Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Staying on the Sunny Side of Life

Is your glass half empty or half full?  Do you see the world through rose colored glasses?  Are you smiling on the outside but crying inside?

I recently received several comments (all of them very sweet and kind) about my sunny disposition and positive outlook.  I felt compelled to share why I am this way - part of it is intentional, but the majority of it is spiritual.  I like to call it an attitude of gratitude. 

My life (as is the case with everyone, I feel) has not been all sunbeams and rainbows.  There has been stuff.  Lots of yucky, black, dark stuff.  I've dealt with low self-esteem, abuse, stupid mistakes, harsh words, job loss, loneliness, depression, infertility, death of loved ones, surgeries, bad bosses, mean  coworkers, judgemental jerks - stuff that I think a lot of people have gone through.  I've been incredibly blessed with friends and family who have helped me through it.  More than that though, my faith has got me through.  Jesus has carried me through it.  I have flat out laid on the floor cried and prayed.  I have yelled and screamed.  I am a sinner and only God has saved me. 

On one incredibly desperate night, I prayed for God to use me.  I wanted to be His servant and to emulate Him.  I don't have the crafting ability of some of my friends.  I am not a dynamic public speaker.  What gifts did I have?  I have a smile and I have been through infertility struggles.  I have a passion for helping other women - in whatever way God wants me to do so.  So, I started small.  I smiled and I looked for  the blessings in everyday life.  Every single day I thanked God for five things.  Some days were harder than others.  Slowly, but surely, it came natural. 

Everyone has stuff they have to deal with.  It's HOW you deal with it that can make or break you. 

When your baby has been up every hour for the past two nights and you're feeling like a zombie, remember, this phase is temporary.  God made you that baby's Momma for a reason.  You are uniquely equipped to raise that precious angel.  I bet in the darkness, you can see that baby smiling in his sleep as you sing to him.

The day you forget to pay the water bill and the city people show up on your doorstep, remember, at least you have the money to cover it and the reason you forgot to pay it is sitting in a swing in your living room.

Your car a/c goes out two days before you're supposed to take your babies home from the NICU.   It's crazy expensive.  Remember, you are blessed to have a car and the nice mechanic can fix it for you that day.  You have an emergency credit card and this would be the time to use it.  A few months later, you hear a story of a poor little one who became an angel after riding in a car with no a/c for hours when he was only a couple of weeks old.  You pray for that family and how hurt and broken their hearts must be. 

You get laid off at six and half months pregnant on a Friday.  You stress about money.  You get on your knees and pray to God for a solution.  You get a call the next Tuesday with an offer of more money and more hours, less stress and an amazing boss. 

I told you - my life is not all sunbeams and rainbows.  All of the above things have happened to me.  I could go on about the negative, however, how would that help?  How would that honor God?  They are first world problems, really.  I chose to look at the ways that God has blessed me and continues to do so on a daily basis.  I try to find the joy in the small things. 

The out of the blue card from a friend thanking me for texting her when she is going  through fertility treatments.

The sweet laughter of my children.

The surprise massage my husband scheduled for me.

My friends who are training for a 5K with me and our silly texts to keep each accountable.

After all, with all of these blessings in my life, how can I really be a sourpuss about the small things?  We're called as Christians to trust God and that is what I try to do.  I encourage you to start writing down the things you're grateful for daily if you want to start having an attitude of gratitude.  Write it down on the calendar or keep a journal.  Heck, text yourself.  I promise you that you will start to see a difference in the way you respond to the yucky stuff.  Look at the sunny side of every situation you find yourself in. I am NOT perfect and I struggle with being and staying sunny. For me, the easiest "cure" is to pray and to text or call a friend. Or I hug a baby. Or I look back and remember how God carried me through the hardest and darkest days of my life. I sing silly songs. I read sweet comments made by you all. I find those rose colored glasses and I slip them on. Will you join me?


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