Tammy, a 55-year-old single mom was home with her two small children both sick with the flu. For hours she tenderly cared for them, as Hallmark movie channel played nonstop in the background. I will never forget her late evening call. “Rita, what is with Hallmark? Seriously, whose lives are really like this? And why do all of us watch these movies when after the first five minutes we know the plot! Worse yet, I am now depressed hoping for a fantasy life that is not real.”
Most of us don’t live in a Hallmark Movie
No, most of us don’t live in a Hallmark movie, but we sure hope we did. That night speaking with Tammy she came to realize that what appeared as an innocent choice to play Hallmark became a slow venom that began to play havoc on her heart, her dreams causing her to think she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Isn’t that exactly what can happen during the holidays? We look at someone else’s life and think it appears better? We scan all of our social media outlets to compare ourselves and perhaps even upload a few pics that paint the story of what we want others to think.
A few years ago, I was Tammy without the kids. After several hours of watching mindless television, I found myself in a slump of regret, discouragement and believing that I had missed my destiny. I must had taken a wrong turn. My life was supposed to look differently at this juncture but it didn’t!
Life Better Than a Movie
Holidays can be tough for all sorts of reasons can’t they? But they don’t have to be. I have learned a key that I put into practice and it has changed my life! It is about choosing each day 5 things I am thankful for. Seriously David in the Bible did not have the “corner on the market”, but we certainly can learn from his example. When I was a little girl, my daddy encouraged me to look around and name reasons why I could be happy. There were times I didn’t like his game but it has paid off because the Holy Spirit reminded me of it last year.
The Gratitude Game
At the end of each day, I stop and think of 5 reasons I am grateful. Today I was grateful for the following:
- Cold weather… I love cold weather
- Exercise – overall I am healthy
- Good friends who check in with me
- A warm house where I am safe
- Freedom to share my heart (and for an extrovert, that is critical)
What about you?
The Rest of the Story
So what happened to Tammy? She began to practice gratitude and even involved her children. Within a few days she began to sing a new song in her heart. She told me, “Rita, gratitude gave me a new perspective. I began to focus on God’s love and His provision. Something began to change inside of me. In fact the more grateful I became, the more I began to understand with clarity mysteries of things in my life I could not understand. It was like a thought of clarity and conviction would just pop into my mind.
Gratitude opens up Heaven’s mysteries one step at a time. Gratitude positions us to see our lives from a new perspective that brings hope, clarity and conviction to move forward in our lives. The first step is being grateful and speaking it aloud. Something happens when we speak and hear ourselves being thankful. I dare you to try it. And if you do, please share with me your stories. I love to hear God stories.