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I took last week off from blogging and, in turn, off from Project 16:9. I had
a Royal Wedding to watchtoo many other things going on and was really trying to steer clear of my computer, so I hope you’ll forgive me for not getting week three of this project up before now like I had originally intended. In case you are new and have no idea what Project 16:9 is, you can read all about it right here. I mentioned that this is week three, so week one can be found here, and week two here. I’d also encourage you to subscribe to my RSS Feed if you’re new, so you can stay updated on all of the latest! You can also find the button for Project 16:9 (and others) right HERE!
A few weeks ago a talked to you guys a little bit about changing your perspective and how powerful it can be when it comes to your attitude and your outlook on life. As it turns out, changing your mindset and opting yourself out of the seemingly “normal” mindset that there always has to be something wrong in our lives, has a powerful impact on how successful we are within our lives—both in a career sense, and a personal sense.
I’ve said it here before, but I’ll say it again:
Happiness is an OPTION.
Let me say that one more time in case you didn’t get it and this pretty yellow sign to the right doesn’t catch your attention well enough:
HAPPINESS IS NOT A GAURANTEE IT IS AN OPTION.
And on a similar note, no one is responsible for your own personal happiness and well-being except YOU. No matter what situation or circumstance you find yourself in, there is always the certainty that somewhere out there, there is someone who has it worse off than you do. And you can choose to live your life wallowing in self-pity and sadness for the rest of your time on this earth, or you can choose to change your mindset and your perspective and just be happy with where you are and what you’ve been given.
There were a lot of days at the beginning stages of motherhood where I was miserable. While I chalk much of it up to the undiagnosed post-partum depression I was dealing with, the other percentage of it was my own self-deprecation and unwillingness to just look on the bright side of things. You can ask my husband (if I can ever manage to get him to post a blog here or take questions for a Q&A) yourself—I was no fun to be around. I was whiney; I was moody and unpleasant. I was completely ungrateful and lacked any desire to do anything productive with myself. I just wanted to sit and whine about how “bad” things were at times, and how poor and pitiful my life was.
That’s when I discovered blogging.
And let me tell you ladies (and gents—if there are any here), the blog world can open your eyes to an entirely new perspective and outlook on life. I met a lady through a sidebar button on some random blog I don’t even read anymore who had a son who was the same age (two days shy of the EXACT same birthday) as Little Man who had been fighting for his life from the moment he was born. Talk about an eye-opener. From there, I started discovering other blogs written by moms whose children had cancer or major health issues and I began to realize just how blessed I was. How fortunate I was (and still am) to have a healthy son, a husband who loves me, a home to live in, and a steady income for our family.
These things aren’t things to take for granted. Especially not in our society. The welfare and unemployment rate is through the roof; and the catastrophic damage that has been caused by the forces of Mother Nature in my home state of Alabama are enough to open anyone’s eyes. I’ve learned over the past several years that going through life with a pitiful spirit and a negative outlook makes everything seem dull and unexciting. When this is my perspective, every aspect of my life suffers: my marriage, my abilities as a mother, my drive and determination to achieve anything in life…it all goes down the drain.
God tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that there is hope and abundant blessing for those who love him and take joy in the things that he has already given us:
(image and scripture taken from the Amplified Bible) Take a look at that very last section again:
…promptly obeying him and GRATEFULLY RECOGNIZING the benefits He has bestowed…
Are you getting it?
God has promised us a life of blessing, of joy, of happiness. And he has promised it to those who love him. God’s blessings for our lives are so abundant that this scripture says that we have yet to even see or hear all that he has in store for those who love him. Which means to me, that our hearts and minds and spirits can not even begin to grasp the vastness of God’s greatness and the vastness of all that he has in store for our lives.
But God will not bless a grouch. God will not continue to pour blessings and greatness and good things out on our lives until we learn to appreciate all that we already have. In my opinion (again, note that this entire series is based upon my opinions, beliefs and interpretations of God’s word through the help of books and literary pieces written by Biblical Scholars) God’s blessings are handed out much like temptations are. That infamous scripture that says that God will not give us more than we can handle [See 1 Corinthians 10:13] I believe that blessings are the same way. God won’t continue to bless you until you learn to thank him and praise him for all that you’ve already been given.
That’s why last week (or the week before lasts) assignment was to make a list of 20 things (big or small) that you are thankful for and share them on your blog. The idea behind this assignment was to get you in the habit of being grateful and reverent for all that you already have been given.
I know for me, there are still days when I look around—both on the blogs I read, and in real life—and find myself struggling with feelings of inadequacy when compared to what other people/bloggers have and have achieved. This is sinful. This is disrespectful to God, because each of us has been given all that we need and all that we can handle. God is the perfect planner. He knows what we need to do, when we need to do it, where we need to go, etc. And all of these things are carried out in HIS time.
This isn’t a magic formula to get you on the road to becoming a successful (insert what you want to “be” here). This is a step forward toward learning how to recognize the blessings that you have been given and a step toward being grateful that God is in control and has given you more than you could ever need.
Questions to answer in the comment section, within your own blog post, or in your own private journal: Have you been a living life in a state of happiness and thanks or with an attitude of negativity and pessimism? Why do you think that is? Is it a result of a circumstance in your life or your past, or just your own unhealthy way of thinking? What steps can you take to overcome those emotions and get yourself on the path to becoming happier (and healthier!) in your day to day life?
Do you believe that you might have missed out on some of God’s blessings in your life because of your negative attitude and tendencies toward ungratefulness at the things you’ve already been given? Do you feel like God offers second chances when those opportunities pass us by?
(This is a topic I’d love for you guys to discuss in the comment section! I would love to hear your thoughts on bypassed opportunities and whether they come again! Next weeks lesson is on just that!)
Your Assignment for Week Four: We’ll be continuing a bit with the theme of negative emotions and negative mindsets that surround us in our daily lives. For this assignment I’d like you to examine your life on a deep and intimate level. Are there things OR people in your life that drag you down? Maybe you have friends who don’t share the same beliefs, or perhaps you fill your heart and your mind with images (think movies and TV shows) that bring down your mindset. Make a list of those things and see if you can figure out what it is about them that changes your attitude and your perspective on life.
A little something extra: Many of you are familiar with Ann Voskamp and her blog A Holy Experience. Every Monday she hosts a meme called Multitude Monday’s where she challenges her readers and anyone willing to join in to make a list of 1,000 blessings and things that you are thankful for in your life. This is where my Assignment Idea for this week came from. If you are interested in joining, there are always some really great reads and fantastic blogs on her link list.
Make sure to check out my Wordless Wednesday post as well when you’re all done here!