August 5, 2016 – Acceptance
We, as humans are inclined to find a solution by ourselves to every problem that presents itself. Whether it is in the work place, in the home, at our children’s school or even something in our adult children’s life. We are free with our advice without stopping to think about exactly what the problem is. We give advice to our co-workers, our brothers and sisters at church, our neighbors and family members and even sometimes to strangers. We know it all.
But we don’t know it all. We look at a situation or problem and say the first thing that comes to our mind. Instead of mulling it over, looking at it from every angle we just blurt out our so called expert advice. It is a rude awakening when someone takes your advice and you both find out later it was the wrong advice. Most of us cannot accept the fact that we can’t change everything.
I have learned to be honest with friends and family when asked for advice. I try to look at the situation from different angles and I also ask questions. Unless I have been in the same situation or had the same problems at one time, I don’t feel qualified to give them a definite solution. Many times I advise them to pray about it for awhile and see what happens. Other times, if it isn’t a huge problem that needs to be solved right away, I advise them to put it on the back burner and concentrate on immediate problems and circumstances, often finding out later that the problem actually solved itself.
At Alcoholics Anonymous they say this prayer:
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
The things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
This is the original prayer first written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in 1943 . At most meetings today they have shortened it to just the first 6 lines.
Today I am thankful that God has shown me how to accept the things I cannot change and given me the wisdom to know the difference.
August 6, 2015 – Jesus
I sincerely apologize to Jesus, my lord and savior. This should have been my very first article when I started this venture to list something to be thankful for every day. If it wasn’t for him I would not be where I am today, I would not even be alive.
I can’t count the many sins that I know he has forgiven me of. I cannot count the times in my life that he has intervened on my behalf. There is no way that I could list the many prayers that he has answered or the many times he has lifted my spirit when I thought I was completely at the end of my rope.
If it were not for him, I would not be able to find the strength and peace that is needed to make it through every day on this earth, especially now when there is just so much going on that could eventually affect us all.
If it were not for Jesus, I would not have met the two most important men in my life, I would never have moved from the concrete jungle to a peaceful, rural town in Missouri where life is so much easier and safer.
If he hadn’t called to me when he did, if he hadn’t moved me from a dangerous living arrangement, I wouldn’t be here today writing this. I would have died a very horrible death years ago and my murderer probably would have gotten away with it. He literally has saved my life on several occasions, even before he called me back to him.
Today I am thankful to know Jesus as my lord and savior.
August 7, 2016 – Observations
When you are young, you’re on fire. You just want to be liberated to do the things you want to do. You want to run with your friends, do what they are doing, follow what they are following, leaving everything else behind you.
I couldn’t wait until I was 18 and could move out of my parents house. I was a Miss Know-it-all and felt like they were holding me down. I wanted to show the world that I was a responsible adult, even though I was no where near that.
Sure, I already had a job, one that would never go anywhere, and I was able to find a roommate to share an apartment with me. I had it all together, or so I thought. Yet, I made many mistakes, one right after another, jumping head first into situations and relationships without taking the time to make any observations of the people or circumstances I was getting involved with. This mistake alone cost me many years of my life.
Today I observe a lot of things, people: the way they act, the way they talk, the things they do, places: where it is, what is around it, is it safe, is there any kind of danger, events: where is it being held, what is the theme of the event, is it worth going to.
Those are not the only observations that I make. I watch things in nature also, especially the weather, the way animals are acting, the presence of animals in certain places or the lack of their presence.
Now you might ask why all the observations? Maybe I am just a little paranoid after some of the things I have been through in my life. That wouldn’t be hard to understand if you knew the half of them. So, by observing everything around me, in and outside my life, I am creating a safety zone that will possible keep me and those I care about safe.
Today I am thankful that the Lord has given me the desire to observe everything around me.