I recently finished reading through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Her challenge for us to adopt a spirit of thankfulness — no matter our situation — caused me to step back and realize that I’ve become a whiner in recent months.
You see, I’m normally a pretty upbeat, look-on-the-bright-side-of things type of person. But I’ve had some lingering health and allergy issues that have not gone away for months.
I’ve tried so many different things: drastic change in diet (I’ve been off all refined and processed foods for a number of weeks), change in skincare routine, change in allergy medicines… nothing is really making a big difference and I’ve been waiting for quite some time to be able to get in for testing with an allergist.
In the mean time, I’ve been struggling with incessant cold-like symptoms and it’s been wearing on me. As a result, my poor husband has heard a lot of whining over the last few months. Instead of my usual early morning excitement about the day’s events or my cheery report when he gets home from work, he’s often getting the rundown on my latest health problems — which is pretty much the same old, same old every single day.
Reading Choosing Gratitude really helped me see how I’ve been focusing on the things I was struggling with, instead of choosing to be thankful. And not only that, but I felt so convicted at how I was griping over something so petty.
Sure, allergies are no fun (as I’m positive many of you can attest to), but seasonal allergies pale in comparison to some of the life-threatening, debilitating, and/or overwhelmingly incomprehensible issues so many people are facing right now. And I have much to be grateful for — much that I’ve been taking for granted while I was having a pity-party for myself.
Because of Nancy’s encouragement through Choosing Gratitude, I started a Gratitude Journal and I’ve challenged myself to make a daily habit of waking up each morning and starting my day by filling out an entire notebook page with things I’m thankful for.
At first, it seemed rather daunting — especially since I’ve gotten out of the exercise of journaling the past few years. But you know what I’m finding as the days go on? The notebook page is feeling smaller and smaller each morning!
There’s something about starting the day with counting your blessings that just helps change your whole attitude about the day. And the more I’m focusing on my blessings, the less my allergies and health issues have seemed to matter.
In fact, I haven’t even thought to give Jesse one of my normal moping health reports over the last few days. I guess that’s another thing I can add to my Gratitude List for tomorrow! 🙂