Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Shift in Attitude

While visiting my sister and her family in Arizona, Riley slept in her cousin's old pack and play:
Me: "Riley, this is the bed that Brayden used to sleep in when he was like you."
R: "You mean when he was a girl?"
R: "Mommy, stop making that noise. It's annoxius."

I just love being inspired by other Hope Mommies. It makes me smile. This week, inspiration came from Molly who has been making a list of things that make her happy every Saturday. She was inspired by Natasha and also by Franchesca who very simply states that happiness is a choice (and who, BTW, is the sweet Hope Mommy who designed this beautiful blog for me).

I also ran across a really beautiful book at the used book store over the weekend. It's called Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow. And, true to its title, it is calming. It's a wonderful read for anyone who worries about anything. Um ... pretty sure that'd be you, me and everyone else. Linda writes that, ultimately, contentment is more of a shift in attitude than a change in circumstances (Franchesca, you are on to something!)

Here is a beautiful quote from the book which came from a woman whom Linda profiles. This woman lived as a missionary in less than ideal living conditions (including 100+ degree weather without air conditioning and our modern housing) and this is her answer to living each day with content:

The Prescription for Contentment:
  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything-not even the weather.
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
  • Never compare your lot with another's.
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  • Never dwell on tomorrow-remember that tomorrow is God's, not ours.
Whoa. At first the five simple bullets look really easy. But really read through those. They pack a punch. I do each and every one all the time!!

With that in mind, my goal this week has been to not complain about anything and to start each day with a thankful heart. What a challenge! I find myself biting my tongue a lot. It has been a wake up call to how much I really do tend to complain.

Five things I am happy about today!:
  • Our family is finally healthy again - Thank goodness that nasty stomach virus is OVER in the Lowell household. It hit both Riley and Roger and made me really appreciate good health.
  • Easter week/religious freedom - How wonderful it is that we have the freedom in America to attend any church we want (or not), worship freely when we want and speak (or write) our opinions whenever we want. This is not the case in many, many countries. And, just to add, I love Easter week this year.
  • Sun! We've received a bit of it this week and I am thankful for every little blessed ray of it.
  • My parents - I am so grateful they are here (and close) to spend time with Riley and that Riley so enjoys spending time with them. These are memories I will treasure and I am sure she will as well.
  • My car still runs and it's paid off and I have money to fix it - Ok. Let me explain this one. I could complain that my transmission has gone out and that I have to take it to the shop tomorrow and it will very likely cost me more than I want to spend. But instead, I'm just going to say that I am so very glad that I have been blessed with enough resources to afford car (and gas!) and that this one has been paid off for awhile so I don't have a monthly car payment. I am also grateful that I live in a country where it is easy for me to purchase and own a car and I can pretty much drive wherever I want, when I want (after the transmission is fixed, that is).
If you're inspired to write your own list, please feel free to a link to your blog as a comment below - or just write your list as a comment. I'd love to read it!

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3


TanaLee Davis said...

Beautiful, Mary Beth.

I love those happy lists, I unfortunately haven't made the time to write one myself....maybe its a choice matter.

Thank you for choosing to be uplifted and choosing to give courage to others.


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