Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cultivate a Thankful Spirit

I have a friend that has a little garden. She takes pictures of the progress of her garden and shares it on facebook. She takes great pride in her gardener accomplishments and says that it relaxes her. It is really cute and I have heard others tease her about it but not in a mean way. However it has made me think deeper than the green sprouts in the soil. I thought about the time that she takes to cultivate her garden. In gardening, there is so much preparation that takes place followed by work and maintenance. When something goes wrong or if the garden doesn't seem to be reaching its potential or simply not progressing as expected. The gardener will try to see what the problem is and try to make it better. The gardener does whatever it takes to cultivate the garden and make a positive out of what seems to be mildly negative but fixable.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

We have to cultivate a thankful spirit through all the good and bad times. We must remember that all the trials and tribulations that we may be facing are just a test of our faith. Without thankfulness in our hearts we will live in perpetual spiritual defeat. A thankful heart is the key to having peace of mind. There are the simple things such as waking up this morning but it goes much deeper than just that. What about being in your right mind, being able to breathe on your own, open your eyes, move your limbs. Simple and often taken for granted. I know I have said it before but it is a lot easier to be negative than it is to be positive. I find that rather ironic especially since there are so many things to be thankful for in life. Do not get me wrong. We are all very human and we have moments when get on our soapboxes and complain about all that we do not have and want and desire. That is natural. But just like the gardener, we should take the time and cultivate that negative spirit and make it be positive.

Balance is the key to success in all things.
Do not neglect your mind, body, or spirit.
Invest time and energy in all of them equally - it will be the best investment you ever make,
not just for your life but for whatever is to follow.
Tanya Wheway

If you have ready me you know that I have been going through the storms of life but I now like to call my character building experience. It just sounds better. I have had plenty of dark not so positive moments where I truly wondered if the one above that hears and sees all blinked. I am truly going through however I am often humbled by the simple things. Life, love, family, good friends. We all go through some things in this game we call life. However we are blessed with choice. We have the ability to choose to be woe is me or thankful. There is always worse but realistically, it may just be time to cultivate your spirit. Think about it.

“Be aware of what you have in hand rather than to be for what you don’t.
Everyone will be grateful to what you have.”
Kurt Avish
Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more.
But if you concentrate on what you don't have,
you'll never, ever have enough.
 Oprah Winfrey

We take such pride in stuff, keeping up with the Jones', believing we are the Jones' and wanting to have more. So why not just be thankful. Stuff is nothing with an ugly spirit. We do not always give ourselves the same treatment that we give our stuff or sharing it or simply having an attitude of gratitude. It all comes with the spirit. So, I figure if we all work as hard on cultivating the spirit as we do cultivating our stuff - we could see what thankfulness really feels like. Just a thought.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
-- Willie Nelson--
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,
but the parent of all the other virtues.”

All this to say that the holidays are growing near and I have already heard folks inquiring about what to put on their list and what they are getting so and so. It is tough when the money is not what it used to be. These are different times. This time last year, I had a job, a car and was trying to figure out if I was going home to be with my family or spending it with a friend who had just lost her father a few months prior. This year, I am unemployed, carless, still grieving my father's passing and trying to figure out if I am moving back home to get back on my feet. However with all of that I am so thankful. I am thankful that I am still in my right mind which speaks volumes if you have ever lost a parent. I am thankful that I have had friends that will take, pick me or allow me to use their car. I am thankful that I have family that will allow me to come home to get back on my feet. I am thankful for having a father that loved me enough to live as long as he did. I am thankful that God chose me for this storm so that I could see me for who I am.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
-1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NRSV)

So, yes I would love to get a job for Christmas and car would be great too. Yes, I could find a bunch of things to complain about but it will not make them better or change what they are but maybe if I cultivate my thankful spirit I will be able to reap something positive from my harvest. After all God's gift to me is this: When I look for a reason to give thanks, I find it. I am seeing old things in new ways. Thanks be to God!


the.kisser said...

that post is a great reminder how easy it is for us to overlook the small miracles of life in search of the big things. in spite of crappy days, i always look on the bright side. thanx for a great post.


☆Reese said...

This post is so inspiring, just to maintain a sense of gratefulness and happiness with what you have at this very moment. That's beautiful, thanks for writing this!
I also gave you an award on my blog, come 'pick it up' when you have time.

Freckles said...

Thanks ladies. Feeling rather thankful these days. I am just trying to encourage myself and its nice to know that you are encouraged as well.

Peace and Blessings,


Traci Lavette said...


Great, great post! A beautiful reminder of our need to be thankful for all that we are blessed with...The things and the People and so for the gift that is you, I "Thank and Appreciate YOU"

Love, Hugs, and Smooches!!!

Freckles said...

Traci, You are so amazing. I think that you may be an additional perk to me moving back to LA. We will talk about that later.

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