Thursday, November 24, 2016

Today is About Focus

I must admit that I'm struggling a bit this Thanksgiving. We have never had only eleven people at the Thanksgiving dinner table since 2000. I had recently had relationships that I valued highly end abruptly without an opportunity for me to clear up misunderstandings and I am saddened deeply by that. I am taking time off work to clear my head, but in case you didn't know this about me, I like to work and so I feel a bit lost when my only instructions are to relax and rest.

Bart preached a great sermon a couple weeks ago about having an attitude of scarcity or an attitude of abundance. I must admit that yesterday I was internally really whiny and externally fairly disengaged and sullen. That's not like me. But this morning I woke up determined to change all that somehow. I realized then, that an attitude of gratitude and abundance is really a matter of where I choose focus.

So here are my choices:

I can focus on how sad it is that half of my kids aren't with us, or focus on how great it is to have six of them here.

I can be angry or frustrated about the fact that only two of my seven grandchildren are here, or I can rejoice in the two who are right here in front of my face... adorable, spunky, fun, and focus on them.

I can focus on how many friends I have had to leave or have lost in the past year, or I can start counting how many new friends I have made and smile at the thought of them.

I can focus on the fact that we don't have enough money to make a trip back to Minnesota any time soon, or I can be grateful that we have a huge parsonage, plenty of food to eat, clothes to wear, running water, etc. etc. etc. that much of the people who inhabit this planet do not have.

I can focus on how much my back hurts and how it keeps me from helping as much as I would like to with things around here, or I can rejoice that I can see, I can hear, I can walk, and that I am pain free when I sit down.

I can bemoan the fact that I'm a horrible cook and don't enjoy it at all or be super grateful that my husband loves to cook and everything he makes tastes great.

I can be really annoyed that two of the boys that live here never help with anyone, or rejoice that three amazing young adults paid their own way to fly across the country to be with us and have been helpful since the minute they arrived.

I can be frustrated at the state of our country and how torn it is right now, or I can be grateful to live in a place where I have the freedoms that I do.

So it's about what we choose to focus on today. We all have those choices. I'm going to work hard today to remind myself of God's blessings and not to focus on the things that aren't perfect.

Because, after all, there have been many Thanksgivings in our history where we had much less to be grateful for and I was able to do it then!

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