An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

Starting my mornings off in my cozy bed with my personalized Bible verse has really been a positive action for me. Rise and shine!

This is the day the Lord has made. Let ME rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

I try to say it out loud and declare it to be so. 

 It is very important for me to talk myself into a positive grateful mood to begin my day and often to continue that positivity throughout my day. You see, my precious husband of 46 plus years has had Alzheimer’s Disease for a long time. I have been a caregiver for others with Alzheimer’s also. My husband’s aunt, my wonderful Mother, my special Mother Mother-in-Law, and numerous patients. I have been a RN for over 45 years. 

 Forming the habit of being positive in each situation that arises is difficult, but not impossible with God’s help.

l can do anything through Jesus Christ who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

Find something affirmative in each situation that arises. Even if whatever is taking place at the moment is not so good, expect God to bring good out of it.

Surrounding yourself with Christians, such as your family, church family, neighborhood friends, colleagues, support groups, etc., is extremely important. You can cry, laugh, express your anxiety, get angry when you need to, and hopefully without judgement. Praying with a group is so refreshing, healing, and empowering. 

The act of grieving is so very hard when your loved one is leaving you mentally while his body is shriveling slowly away. Gratefully, he’s not in pain. I have laid next to him reminiscing about our life—especially how we met, holidays, birthdays, trips, harvesting, sport events, friends, etc. Not crying, for his sake, was extremely hard, but then on my long drive home from Lubbock back to our farm a flood of tears came. Many times I had to stop off the side of the highway to get my crying over with so I could drive home safely.

I truly enjoyed my days of laughter with my husband. I could not laugh AT him with his very bizarre actions or things he said caused by his Alzheimer’s. I did laugh about those things later though. “A cheerful heart is a good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

Making out a list of your blessings is cathartic. Thanking God for the love of my life, our 2 wonderful sons, our 2 fantastic daughter-In-laws, and our four terrific growing-up-way-too-fast grandchildren is at the top of that list. Having the finances for my husband’s care is such a blessing. I am so very grateful for the good care he is receiving though the nursing home and hospice staff. What a blessing these hardworking loving people are.

Care givers, take care of yourself!! Ask for help. Accept help. Take care of your medical needs. Exercise, find some form of activity that you like so that you will do it. Get with a buddy so you will be accountable. Make your exercise a routine habit. You’ll feel so much better. Feed yourself healthy meals. Your body is a temple of God. Treat it that way. Show your body the GRATITUDE it deserves.

~*~*~*~

Helen Teeple is our guest writer today. She has been married for over 46 years, and has 2 sons, Brian & Keith. They have 1 granddaughter and 3 grandsons. Helen has been a BSN, RN for over 45 years. “I knew I want to be a nurse when I was 6 years old. When a RN friend called me to come to work as a Hospice Nurse I felt God was preparing me for the season of my life I am experiencing now.”

Helen is a member of the  First United Methodist Church of Floydada, TX. She grew up in Irving, TX, and graduated from TWU in Denton, TX. She lives on their farm in South Plains. “I never thought or dreamed I would marry a farmer, but God sure had other plans for us, and I’m glad I followed His directions!”

The Truth about Gossip

quote - lisa“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”. 1 Corinthians 13:6-7

Am I willing to bet you have heard this passage spoken over a couple at their wedding? Two people are lovingly looking into each other’s eyes, and promising these words over their future. Today I want to challenge you to look at these words through a different lens.
Gossip.
The dreaded word that makes every woman grind their teeth.

We are all guilty to some extent of gossip, myself included, but as I read this passage the words jumped all over me. We all know God is love; it is the core of who he is. As Christians we strive to live by this truth, to love your neighbor as yourself; husbands love your wives like Christ’s loves the church; or a mother’s instinct to love their children sacrificially. When our words are spoken in love, it rejoices, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. I believe when we choose to speak gossip we are delighting in evil. Ouch. Which goes against the core of who God is. Double ouch.

As I type this truth, I am reminded of the times I have let gossip drip from my lips–like a leaking faucet I am unwilling to put the work into. Over time the drips turn into streams, which then starts pouring all over my heart and spreading into the core of who God has called me to be. Let’s turn the spotlight off ourselves; what if other people are choosing gossip and you are not?

Love is not passive. This passage doesn’t say to sit idly by. Look at the passage again: Love protects. As believers, if we want our relationships “rejoicing with truth” and not evil, we must use the words we speak to change the situation into one of hope. 

I challenge you to be the change you want to see. When gossip enters the room, there is no hope or protection for the other party; the truth is, we are speaking evil over them instead of love.

I heard it said once by Lisa Terkeurst:

It’s a much more effective use of time to pray for someone rather than talk about them.

I truly love this. What if women today choose this philosophy in all their relationships? We could all put our hurtful words aside and, in turn, have words of blessings pouring from our lips. My heart is not to make women feeling convicted; I am preaching to the choir. I want nothing but loving words to come from my mouth–after all, God is love. My heart is to strive to be more like Him. I hope yours is too.

This post was written by Madi Mikael. 

Kindness

Kindness picAs a slight change of pace to our normal blog posts, here is a message from Julie Snellgrove, from our Plainview campus, and a little something that she wanted to share with us:

I recently came across this poem titled Kindness by Douglas Winston Phillips. It so spoke to my heart that I wanted to share it on our blog.

Kindness is such an important character trait to teach our children.  And as a new school year begins, I know we’ll have a lot of opportunities to remind our children to “be kind.”  But, I am also reminded of the old saying, “more is caught, than taught.”  My prayer for us, as women, is that we will embrace kindness everyday in the way we live our lives, and that we will believe that our children will embrace it as well. Hope you enjoy this poem as much as I did.

Blessings ~ Julie Snellgrove

Kindness
by Douglas Winston Phillips

I am stuck on a conundrum, and it’s making me reflect,
About a troubling weakness, and a character defect.
It’s one that often plagues me, and it plagues some friends of mine,
I’m speaking of the painful message sent when we’re not kind.

The greatest act of kindness in all of history
Was modeled by the Savior while hanging from a tree:
“Forgive them Father,” was His cry, “they know not what they do.”
In those few words He demonstrated kindness pure and true.

He could have said, “Forgive them,” and then let the matter stand.
He could have just ignored them, as He hung there by His hands.
But instead He showed them kindness, by taking up the case
Of wretched hypocrites and fools who merited disgrace.

It’s easy to show kindness when there’s nothing on the line.
It’s easy to be generous to those who treat you kind.
It’s easy to be kindly to the beautiful and handsome;
It’s easy to think kind thoughts when invited to a mansion.

But when you can show kindness to those who want your hide,
Or those have betrayed you to save themselves, then lied,
Or if your act of kindness gets you nothing but a loss,
Then you’ve an inclination of Christ’s wording on the Cross.

Kindness is how and why you love your drooling little brother.
Kindness is the way you sit beside your aged mother.
Kindness is showing mercy on a loved one in despair.
Kindness is forgetting your own hurts, to show them that you care.

There are some folks who act kindly, when they have something to gain.
There are others who feign kindness, when hiding their own blame.
There are some who are selective in the kindness that they show.
And others who are only kind to certain folks that they know.

There’s something very ugly when a good man acts unkind;
But before you judge him harshly, keep this one thing in mind:
You too have been quite unloving, unthoughtful, maybe cruel,
And if you hope for mercy, don’t forget the golden rule.

Yes, there’s been enough unkindness on everybody’s part,
That now would be the perfect time to call for a fresh start.
It’s time to think right kindly of the loved ones you call friend,
The way you hope they think of you when you’re feeling at the end.

’Cause the precious few who treasure kindness deep within their heart.
And even when they are hurt by others, always play the part
Of being so truly, deeply wholly, passionately kind,
Are the folks that touch your heartstrings and are always in your mind.

You will meet with many prophets, and with mercies not a few,
You will walk with those hospitable, and charitable too.
You will learn from the diligent, and from some humility,
But to meet a truly kind man, is to glimpse eternity.