I’m facing change and like you may have guessed, yes I’m pretty much terrified.  Most of the changes I’m facing are the results of my choices.  There’s something both liberating and disheartening about that.

A blogging friend is facing the pain of change as she lost her twin boys, 18 weeks in utero.  Another friend is facing the pain of her husband leaving her but also trying to royally screw her over financially.  Ugh. The pain I’m facing is different in that it’s choices I’m making for myself: some good, some bad.  My friends had these painful transitions thrust upon them.  I’ve made my choices which add a layer of confusion in the form of “what if this,” or “what if that,” or “you big nut head, why didn’t you do this___ or avoid that____?”

Anyone relate?

As we face change it’s good to remember to cultivate thankfulness, whether by writing it down in the daily journal or speaking out your thankfulness in the form of a prayer to God.  (Yep, even if you haven’t spoken in awhile).

I’ve realized anew the power of this little habit when I think of our little, R2.  His strong-willed nature rubs me the wrong way so often, y’all.  Sometimes, I have a hard time even thinking about him in a positive way.  Seriously.  It makes me feel like vulture.

The past two days I spent time thinking, writing and praying through all the things about Rhys I’m thankful for.  For example, he’s got this really developed sense of humor that feels advanced for a 2.5 yr. old.  He makes jokes.  Because he makes jokes, he smiles a lot.  Sure, he’s wildly obnoxious when he’s having his temper-tantrums, but when he’s enjoying life it’s with that same reckless abandon.

Big laughs. Big smiles. Big enjoyment of life.

The truth is he’s an incredibly strong, able-bodied, intelligent, beautiful HEALTHY child who has simply yet to learn to manage his 2.5 yr. old emotions and desires.

He’s a gift.  It takes working through that, to help me work through the pain, frustration and sadness I sometimes feel parenting him.

I could wallow around more or complain about him on facebook or I could simply go through the process of cultivating gratefulness for him.  If this is what needs to be done, it needs to be done.

I’m convinced so many of us don’t pursue gratitude in our lives because we somehow feel ashamed we have to work hard to be grateful.  “If I have a great _______ (fill in the blank) shouldn’t the gratitude just pour out like fine wine?”

“If I was a good Mom, wouldn’t I be grateful every second of every day for my beautiful healthy child?” Lies. Lies. Lies.  I’m a good Mom (I’m *mostly* sure) and I have to work at being grateful for my little Rhysie-Bear.

As I’m facing change, pain and transition, I’m going to be working hard at cultivating thankfulness in my life.  It’s a spiritual discipline but it’s also just a good idea for anyone trying to survive.

Anyone.

Along with my beautiful new web design, I’m hoping to make some changes to my blog in terms of what I write about.  Less “mommy blogging,” and fashion, a little more focus on pursuing health in so many of the areas I’m waffling all over the place: marriage, parenting, physical health and self-leadership, just to name a few. Yet another change in my life, but in the spirit of this post —-I’m SO THANKFUL that God has given me audience of people to influence who will also help me to grow so we can grow together.  That’s my prayer at least.

Will you join me in being more thankful, more often?  A few years ago, I started keeping a thankfulness journal and then tapered off. DOH!

Even if your in the midst of crap up to your ears, what’s one thing you are thankful for today?  Other helpful suggestions that you’ve experienced as great ways to combat the fears that accompany change?

(If you liked this post, actually truly enjoyed it and got something out of it, gimme a facebook “like” on the button below over to the left.  I’m doing a little experiment today.  Only “like” it if you actually did!  And if you liked it or loved it even, share it too!  I will be thankful. =)

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  • http://just-thauna.com Thauna

    I’ve been working on gratitude for a couple of years. Something so simple. Or you think it would be simple. But it’s so easy to forget. I have a tendency to forget, to wallow, to complain, to whine even. And I KNOW that gratitude is one thing that can change my attitude and how I’m feeling or looking at my life the fastest. Sometimes it’s so hard for me to just remember to be grateful. I love this post. And today I’m grateful that Monday is half over. Ha!

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      Thauna, you just gave me a true laugh out loud. I’m reading your response and resonating and then all of a sudden bam i’m hit with “Moday is half over.” That’s so funny! Anyway, I get you. And you are going through something so major and so life-altering. I went through that same thing back in 2005. It took awhile. But the thankfulness thing, for me at least, isn’t so much “feeling” as much as “acknowledging.” Does that make sense? I feel guilty if I don’t feel it…but when I write down what I’m thankful for I’ve at least acknowledged the good (even in the midst of crying about the bad). Somehow, almost magically, it relieves some of the pressure. My friend who suggested that I write down 5 things a day (which I referenced in the link) has done that now for over 20 years and said that it’s changed her life. I think I need to get back to it too!

  • Karen F.

    LIKE! (Even though I’m not on Facebook. :)
    Great reminder for me when having a tough time with children.

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      Karen, yeah being a Mom is so hard, right?!?! I’m so thankful that hte Lord gives us even little things like this to produce an instant mindset change. Hope you are well! =)

  • Claudia

    Honey Amen to that.

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      ahahaha yes. I’m thankful for that Amen! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! =)

      • Claudia

        You’re most welcome.

  • http://ww Erica

    Thanks Grace! I am so thankful for your blog & opennes (& book, had to throw that in there!!) I am so grateful to have two healthy, beautiful, smart & caring girls. I am also thankful for a understanding, patient, loyal & loving husband. I really dont understand how he handles my mood swings, but I’m glad he does!! My girls are total opposites, the older one is quite & cautious, the 2nd is loud and all over the place! I think we as parents have to constatly keep in mind that our children are different and try to develop their differences instead of having them act like the other sibling. I know my second child LOVES music, so if she struggles with anything in school, I know we’ll have to make up a song! My other child LOVES clothes & nailpolish (yes at 4 years old!!), so I will incorporate this in “our” time when she gets older. I am often frustrated, tired or overwhelmed with being a parent but at the same time I couldn’t imagen life without either of them here. I have been in a complaining type of mood the past few months, so today starts the mood of gratitude because things could be a lot worse. With that, I am grateful to have friends like you in my life to open my eyes!!!!
    I LOVE the new web design!!

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      Erica, you do have a wonderful family! I wonder if there is a first-born/second-born thing going on with your girls? Because people have said that to us when I mention about R1 being quieter and cautious, R2 being loud and obnoxious….many people say “oh that’s b/c Ran was born first.” And they say that it’s similar with their kids. I’ve heard that first borns feel a lot of weight and responsibility to care for things and everybody no matter how much you try not to put it on them. My older sis is that way still, and I’m the baby…still trying to shirk responsibilities whenever I can. (by the by, Dave is a last born too, so were a disaster when it comes to things like cleaning, etc.) Let’s just hope our last born children marry first borns. lol. Anyway, hats off to you for keeping it together. It’s always nice to hear other Mom’s say they feel frustrated, tired, overwhelmed or complainy. I feel like a jerk for thinking/feelign that way so often so really truly it’s helpful to have you relate with me. I’m thankful for your friendship and encouragment often! (oh and thanks @ the web design, i just love it)! =)

  • Sara

    One thing on my “What I’m thankful for” list is you, Grace. I know the courage it takes to deal with the hard issues in life and I’m thankful you are willing to go on this journey with God. You’ll always have my love and prayers. I’m also thankful for R1 and R2. Without you and David, they wouldn’t be ours. I’m thankful that I live close enough to see how God is blessing and using the gifts he has given you and David. That’s just a start of the many things I’m thankful for. The glass is either half full or half empty, and I try always to see it half full.

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      Sara, the feeling is definetly mutual! Wow…how could we have even been in ministry this long without you & fred??? I’m so thank ful for you and all the plethora of ways youv’e blessed our lives! And our boys are better little people for having you in their lives. The idea of ever moving away hasn’t been too much of an option b/c we want the boys to be able to see all 3 of their loving grandparents as often as possible. I try to see the glass as half full, but I think now I have to work a little harder at it then I used to. But just keep working…that’s all we can right? and praying that God makes us more like Him in every way, including our mindset.

  • http://nurturingcreativity.net Denise

    As cliche as it sounds, you can always be thankful for health. I honestly, didn’t appreciate that nowhere near enough until my dad became terminal. There something about seeing someone sick or suffering (and of course being sick yourself) that makes your level of gratitude shift.

    But, it’s not always easy and no, it doesn’t always pour out like wine! I wish sometimes.

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      Denise, I agree. sometimes it’s our tragedies that remind us to be thankful..wish it didn’t always have to get to that point. =( Anyway, thanks for stopping and commenting! Blessings… =)