I’ve been in a bit of a funk the past couple of months. I’ve struggled with coming to terms with my changing body, adjusting to homeschool life, and slow amounts of work. I haven’t been in a bad mood, I’ve just felt off. I think it’s because I haven’t been living with a heart of gratitude. I’ve lost perspective.
This is no way means I’ve been unable to acknowledge my blessings. I have a beautiful family, a wonderful home, and the ability to do things I love, like travel. I’m very aware how lucky I am to still have my parents alive and healthy, to live in a safe community, and have financial stability. I’m also conscience of how fast that all can change.
However, I haven’t been celebrating the little things as much as I should. I’ve gotten lost in small problems. When you live in a world that constantly preaches that you EARN things and that you DESERVE things, it’s easy to lose perspective.
I DESERVE a gorgeous house. I DESERVE that campaign that I got. I DESERVE this amazing vacation. We worked hard to get it, so it’s only fair that we got it, right? Those other people? They didn’t earn it. They’ve got to work harder. It’s their fault.
The fact of the matter is, we deserve nothing. In fact, as a Christian I believe that we deserve very little. We as humans are a pretty screwed up race. We lie, we cheat, we steal. We do whatever we can to get ahead, even if it means sacrificing time with our family or pushing someone else out of the way. And yet God still loves us and bestows His grace upon us daily. We need to be more grateful for where we’re at.
Gratefulness will look different to every single person. It’s easy to complain about our homes, our jobs, or the behavior of our kids. I’m in no way saying we aren’t justified in feeling frustrated, because it’s hard to watch other people get opportunities you would like as you struggle.
Life can feel unfair. We begin to wonder what we’ve done wrong to end up in the situation we are. But the second we stop focusing on our problems and look outside of our little comfort zones, the heartbreak of this world becomes very obvious. Our problems are so minor.
“Someone, somewhere, is happy with less than you have.” Live with a heart of gratitude.
Here are some stats to refresh your perspective:
Approximately 750 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water. 1 billion children are currently living in poverty. 800 million people don’t get enough food. Half of the worlds population make less than $2.50 a day. 2 million children a year die from preventable diseases. 1/4 of the population lives without electricity.
How’s that for a wake up call? We have it good, guys. We have it very good. I’m trying to look at things from a different perspective.
When I get an opportunity for work through my blog, I’m looking at it with fresh eyes. Maybe the pay isn’t as high as I usually get, but what will that money provide my family with? I need to be more grateful that someone took the time to even consider working with me.
When I see someone else visit an exciting destination, I need to remind myself that some people have never been able to afford a vacation. My kids have seen some amazing things and likely will see many more to come. Others are stuck in hospital beds dreaming of simply going home.
When I’m frustrated because our homeschool day isn’t going as planned, I think of the latest heartbreaking news of families being torn apart by violence. My kids are safe at home with me. I’m still hugging them. They’re alive. One day of math doesn’t matter.
I don’t say this to make you feel guilty. I’m sure many would look at my life and roll their eyes, wondering how I could get lost in ungratefulness from time to time. This is not about judging someone else on how they choose to spend their money. It about being thankful for what we’ve been blessed with and sharing it.
Wake up and start living with a heart of gratitude.
I believe that we need a good shake now and then. A wake-up call about what really matters. I challenge you to look at ways to be more grateful on a daily basis, even if it means simply stopping for five minutes and writing down all your blessings. I know I need to work on it harder with my children, especially as the holiday season comes up.
Find a way to give back. Find a charity to support financially, be it local or international. Invite someone over for dinner. Make up a care package for the homeless. Do an Operation Christmas Child Box (or several.) Travel to a destination and help them rebuilt their community after devastation. Throwing $20 in the church bucket on Sunday morning without knowing where it’s going is not enough. Remember those numbers I posted above? It’s not enough.
We need to do more, and I believe it all starts by living with a heart of gratitude.