Saturday, March 22, 2014

Changing My Attitude Because My Attitude Changes Everything

3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon and I'm sitting at my kitchen table just breathing, enjoying the sunshine, and listening to music. After a long and emotional week, I enjoyed a lovely lunch with an amazing friend at a cute & yummy cafe, a drive through the Horicon Marsh, and grabbed a raspberry mocha and cinnamon roll from the local coffee shop on the way back home. 

winter is breaking into the Rock River and in my heart

This week has included multiple doctors appointments, a full cast being put on my wrist, lots and lots of tears, a phone that didn't work, and more pain than I care to think about. Last night my sister picked up my prescriptions for my mouth surgery scheduled for Monday morning, something that's been hanging over my head for four months.

keeping it real...funky pictures and all

Around the middle of the week, I realized (again) that I could not control my circumstances but I could change my attitude toward them. That decision changed the course of my entire week. Day by day, moment by moment, I did my best to choose to find the little things in life and be thankful. It's a conscious decision that literally has to be made moment by moment. 

I'll be honest. I had to force myself to switch from, "Arrrrgggghhhh, running to the Verizon store was NOT part of my Friday after work plans!" to "God, thank You I haven't had to take my iPhone in more than once in the past year in a half". I had to apologize to my brother for hanging up on him when I was frustrated and in tears. 

But then last night, when I was crying more tears than I've cried in a very long time, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my sister and her sacrificial love and help in my time of need. I knew if I had to go the emergency room, I didn't have to go alone. The tears could flow uncontrollably and I could say anything and she would only love me. If that's not something to be thankful for, I don't know what is. It's these kind of things that I'm (slowly) learning to always focus on, not the smothering weights of the world and trials of life.

Dove has good advice

Life is not rainbows and unicorns but it is beautiful. 

Life is never easy but it's always worth it.

Life always has a hundred things to complain about but a thousand things for which to be thankful.

Learning to switch from complaining to living in a state of gratitude changes everything.

"...whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." 
Phil. 4:8

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Simple Sundays

There are (many) Sundays I don't make it to worship with my local church. It is one of the factors of living with chronic illness. (On that note, I'm so thankful God meets us wherever we are with His truths and we can sing praises to Him from the shower or the kitchen or the car: it doesn't have to be in a church building surrounded by dozens of other people.)

But there are the nearly perfect Sundays like today that include... 

...God waking me up in time for church

...worshiping surrounded by my grandma, brother, sister-in-law, and (cutest, sweetest, handsomest, awesomest) nephew

...playing with cute kids in the nursery

...having my brother, sister-in-law, and (cutest, sweetest, handsomest, awesomest) nephew over for a leisurely lunch

...lounging in the family room for hours just laughing and chatting and snuggling the (cutest, sweetest, handsomest, awesomest) little guy

It really doesn't get much better than this...

...sitting on the floor with my sweet golden retriever in my lap

...reading a good book, sipping tea, and listening to soft music

...sucking up my pride and going to Bible study in my yoga pants (sometimes it's all I can handle wearing against my belly...yay Crohn's)

...sitting in a circle of Jesus-loving women at all stages of life and learning God's truths and sharing from the heart and praying together

...getting a quick load of laundry done

...writing (a.k.a. therapy and creativity and healing and life-breathing typing for Naomi's soul)

After working a fifty-hour week, it's what I needed. 

I needed to be reminded of life's priorities...of the need for a break from work and media and just running around like a crazy woman.

This past week it has been hitting me hard that I need to slow down and focus on loving and intentionally listening to and caring for others. (Why is this so hard to do?) There are always a hundred things to do (and living with constant illness and pain is an additional part-time job) but I find myself always rushing to the next thing, focused on my schedule and to-do list, and not on taking those extra five minutes to chat with someone or write a quick note or make a phone call.

When my life is over, it won't matter if the bathroom got cleaned on Wednesday night; it won't matter if I was five minutes late for my self-imposed deadline to be somewhere; it won't matter if my bedroom got vacuumed; it won't even matter if I had to grab a pair of jeans out of the dirty laundry to go to work on Monday morning (I just heard all those gasps of horror, people, but I heard even more grunts of agreement).

What will matter is how I loved and how I lived. I want to love well.

So here's to a Monday and week that is love focused and people focused.

G'night, peeps.

(Here is a post I read earlier this week that spoke straight the center of my heart... Why Slowing Down is Paramount if We're Ever to be the Body.)