Blessings in all circumstances

Still struggling about a year after we moved to our current home (a move that involved first several months of separation, home renovations in order to sell a house, buying a house, surgery with travel to doctors, two children under 5, two full time jobs, moving from big city in state A to small town in state B, etc.) and realizing the earth wasn’t going to move for me, I decided that the thing that needed to change was me and not everything/one around me. I had prayed that God would make me fall in love with our new circumstances and community, and there were people and things that I had come to love, but I still needed a bit more attitude adjustment.

I had given up on wishing to return to my previous life, realizing that life there had gone on without me with new players to fill in the space I had vacated. I started reading and found several books helpful and was reminded that I used to enjoy journaling. Knowing the benefits of talking or writing out one’s struggles, I started journaling again, and particularly, I started making a list of blessings. Actually, I had two lists. One list of blessings were things that I recognized as being directly related to our new circumstances. The second list I made was for things that weren’t location-dependent, blessings that would be true no matter where I was living.

Each night, before I went to sleep, I would journal and then add blessings to my lists. Most nights I could add several blessings to each list. Some nights I just had to be thankful for the smallest things; still blessings, but things I had to reach for to have something to add. I found that the lists stayed fairly even in length. In just a few weeks I had over 100 blessings on each list!

Within a month my attitude began to change, and what’s more is that other people began to notice it too. Fast forward a couple of years and my circumstances have changed again, though we didn’t move house. We still live in the same town, but I’m no longer working and I’ve spent most of the last year getting treatment for a skull base tumor that returned (it’s benign, though troublesome, and shrinking-hopefully to a miraculous disappearance!). Noticing lately that I may be dealing with a mild depression (is depression ever really mild?), I’ve determined to resume making a blessing list in hopes that it will lift my spirits.

Blessings are always better when shared so, I’m linking up with another great list maker- Ann Voskamp. 

1. Life!- None of this would matter without life first.

2. My parents- I so wish we lived close to them.

3. My husband- I don’t want to think what this journey would be without him.

4. My children- my little loves who keep me focused on what it important in life.

5. My siblings- having brothers prepared me to be a mom to boys. : )

6. Facebook- for making life in a small town less lonely and re/connecting me with some awesome friends

7. good food- access to healthful foods that sustain and help me heal.

8. my medical team- who care for me so compassionately and with great hope and grace

9. God – maybe I should have listed God first because it is by God’s grace that I have all that I have, or maybe this just shows how much I appreciate the blessings?

10. A warm house on a cold day/night

11. Friends- most of whom live far away, yet still mean so much.

12. A car- to take me on adventures, or just to the store

There, that’s a new start!

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6 Responses to Blessings in all circumstances

  1. Karen says:

    Hi, Grace I’m stopping by via Multitudes Monday. Well done on your thankfulness list. Having dealt with depression myself, I think it can be a subtle, constant mind set in which fear and anxiety fight for my attention and often win. TAking my fears to the throne of grace, and leaving them there, really helps me change my thought patterns. I think joining this MM community, even just in spirit, would help, too. blessings on your day!

    • Grace Walker says:

      Karen, thank you so much for taking the time to post during your visit. Gratitude certainly does change the attitude! Thanks for stopping by and blessings to you too!

  2. Danielle says:

    Hi Grace…I’m so sorry about your tumor and all that it involves. I pray that it WILL miraculously disappear. And I pray that your list-keeping will result in the disappearance of your depression. I’ve dealt with depression as well and it is hard, even when it is “mild”.

    Peace to you, dear Sister,

  3. craig says:

    I’ll be reading these thank you lists all week, so much good stuff. So sorry I’m late, it’s Wednesday, but I made it to yours and first, that’s a lot of stuff to deal with – and be a mom at the same time too – and a bride – and depression is horrible “mild” or not. And I jut think you’re kind of brave that’s all.

    and as for your thank you’s, this one is my favorite from your list this week: 9. God (somehow I don’t think he minds being 9 – and he gets it all too – and I pray you stay near him)

    Thank you for your list. It was good to read it this day. God Bless and Keep you and yours.

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