an attitude of gratitude

There's a lot that is good in your life, don't take it for granted. Don't get so focused on the struggles that you miss the gift of today. ~Joel Osteen

For someone who is not good at coping with change, I seem to have had a lot of ups and downs in my life. My friend said the other day that my life looks a bit like a hamster wheel at times - running, running to keep everything on track.

I had the expectation that life would be a lot more straightforward than what it has been. Get a job, get married, have kids, pay off the mortgage, enjoy the "cruisy" 50's and then look to a comfortable retirement. Instead, we have had a multitude of job changes, issues with depression, children who have left home, returned for various reasons and left again, friends that have proven to be less than expected, and many other fluctuations in the course of 30+ years of marriage.

One thing I will say is that God is good and He has sustained me through it all. I'm not sure how others cope when things go badly, but I am so glad that I have my faith in a God who is always there to listen to my woes and give me a sense of comfort and a reminder of the bigger picture. So many people expect to be saved from their situation and I have found that no-one is there to save me, but I have made it through plenty of tough times before and will continue to do so.

I do question why some people seem to have things so easy, why they have such stability in their lives, why they seem to be rescued whenever disaster looms and why they cruise through life spouting platitudes with no concept of what it is like to have the rug pulled out from under you time and time again. These people are becoming less a part of my life as I get older - I feel the need to share my life with people that have survived good times and bad, people who understand my journey and can offer support or advice that is from the heart and from having been there too. 

My good husband tells me that tough  times build character, and as much as I would like to avoid those troughs of life, I have found that they make me stronger and more sure of what is important in life and what is froth and bubble. A little froth can be a good thing, but too much is just hot air and useless. So, I am thankful for the tough times and the good times, thankful that my marriage has ridden the storms of life, my children are strong and independent and my faith is based on a trust in God who has been my anchor through it all.

I have also found that things tend to work out in the end - maybe not quite how I planned, but not too badly when all is said and done. Over the years I have spent too much time worrying about the outcome and not enough time just trusting that it will be okay. So my aim now is to focus more on the light and bright moments and less on the doldrums - it will make me a better person to be around and if I can't change the journey, it will help me find moments of joy along the way.

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