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.

What do You Believe About Others?

 

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.I think it is sometimes interesting what we believe about others.

The people floating about us that we see in public spaces and private.

These beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true. Our reality.

And the funny thing is, our experiences often justify and prove our beliefs.

A friend and I were talking over a meal and I mentioned that I thought most people were basically helpful and friendly in public.

The look she gave me could have competed with a deer in headlights.

I paused. Replayed what I said through the soundtrack of my mind, and then wondered why she was looking at such me in such a startled manner.

Finally, she spoke.

I believe just the opposite, she said. Most people are out to get you, don’t care about you, and will turn on you if given the chance.

Now I looked like the deer in the headlights.

Clearly, we had differing opinions on the populace we lived among.

We were on either ends of the spectrum.

I stated my reasons for why most people could be trusted. Cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from my personal experience. I built up a case that was sound and overwhelming.

Then she stated her reasons why most people were not to be trusted and didn’t care a whit for you. She cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from her own life. Her case was also very strong.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

How our life experiences shape our beliefs about others and life.

 

Bottom line, her experiences from her childhood and into adulthood had built a solid case that supported her beliefs about the populace.

And my experiences from childhood and life had formed and supported my case.

She had been bullied, teased, and suffered verbal abuse at the hands of her peers in school.

I hadn’t.

People judged her body harshly because she didn’t fit in with the popular norm.

I hadn’t.

On she went, marching to the present day.

I soon saw that if I had experienced those same incidents and situations, I would probably be distrustful of other people too.

After I shared my side, she saw how I had formed my opinions based upon my experiences.

We each had opinions that differed, and yet life was continuing to validate our opinions of others. What we were looking for, we saw.

I talked to another friend about this and asked her how she viewed others, and she agreed with me, that she was pretty trusting of other people, but she thought men were after only one thing.

Once again, her experiences confirmed this. She had been hit upon by lots of men.

I hadn’t.

I remember being in in elementary school and a friend asking me if it was weird to have freckles and red hair.

I remember looking at her and thinking she was weird to ask. No. It wasn’t weird. My parents had red hair. 4 of my siblings had red hair. Freckles landed on all of us. Freckles and red hair were normal to me.

But not to her.

I look back now, and I am sure I was the only girl she knew with red hair and freckles. I don’t remember ever seeing another one in our town.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

We all see the world a little skewed. But those perceptions can change.

 

We get used to what we grow up around.

We believe what has happened to us in the past, will happen again in the future.  Our past, we think, indicates our future.

My friend had known unkind people from an early age. So naturally she would view the world through that lens.

My other friend had known men who wanted to flirt and make sexual advances. Naturally she viewed the world through that lens.

And I viewed the world through my lens and thought most people were nice because that was what I had experienced.

All of us were right in our own way. And yet we all saw the world a little skewed.

So how could we know the real truth?

And could our truth change over time?

I had another friend tell me she didn’t trust men because her father had left her life at a very early age. Because of this, she had a tough time trusting other men. Then she married a trustworthy guy. Slowly over time, her opinion about men changed. She saw her husband kept his word. Then noticed other men did too.

Another person changed her view slowly over time.

So why does this matter?

How do our opinion of others affect us?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.How the things that shape your life become the opinions you have of others and affect you in some important ways:

 

1. We often find what we are looking for. When we view the world and others through our specific opinion lens, we often find and look for confirmation of our viewpoint. A person who thinks people are nice, will notice when someone opens the door for them, smiles at them, or jokes with them. A person who thinks others are not nice, will notice when someone takes their parking spot, frowns at them, and cuts them off on the road. But not only will they notice these things, but these things will be remembered longer than the opposite things done for them.

Both may in the same day have the same number of people smile at them and take their parking spot, but one will remember the smiles, and the other will remember the parking lot steal. Both have confirmed their viewpoint they have of others.

2. How we think people will treat us, may affect the way we treat them. If we think people will not like us, we will put up our defenses and not be so friendly. We don’t want to get hurt again. But if we think people will like us, we may go up and introduce our self, mingle more, and take more risks with trying to make new friends.

3. Our opinions of others affects our fear and anxiety levels. Before visiting a foreign country, I heard stories of places with high levels of pickpocketing. Fear began to grip my travel plans. How would I carry my money? Suddenly the trip seemed less fun if I had to hide my money next to my underwear. Then I read in a travel book that the country I was visiting had very little pickpocketing. When I landed, I kept my purse wrapped around me and no money inside. It became apparent, though, that the guide book was correct. As my opinion changed, I was able to relax and quit worrying about my money and purse. The trip also became more pleasurable with my fear and anxiety abated.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.4. Our opinions of others often affects our opinions of God. If we distrust others, it is often hard for us to trust God. If people have been unfair to us, we are more likely to expect God to be unfair. If people show us grace and forgiveness, we are more apt to think God extends these to us too.

My mother had very conditional love and often let us know when we displeased her. Because of this, I grew up thinking I had to be nearly perfect to please God. The idea that God was already pleased with me in my current state was foreign to me until years later.

Remember my friend who didn’t trust men because her father was never to be trusted? She overlaid her opinions about her father onto God. For years, she thought God was not to be trusted, that he would break his promises without warning. Just like her dad had.

Changing her reality was a lengthy process, but so worth it.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality.

But that doesn’t mean those self-truths are correct.

Because of this, you may want to ask yourself: What are your opinions of others? How do those opinions affect your daily life choices and thoughts? Your anxiety and fear levels? Your view of God?

Let’s quit confirming our truths, if they are wrong. Let’s quit believing our past to be indicative of our future, if it is based upon flawed thinking.

Let’s start noticing the flaws in our thinking.

Start believing the real truth. God’s truth

Over time, it will become our reality

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

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: How do your views of life and others affect your views of God?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

How Pride Impacts Our Relationships

 

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.“I think you are angry.”

“Nope.”  I spat out.

We were in our first year of marriage and driving north to visit friends.

“Well you sure seem angry.”

“I’m not,” I said staring at the red light we were waiting on.

Just breathe, I reminded myself. Stay calm.

“There is nothing wrong with admitting you are angry,” he said, a few minutes of silence later. “Anger is just an emotion. It doesn’t make you a bad person.”

I listened a little more intently. I had never heard that before.

“So, what if you are angry. Big deal. It would be better to admit you are angry and discuss it, than try and stuff it down and pretend you are not angry.”

“Maybe.”

He sighed. “Why is it so had for you to admit anything? To admit you are not perfect? To admit you are wrong?”

Ouch. I didn’t want to answer that question out loud.

We stopped for another light. He looked at me. I looked at him, trying to smile, but it felt so fake.

“Okay,” I spit out. “I am angry. I am angry at you. I am angry about this morning. I am angry.”

“Well,” he laughed. “Now don’t you feel better?”

Tears sprang to my eyes. Not with him laughing at me. No, I now felt like a failure.

He took my hand. “Do you know what? I love you when you are stubborn and don’t apologize, and I love you when you do. But it is so much easier to love you when you admit you are human and admit your faults. When you admit you are angry, when you really are angry. Just be honest. With yourself and me.”

 

How pride in a relationship affects  the relationships negatively, and why. 

 

Some conversations are tuning points.

Some conversations make us think and then come to new truth.

Some conversations we will remember in the future at just the right time.

This was one of those conversations.

I had always thought of myself as an apologizer. I don’t know how many times I had been told by my mother growing up, “Tell your sister you are sorry. Apologize to your brother.” And I had. I had always said the words, even if I had not always meant them.

But I had also been the perfect child in our family of six kids. The one where mom would say, “Why can’t you be like your sister?” and point to me.  Because I worked so had to do the right thing, I ended up apologizing a lot less than my always-in-trouble older brother and independent-and who-cares younger sister.

Yes, I grew up thinking I was related to Mary Poppins. “Practically perfect in every way.”

And when I grew older and time had passed, I realized that my mom was very prideful. I don’t ever remember her apologizing. And I had adopted more of her attitude than was good for me.

As I thought over the next months, and even years, about why it was so hard for me to apologize, to admit I was wrong, I came back to the same thing. My pride was tripping me up. Causing me to stumble and keeping me from confessing.

Pride of wanting to be right.

Pride of wanting to defend my actions. (After all, my reasons were so good.)

Pride of wanting to appear almost perfect.

Pride of what others would think.

Pride of exposing the truth to myself and others.

Pride of appearing weak.

Pride of admitting fault.

My pride was a stumbling block and affected my relationships. Because one thing pride likes to do, is lie. Pride lies all sorts of convincing lies. Lies that keep us from the truth. From perusing love. From abundant grace.  From growth and change. From deeper relationships. Pride is supposed to keep us from pain, but it doesn’t. Pride weaves elaborate lies that we tend to believe. Lies that in the end extract harsher consequences because of the tangle of deceit we create.

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Some lies of pride we believe that hinder our relationships:

 

Others wont’s like/love us if they knew the truth.

Hide. Never tell. It is safer.

Forgiveness is never free. We must work to earn our forgiveness.

Confessing makes us indebted to the person.

Asking forgiveness is admitting guilt and a sign of weakness.

Come on. Technically we are not guilty. Look for a loophole.

Don’t admit guilt unless we are 100% wrong. 96% or even 5% does not count.

We may not be forgiven, so why bother.

The other person screwed up too. Let them confess first.

Forgiveness is over rated.

Confessing may ruin us.

These lies have no truth in them. Satan wants us to believe these lies because then we will walk in fear, and not in the light of forgiveness. Because then we will walk in the same old rut, and not newness and change. Because it will cut us off from community and help. Because when we are consumed with guilt and shame our eyes remain focused on our self, not on a God who redeems us, loves us, and pours abundant grace on our souls.

Pride is one of the main culprits that hinders our relationships with others. It is our pride that causes us to defend our actions. Justify and explain why we are in the right and turn and blame them for their wrong doing. Pride separates us from others. It causes us to lie to them and our self. It keeps us from doing the right thing in the relationship. It stops us from pursuing reconciliation, compromise, and forgiveness. Pride holds onto our pain and then we in turn lash out in pain.

Often, we know we are wrong, but it is our pride that keeps us from doing the right thing.

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.How to deal with pride in a relationship; tips for chipping away the stumbling block of pride:

 

1. Strive for humility. Humility is seeing our self and God as we both really are. He is the only perfect one. We are the sinful one. And yet God want to have a relationship with us. He wants to parent us. Love us. Give us all sorts of good gifts. Call us beloved. When we realize that we are dependent on God and his forgiveness and grace (which he freely gives), that creates in us a desire to change and grow.

2. Take responsibility. It is so much easier than explaining why we didn’t really do something everyone knows we really did. Making excuses that make no sense, or trying to argue that it was really was someone else’s fault is just plain nonsense. Stop stepping away and instead take responsibility. People will be relieved, and our trust ratings will soar.

3. Just do it. Practice apologizing; it will become easier. Start with little things. Move to bigger things. Or do it the other way. Once you have confessed a big thing, other confessions may seem easier.

I remember the day I confessed to a big thing (Yes, I said the words out loud that I was not perfect!) My heart was racing, my palms sweaty. All the spit in my mouth had turned to dust bunnies. I knew my voice would crack. I knew my world would fall apart. But I did it. I squeaked out the words. And guess what? I survived. The world did not collapse. My heart kept beating. And of course, no one died of surprise. They already knew it. And still loved me.

I kept confessing. And it got easier.

The same will happen for us if we keep apologizing when we need to. The silly thing is, when we confess our wrong doing, we are usually not surprising anyone. Often everyone sees we need to confess before we realize it. If we have yelled at the family, they all know we yelled at them. There is no surprise when we say we should not have yelled at them and ask their forgiveness. Often there is just gratitude from them that we took responsibility for our actions, and now they can stop telling us we were wrong.

4. Keep it Simple. Forget the perfect words. Just say: “I am sorry for  – – – -, please forgive me.”

Remember, if we justify or make excuses, then we are no longer apologizing. “I am sorry I hurt your feelings, but you need to be nicer to me,” does not qualify. When we add a “but,” we are often justifying and blaming them. Saying, “I am sorry you feel that way,” is also not an apology. It is really telling them that their feelings are wrong.

After we say we are sorry, we can also offer some sort of restitution or help, if appropriate. “I know I didn’t mow the lawn like I said I would. Can I now clean the bathroom for you?”

 

Remembering what’s important.

 

I can’t say that I don’t still let my pride get the best of me. I do. But my husband was right. We are easier to love when we acknowledge we are human. When we admit our mistakes. 

It has taken me a long time, but I have learned that despite my aversions to it, confession is good for my soul. It helps restore relationships, keeps pride in check, stop the blaming and justifying of my actions, and passes grace and forgiveness out to others and myself.

So, go ahead.

Confess when necessary.

Apologize quickly.

Abundant grace awaits.

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.

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 lies of pride do you believe?

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.