Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Grateful Heart is a Happy Heart

I was emailing one of my Angels this week and shared with him that I wasn't exactly looking forward to a road trip my family is embarking on beginning this Monday.  I wrote, "I'm excited to [see family].., but not excited to leave my home." 

He replied, "Blast those thoughts and enjoy the adventure.....I learned that in a blog somewhere." What a doll.
Original photo taken by @thllanning of Instagram.
Many thanks for the use of your incredible photo!
His advice was so right and absolutely right on time.  After all the work I'd put into my blog posts about Anxiety, I was falling right back into old patterns when it came to the trip.
It is Reasonable to feel a bit anxious about a 15 hour road trip with small children, about 10 days of blended family and in-laws--I have incredible in-laws but we've had our share of miscommunications.

It is Reasonable to feel a bit anxious about not being in the comfort of your own home for many weeks, about knowing you're going to sweat half to death in your parents' home because they keep the AC on 75.....

What Chas, my angel, reminded me with that simple advice was that it was Unreasonable to associate my house with my health.  The battle for my mental health is won first in my mind.  I take the tools to achieve Positive Results with me everywhere I go.
His advice also reminded me in the nick of time to create Reasonable Expectations!  In the past, I have, without fail, created Unreasonable Expectations regarding the task of packing for a trip.

I am excited to use this new tool, reanalyze what is truly necessary for this trip, and see if I can't get through the packing phase with a lot less stress and anxiety.

As my dread grew a little more each day, it occurred to me that it would be a fruitful and eye opening exercise to create a list of gratitude.  Focusing on all of my blessings and everything that I have to be thankful for would probably change my perspective on this trip.

So, without further ado, here is my list.
My mom headed to the pool with my kids today.
I am grateful to have living parents....somebody out there can't even pick up the phone and hear their mama's voice.  That could be me, Lord.

I am grateful to have amazing parents......somebody out there has a daddy who hurt them and a mama who doesn't wanna be bothered.  That could be me, Lord.

I am grateful to have healthy loved ones......somebody out there knows that death is waiting hungrily just outside their loved one's door. That could be me, Lord.

I am grateful to be in my right mind and to have the strength in my body to make this trip......somebody out there doesn't even remember their own name.  Somebody out there can't even rise up out of the bed.  That could be me, Lord.

I am grateful for the blessing of three, happy, healthy children.....somebody out there lost a child in the night.  Somebody out there will never have children.  Somebody out there's child is broken, is sickly, is in pain, has lost the light in their eyes.  That could be my child, Lord. 

I am grateful for the means--the resources to take a trip to see family, loved one and friends.....somebody out there hasn't seen a loved one in years but doesn't have the means to get on down the road.  That could be me, Lord.

I am grateful for the summer of fantastic memories my children are sure to make....this summer some mother in some American city and yet another in some foreign desert will try to shield her children from the evil deeds of hateful men.  That mother could be me, Lord.

I am grateful to have to choose between chicken or beef.....somebody out there will choose not to eat so their children won't go to bed hungry.  That could be me, Lord.

I am grateful that I'll only be apart from my husband for a few weeks and when we part he'll be headed back to our beautiful home.......somebody out there is kissing their husband goodbye and sending them off to war.   That could be us, Lord.
It is simply amazing what a little perspective and gratitude can do.  It can make you feel downright silly for having anxiety about certain petty, inconsequential things.

I caught myself complaining to a neighbor about the long drive with my kids.  I was suddenly convicted and felt like a whiney brat. My destination is only 900 miles away--theirs is 3000.  They don't have the luxury of driving to see family and they'd very much like to.  How dare I complain.

So, won't you Holla Back! in the comments, if your child doesn't have grandparents or if you're no longer able to hug your mom or dad, if times are hard or maybe there's sickness on your household--won't you Holla Back! in the comments with "Do it for me, Nyla!"

I want to honor those who long for that which I but for a moment took for granted.  Please keep me and my family in your prayers.  All my crazy crazy love....


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