learning to be grateful


something my dad said at my grandma's funeral has really stuck with me these last couple of weeks
{and at Adam's gentle hand-squeezing prompting as well}. 
he said, 
"Mom was always content, she never complained about her circumstances." 

i wish i could say i was like my grandma in this respect.
but i'm anything but that.
in fact, i could probably say i'm the exact opposite and that wouldn't even be an exaggeration. 

Adam knows first-hand my struggle to be happy in our circumstances,
how i struggle to be content & grateful for everything we do have despite what we don't,
how i have days where i just feel like we are working so hard to just be spinning our wheels in the mud not moving anywhere.
i get discouraged, big time, there's no doubt about that. 

but since i started to learn more about where my grandma came from,
what poor circumstances she raised her family in,
how they struggled much more than we are struggling now,
and realizing that i have never once heard her complain or be unhappy,
it reaffirmed to me that that was a quality i needed to start magnifying in my own life. 

i have tried to take the time to thank Adam when he goes above and beyond to help out around the house after he gets home after a long day.
i have tried to realize the small joys & triumphs i have with Elijah each day, even after the tantrums have subsided [which is honestly hard some days but i'm trying!]
i have tried to make our little house a home, one that i can be proud of even on a meager budget. 
i have tried to develop my talents more so that i can bless my family more fully. 
and most importantly, i have tried to make it a point to take a significant portion of my prayers to thank my Heavenly Father for all that He has given me, namely my sweet little family & loving friends. 

i know i have a long way to go in learning to not complain so much... it's not the best quality to have.
but i really want to start making a more conscious, deliberate effort to be more content & focus on my blessings. 
i hope that someday at my funeral my own children could say the same thing about me,
that i was always happy despite our circumstances, 
and that i can be a good example to my children and the generations to come. 


Mel said...

I think this is something everybody can relate to! It's incredible how some people suffer in life and still they are always grateful and happy.....and then there are people like me...that are truly blessed with a awesome family, peace and everything she needs in life ...but that still is unhappy and complains and btches far to much.....

I'm totally down with you girl! I think it's awesome that you are working on that and I also do hope that someday I will master the art of gratefulness! Sending lots of hugs and patience your way! :)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I have to mentally slap myself to remember my many blessings. It's always hard when we are working towards goals, have things we want to add to our lives. Sometimes I have to sit down and name five things I'm grateful for!

Ashley said...

I am totally guilty of this too. I tend to focus on what I don't have instead of all that I do. I really have a blessed life and I need to remember that. I am trying to thank my hubby more for how hard he is working and just trying to be more grateful in general.

Amanda Schroeder said...

I LOVE this. I am guilty too. It comes with age, I think. And experiences. ANd Lessons, really. I think you and I are a lot alike. That's part of the reason I just adore this blog of yours.

Jen said...

I am the worst at this, and I'm actually going through some horrible consequences right now as a result of my bad/ungrateful attitude towards my circumstances.

I was out a few days ago and found a token with a flower and words carved into it that said "live with a thankful heart".. I got it to keep in my pocket as a daily reminder!
Thank you for sharing this about your nana, I know you are encouraging so many of us with it!

Amber Marie said...

i think for most people it is a conscious decision each day to be grateful for what they have and not thinking about what they don't have. i always hear my aunt debi's voice in my head saying in a sing-songy voice, "let's be happy. it's not fun to be sad." it was something like that she use to say. but it is more fun to be content and happy even if you are faking it :)

Ruthie Hart said...

like you, I struggle with being grateful at times and it can be the silliest of things like envy. The thing that gets me through it is knowing the greatest gift (or you could call it a positive circumstance) is grace

jillian at faith that laughs. said...

This is such a good reminder. I struggle in this area too. Thank you for sharing your heart! xoxo.jillian

mistergandme said...

I am in the same boat girlfriend!!! When the funk starts creeping in I've been writing down what I'm thankful for and just keep repeating my thankful prayers until the funk passes. No one wants to be around someone who isn't happy. So the first step for me is to stop thinking unhappy thoughts and appreciate what is happy in my life right now. great post!!! xo

Aubrey said...

I think so many people struggle with this since life never turns out how we expect. I try to write 3 good things/things I'm thankful for in my journal each night, and I can't repeat on the page. I'm not perfect, but I'm much happier when I do it.