Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just Laugh

There is a charming little sign above my kitchen sink that reads, "Laugh."

And it hangs crooked.

Time and time again I would adjust it, but the next time I was in the kitchen, it would once again be tilted to the side. One day as I studied it, I realized that whenever I see the sign, I'm focused on the way it hangs crooked, rather than the sign's message and instruction. I decided not to adjust it anymore. Instead when I see it, I will be reminded to laugh.

Life is like that. It hangs crooked at times. We get frustrated trying to adjust it, only to find later on that it has tilted one way or another once again. Instead of enjoying each day even with its imperfections, we are distracted by or consumed with what's not right about the picture. The joy we could have had is lost.

Instead of trying to fix it all, let's just laugh instead.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

I just finished a book called Attitude of Gratitude, by M.J. Ryan. This is the third book by this author I've read and she always manages to inspire and encourage me to grow and follow Jesus' teachings more closely in my daily life.

Which is interesting, considering the author appears to adopt some Buddhist views. (That would be my disclaimer for any potential readers.) Yet despite our differing views on where we come from and where we're going, M.J. and I seem to agree on the middle part of the journey.

Her passion for living in the moment and being grateful for the blessings of each day are attitudes that we as followers of Christ should embrace. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow, that our Father will take care of it just as He does for the lilies and the sparrows. St. Paul tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, to be content in whatever state.

Through some very real struggles this past year, I have realized anew how important gratitude is in all circumstances. No matter how difficult a cross we are carrying, there are always blessings to recognize if we have the eyes to see.

In the midst of weariness, we can be thankful for the strength and grace of God. In the midst of heartache, we can be thankful that He knows and He cares. When people let us down, we can be thankful for the friends who are tried and true. When we're uncertain about the future, we can be thankful for the family and loved ones who support and encourage us. When we feel like we're in a stretching season, we can be thankful for the hope that God is molding and changing us-- even if we may not see the whole picture yet.

Living with gratitude makes life shine with beauty. Sometimes life is crazy, difficult, painful. But when we embrace gratitude...looking up to the Giver instead of inside is definitely beautiful.

YLCF March of Books Blog Carnival

Monday, March 1, 2010

When the threads of life aren't making sense...

"The Weaver"
by Grant Colfax Tuller

My Life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.

Not 'til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who choose to walk with Him.