being thankful.

After the initial days or weeks of a painful situation, it is important to begin thinking about what you are thankful for.  It’s a choice. You may not feel it but do it anyway and watch what happens.

If you live in a culture that emphasizes self- indulgence (what you deserve or what makes you happy), you can get used to living by how you feel.

Taking a moment and considering the things that went right instead of only what went wrong has a physiological affect. Studies show amazing benefits to name a few-  increased positive mood, a sense of belonging, better sleep, increased energy, and fewer incidents of illness.

According to WebMD, feelings of gratitude were at high levels after 9-11.   

How can this be? When tragedies happen, things that really matter come into perspective.


When you’re hurting, I know you want to stay there. Many cultures practice a time of mourning the loss of a loved one by wearing dark or muted colors and withdrawing from social events. In Western culture, I think it would be good to revisit these practices.

Yet, there comes a time when we put away the mourning clothes and face the future with hope and optimism. Remembering what you are thankful for will put you in a hopeful and optimistic mindset.

You have the rest of your life to live!


Photo credit: That Guy Who’s Going Places / Foter /Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


a cup of water.

Sometimes, giving out of your pain seems unattainable. That’s because you are looking to do great things.

Did you know that Jesus said the least in the kingdom is the greatest? We often look for the biggest and brightest and best of everything – when God almost always picks the smallest, and dimmest, and the least of everything.

Jesus was born in a barn. Not a castle.

Your giving can be useless and small in your eyes, but it’s a sacrifice God takes note of.

And you know something? It seems to be the secret to soothing your hurting heart.

   Photo courtesy: igorms / Foter / CC BY-NC              

carrying our pain.

While driving, I scarcely moved my left hand to the power window controls and adjusted the front windows to my liking. Nope. Too much wind coming in and blowing my hair. Let’s try the back ones.

Then it hit me.

My goodness. If it was 1950, I would have had to pull over and actually roll down the windows. If it wasn’t “just right”, I would have most likely continued on since pulling over as many times as I played with those electric controls would have been too much trouble.

Go back even farther, and I’d probably either be walking or riding a horse. Never mind the hair blowing around too much!

There was a time when people seemed to deal more graciously with the annoyances, disappointments, and difficulties of life. Is there something to be said of having less and accepting life as it comes?

Sharing our pain is not wrong. But I think we have to learn how to carry it, too.

I believe that God knows what we can handle. When we carry our pain with grace, it becomes an ornament of beauty and a badge of courage. It shows others that God is real and we are not left alone in our sorrow.

God allows the pain and gives us beauty. Which will you focus on?


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beautiful strength.


You can’t fix grief.

A paper cut will heal quickly.

A gun shot wound requires more time.

Sometimes the bullet cannot be removed.

People live with bullets inside of them.

People live with broken hearts.

This isn’t hopelessness.

It is acceptance of what is.

Once accepted,  you carry grief with  strength…

beautiful strength.


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