Finding the Wonderful When You Don’t Feel Wonderful

Do you ever find it difficult to be thankful and find the wonderful in the midst of hard?

Hard times. Hard situations. Hard attitudes.

And then along comes a day where we are supposed to be counting our blessings. Smiling and being cheerful for the here and now. And being grateful can feel so hard. Cold. Joyless. Uncertain.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.With our plates heaped with turkey, cranberries, and more, we are asked to share the thing we are most thankful for. And our mind freezes with blankness.

Because sometimes it is hard to be thankful. Hard to find something to gush over and be appreciative for. Without sarcasm and pessimism joining hands with our words.

You may have a good excuse. You are tired. Weary of doing. Stressed with work. Suffering loses. Frustrated. Or down of soul.

This happens. Life is not always a joyful ride on the hay-wagon of life.

First, I don’t want you to despair. You are not alone. You are in good company. Others in similar situations are wanting to point their life ride in a new direction. Wanting to release the weight of life they are experiencing.

So, take a deep breath. Now another.

We often feel isolated in the middle of hard, but we are not. Others can relate to what you are experiencing. Others are been walking the same lonely road. Others remember walking that same difficult road. Others are willing to help when you reach out and share with them.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.Second. I want you to know you are seen, loved, and known by your creator. He knows your thoughts, emotions, and desires, and does not condemn you, but loves you with an everlasting love.

While we beat ourselves up in our minds, he offers grace.

While we wonder and worry about the future, he offers hope.

While we believe lies about our self, past, present, and future, he offers us truth and calls us beloved.

While we fret about our actions, he offers forgiveness.

Now isn’t that something to be thankful for! And that makes life a little easier.

Sure, it doesn’t solve the present trials and tribulations you are experiencing, but it makes them easier just knowing you have an advocate, friend, and helper on your side who is with you every step of the way.

It can be hard to be thankful sometimes. Until we get our eyes off our self and our situation. Until we look around at others and up at him. This seems to be one of the keys to finding wonderful things to be thankful for in the midst of hard times.

Looking beyond our self.

So, if you are sitting with a plate full of pie and wondering what to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, just remember to look around and up. I’m sure you will find something wonderful to report to all those listening ears.

Because when you think about it, there are a lot of wonderful things that are free in this life.

To help with the Thanksgiving mood, here’s a short list of wonderful. Please add your wonderfuls to the comments. I’d love to hear them.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

Isn’t it wonderful to sit around a table with others and talk and laugh and cry and tell stories and make memories upon memories?

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to lend a helping hand to others?

Isn’t it wonderful how forgiveness brings peace?

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to experience the world with five senses?

Isn’t it wonderful to be alive, loved by God, and able to pass His love and grace along?

Isn’t it wonderful how a camera can capture memories that can be enjoyed for years?

Isn’t it wonderful to visit the ocean: feel the sand between toes, listen to the waves, and watch the wonder of water?

Isn’t it wonderful how beautiful nature can be?

Isn’t it wonderful how God’s love of us is not dependent on our actions or attitude?

Isn’t it wonderful how good a warm shower feels?

Isn’t it wonderful how a smell can transport you back to a memory?

Isn’t it wonderful how a simple thank you can be such a gift to the receiver?

Isn’t it wonderful how just a few words can encourage someone?

Isn’t it wonderful how God loves you no matter what?

Isn’t it wonderful we look forward to another and better life in the presence of God?

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your gatherings be full of hope and excitement, may your stomachs feel content and full, and may you remember a few of the wonderful free things that bless our lives.

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What are some wonderfuls you have noticed?

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.

Airplanes, Turbulance, and a Mantra of Reassurance

One thing I get nervous about, is flying in turbulence.

I know exactly when it started. We were heading into the Seattle airport. Beginning our last 30 minutes of descent. And that’s when the turbulence started.

Up and down we bobbed, like a fishing float crossing jet ski waves.

We were strapped in the last row of the airplane. And it wasn’t long before the odor of the 2 back bathrooms was wafting up the aisle. Getting stronger as time slowly marched forward.

Now two sensory items were combining to make me feel nauseous and sick.

My daughter, a tween at the time and was having the time of her life. “Mom, this is just like a roller coaster. I hope it never stops.”

Meanwhile, I was clutching the arm rests, trying not to panic, and appear calm. No need to frighten her.

My daughter got her wish. The air induced roller coaster stopped only when all the wheels were on the ground.

Let’s just say, I didn’t kiss the ground when we landed, but I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling, even as we were collecting our luggage.

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra
Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra
How I developed my flying mantra.

 

About a month later, I found myself on a plane again.

I had forgotten about our last plane ride. But my body had not.

Our plane took off and almost instantly, as the plane was straining and shaking and we climbed into the sky, I got a full blown panic attack.

Presto!

I was shaking inside, sweating through all my clothes, and feeling like I was going to spin into about a billion little pieces of tissue and cells.

I couldn’t think. I couldn’t focus. I could barely breathe.

I kept telling myself to calm down. But I couldn’t.

At the time I didn’t make the connection that I was reacting to our last flight.

I sat there paralyzed. Afraid to move. Even though it was an almost turbulence free flight.

Eventually I realized I was repeating Psalm 23 to myself.

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes . . ..”

It did not stop the panic attack, but it reassured me and helped focus me.

Over and over I repeated it, until we coasted up and stopped at the gate.

And even though we were in the air for about a 90-minute flight, my panic attack did not abate until I had been on the ground for a while.

When I got to the hotel, I called my husband and told him there was no way I was getting back on the plane. I was coming home by bus. Even if it took me two days of non-stop driving.

Calmly he talked to me. Listened. Told me to wait a few days to buy a bus ticket. Who knew, maybe I would change my mind. I reassured him I would not.

The night before I was to fly, he told me that I had to face my fears. Get back on the plane, or I would avoid flying.

I so wanted to buy a bus ticket, but I got back on the plane.

Going home was better. Well, a little better.

And each flight has gotten better.

But one thing is still the same. The moment I get nervous on a plane, or when turbulence starts rocking the plane, I automatically start reciting Psalm 23.

It’s been over a decade and a half since that bad bumpy plane ride over the Cascade mountain range, and yet Psalm 23 is my flying mantra. Never anything else. No variety here. Same is good when it is working.

And believe me, it has helped me through some not so fun turbulence.

But I am also getting more used to turbulence. Now I can read in mild turbulence, if my book is interesting enough, and if I lift my feet of the floor so I don’t feel it so much.

But anytime I need calming. Soothing. Reassurance that I am not alone on that plane, I start reciting the 23rd Psalm. And always it comforts me.

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

What’s your mantra?

 

For me, Psalm 23 and flying go together like ocean and beach. Flip flops and shorts. Chocolate and raisins.

What is one of your fears? And how do you calm and reassure yourself?

What do you tell yourself? Remind yourself? Say to quiet the voices or static noise in your head.

Sometimes we need a mantra not just for our fears, but to answer the critics and accusers.

The voices reminding you of your failures. Criticizing your looks.  Comparing you to others to shame you.

At these times you need to remember your mantra, which may be different and depend on the circumstances. A mantra that will remind yourself of the truth and whose you are.

Because we all need reassurance. We all need calming.

And if you don’t have a mantra. Or multiple mantras. Get yourself some.

For awhile I was reminding myself that I was beloved. That there is no condemnation with Jesus. That my worth was not dependent on what I did or did not do.

Sometimes something as simple as reminding myself to breathe and rest a minute can change the present.

Or when my son is talking, and I am busy and trying to listen and do something else, reminding myself to stop and listen, can change the outcome of our conversation.

A mantra can calm you. Reassure you. Encourage you. Recharge you. Remind you. Excite you. And more.

What do you need to remind yourself of today when turbulence rocks your attitude, soul, or day?

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What is one of your personal mantras?

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraMay link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Living the Dream Between Sticky Messes and Sacred Ground

Do you sometimes look around and wish for more?

Do you sometimes think, is this all there is?

Or wonder to yourself, so this is how it is going to be?

Does life sometimes seem more like a chore than joy?

I think we can answer yes to some of these questions, depending on the day and season we are currently mired in.

We sometimes forget that our sticky mess we are questioning, is really sacred ground.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.Sticky messes and sacred ground?

 

Maybe you can relate to sticky messes.

Perhaps there are sticky spots all over your kitchen floor. Places where papers would naturally stay put without tape. Maybe you lost your left shoe this morning and it’s still where the sticky ooze first grabbed it.

But sacred ground?

Nothing sacred about this sticky ground, you think.

Let me ask you a question.

Are you in the middle of an answered prayer?

I don’t mean this morning’s prayer, I mean a prayer or desire from year’s ago.

Maybe from before you were a teen. Maybe after.

Did you once long to be a wife?

Did you once pray for a job?

Did you once yearn to be a mom?

Did you once dream about renting your own apartment? Moving out on your own?

Did you desire to have your first house?

Did you used to dream about being an adult who could do whatever they wanted and stay up as late as they wanted?

That’s my point.

Many of us are living smack dab in the middle of our answered prayers and dreams. Sacred ground is below us.

We longed for this, and now we are here. Only it seems much different than what we imagined. Harder than we thought it would be. And there are more responsibilities than we ever imagined.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.Don’t worry, we have lots of company.

 

The children of Israel prayed for years to be free from the Egyptians. To be free from slavery. To have a different and better life for themselves and their children.

That day finally came. They walked out of Egypt with their heads high. They were free. Off to a new life. Their prayers were answered.

We don’t get very far into their story before their attitude changes. They begin whining about walking so far. They complained about the lack of water. Were dissatisfied with Moses. Wished they were back in Egypt eating leaks

When they imagined being free of Egypt, they never imagined they would be wandering for years in a sand pit and sleeping in a tent.

We can’t fault them for not reading the fine print. Because there was no fine print.

Their prayers were answered, sure not in the way they imagined they would be, and they grew unhappy.

Does this feel familiar?

We pray for employment. Imagining a job so wonderful there is no bad news to write home about. Then we get a job, only it doesn’t match the image we had pasted on our frontal cortex.

We pray for children. Maybe spend years trying to get pregnant. Never thinking of all the dippers and mid-night feedings and the worry and guilt that goes into raising a child.

We pray for a house. Then the roof leaks. The neighbors are unfriendly. The furnace quits one cold night.

We pray for a mate. Only to find marriage is not as easy as it looks. And he is not as perfect as we thought.

We pray for friends. A church. Healing. And the answer looks different than our request. 

Reality overtakes our preconceived fantasy. It makes us question the here and now.

We forget our prayers were answered, because we now feel stuck in a mess, mired in problems, hip deep in sand and sticky places. 

The reality may be that we are smack dab in the middle of answered prayers. Standing on sacred ground. But we have forgotten this, because it sure doesn’t feel like we are living our dreams.

Life gets hard. We feel unhappy and tired. Dissatisfied. We whine and complain. Feel sorry for our self.  Because that is what we as humans do.

I used to think that if I was a child of Israel wandering in the desert tired and parched, I wouldn’t have whined. Baloney! I would have joined right in with them. Because of one simple reason. We humans are whiners. We think back to our shiny and perfect prayer or dream and then we look around at our current reality and we feel cheated.

Wait a second, we think. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for imperfection.

Only we forget that we live in imperfection. There is no Garden of Edan. And reality never jives with the dream in our headspace.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.How to reconcile our sticky messes with sacred ground and enjoy our answered prayers.

 

Life is always full of sticky messes next to sacred ground because we are human. Remembering that the two go hand in hand, can be helpful. Here are also some other tips that may help.

Hint: Trying to implement all of these tips leads to overwhelm. Choose one or two that will most help you right now. Or come up with your own.

1. Remind yourself that life is hard. Even with a husband. 2 children. A dream job. A house. A picket fence. And 1 dog. Sure, some parts are easier, and some parts are harder. But life ain’t never as easy as we want it to be or as we imagine it will be. There is a disconnect between our dream and reality. Understand this.

2. Life unfolds in seasons. It is always changing. We may get tired of being grabbed by little hands and answering their 1,452 questions a day, but one day they will be grown. What irritates us today, may one day be missed. Or what irritates us today, may naturally cease.

3. Things could always be worse. Sometimes I play this game with myself. I imagine things worse. Much worse than they currently are. Which makes me thankful that things are not worse. It helps me count my blessings and thank God for what I do have.

4. Find ways to enjoy life right now. Don’t delay fun. Have fun right where you are. It makes life easier and improves our attitude.

Maybe even go for crazy fun. Dance and sing in the kitchen. And when someone steps on the sticky goo left over from junior dumping a jar of honey on the floor, they get to choose the next song.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.5. Toss perfection and almost perfect out the nearest door. It just trips you up and makes you desire what will never be. It’s also a kill joy.

6. Spot the positive. The negative is easier to spot, but it yields less rewards. Spotting the positive will lead to feeling better about where you are right now in your sticky mess and help you count your blessings.

7. See the eternal perspective. You are right where God has placed you. This life is never all about us. Or about a clean home or finding the most enjoyable job. Or about kids or pets that don’t embarrass us. It is about loving others, our self, and God.

8. Remember the prayers that God has already answered in your life. God recounted to the children of Israel over and over again the story of bringing them out of Egypt. Why? Maybe to remind them that he answered their prayers. That he was on their side and had taken care of them. And that they were living their answered prayers.

9. Find the humor in your life. You may have to wait awhile for showing up to your child’s doctor appointment on the wrong day to be funny. But one day, it just might be. Humor helps change our perspective and cheers us up.

10. Create a tribe of support. Friends you can talk to. Encourage one another. 2 are better than one.

You got this.

Breathe.

Another breath.

Now go enjoy your one and only life.

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What answered prayer are you living? And what helps you remember to enjoy your answered prayers?

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.10 suggestions to enjoy our current life. Because sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems. Learning to live in the present and accepting your life.