No Complaining

#Inspiration, #God, #Monday MusingsI know complaining doesn’t accomplish anything positive, yet there are times I struggle with this vice. Snow in May qualifies!

The calendar tells me it’s been spring for over a month. The weather seems to be on a different schedule.

We left home early Saturday morning for a city several hours away. The grey sky soon showered us with snow and freezing rain. Slippery road conditions meant reduced speed and extra caution for the next ninety minutes. We finally passed through the weather system and breathed a sigh of relief.

The remaining hours of our drive were pleasant, as was most of our drive home that evening. Close to home we were taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of snow and icy roads. An immediate adjustment to this new situation was required.

We’d gone through both easy and challenging during this trip and said a prayer of gratitude for our safe arrival home.

There was an accumulation of snow on the ground when we went to church Sunday morning. The pastor started by saying, “We won’t complain about the weather. The farmers need the moisture for their land.”

His comment caused me to stop and re-evaluate my thinking. Fields that produce abundant crops benefit many. Value from the weather situation was created. My temporary discomfort was insignificant in the light of the greater good.

Later in the day we travelled the same highway. The clear, dry road that would normally be taken for granted was now appreciated.

Maybe that is one of the reasons God allows storms in my life. They force me to slow down and rely on Him. Once they have passed I reflect on God’s protection and provision through all seasons of life. Instead of complaining about the storms I must look for the lessons in them and give thanks.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT)

 

Giving Thanks

#God, #prayer, #inspirationCanadian Thanksgiving has its origins in Europe, where festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in the month of October.

Today, Thanksgiving is a celebration of being thankful for what one has and the bounty of the previous year. For some, the main focus is a turkey dinner followed by pumpkin pie.

I do appreciate gathering together with my family and turkey is one of my favourite meals. However, I don’t feel one day is enough to express gratitude for the abundance in my life.

I like to start my mornings by giving thanks for a new day. God has given me a fresh page on which to write the next chapter of the story of my life. I want to express my gratitude for this gift and use it to make a positive difference. I say I want to, because it doesn’t always happen. I do know my day will be off to a much better start when it begins with this kind of communion with The Lord.

In the past, I thought I’d have to do something huge and life changing in order to make a difference in the world. Now, I know it may be as simple as having a positive attitude. I may never know the effect a smile and friendly hello has on a stranger I pass on the street. The same goes for holding the door open for one following behind or allowing someone to merge in traffic in front of me. It is possible my words and actions will have a ripple effect much larger than I could possible know.

I will never be in control of every event in my day, but my attitude is totally within my control. I have learned that I can choose how I act, despite how I feel. After all, God gave me the gift of free choice. In that case, why wouldn’t I choose to be positive and thankful?

Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20 NIV)

Appreciation

envelopeLast week I received one of the most valuable gifts I have ever been given. It came in the form of a written letter. This letter was from someone who wanted to let me know how much I was appreciated. My friend had verbally expressed appreciation for me before, but wanted to put it in writing. Reading the words had a profound effect on me. The fact that I can read them again at any time is priceless.

A few days ago I was one of many volunteers at a community event. Standing in the pouring rain, taking my shift as a crossing guard, I was happy and smiling at the people who went by. One of the main reasons for this was the appreciation that was expressed. The majority of people thanked me for serving in this way. Many offered kind words and one even offered to give me his umbrella! That evening I received an email expressing appreciation for my help during the event.

These experiences have reminded me the importance of showing appreciation. Even a difficult situation can be made better when appreciation is shown. I do my best to let people serving me know that I appreciate what they are doing. How often, though, do I make a point of letting loved ones know how much I appreciate them? It doesn’t always need to be for what they have done; maybe I need to let them know that I appreciate them for who they are. How will they know if I never tell them?

One that deserves my constant appreciation is Jesus. His love is faithful and he is always there to lead and guide me. He provides me with much more than I could ever deserve and I need to show my appreciation by thanking him every day.

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (Proverbs 16:24 NLT)

My mouth is filled with your praise, with your glory all day long.  (Psalm 71:8 GWT)

Be inspired this week!