Gratitude

I really struggle sometimes with looking at the negative in life and forgetting about all the positives. Isn’t that human nature though? Wishing for things we want to change or don’t have but forgetting all the every day blessings? I wanted to take some time out to talk about gratitude, and hopefully it is a good reminder to us all to focus on all the GOOD things we have in life, and how fortunate we really are.

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I am participating in a week of gratitude with some lovely bloggers, and we all agreed to write a post about it.

I have an amazing family, a warm home to sleep in, a working vehicle, a job, I’m healthy (minus some running injuries haha) and I am saved by grace.

With Black Friday coming up in a couple of days, it’s easy to focus on our wish lists as well as the stress of all the things we have to buy for other people. It saddens me that stores are now opening up SO early on Thanksgiving Day. Isn’t this a day to spend time with family and give THANKS, not rush to the nearest store to buy more junk for our families that we really don’t even need?

I want to encourage you all to do something in the next few days, before the weekend is over. I’m not saying boycott shopping and I’m not saying gifts are bad, but it is about where your heart is and your true focus. I want everyone to take some time, even if it’s just a minute or two, to think of a way you can show how truly grateful you are for something or someone in your life. I think it may help us to refocus and re-center ourselves before the Christmas crazies set in. Here are some ideas:

-Write a hand written card or note to someone you care about thanking them for who they are or something they do for you. Leave it in their car, briefcase, on their laptop, etc.

-Go outside and play with your kids or our pets. Don’t just watch THEM play, get involved and cherish the time.

-Sacrifice something. Instead of buying coffee AND a bagel for yourself, buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you. Tip extra at a restaurant and write a note on the receipt telling the server you appreciate their hard work.

-Reflect. Spend some time in the quiet with no TV, computer, or cell phone and look back on all the good things that have happened to you and your family this year. Write them down and keep the list on the refrigerator as a constant reminder of how blessed you are. Don’t let any negative thoughts creep in your mind about things that went wrong this year.

-At Thanksgiving, have everyone go around the table and say something they are grateful for. Someone may say something that encourages or surprises you, and you may bless someone else with something you say.

I won’t be posting tomorrow, I will be with my family and I hope you will be off the computer and spending time with yours. I love y’all and am grateful for YOU and the encouragement and support you give me from miles away. Y’all are the best. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving 2012

Palms Up

I am participating in an online Bible study on a book by author Lysa TerKeurst called “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.” I am only in my first week, but am so enjoying it so far.

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We are doing a blog hop today, and were asked to answer one question out of a handful to talk about on our blogs. The theme for this week is #PalmsUp. Basically, the idea here is that sometimes we hold ourselves back from receiving all the things God has for us and to do because we have our fists closed. We hold SO tightly to certain things that we aren’t willing to surrender, that our hands are not open to RECEIVE blessing or instructions from God.

This week we are focusing on keep our #palmsup so we have open hands to grow into a deeper relationship with God, and not let our fears hold us back.

This got me thinking to what I am most afraid of when it comes to saying yes to God. If I am being honest with myself, I am afraid that He will ask me to do something that I flat out just don’t want to do. I can be quite the control freak, and so when things don’t go the way I planned, I can get unhinged. I have been trying to remember out verse this week (Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”) and the rest will follow.

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I have to remember that my perspective and vision is SO small compared to ALL that God can see, so while I may get angry and feel like He is holding back something from me or leaving me in the dark, He really could be protecting me from something I just can’t see. It’s a hard pill to swallow and something that has taken me a LONG time to really grasp, but if I truly DO want God’s best for me, I have to get to the point where I can say YES to God even before I know what He is going to ask me to do, with my #palmsup!

QOTD: Ok, so I was just brutally honest about what is hoping me back from going deeper with God and keeping by #palmsup, what do YOU feel is something that is holding you back? Lack of confidence? fear of failure? Share! You will feel better getting it off your chest, and then you can work towards a solution.

Blessings

Sometimes we (myself included) give the wrong definition to blessings. We think a blessing is when a prayer is answered the way we want, or when something good happens to us. A blessing may evne be defined as getting out of something we didn’t want to do. Generally, when we think of the word, we think of it in association with positive feelings and good things happening. However, that is not always the case. I feel like in my life, sometimes I miss God’s blessings because I am looking for the wrong thing. Sometimes, it’s a blessing when a prayer is answered with a “no” or “not yet.” Sometimes, it’s a blessing when we DON’T get what we want. I try and think about it in a child-like way. If your kid asks if they can eat a big bowl of ice cream before bed and you tell them no, the kid is probably super disappointed, but it is really a blessing in disguise because you are saving them from a tummy ache and possibly being up all night not able to sleep.

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Now, translate this to your life. We (or I, maybe you don’t) get frustrated and angry when I don’t get the answer I want, (or when I want it) to a prayer, or a situation. I have learned that sometimes I need to take a step back and evaluate the situation, because by not getting the answer I want when I want, God could really be saving me from disappointment, pain, or hurt. Even though right now I can’t see how that is possible, He can see everything and the trials I am going through could be a blessing in disguise.

One of my favorite songs that is out right now is by Laura Story, it’s called “Blessings.” Whenever I go through difficulties in my life, there always seems to be a song that I zero in on that helps me, and years later whenever I hear that song I am brought back to that time period or difficulty. This is “my song” right now, and it has gotten me through some tough days, and I just wanted to share it with you.  Below I have posted the lyrics and also a link to an unofficial YouTube video where you can hear the song. I hope it encourages you with whatever you are going through right now. There may be a reason you are having to wait, or go through pain or disappointment. So don’t give up, keep on praying, and trust in His timing. Hopefully you will be able to look back on you situation one day and be thankful for the hard times and the mercies in disguise.

Video/song

“Blessings”

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

QOTD: Have you ever gone through something in your life and looked back and saw that even though it was painful, you are so glad it happened?

Doctor’s Orders

 

So I went to the doctor on Tuesday, confident that my foot was going to be fine, and I would be walking without the boot by that afternoon, and running within a few days. It never crossed my mind that what I wanted may not happen.

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My foot never really “hurt” except the couple days after I ran, so I really had no way of knowing if it was better. They did some more x-rays, the doctor came in…and then he started pushing. hard. on the top/bones of my foot going to my toes. OW!!!! It. still. hurt. bad. He said the x rays still showed the exact same thing they showed before….but he was concerned that it sill hurt when he pressed on my foot in a couple of places. He decided I could come out of the boot, with the understanding that I was to put it back on if it started hurting….and that I couldn’t run, and needed to come back to see him in two more weeks. Ouch.

I was under the impression I would be able to start training and possibly run a half marathon the last weekend of January. Boy was I wrong. I tried so so hard to hold it together and not cry in front of the doctor, I was able to wait until I got into the car, but even that was difficult. I was a little in shock, and very, very angry. My third injury in two years. Always right when I start to get faster. Why. why. why. why. why. I had a pretty big pity party for myself for a full day.

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After a lot of thinking, and a lot of praying, I realized a few things.

1.) I am still mad. I think it’s going to take awhile for that to go away.

2.) Even though I am mad, and aware that I am mad, I know I will get over it, and be ok with it.

3.) I cannot change what happened. It is what it is, and all I can do is try to make the best of it.

4.) I can either sit around and mope and be bitter, or I can try to learn something from this and be better because of it.

5.) I do not have to be a victim of my circumstances. I can still be positive despite what is going on in my life that I don’t like.

I am still in the “I’m getting there” stage, and by no means am I out of the angry stage. I hate missing half of the racing season. I hate that I worked so hard to get into half marathon shape and now it’s slowly going away. I hate that I don’t know exactly how long this is going to last or when I will be able to run again.

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BUT, despite all of this, it is the week of Christmas, and I have SO MUCH to be thankful for. I am not going to let this ruin Christmas , or my outlook. I am sure I will still have some bad moments, but I am really trying to not allow myself to dwell on how annoyed I am. I am very blessed and a lot of worse things could be going on in my life right now. I have a home, and a family to spend Christmas with. I am going to try to focus on that the next few days and hopefully two weeks will fly by.

QOTD: When you are in a crappy situation, what helps you to get through it?

August: Month in Review

 

Soaking wet Saturday! As we prepare for tropical storm Lee down here on the coast, I thought I would entertain you with a review of August. Who knows if we will lose power, internet, etc? At least this isn’t my first rodeo. Don’t worry, we are going to be careful!

Ok, so August. Well, it was hot. No big surprises there. I kicked off August beating the heat by going to Rhode Island to work the Rock N Roll Providence expo booth and run the race! I had a blast working the booth but running 13.1 miles in the pouring rain was a less than stellar experience!

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After being stranded at the airport, I got to have a sleepover at Jen’s house!

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We celebrated Sassy’s tenth birthday in August as well! She obviously could have cared less. I can’t believe my first born is ten!

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Them , I fond myself back up in the northeast for the Healthy Living Summit! I had an action packed weekend with a ton of amazing bloggers, and came home quite exhausted from all of the fun! Can’t wait till next year!

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In between my traveling, I did a lot of catching up with my jobs, it has been a busy month on both fronts! I also got to see my family a couple times, go to the movies with my mom, run with my team in training group, and hang with the hubby.

I must say, September is going to be EVEN MORE exciting! Vacation, working expos, COOLER WEATHER, I am stoked about fall. It is my second favorite because it leads into Christmas which is obviously my favorite. I am already planning how to decorate the new house. Is that bad? I hope your August was great! Look back on it and try to count your blessings. Think of at least one thing you are thankful for that happened in August! Don’t focus just on the negative parts of your circumstances, it won’t change anything! (I say as I look in the mirror….ha! more on that later.)

QOTD: What is something you did or that happened in August that you are thankful for?