Some of you may have read my recent blog post in which I gave up whining for Lent. As it turns out, that decision may have been poorly timed because I have quite a few things in my life right now to whine about. Thanks to food allergies, I’m giving up gluten, dairy, and probably corn and shrimp. (Maybe others, we’re still discovering new things as we go). On top of that, we’re expecting 6 to 10 inches of snow. Both factors are making me decidedly grumpy today.
So, I’m looking for ways to get past this without whining, without descending into that dark place where I sit around feeling sorry for myself for minor reasons, and particularly without ruining someone else’s day with my poor mood. After all, I’m pretty lucky in many ways. I have a nice place to live, a decent car, and a burgeoning new business. I also have a sinus headache (thanks weather).
How do you cheer yourself up when this happens? Do you descend into that dark place, wallow around for a while, then come back up when you’re ready? Or, do you shake it off, move on and put it behind you? Or, do you count your blessings?
My Sunday School class and I recently made “gratitude jars.” They’re pretty simple, really. Just a mason jar, decorated in my not-so-artistic way, sitting here ready to be filled with little slips of paper denoting the things that bless my life. It’s got a few in it already, from previous days when I was feeling less grumpy.
I guess if there’s a lesson here, it’s that being blessed isn’t a feeling. It’s not based on your emotions of the moment. All these little slips were created when I was feeling grateful – but the blessings they document existed the whole time, regardless of how I feel. Maybe what I really need to do to lift my mood is to read them and remind myself of how blessed I really am. Maybe I’ll even find a thing or two to add (although you can bet that it won’t be 6 inches of snow or a sinus headache).
Blessings to all of you. May you find many things to be grateful for and may your life contain no whiners.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good, His love endures forever. ~ Psalm 107:1