At A Glance – Today’s post is a guest post from a dear friend. She reminds us gratitude is an attitude we should practice often. Our circumstances don’t determine our joy.
I Don’t Always Score High On The Gratitude Scale
We all know that an attitude of gratitude is something we should practice. It has far-reaching effects. Effects on our mental state for sure, but even on our physical well-being.
When I read my own words in the turquoise box above, I feel some imposter syndrome. Gratitude is not always my go-to state. I can, however, be motivated to have a better attitude with a little help from my friends.
Lessons From My Texas Friends
Most of my life was spent in Texas, so I still have many friends there who dealt with the Big Freeze of 2021. As temperatures dropped and water and heat became scarce, my prayers and concern increased.
I called and checked on many who were dealing with all sorts of issues. Thankfully, most were doing well. We laughed at how this was a “hurricane in reverse”.
Joy Comes From Our Choices, Not Our Circumstances
A special friend of mine, Brenda K., writes her own blog filled with practical instructions and encouragements from scripture. Her blog is called Smoother Sailing. How to’s from the Big Book. You can find her at smoothersailing.wordpress.com.
Her latest post reminded me about being grateful in the midst of the storm. And also, about not letting special moments go unnoticed. She writes about her experiences with neighbors and family. I was struck by her positive and cheerful words of how her family dealt with the hardships. Notice her description of having no power and heat!
It had me thinking…”Would I have viewed this scenario with such grace?” Probably not. But I was grateful for the reminder that our attitude is our choice. Our joy is not determined by our circumstances.
Guest Post From Smoother Sailing
I have reposted Brenda’s post from February 24, 2021. Enjoy.
The Thaw, Or Emergency Preparedness
Last week, a good friend urged me to write about the Great Texas Freeze. Now, though, as I look out at our sunny skies, I realize my topic of choice is actually The Thaw.
We had inches and inches of beautiful snow. It’s gone now. Did I gaze often enough, enjoy deeply enough, a sight I might never see again?
We had 36 electricity-free hours. In our house, the temperature dropped and the population rose as neighbors and loved ones without fireplaces gathered around ours. My living room is warm now, and empty. I hope I focused enough, valued deeply enough the chance to be close to those who graced our home.
Our neighborhood nearly ran out of propane, but didn’t because of a radical effort to conserve. We have plenty now, and I’ll never look at turning on our heat the same way again. Was I at peace enough through the uncertainty? ‘Not so sure,
My grocery order was cancelled as shelves emptied at the local HEB, yet we never ran out of fresh food. When I watched my refrigerator become emptier by the day, I toggled between the delight of seeing how we always had what we needed, and wondering if we’d be eating dry cereal and canned beans for a while. But as soon as stores re-opened, neighbors resupplied me when I didn’t even ask.
Then, of course, there was the week-long threat of frozen pipes. Some did. Ours didn’t. We own property in another city now, and there wasn’t any way at all to check on it until the roads cleared. It was fine. Most of the time, so was I.
When the thaw was complete and our lives back to normal, I had plenty of praising to do. I also found myself wondering how much goodness I missed while forgetting lessons I teach.
How much did I practice the verbs of these verses:
- Cast your cares on Him.
- Let not your heart be troubled.
- Rejoice always.
- Trust in the Lord.
When I did those things, the freeze and the resulting thaw brought joy to my heart. When I let the maybe’s and might’s and what if’s assail me, forgetting to bat them away with the Word of God, then my smile faded and my energy waned.
We are in The Thaw! I am thankful. A freeze like the one barely over may not ever come again. But something else will—to you and to me. Get ready!
- Sure, store a bit of extra food and water and medicine and paper goods.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full.
- But, most importantly, keep practicing these verbs of the Bible: Cast. Let not. Rejoice. Trust.
Then you’ll be ready for anything.
If you enjoyed Brenda’s words, check out her other posts at Smoother Sailing. If you have your own example of special moments you have savored, share them in the comment sections below.
Key Takeaway – Practice gratitude often and don’t miss the little moments.
Coming Soon – What is Compound Interest and How Does It Work
A good reminder about what’s important. Living in California, I’ve been through 3 wildfires, a flood, and repeated planned public safety power shut-offs (when the conditions are right for wildfires). Not to mention a global pandemic. All in the last 4 years! I’ve learned to be more prepared, with extra food, water, flashlights and go bags. What’s helped the most is recognizing that material things were not my most valuable possessions, and knowing that I have the power to choose my reaction to a crisis. I’m glad your friend was safe during the Texas snowstorm!
Thanks so much, Kathy. My experience has been with hurricanes and now I live in a fire zone. There’s always some peril around, but it reminds you that all your stuff is just that…Stuff!
I just heard your podcast on Choose Fi. Thank you for sharing, I am in a similar situation and this gives me hope.
Trudy, thanks for your comment. I’m so glad my story helped encourage you! And thanks for subscribing to the website. Also, if you’re on Facebook, I have a FB group – Started At 50.