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.

When We Are Misunderstood

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?We have this deep need to be understood. To be approved of. To have others relate and agree with us.  

We desire others to understand what we say. What we do. And why we do what we do.

Being misunderstood is hard.

It is not fun to be questioned. To be misunderstood. To have wrong motives aligned to us.

Yet there was one who was misunderstood. Who was questioned. Who had wrong motives assigned to him.

 

Feeling misunderstood? We have company.

 

It was Jesus.

His disciples questioned him. And even wondered who he really was.

The crowds wanted him to perform and heal. They wanted him to be their leader and free them from the Romans.

The religious leaders accused him of blasphemy, being a sinner, and leading others astray. They questioned him to trap him. They took no delight in his healings of others. They eventually get so jealous and angry they plotted to kill him.    

No one understood his true purpose. His real motive for coming into the world as a small baby and then dying as a man.

No one understood his teachings and the impact they would have centuries later.

No one understood his upside-down parables about the last being first and the first being last. The beatitudes about the blessed. The stories of the kingdom of heaven.

No one understood why he hung out with fishermen, talked to prostitutes, ate with tax payers, cried over sinners, or noticed the demon possessed.

No one understood why he stood in front of Pilate and didn’t defend himself.

No one understood why he was washing his disciple’s feet and handing out bread and wine.

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?No one understood why he would even talk to a Samaritan woman at the well. And then spend a few days in her town.

No one understood the comforter he promised to send. Or the mansion he promised to ready for them.

No one understood why he would invite his betrayer to eat his last supper with him.

No one understood how he came to do the father’s will and not his own. Came to serve others, and not himself. Came to do the father’s will, not his own.

No one understood why he delayed in visiting Lazarus.

No one understood why he died on the cross.

No one understood he would be resurrected.

No one understood Jesus when he was walking, breathing, healing, and praying on earth.

Only later, after his resurrection and the giving of the spirit, would the disciples begin to understand and unravel the mysteries that surrounded Jesus.

During his life, Jesus was misunderstood.

Even today, he is often misunderstood.

When you are feeling misunderstood. 

 

We want to be understood. Accepted. Have the approval of others.

But we won’t always. There will be times we are misunderstood. Times we are questioned, and our motives seen as wrong.

This is all a part of life.

May we at these times remember Jesus and how he was misunderstood. And then remember how because he came to earth as a human, he fully understands us. Everything about you, from your hairs on your head to your faults. And he loves you. Loves you more than you can imagine.  

Jesus understands you. Gets you. Approves of you.

He did not come to earth to be understood, but to help us. Save and redeem us. And because he lived as a human, because he created us, because he so tenderly and exquisitely cares for us, he understands us better than we understand ourselves.  

With him, we are always understood.

Let us in thankfulness, turn around and seek to understand him.

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?

Happy Easter. He is Risen!

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: When do you feel misunderstood?

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

 Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?

Free Sometimes Really Means Free

 

Repeatedly the company calls. I have been selected to win this absolutely free, three-day cruise. I roll my eyes, make some sarcastic remark, and hang up. Just before the voice tells me to push a button and claim my free-gift.

Momma was right. “If it sounds too good to be true; it is.”

Yup, they just happened to call me (out of the all the other millions of people) to offer me a trip to some exotic place. Three days on a boat. Free.

Each time they call, I hung up and start laughing. Free? Sure?

This offer seemed way to good. There had to be a catch.

 

Free often doesn’t really mean free. 

 

We hadn’t been married long, when we headed to the beach for a free night at a resort. After a pleasant 3-hour trip, we were checking in; being handed keys, told about the pool, restaurant, exercise room and more. Oh, and our appointment the next afternoon with some nice sounding person to discuss our stay.

Yes, little did we know our short chat would turn into a two-hour high-pressured sales presentation where we were presented with the opportunity to buy a yearly stay at the resort. Our first introduction to a time share. We didn’t budge or cave in, and left with our wallet not drained, but we were wrung out and lifeless from our fight to say no.

Ever since that life-sucking experience, I know that there is no free stay or cruise. (Even if we did return with a free knife. It would have been a free TV if we had only said yes!)

I mentioned the free cruise calls to my sister, and guess what? She had been getting offered a free three-day cruise too.

One day she decided to have some fun with the customer service person and figure out how much this free cruise would really cost a person. Turns out there were port fees. Boat fees. And other fees.

“So, what was the bottom line cost for this free three-day cruise?” I asked.

She laughed. “Well, this free cruise was going to cost $800 to $1000.”

“That’s so free,” I laughed.

Free often has strings attached.

 

It was no surprise. Because it seems in life, few things are really free.

Free, as in they don’t cost you something.

You may get a set of free stake knives, but you had to buy the exercise equipment first. You may get a free CD, but you had to buy a twenty-three set first. That coffee may be free, but only after you bought the 12 previous cups.

Yes, we get cynical and laugh at anything free. Life shows us at an early age most things are not free.

We want to visit our classmate, but mom says we have to clean our room and the chicken pen fist. We get a gift from a schoolmate, but now they expect us to eat lunch with them. We can get a free super-duper bow and arrow, but we first have to sell 100 rolls of gift wrap. We earn good grades in school, but are now expected to earn more.

Free? Nothing seems free.

And we buy into this attitude.

We doubt that others do things for free. Without wanting something in return.

Someone invites us over for dinner, we feel indebted until we have them over. Our kids get a ride to the game, we feel we owe something back. Our mate surprises us with a splendid night out, we feel we need to return the favor. We go to a free lecture, but feel obligated to buy a self-help program.

But others are not the only ones expecting things in return.

We  also expect things back. Payment of some kind. 

We take our kids out to the playground, and we expect them to be good the rest of the day. We babysit for a friend, and then feel we can ask them to reciprocate in the future. We make a special dinner with candles and a lone flower, and we expect people to appreciate it, to even say thank you.

We often want something in return for our efforts, even if it is praise, appreciation, acknowledgement, or a thank you.  

I am not saying that we should not acknowledge and appreciate and thank people. No, we should. It is part of treating them the way we want to be treated. It is being thankful.

Sometimes we do something for someone, our family, or kids, and get a little bit tweaked out of shape when what we do was not acknowledged, appreciated, or mentioned. We can get resentful or upset because our free-gift was not really given without strings attached. The fine print, which they fail to read, really said, “Not really totally and completely free. Something expected in return.”

Somethings, though, free things in life are really free. No strings attached.

 

We don’t expect totally free things, nor do we often don’t give totally free things.

And yet there is someone who gives good gifts that are totally free. No strings attached.

Seriously! No laughing now.

Have you ever paid for a sunrise? A sunset? The rain? Watching a bird in your backyard? The view of the mountains? A walk on the beach? A breath of air? A breeze? The shade of a tree?

Nature surrounds us, and it is free. Beauty surrounds us, and it is free.

Did you pay for your personality? Strengths? Intellect? Talents and gifts? Your smile? 

God surrounds us all with his good gifts. His daily and nightly gifts. Free to all.

He offers us the free gift of salvation, where we receive a new heart and have our sins cancelled. No cost here, all free. No self-improvement, no shower or clean clothes, no weight loss, no repayment plan, no perfection required or owed. A come as you are gift. No strings attached. We just receive.

He offers us so many free gifts if we just come and spend some time with him. Good things. Valuable things. Peace, joy, wisdom, love, patience, rest, hope, direction, laughter, a new heart, grace and more grace, and eternal life.

He gives these things freely. But we need to stop doubting. Wondering if they are really free. Quit looking for strings attached. Quit expecting this is a timeshare or sales presentation. Because it is not.

Our job is to quit doubting. Quit trying to earn. Quit trying to avoid taking the gift until we have payment ready.

Because when God says free. There is no fine print.

Acknowledge him and his free gifts and his friendship he offers.

Sounds to simple, doesn’t it? Sounds to good to be true? Well we can trust him.

And when we do, we don’t feel so bad about giving truly free gifts with no strings attached to those around us. Not when we think of all the free gifts we have been given.

Try it. Receive from him, and then give back to others.

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 free gifts have you enjoyed?  

May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).