Ya’ll know I like to be transparent and honest. So here I go… I have not been very grateful these past few weeks. Yep! I said it. I have let ungratefulness, discontentment, frustration and worry cloud my heart and mind. I have been experiencing frustration on my job, at home and even as a mommy. I have allowed myself to see things negatively and have not been walking in an attitude of gratefulness.
As some of you all might have noticed, I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately… and that is the main reason why. I have had a hard time bringing myself to “preach” being grateful when I myself am having a hard time walking in gratefulness. Now please don’t get me wrong, I stand by what I “preach” and definitely strive towards being a gr8ful woman. But I am human and there are times and days when I let ungratefulness creep in and get the best of me. I would be lying if I said that I never experience ungratefulness.
Just recently I was thinking about our housing situation. Henry and I are in the process of getting ourselves more financially stable so that we can get a house. The waiting period can be so hard and I have found myself feeling a bit impatient and frustrated that things have not moved along faster for us. We want to have more kids, and with that thought in mind, I began to complain that we don’t have enough space. Mind you we live in an 1100+ square foot apartment, so needless to say we definitely have enough space for the 3 of us. When I was “complaining” to a friend recently, they gently reminded me that I needed to be grateful for where we are and what we have. That there are other people whose situations are much more difficult. For instance, there are families with five people living in a 2 bedroom apartment. I felt convicted right away and knew that I had no reason to complain. (Side note: I have to say that I am so grateful to the Lord for the people and friends he has put in my life to encourage me, and to correct me and hold me accountable when needed.)
Working in education, I’ve had the opportunity to work in various neighborhoods and with diverse populations. When I hear about some of the things that these children and their families deal with, even some of my former students, I feel convicted about the “little things” I complain about. Whether it’s not being able to get things done over the weekend like I had hoped to, or it’s something that Henry is doing… or not doing, or it’s just things not going my way… Some of these children go through so many things, things they shouldn’t have to experience at such a young age. When I look back over my growing up years and childhood, I can say that I had a very good childhood. Not everyone can say that, but I am so grateful that I can.
Some days when I get tired of “mommy-ing” (yes, that happens), I remind myself that being a mom is a gift. That not everyone gets to experience that, so even though Rissy wakes up 3 times during the night… like she did last night (twice for bathroom and once for water)… I need to be grateful that I have a little person who calls me “mommy”. Not only that, but that she is fully potty trained and we don’t have to buy pampers anymore! (Praise Him!!!!) I’m so grateful for my little (big girl) Rissy! She’s my little sidekick! She’s started this thing where she’ll tell me several times throughout the day, “mommy, I just love you!”. Nothing blesses my heart more than that. So while I’m exhausted and maybe a little cranky, I am still reminded of how blessed I am. My tears of frustration turn into tears of gratefulness and joy.
There are so many other examples that I could share of how I have been ungrateful this past month… but I won’t. But what I will share is that it’s okay to have moments where you feel frustrated and upset, but let them just be that… moments. Don’t allow those moments to become hours, which become days, which then become weeks, months, etc. You get the idea. While it is easy to remain grateful when things are going well, or how you want them to, the true test is remaining grateful when things are tough.
If you find yourself in a season of ungratefulness or frustration, please know that you’re not alone. Even this Gr8ful Woman has her days and even weeks. You don’t have to stay in that place and I want to encourage you with the following verses:
The Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Ps. 126:3 (NLT)
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Ps. 23:5 (NLT)
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18 (NIV)
May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. Col 1:11-12 (NLT)
No matter what you find yourself facing today, know that God is faithful. Remain grateful and don’t allow your circumstances to discourage you… even the tough ones. The Lord will use them to grow and build you if you allow Him to. He is an awesome Father and He loves you so much! And as His word says, he will cause ALL things to work together for those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28; NIV)