Monday, April 28, 2014

Choosing Gratitude

It is such a simple thing. In the grand scale of life it really doesn't matter at all.  But for some reason on this day I made it matter a lot and that set off a progression of emotions that were just out of control.

I had to wait to take a shower.  And if that wasn't bad enough, once I finally got in there to take a shower there was no towel. By the time I tracked down a clean towel to use someone was in the bathroom again! So, again I had to wait!  I finally got into the bathroom to take a shower only to discover there was no hot water! Really! This can't be happening.

Now I was not only in a bad mood, but I still had greasy hair. And for the rest of the day, nothing went my way. Charlie didn't nap long enough. My kids didn't finish their school work. My husband thought I should just get over it. And to top it off...I could not find any chocolate in the house ANYWHERE!

When a family of 12 lives in a house built for a family of 4, there are going to be challenges. And not having enough bathrooms has been one of those challenges. Waiting to use the bathroom is nothing new, in fact we have become quite used to it, almost to the point of thinking we could totally live in a house with only 2 bathrooms. Until I have a moment like I just described.  And then I decide that no matter where we live, I want my own bathroom...even if I have to go outside to use it. (And if my husband reads this he will say that is totally doable!)

By that evening I couldn't stand myself.  My mood was just ridiculous!
"Lord, what is the deal with me?"
His response was very simple, yet so profound (because he is God and I'm not) because it forced me to look in the mirror and see what I was doing.
He said, "What are you thankful for?"
Plenty!  I'm thankful for so much!  My life is so full & blessed! But why can't we just have a house & have one with plenty of bathrooms?
What are you thankful for?
Ok, I get it.  I'm thankful we have a bathroom, with water (even if it is cold) and a toliet & tub.

I was choosing what to be thankful for & that isn't how it goes!  
True Gratutude doesn't choose, it just is.

Of course, the benefit of choosing to just be grateful was huge & a sweet blessing not just to me but to my family.  They liked me more. I was happy & cheerful. And I liked myself too.  And, my whole perspective reflected the attitude of Jesus in that I chose to see the blessings in my day instead of dwelling on the challenges and trials.

The next time I heard someone grumble about waiting to get into the bathroom I stopped them. Choose to be grateful we have a bathroom.

Are you choosing what you are grateful for?  Or are you choosing to just be grateful!