“GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART” – song by Don Moen
A few weeks ago, I published a post entitled “Sustained.” I shared how the Lord and the prayers of so many people helped get me through a rough patch in my life.I would be remiss if I did not also thank the many people who contributed to my husband’s recovery and my own survival during such a difficult time.
Again, a special thank you to all who prayed for us in our time of need. Thank you to all who read the recent post and sent a compassionate note. It was interesting that when my husband was taken to the Boise hospital that it just “happened” that one of the finest neurologists in Idaho was on duty. He stayed on my husband’s case until he was certain that the bleeding had stopped in his brain. The nurses and aides were great, every one of them. One doctor in the SICU said, “How is it that your husband always gets the best nurses on every shift?” Another answer to prayer.
The therapists, doctors, nurses and aides at the Rehab hospital also get a great big, “Thank You.” They are the ones that worked several hours a day to get him ready to come home. By the time he came home, he could walk with a walker and do most things for himself. I will always be grateful to them.
And last but not least, our son and daughter in law who took me into their home for a month. They rearranged their schedules in order to take me to the hospital and pick me up each day. They were concerned with my every need and shielded me from loving and concerned people who would have overwhelmed me emotionally. How can I ever thank them?
At this time, my husband is doing well. He is much improved and can do most things except drive. Life goes on and I will return to blogging and writing, but I couldn’t move forward until I publicly thanked each and every one of you who helped us during this difficult time.
It usually starts with a thought. The thought flies through my brain so fast, I cannot even tell you what it was. A few minutes later, another one comes; it lingers a bit and I focus on it. The thought usually starts with some form of “You don’t, You can’t or You aren’t.” The thoughts keep coming and if I dwell on them; I begin to feel discontented with my life.
The negative feelings usually follow the negative thoughts. If I allow myself to think and feel them for any length of time; I begin walking in the Desert of Discontentment. I don’t go there very often, but when I do, I begin to think about my life choices. What if I had made different choices? What would my life be like? Would it be better? If I let my mind go down that path for any length of time, I walk even further into the Desert of Discontentment.
Usually after about an hour of walking in the Desert of Discontentment, I start to look around. It is dry and hot in the desert and very little vegetation grows there. I find myself unhappy and I don’t want to stay there any longer. I turn around and head back the way I came. I look for a landmark to guide me back and then I finally see it.
On the edge of the desert, there is a small hill named Gratitude. If I keep my eyes on the hill, I can find my way out. With each step, I think about what I am grateful for: my home, my family, my health and a hundred little things I quit being thankful for the moment I stepped into the desert.
My hike out usually takes less time than my hike in did. After a few moments of focusing on the things I am grateful for, my discontentment begins to leave. I can see my life and my circumstances from a more positive perspective and I can find my way back from the Desert of Discontentment. And I am always truly grateful for that.
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18 NKJV