Some days, it is just plain tough to be grateful for anything, and on others, life is easily viewed through rose colored glasses. It’s kind of crazy how fickle we human beings can be. As I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that feelings simply cannot be trusted. Our hearts and minds are not infallible sources of wisdom. In fact, they often steer us in the wrong direction due to underlying currents of pride, selfishness, jealousy, or greed.
I have been challenged to recognize these feelings for what they are: fleeting desires to give in to give into the wrong thing, whatever it may be. Something that has helped me play defense against these errant feelings is to have a plumb line to measure up against. A plumb line is a string that has a weight attached to the bottom of it, and its purpose is to show a true vertical line. It serves as a standard or reference point for the things around it.
The below verse is a personal favorite of mine, and it serves as an excellent point of reference for what we should allow ourselves to ruminate on, especially on the days where we just want to be grumpy.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” — Philippians 4:8
Grumpy, jealous, or selfish thoughts and desires are contrary to things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. Pretty challenging to live up to, huh? I know that I fail at this repeatedly, every day. If we all practiced this daily, the world would be a much better place. Thankfully, there is an abundance of God’s grace for when we fail, which we will inevitably do.
Another plumb line that keeps me grounded is the daily blessings that can be found within our homes. Simple obligations can be viewed as blessings if we can only choose to see them that way.
1. We Woke Up This Morning — So what if we woke up to go to work, or make breakfast, or clean the house? God decided that we were needed on this Earth for another day, so let’s enjoy it and do our best at whatever comes our way.
2. We Have People To Love — Having friends and family means that you will have to go out of your way for them. This can be viewed as an inconvenience to you, or it can be viewed as an opportunity to bless them. Depending on your stage of life, this can also read “we have people to take care of”. Even though it can be a challenge to sacrifice for other people, it’s also a gift. Serving is one of the greatest forms of love. It can be as simple as feeding them, being interested in their lives, or just giving them some extra time. We were not created to be islands, so open your arms and be inconvenienced for someone else.
3. We Have Food To Eat — While we can choose to complain about having to make food, buy food, or store food, it is an undeniable blessing. Many people in this world do not have certainty about when their next meal will be. We can grumble without perspective, or we can be grateful with perspective.
4. We Have Clothes To Wear — Some days, we can feel as though we have nothing to wear. Now, we know this is not true, but we can feel very strongly about our perceived lack of options. The clothes we have might not be high fashion, on trend, or well tailored, but at least we are not running around naked. That’s a blessing for everyone.
5. Each Day Is Full Of New Opportunities — No one knows what each new day will hold. It could be fraught with challenges, or it could be filled with excitement. Sometimes, it’s both. A new day is brimming with possibilities. We could meet a new friend, try a new food, learn a new skill, or make someone else’s day. If we can see the beauty and opportunity in each new day, how much more grateful and encouraged would we be?
Everyday blessings are all around us; we just need the vision to see them 🙂