Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Be Encouraged- Part One

Many of you will remember the story I shared a while back about the nurse at Children's Hospital who gave me a little packet of inspirational poems and such, one of them being "No Excuses," that I posted here a couple of months ago. Well, today I'm going to share with you another little gem she gave to me and I think it's SO fitting because I feel that God is impressing on me to speak about encouragement. Just yesterday, a dear sweet lady from our church e-mailed me an article from a relative of hers on the subject as well. I plan to post his article tomorrow as the second part of "Be Encouraged."

I think so many of us get down and out because we forget to be thankful for all the blessings that's been bestowed upon us. Sure it's easier to focus on the negative because usually that's what is requiring our immediate attention. And let's face it...really bad things happen in life: sickness, unemployment, divorce, and death. It may be that your particular issue is not as severe, but I guess that would depend on what side of the fence you're standing on. Dealing with a wayward child, the loss of a friendship, or this unstable economy can consume us with all that's "wrong" in the world and really get the best of us. Choosing to focus on the positive may seem trite and a little too "Pollyanna" for you at first. I mean, how can you possibly think about something positive when (insert catastrophe here) is consuming you...mind, body, and soul?! Well, it's simple. It's a choice.

When I get really down and out and need a spiritual "kick in the pants," I resort to doing what I do best: I make a list. You may be scoffing, but it really works. Go get a pen and a piece of paper. Right now. I'll wait. :) Okay, now write down EVERY SINGLE THING THAT IS GOOD IN YOUR LIFE. What are you thankful for? Write it down. I'm talking about the little things too. And don't cop out on me with the "I don't have anything" garbage. What about that computer you're looking at? Pretty nice to have, right? And how about that central air that is so wonderful this time of year? What about that one friend who always seems to have time to give you when you really need to talk? And let's not forget Jesus, who gave us the ultimate sacrifice and continues to give to us even when we don't deserve it. The bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above (emphasis mine). So EVERY thing that is good and right in your life... God has given it to you as a gift. Isn't that just amazing when you think about it?

That's why I think this little poem is so fitting. ALL of us can and should be thankful to God for filling our our cups to overflowing with the wonderful things he has chosen to give us. Now lets choose to be thankful and meditate on these things. It won't make "said catastrophe" go away, but by changing your focus, you can change your attitude... to gratitude.

I'm Drinking From My Saucer

I've never made a fortune
And it's probably too late now
But I don't worry about that much
I'm happy anyhow

And as I go along life's way
I'm reaping better than I sowed
I'm drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed

Haven't got a lot of riches
And sometimes the going's tough
But I've got loved ones all around me
And that makes me rich enough

I thank God for his blessings
And the mercies He's bestowed
I'm drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed

I remember times when things went wrong
My faith wore somewhat thin
But all at once the dark clouds broke
And the sun peeped through again

So Lord, help me not to gripe
About the tough roads I have hoed
I'm drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed

If God gives me strength and courage
When the way grows steep and rough
I'll not ask for other blessings
I'm already blessed enough

And may I never be too busy
To help others bear their load
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed

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