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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Silver Linings


"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
(1 Thes. 5:16-18)

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Recently, someone asked my husband if I was happy living in Texas instead of Florida, he answered, "I guess so; she's so even keeled, it's hard to tell." And he's right. I'm really not an overly emotional person. I'm pretty content with most things and it takes a lot to get me super excited or to really rile me up or make me cry. At least that's the way I am now.

But that wasn't always the case. If you were to ask my sisters and brother, I'm sure most of them will remember that I used to get upset very easily... either screaming in frustration (when they were arguing or fighting) or crying over silly, unimportant things. In fact, when I was in my 20s and going through some difficult situations that are really just a part of being a responsible adult, I often allowed myself to get agitated and tearful over minor issues.

Luckily, by the time I met Bart, I had outgrown a lot of my emotional ups and downs. I learned that things are not always as bad as they seem; that crying doesn't really fix anything (but sometimes you feel better after getting it out); that it's okay to reach out to others for help instead of trying to totally carry our burdens alone; and that "I am responsible for the day I create for myself."

I got that from one of the Inner Peace Cards from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, which I try to pull out on a regular basis to help me think positively and realign my focus. The back of the card says, "The choice is up to you. It can either be a 'Good morning, God!' or a 'Good God - morning!'" [I'm including the Amazon link here because I have had these cards for years, but I use them over and over, and I still think they're great!] It's all about your attitude and looking for the silver lining in the clouds not just on days when things seem a little overcast, but every day.

Here are a couple examples of how this attitude of gratitude works for me:
1) I've been having some car trouble lately. It actually went on for several days because even after we thought it was fixed, I still kept having problems with my clutch. But instead of getting angry or frustrated or upset about the hassle and the money it was costing to get it taken care of, I was calm and patient and thankful. Why?

Because we have two vehicles and slightly different schedules, so Bart and I were able to work out a plan so we both made it to work despite the inconvenience. We also had Jena and Karl (Bart's sister and brother-in-law) who were wonderful about helping us out and willing to do even more if we needed it. And we had a charge card to pay for the repairs. (Of course we're trying hard not to use charge cards these days, but we were grateful to have one to use in an emergency. Not everyone has that option.)

2) Another example of mind over matter and being thankful in all circumstances has to do with my headaches. I've been getting migraines more frequently over the last year. They are painful and annoying, and sometimes I end up praying that they will go away. But, here's what I'm thankful for. Unlike some people, I can actually function through my migraines; I don't have to lie down in a dark room until it goes away (although taking migraine meds and sleeping it off helps). Also, I have a prescription that works for me and insurance that covers part of it. I don't like having to take the pills all the time, but I know when I take them, they work. And I am grateful that this is my biggest health issue because I know there are so many people who are dealing with much more painful or even life-threatening issues.

This daily devotional that I picked up recently, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young has some awesome words on this and many similar topics. They are great to read as if Jesus were talking directly to you. These are a couple of my favorites this month: "If you learn to trust Me - really trust me with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting Me." (from May 7th) and "Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life. These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth. Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting Me to bring good out of them. View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me." (from May 10th)

So, these days, I don't let the issues of everyday life blind me to the good that can be found. The loving support system I have with Bart and both of our families, the friendships I have made over the years (even within the past two years here in Texas), and the faith that I continue to work on growing and strengthening all play large parts in helping me to see the silver linings more clearly each and every day.

Are you ready for tomorrow? It may be partly cloudy, but it's gonna be another bright, beautiful day.

4 comments:

  1. Since I don't get invited to "Sister's Weekend," it was nice catching up with my littlest big sister this way. Thanks for the blog link. Glad to hear that all is mostly going well, but you have to remember EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas, so what can you expect from your migraines.
    But like you said Nina, count your blessings cuz you could have ended up like Chrissy...waking up every day to a royal pain in the ass! :-)

    Love ya, mean it!
    Your bigger little brother,

    Paul$

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  2. Thanks for commenting Paul. Like you, Bart does enjoy pushing people's buttons to get a reaction, but also like you, he has a very big heart and is a great guy.

    Love ya too.

    (And I'll talk to the girls about letting you come to Sisters Weekend aka Siblings Weekend. The rooming situation might be a little awkward though.) :)

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  3. We have discussed getting a cabana boy :)

    Enjoyed the blog especially with all the songs (some I know well) playing as I read. Nice touch! Love, Robin

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  4. Reading some of the Joanne Rivers books and loving them. Thanks for telling me about her. Love, Robin

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