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.
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!