40’s, I lost a close friend of mine. While I miss her dearly, I’m so very blessed our paths crossed. I’m so grateful for the times we did get to spend together and the laughter we shared. I’m grateful for all the advice she gave me through the years. She was classy, confident, and caring.

On those days that I’m in a downward spiral, convinced that my life sucks, I try hard to focus on the blessings in those crappy moments. I (almost) always can find something positive that leaves me remembering what a blessing that moment is and how truly grateful I am for all the experiences and moments.

Small Positive Thoughts to Change My Day

It’s my day off today. I love Fridays. I work three days a week, so I often try to plan any appointments and school-related volunteering or take-home work for Mondays so I can do “fun things” on my Fridays off. All week long, I dream of Friday arriving…I can go to the gym and work out! I can plan a coffee date or lunch with a friend if I want to (or I can enjoy some quiet time)! I can go shopping alone and spend time strolling slowly through the aisles and looking at everything! Fridays are what get me through the week.

I woke up today, excited about my day off. However, God had other plans for today. One of my littles, Claire, woke up not feeling good….chest congestion, runny nose, and cough. “Mommy, I don’t feel good,” was the first thing she said when she saw me this morning. The greedy mom in me thought, “It’s just a cold. I’ll get her ready and send her to school. This is MY day. It’s my turn to do some things for me today. I’ve made plans. I give to my family and to others all week long, and I NEED this day.”

But I know and believe that as a mother/parent, our children come first. Claire is feeling yucky today. She NEEDS this day home to rest more than I need my “free day” to play. She needs time to cuddle with mommy on the couch, take a nap or two, and just chill.

So, while I could’ve created a hundred negative thoughts in my head to turn myself into grumpy- poor me-this day sucks for Julie Day, I decided to remind myself to see the positive in this. Just a simple positive thought or two.  Dear God, thank you that it’s just a cold that Claire is dealing with. Thank you for slowing the day down so I can spend some one-on-one time with sweet Claire. I’m grateful that I don’t have to work today so I can be at home with her and not worry about finding a substitute at school for today.  Today is a good day to enjoy some down-time with Claire, and I’m grateful.

 

 

Today’s Inspiration: Undervaluing What You Have

I bet you’ve done it too, at some point.

All of us have that one friend (or two or three friends) that seems to have it all. She is beautiful—perfect complexion, fit, and isn’t bigger than a size four.  She’s funny, and everyone loves to be around her.  Her clothes aren’t purchased at Old Navy, and she carries a designer purse. She lives in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town. She has two children that are smart, involved in everything, and they are happy kids. Her husband helps with it all–dinner, driving kids to their activities, homework–and he always compliments and supports your amazing friend.

You envy her—because it looks like she has the perfect, most incredible life.

Why can’t you have a life like that? Instead, you run around in workout clothes all day, hair thrown back in a ponytail or headband, but you haven’t worked out—this is just your usual getup. No makeup or Botox here, just a bunch of wrinkles and blemishes. Your kids stress you out because they argue with each other the entire time in the car. They don’t do too many after-school activities because honestly you just don’t have the energy (or the money) to have them partake in a million interests. You feel like the worst mom, the least attractive wife, and you are a complete failure. Why can’t you do it all and have it all like your friend?

It’s really sad how we can suck our own happiness out of our own lives because we compare our lives to our friends’ highlight reels. We easily perceive someone’s life as being perfect, shiny, and incredible. We wish we had more money like them, went on vacations like they do, and were blessed with model-like looks.  It’s so unfair.

Here’s the deal, though. We cannot compare our lives to others. We need to look at and value what we have. When we don’t appreciate what we have, how can we possibly be happy?

I have a lot to be grateful for….my husband has a job that allows me to choose if I want to work or stay home. My kids might argue often, but they are great kids and they respect each other and would do anything for their friends. We are all relatively healthy. My family can afford food. Vacation might be to visit family members, but how lucky we are to have family to spend time with.  Many of my clothes are purchased at Marshall’s or Target, but I can still rock it with these less expensive clothes when I want to.

A happy life is a grateful life. Overvaluing what someone else has will only bring unhappiness—how can you possibly be happy if you are grumbling about someone else’s life and complaining about what they have?

I found this quote online—it goes perfectly with this post. Never undervalue what you have—and never overvalue what others have. There is so much to appreciate right in front of you—know and believe that.