A Paradigm Shift

I grew up in a home where we had plenty materially. We shopped at the best stores, had a very nice home and we had a lot of financial freedom. If we wanted to do something, we could, money was not usually an issue. We didn’t hear much about being thankful when I was a child although we always said grace before meals and thanked God for our food.

wine glass filled with water

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High school came along and my father and step-mother divorced so there were a few bumps along the way. We moved out of the beautiful house and lived in one that was not as nice as that one. Money still wasn’t an issue and life rolled along. I went to college where I was on a budget and money was tight. I didn’t think about it much and later married my husband.

Like most newlyweds we didn’t have a lot. I didn’t worry about it thinking that someday I would have the financial freedom I enjoyed when I was younger. Funny thing though, as an adult that day never actually came. Like everyone else, there were bills,medical expenses, taxes and lots of other things that demanded our attention. 

During those early years of marriage and for several years afterwards, I didn’t have a thankful spirit. I was one of those people that had a “glass is half-empty” kind of mentality. I didn’t really express that to anyone and I sure didn’t thank God for the things I had. I was grateful for my husband and children but that was about it.

As the Lord is prone to do, He began to put His finger on the issue. He showed me that I was unthankful and that I hadn’t bothered to thank Him for many of the things He had provided for me. I also had not been expressing thankfulness to my husband and appreciating him for the things he had provided for us.

Since that time, I have been learning thankfulness. For me, it has not come easily or naturally. I must be intentional if I want to thank God for the things He has provided. I must also make an effort to show appreciation to my husband for his efforts on our behalf. 

You see, when we are a “glass is half-empty” kind of person, we always see what we don’t have and what we are missing. The sad thing is that when we see life from that perspective, we are really missing everything. We miss the joy of living and the joy of being thankful for all the good things we do have. What we need is a paradigm shift. Our glass remains filled to the same level, we just need a new way of looking at it. My prayer is that we would go from seeing our “glasses as half-empty” to seeing them “half-full” this Thanksgiving and that we would share that thankfulness with God and with those around us.

God Bless each and every one of you this Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you and for the blessing you are in my life!

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23 thoughts on “A Paradigm Shift

  1. So true. When I found myself getting into that kind of thankless, glass half-empty mentality (don’t we all?), I stuck a page to my wardrobe door and write one thing on it every day for which I was grateful. It honestly changed my entire perspective on what was a pretty stressful time. I would recommend it for anyone 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s so easy to do when we focus on our problems. I later came to realize the problems are actually the “cares of this world” the Bible speaks of.
    A thankful heart makes us notice how blessed we are. I dissatisfied heart makes us miss many of the blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an inspiring post! Thank you, Valerie, for helping me get my mind in a place of humble gratitude. We really miss out on the blessings we already have when we only look at what’s missing. I have to be intentional about this. May the Lord help us keep our eyes on Him and His great love, no matter what. Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great article Valerie! We can’t be thankful and grumble at the same time. 🙂
    Let’s be thankful for what we have. Give thanks with a grateful heart!

    Happy Thanksgiving – thankfulness is a lifestyle, not just a holiday! 🙂
    ❤️carmen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I grew up the opposite of you. We were very poor. We didn’t have much at all. So, if we got anything, it was a treasure. I’m not saying that I was always thankful, but I think that having not had much, I did appreciate it more when we did have something. For me, even getting hand-me-down clothing was exciting, for the clothing was new to us.

    My husband and I lived on one income most all of our married life together, so there were many years with four small children when we lived pay check to pay check and where we didn’t have money for anything extra.

    I still remember this one year when I had the lead singing role in our Choir’s Christmas Cantata, but I didn’t have money to buy something nice to wear. So, a lady from church gave me money to buy a dress, and I was able to buy one that they put the bag over the hanger but the dress stayed on the hanger, instead of just stuffing the dress in a bag. And, I thought I was rich! I was so excited!!

    I got excited about little things, like the first time we had a house with an attached garage with an electric garage door opener. I literally sat in the driveway just opening and closing the garage door. I felt rich, again. It didn’t take much for me to feel as though I had just been given a treasure.

    I think the less that I had, the more appreciative I was about even the smallest things. I had to learn to walk by faith for the money to pay bills, to buy food, etc. But, eventually we did a little better financially to where we could help others. We were never rich, except maybe in the eyes of people from other countries, but it was nice to have a little extra. But, I think then I was not nearly as grateful for everything that I did have. I think sometimes we don’t realize what we have until it is gone.

    Thank you for what you wrote. It made me think more about being thankful for even the smallest of things in my life and to not take anything God has given to me for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your story!!!!! What a blessing you are! My husband and I have lived by faith most of our lives and the Lord has provided beautifully! We had a business and the Lord provided everything we needed for ourselves and our employees. It taught me a lot. It is always a blessing to trust in the Lord and be dependent on Him. We can appreciate what He provides and know it was from Him! He is Great! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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