Being Thankful

I have to admit I am having a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit. Why? I have been asking myself that same question for the past several weeks. I have been listening to Christmas music, we decorated the house and have finished all our shopping. I believe it may have something to do with the fact that Christmas has gotten so commercial and has somehow drifted away from its true meaning. All I hear or read about is where to buy gifts, which retailer is having the best sale, how to order items and have them delivered in time for Christmas. And, the dreaded Christmas countdown.

All the commercials and advertisements seem to look the same despite the fact that they are different retailers. In fact, I find it depressing to look at my email since it seems retailers are trying to outdo one another. And, to top it off, it seems as if the retailers are trying to outdo themselves as it gets closer to Christmas — last chance to save, last day for free shipping, order now to ensure delivery in time for Christmas, etc. When do you really get the best deal or save the most money? Do the retailers hope that we will spend our precious time hunting for the best bargain, wait until the last-minute to purchase our gifts or do we really not care about bargain shopping and settle for convenience?

Since the holiday season centers very little on the reason why we celebrate Christmas — the birth of Jesus, I have been working hard to shift my mindset from what is being force-fed to all of us to one that I want to concentrate on during this special time of year. I don’t decorate with ‘Santa’ in mind and try to remember the reason for the season in all that I do…from sending out Christmas cards to wishing Jesus Happy Birthday on Christmas morning. While I am not sure when it occurred, the true meaning of Christmas and many other holidays has gotten lost and been replaced with ‘things’ ~ material items that we give to each other to celebrate various occasions. Since when do we need to give each other gifts to let those people know how we feel about them. Again, it seems that we have our priorities confused.

While trying to get myself into the Christmas spirit and hoping to feel the magic of Jesus’ birth, I ran across one of my favorite CD’s by Josh Groban ~ Noel. While each song is breathtaking and helps me to feel the wonder of Christmas, one song, in particular, spoke to me about being thankful, how we get caught up in our own problems and forget to pay attention to how blessed we truly are. As a Christmas gift to yourself, download the song ‘Thankful’ to your iPod, mp3, or simply buy the CD. You won’t be disappointed. It just may help shift your Christmas priority in a new direction.

While listening to the song during the last few days, I found myself thinking of all the things I am thankful for ~ my relationship with God and how he carried me when I had doubts, an outstanding husband and daughter, great family and friends, losing 15 pounds, being able to live where I grew up, for forgiveness, my new doctor who never gives up, pets who love me unconditionally, the beauty of the things around me, the laughter of my seven-year old nephew, and the way God knows just what prayers to answer. I also am thankful for the beauty of a new day and the unexpected of what it may bring. My list goes on and on. How about yours? Count your blessings ~ you never know what may appear.

Some days we forget
To look around us
Some days we can’t see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say
I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It’s so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each other’s light

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more

There’s so much to be thankful for

©My Unplanned Life and www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com, 2011.

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About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Being Thankful, Depression, Don't Give Up, Endocrinologist, Faith, Forgiveness, God, Happiness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Being Thankful

  1. A lot of the emotion you illustrated here resonates with me. There are so many different stimuli at this time of year. If you know a little something about god, you know that he uses tough times to draw you nearer. So every time you see a piece of stimulus that reminds that OTHERS have lost sight of what this (and really everyday) is all about, it can serve as a reminder to be thankful that you haven’t gotten caught up in the hype. That’s definitely something to be thankful for.

    • mswd says:

      George ~ thank you for your message. I found that I couldn’t hold back any longer regarding the way that the true meaning of Christmas has taken a backseat to gift giving, spending money, etc. I agree that God gives us difficult times to bring us closer to him and what I have been through the past six years definitely did just that. While I am not at the point where I can thank Him for my spinal cord injury, I am certainly appreciative for allowing me to see the crazy insane life I was living and making me slow down and focus on the most important aspects. I have been to Hell and back…learned a lot about forgiveness, but most of all I have gotten my priorities are now where they should be…that is the greatest blessing of all. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy 2012. Thank you for reading the blog…I enjoy yours as well — very creative and entertaining 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    Actually, thankfulness has been my project these last few weeks. I have decided to try and obey the Bible and “be thankful in all things.” That means not just the things that i consider to be good, but everything that comes into my life. I myself am a healthy individual, but my husband was critically injured in a car accident eleven years ago. This meant that I needed to work to support us while caring for his needs and raising three children. I have not yet reached the point where I can say I am thankful for the car accident, but I am working on it. Keep blogging; I hope to have one soon and will try to be an encouragement to others as you are.

    • mswd says:

      Linda — thank you so much for writing. It means so much to hear from others who are working to overcome a difficult situation. I hope you will have a few minutes to read the post I just wrote since I was thinking about you most of the day and actually reference you (I hope you don’t mind). Blogging has been the best thing for me in sorting out my feelings — in fact, better than seeing a therapist. However, some people benefit from both. I went for a few years, but I knew what I needed to do. I would love to private message you if that would be ok. I saw that you included your email address, but I wanted to ask your permission first. There are just a few things I want to share with you privately instead of in the blog forum for all to see. My attorneys are always telling me to be careful. Trust me, I know what you are feeling and please know that you are not alone. I hope to hear from you. Sending love and blessings.

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