I wanted to express my deepest sympathy to the families who lost loved ones in the shooting and bombing in Norway. My mind keeps being drawn to those grief-stricken parents whose children died while on that peaceful island whose name sounds to me like Utopia . . . not that day. When they said goodbye these parents never dreamed it would be the last time they would see their child or hear their voice. We never know what tomorrow holds, or even the next hour! So I think we should focus more on what we have to be thankful for, rather than on all that is wrong with something or someone.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to do this. I often think about how things could be better or need to change. Shame on me! As hurting parents we tend to do this with our children who are still “in process” — maybe they haven’t overcome their drug or alcohol problem yet; maybe their eating disorder is still haunting them; maybe they can’t seem to accept that they are bipolar and need to be on medication; maybe they can’t stop cutting themselves; maybe they can’t stay out of legal trouble for long. Some days maybe all you can think of to be thankful for is that your child is still alive. I’ve been there. Well, then focus on that! Right now, today, they are still alive, so be grateful for that. I have a friend who says, “As long as they are still breathing, there is still hope!” I love that! It’s all about perspective. What will I choose to focus on? The positive or the negative?
Someone once challenged me to start keeping a “gratitude journal”. When I am down or discouraged I can open it up and read over my many blessings. I need to do this regarding my child, too. There have been many wonderful changes and sometimes it’s easy to overlook them! You may want to start your own gratitude journal today!
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:17)