negative thoughts

Not So Grateful

Of all the changes that take place when you’re first married, there was one I loved the most. Sleeping together. Before you think this is some crude post, I’ll elaborate. There was something about not having to say “goodbye” at night. Remember those days when you wanted to spend every single moment together, and any moments apart felt like forever? That is what I loved about being able to sleep together. Brandon and I fell asleep and as soon as the next day became new, before we even opened our eyes, we were together. Sounds like mushy newlywed stuff, but I think I’m even more grateful for it today, because there are some days it’s the only time we spend together. We may be asleep, but hey, we’re together.

Those early days of marriage were when I began expressing how grateful I was to be alive.

I’d say to Brandon, “I’m so grateful the Lord allowed me to live so I could be your wife.”

Again, it may sound so mushy that it’s almost nauseating. But I spoke it from a heart who had questioned God so many times why He let me live. Honestly, from a heart who had once felt upset that He let me live. The road of recovery, both physically and emotionally, was unbearable at times. So unbearable that I would have rather not walked it. At least that’s what I thought when I was on the journey.

The gratitude has grown over the years from wife, to wife and mom.

A Facebook comment stirred it up recently for me. One of my doctors who cared for me after my burn injury commented on my daughter’s pictures from her freshman formal. I replied, “Dr. Kramer—thank you for doing what you do, so I could do this. I’m so grateful I got to live to be her mom.”

But I probably should’ve added “today.” “I’m so grateful I got to live to be her mom today.” Because friends, let me tell you there have been some days I’ve questioned it. There have been some days that I’ve allowed my thoughts to consider how much better, how much happier and how much more peaceful my family would be if someone else were performing the wife and the mom role in this family.

In fact, I was having some of those thoughts the day before my birthday.

This is what I journaled,

3/22—At the end of my life- or now for that matter- is anyone going to feel benefitted by the life I was able to live? Will anyone feel blessed or grateful that I didn’t die at 7-- that my life was spared? Or will they just feel happy it is over?

Why, oh why would I share something so raw with you? Well, because perhaps you’ve allowed your thoughts to go down a similar negative route.

And why, oh why would I have even thought such things? Had there been a problem? Had there been an emotional explosion in our home? Well, no, not this time.

First of all, I do hope my life is one lived to give and to bless others.  But also, I was feeling a little down, okay, well, maybe considering my journal entry I was feeling downright down, about my birthday. And downright down about myself.

It’s been a challenging year. I’ve wanted to run away from home on more than one occasion. I think we all have. If not, stop reading and start praying for mamas like me.  I mean who wouldn’t prefer a nice cool drink on a nice warm beach over the responsibilities and obstacles of raising your people at times? It’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows everyday in The Meadows Home, or in any home for that matter.

So how do we combat the negative thoughts? How can we find gratitude in a trial?

#1— remember what is true from what is emotion. We have to guard our hearts from the disease of negative emotion. Getting caught up in the emotion clouds what is true. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

#2—remember there is a reason we were given an armor. We can’t forget that we are in a battle, which is why we have armor. We’ve got to make sure we have it on to combat the attacks- whether they’re external or internal. Ephesians 6:14-17 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This story isn’t over, but as usual, in my posts and in my life, I’ve exceeded my word limit. I hope you come back for the next post so I can share with you a great story about loving one another.

For now, may you feel a little encouraged to know you’re not the only one who lets negative thoughts run loose at times. May you feel gratitude knowing God is with you and loves you, whether you’re standing in the battle or sitting on the beach.

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