Now that I am no longer in the workforce, there is no need to get out of bed early in the morning. The alarm is only set for the days I go to a morning exercise class. Other than that, I let my body dictate how much sleep it needs.
Last week, for several days in a row, I arose and left the house while it was still dark outside. It would have been easy to grumble and complain about the early start and the long days.
Instead, I changed my attitude from, “I hate to get up this early” to “I choose to get up early for the benefit of ..” I was privileged to spend my days with an amazing group of people who are changing the world one heart at a time. For me, the benefit far outweighed a few hours of lost sleep.
This attitude is not just useful for getting me out of bed in the morning. It can be used throughout the day in a myriad of ways.
When I consciously think of what I get to do, rather than what I have to do, my mind shifts from unhappiness to gratitude. It’s amazing the difference this simple change in focus makes.
Things I would normally take for granted are appreciated. The abundance in my life is recognized and I become a more positive person to be around.
I may not have control over all situations in my life but I can choose how to react to them. I choose to look for the benefit and live in gratitude.
Many years ago when we first bought a time share, there were owner education classes. These classes were scheduled for specific times in designated locations. In order to learn more about maximizing our investment we would have to travel to one of these classes.
Today we have the option of onsite workshops, online webinars at pre-designated times or pre-recorded webinars to view at our leisure.
The information keeps changing as the benefits of membership improve. There’s a lot to keep up with if we want to know about all of the options available. It can sometimes seem overwhelming.
I pause to think about how things that should be simple can easily become complicated.
The best information I can receive for getting the most out of life doesn’t come from a classroom or a podcast. It is available to me no matter the time or my physical location.
My instruction comes from the word of God. The Bible has not changed, yet is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago. The benefits of being a member of God’s family have remained constant.
When I need help understanding a difficult concept I can turn to God. The author of this book of instructions is also the author of my life and he is always available to guide and teach me.
The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living. (Psalm 19:7-8 NLT)
My husband and I attended a gluten-free expo recently. The majority of the booths had samples of products for us to try. This gave us the opportunity to taste items before we made a decision to purchase them.
Some things, like Portobello mushroom jerky, were interesting but one bite was enough for me. Others, like the cinnamon sugar donuts were treats I could have eaten much more of.
The booths with the longest lineups were the one giving away sample packages to take home. We added pasta, crackers, chips, popcorn and bars to our tote bags. Coupons to receive a discount on some of our favourite products were also appreciated.
Attending this expo reminded me of life. Each day I am presented with new experiences to try. Some are sweet, some are nutty and others leave a bitter taste in my mouth. My task is to sample the experiences that are presented to me and to find value in all of them.
The gifts that God has given me are far more valuable than a box of pasta. Yet, they are freely given and I don’t have to stand in line to receive them. The investment I need to make is not like the money I need to spend in order to use coupons. What I need to do is to invest my faith in God. This not only pleases him but also produces benefits far greater than I deserve.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)