Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Thanks- Day 10: Lessons Learned

 “We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them.”~ William Arthur Ward

Good-day my friends! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful day. It certainly is a gorgeous day here in Virginia.

Today is Day 10 of my 30 Days of Thanks. Today I am thankful for all the lessons learned throughout my life, even the hard ones. There have been many difficult things I've walked through in the forty-six years I've been on this earth, but as I've gotten older, I've tried to focus on the positive things that have come from those painful times. I've tried to focus on how much I've grown because of those painful situations. I spent many years going about it the wrong way by allowing my emotions and thoughts to control me. I spent many years believing lies from the enemy. I still find my thoughts going that way out of habit more times than I would like, which is why I have to work hard to make the effort to keep my thoughts focused on the positive. Old habits are hard to break, but they can be broken.

There were many times when I got so caught up in the pain and hurt of a situation that I failed to focus on the good I could take away from it. During those times, I would pull away from the Lord and sink down into a pit of worry and fear. I allowed the enemy to fill my mind with all the reasons why I was justified to feel that way. It's not a good place to be, which is why it's so important to keep our mind renewed, so we can be alert of the tactics the enemy uses and recognize the lies immediately.

Thinking positive takes a lot of effort, but it's so worth it.

Here is an example from my own life where I tried to focus on the positive aspects of what happened and allowed it to make me better instead of bitter.

My mom got pregnant with me out of wedlock. I was raised in an abusive, alcoholic family. My step-father had some very serious problems with alcohol and with his temper. I never knew my biological father until I was twenty-two years old. I missed out on many years of knowing him. I went through a lot of hurt and pain as a result of the choices other people made that I had no control over. I had many problems as a result of the environment I grew up in, and have spent many years healing from those things. However, I am so thankful that my mom chose to go through with the pregnancy and not have an abortion. That was never an issue for her, but it could have been. She could have decided this would complicate her life to have a child since she wasn't married, and the young man didn't want to get married. Abortion could have been an easy answer for her. I am thankful for her making the sacrifice to go ahead with the pregnancy and have me. No matter what difficulties I went through as I was growing up, I always knew my mom loved me. I am thankful for my mom and her love for me. I am also thankful that I've had a very good relationship with my biological father for the last twenty-four years. We don't get to see each other as often as I would like, but we do talk on the phone regularly. He loves me and is very supportive. I could have held a grudge and ended up bitter and resentful because he rejected me and left me before I was even born, or because he never tried to find me before I called him the first time, but I have chosen instead to be thankful he is in my life and that I have a relationship with him. I am thankful that he tells me he loves me each time I talk to him. He even calls me darling sometimes. I love that! My little girl heart will always yearn for what could have been, but I am truly thankful to have him in my life. I know one day those yearnings and desires will finally be fulfilled when I stand before my Heavenly Father.

If we allow the difficult things to make us better and not bitter, we will always take something good away that will help us grow and become all the Lord created us to be. We may even be able to use those lessons learned to help someone else along the way.

Until next time my friends, be blessed!

"Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise." ~Philippians 4:8

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” ~W. Clement Stone

“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

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