Much has gone wrong in the last few years, the last six months even. I’d love to stop talking about this “difficult season” but it’s not one of those things that resolves itself quickly. I keep thinking I’m over the hurdle, that surely now I will have something positive to talk about, something good to report. But there’s always one more thing, always something to stress and worry about no matter what our lives look like. Recently I’ve referenced vaguely a lifting of physical and emotional burdens, but almost immediately I’m knocked back down with difficulties creeping their way in again. It’s discouraging to glimpse a time and feeling that wasn’t always so elusive only to have it crawl back into hiding soon after. It sounds wildly melodramatic when I type out the words, but I’ve felt stuck for so long.
I’m practicing being thankful this week, which is so hard to do despite saying you want to. It’s no surprise that I’m still working on it, chipping away at my stubborn, ingrained negativity, succeeding and failing a little every day. It’s easy to overlook good things in the midst of challenges, pain, and sorrow, the ups and downs. In an effort to overshadow some of the darkness I’ve been experiencing and work towards being a more loving and gracious person, I’m going to take time daily or weekly to reflect on the things I’m thankful for, actually putting them front and center in my mind and writing them down. Instead of saying, “I want to be more positive and thankful,” a very abstract and overwhelming task that doesn’t come naturally, I need to give myself a specific catalyst for refocusing. It’s not that good things don’t happen, rather it’s difficult to notice them because I’m used to not even looking. I expect the worst so I see the worst. It’s my hope to change that–to see the good first even amongst sorrow, to be guided by a spirit of hope and not despair–and I’ll share some of my thoughts here along the way.
This week I’m thankful for my sweet, bad dogs, the hand-me-down gift of a second car (an older model of the car we planned on getting anyway!), the good business we’ve had at the store. I’m thankful for the check reimbursing us for a small portion of my medical expenses (every little bit helps). I’m thankful for little things: fresh flowers, hot tea, good movies. I’m thankful for the Lord, knowing he is never absent from my life, especially in those moments I’m in over my head.