Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 9: Focus

I am very happily married.

No, it’s not perfect. But I am so happy. Content. Thankful.

In the days leading up to our wedding, I could find no fault in Jeff. And God help the person who tried to tell me otherwise. Of course I knew he wasn’t perfect, but it sure felt like he was. I minimized his faults and maximized his strengths.
But sometime in that first year, the faults began to annoy me and threaten my ideal of blissful, wedded life. And my focus shifted. As I put his faults under a microscope, studying them, complaining about them, and strategizing how to “fix” them, my discontent increased. I practically forgot about the multitude of things I loved about him.

And then a wise older woman, a happily married woman, shared something with me that challenged me and has had a huge impact on my contentment and happiness in marriage.

She said when you are feeling discontent and unhappy with your spouse, when your “prince” doesn’t seem quite so charming anymore, make a list of all the things you love, admire, and are grateful for about him. Then read the list to yourself out loud every day for a month. And watch your attitude change.

It worked! And has worked many times over almost twenty-five years.

Because it’s just a matter of focus.

Life is like that.

Somedays this list seems silly. Almost sickly sweet . . Pollyanna-ish. Thanking God for things that on most days most people, including me, wouldn’t think twice about.

But that’s the thing. When I don’t notice and focus on all the good, my attention turns to the bad. And I forget. How good God is, how much He’s given me, how much He loves me.

This counting makes me pay attention. It makes me look for God’s good gifts. The daily ones that I’d otherwise miss. And when I look, I always find. More than I knew was there.

And His good gifts remind me again that I am so well loved and cared for.

“Only when we acknowledge God as the gracious provider of general blessings, like life and breath, food and shelter, do we begin to comprehend our need for God in a personal way and begin to express faith in Him. Faith grows in the soil of thankfulness.” ~James McDonald, Lord Change My Attitude

Getting down in the dirt . . 

37. Jeff (and hot chocolate)

38. his patience

39. his support

40. his love

41. his smile (and “caveman food”)

42. Yoki’s “happy marriage making” wisdom

43. this road

44. this sunset

45. this boy

1 Comment

  1. René White Feather

    Your thankfulness makes me smile. It reminds me of how the worry and fear and doubt is just in our heads. It is not real, but something we create in our own minds. I'd rather create thankfulness in my head. In my life. In the lives, of those in my life. Thank you for the reminders.

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