Have you ever have a moment of gratitude, where it just stops you in your tracks and changes your whole perspective in a matter of seconds? Here’s mine.
As many of you know, winters in Texas are typically pretty mild. This past year was exceptionally mild (I think we had only one good, solid, deep freeze and it lasted less than 24 hours). While having light winters has its positives, two things come to mind. First; No snow. My girls and I just want one day to play in snow, have the iconic snowball fight, and make pathetic weird little Texas snowmen. Second; We stand the chance of being overthrown by insects come Spring. Freezes act as a much appreciated population control for the creepy crawlies. No hard freezes = potential hostile takeover.
The Text That Started It All…
So this year, on our one day of “Winter”, I started my morning at my table. I was nice and warm with a hot cup of tea in my hands and began researching for my next blog article. I was settling in my zone, doing Lyme related research and BAM! My thoughts were interrupted by a text from my mom. (Ya’ll with Lyme brain know how frustrating it is to get side tracked. As if we don’t have a hard enough time staying on task, am I right!?!?!) The text simply read, “Have you punched the water troughs yet?” Although my eyes rolled at the annoying question, it was an important one. If the water troughs are frozen, then the animals can not drink.
I’ll admit my first response, as were the next few, was a bit juvenile. I audibly grunted, “ughhh,” like a sassy teenage girl. I muttered, “Why do I have to do it? Why can’t James do it? He lives out here too!” I continued grumbling, “Why am I always expected to be the responsible one?” “I’m the one who’s sick”… Yes. These were the less than mature questions flooding out of my lips.
Very grumpily, I jump in my truck with a dramatically oversized wrench, fisted tightly in my fingers. I drive through the arena gate and head towards trough #1. More cranky thoughts began flipping around my stubborn head. “Are we ever going to fill these ruts in the arena? I swear I’m gonna lose my truck one day!” “Ughh! These brush piles are really adding up”, “The skeet shooter needs a new stand, is anyone ever going to fix it?” And finally, as I was beating through the thick layer of ice, “Holy crap! This water is cold! Why am I even out here? The cows are way over there napping! Clearly they’re not dying of thirst!” My brain was fuming with negativity.
I jump back in my truck and drive to the 2nd waterer. Even less than enthusiastic this go round, because I can’t just pull right up to it like the last trough. I actually had to walk a (little) bit to access it. Seriously, it was maybe a 100 foot walk. But I was so petulant, you would have thought it was a 2 mile hike.
The morning sun must have warmed this one up, because the ice layer was super thin. I could have tapped it apart with one finger. So, back to my truck I headed.
The Moment of Change
Somehow, between the time it took me to walk the short distance from the waterer to the truck, something drastically shifted in me. A strange wave of gratitude flooded over my whole body and I felt my face move into a smile. And I heard myself say out loud, “I’m so lucky!”… I know… It stunned me too. Where did THAT come from? It’s true, though, I am lucky! My family gets to be here. I get to live on this beautiful property with my parents and my brother as neighbors, and I get to have animals to take care of. I am so blessed.
By the time I drove back to my house, I was quickly humbled and my smile was even bigger than before. My heart was full of an indescribable warmth and all I could think to do was say, “Thank you Lord for all of these gifts”.
Fast Forward 6 months later;
I have been sitting on writing this post since December. It’s May. The notes have been sitting by my desk for 6 months, but I kept putting it off. Procrastinating. It’s one of my many gifts.
I must enter a random backstory here… But I promise it crucial to the post!
Sometimes my 16 year old will put sheets of paper with scripture on top of my computer. She does it at night, after I’ve gone to bed. So, they’re like little gifts to wake up to and add to my morning devotion. For a teenager, she is pretty astute and seems to know exactly what I need to hear and when….. I almost always end up crying!
Yesterday I woke up to a beautiful message, written by hand perfectly in line with my potential post. And in the back of my head I heard a voice firmly say, “No more excuses”. This is what the paper read;
“Let Me Teach You Thankfulness”
Begin by acknowledging that everything- all of your possessions and all that you are- belong to Me. The dawning of each new day is a gift from Me, not to be taken for granted. The earth is vibrantly alive with my blessings, giving vivid testimony to My presence.
Some of my most precious children have been laid aside in sick beds or shut away in prisons. Others have voluntarily learned discipline of spending time with alone with Me. The secret of being thankful is learning to see everything from My perspective. My world is your classroom. My word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. -Jesus Calling
God wants us to to spend time with Him, trust His plan, and to be grateful in every situation. Even in the dark times. That means being thankful even when you’re out in the cold breaking up ice from frozen water troughs. Being thankful during times of turmoil, trials, or sickness. This beautiful devotional my daughter left for me is exactly what we all need to be reminded of daily. It is definitely what I needed to hear that December morning.
Appreciating the Everyday Moments Worthy of Gratitude
Living with Lyme disease is hard. Being sick and taking care of your children with the same chronic disease is even harder. Every day is unpredictable. Some days are harder than others and some days are sicker than others.
In all of this uncertainty and inconsistency my family lives with; one thing never changes. God is always with us and constantly blessing us. We just have to learn to view life through His perspective. If we can do that, we can experience and embrace a lot more moments of gratitude.
I am So blessed.
If you would like to learn more about Lyme disease check out this post; https://chronicallyimperfect.com/what-is-lyme-disease-basic-info-on-lyme-disease/
References and resources:
Young, S. (2004) Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence Nashville, Thomas Nelson