Tag Archives: gratitude

“But, God…” Find Contentment in Gratitude

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

oS9w2PUIn an episode* of the 1980s TV show St. Elsewhere, a would-be comedian, a character named Murray, told the following joke.  

A giant wave sweeps a boy out to sea. His frantic grandmother runs up and down the beach crying and pleading. “God, please don’t take Joey.  If you will return him, I’ll be grateful for the rest of my life!” 

Just then, miracle of miracles, another giant wave washes the boy right up to the grandmother’s feet. She hugs and kisses him. Then she looks to heaven and says, “You know, he was wearing a hat!”

Isn’t that the way it is with grumblers? Never satisfied. Today in the United States we celebrate a federal holiday for giving thanks. Many of us here have much for which to be thankful. Still, pay attention to the news or social media for five minutes and you might think complaining is our national sport.

Grumblers have a one-word slogan, “but”. The word negates anything good that follows it. For example, “It’s a nice autumn, but winter’s coming.” “God helped me with this month’s bills, but there is next month to worry about.”  

An attitude of gratitude toward God is not only saying thank you, it is also trusting him to stay the same yesterday, today, and forever. Otherwise, thanks can turn into grumbling. Like the grandmother at the beach, we might say, “Yeah, thanks, but what have you done for me lately?”

People who live in gratitude to God are content and peaceful because they understand who meets their needs. The Bible verse James 1:17 feeds their faith. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Knowing this offers certainty that what he has given and will give is enough. 

Billy Graham, the late evangelist and “America’s Pastor” said, “Nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.” **

Today and beyond, we have freedom to choose gratitude over grumbling. Let today be happier, and Thanksgiving a lifetime habit. 

qVDDLsmToday’s Helpful Word

1 Chronicles 29:13-14

Now our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name…”

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

 

Happy Thanksgiving pic by XYMONAU; Thank you by COLINBROUGH: both  on rgbstock.com

*Season 5 Episode 10

**Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Thanksgiving Day – Billy Graham: How to Be Thankful in All Things. 2013. Retrieved from https://www.crossmap.com/blogs/thanksgiving-day-billy-graham-how-to-be-thankful-in-all-things.html

What’s Love Got to Do With It? Expressing Memorial Day Gratitude

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

We toss around the term “love” easily enough. We love baseball, hot dogs, and good movies. We love music, Fridays, shopping, and our phones. Yet we use the same word to describe our feelings toward romance, our families, and God.  

Strange word. Let us consider what love has to do with Memorial Day. 

Love is action, not always feelings

With regard to those who gave up their lives for our freedoms and safety, it is safe to say they died for love.  It is impossible that they had warm feelings for each person they never met. However, their sacrifices still benefit us. They loved their country, and that is enough.

Love is not only feelings, but actions

Army nurse Jennifer Moreno was killed in action in Afghanistan when she chose to reach her wounded comrades despite the danger from mines.  Moving toward the soldiers with medical aid, she gave her life when a mine detonated. 

Feelings for her injured brothers-in-arms were obviously strong. Backed by an unselfish decision, we see that her love was proven by her action.  

Love beyond feelings of gratitude

This weekend every year in the United States,  we take some time to honor those who died in combat. Without a doubt, their ultimate gifts deserve our gratitude. One way we can express our thanks is to advance our understanding and care for those wounded veterans who survived.

PTSD, physical disabilities, mood disorders, homelessness, family needs – it all calls for our attention. Love that takes action and faces these societal issues is showing the gratitude that living men and women veterans earned. Those who died would not want their comrades forgotten.

That’s what love has to do with it.  Think about that.

Have a Meaningful Memorial Day

 

 

**********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.

 

 

Palm Sunday: Looking Beyond the What Is to the Will Be

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Jesus never claimed to be the political or militant leader that would break the Roman Empire’s hold over his people.  Many hoped he would, some believed that was his purpose, and together these crowds cheered him into Jerusalem. 

Today is Palm Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the beginning of Holy Week. In about 28 AD, thirty-three year-old Jesus rode into town on a formerly unridden donkey colt. People threw cloaks and palm branches on the ground to mark a hero’s entrance. Similar to our red carpets today, this was an act of celebration and even devotion. 

What most did not understand, even some of his closest disciples, was that he came to free his people from sin and death, not Roman rule. 

The What IS

How often do we miss the best for the seems-good? Life is full of tyrants like cancer, poverty, loneliness, and injustice. Struggles are part of everyone’s existence. We naturally want rescue from calamity and pain.  If our worship of God is dependent on him making hurt disappear, we will grow angry and turn away from him when life hurts anyway. 

I’m sitting in my office recovering from surgery for cancer diagnosed a few weeks ago. I do not feel well, however I am able to think, write, and complete basic functions. Not everyone following surgery can say the same. I’m grateful for my health.

Yesterday I found out my income is taking a deep cut. This is not the first time lack of money has threatened my wellbeing.  I have kept a list of occasions God has provided for me in unexpected and unusual ways during financially hopeless times. I’m grateful God doesn’t let go.

My cousin’s daughter went missing March 10. My heart hurts for my baby cousin and his family. Anxiety over this has made me physically ill, yet I know who holds the future.  I’m grateful H. is not out of her heavenly Father’s sight.

The What WILL BE

Yes, we may feel as if unhappy news pins us down. We could rail against a God who  allows bad things to happen.  We might demand he answer our prayers the way we dictate.

Another possibility is to turn our faces to notice Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.

He knew he would be hung on a cross by the end of that week. He was aware which voices shouted in joy for his coming and which ones whispered hate, plotting his murder.  He was able to run away, and chose instead to complete his mission. He saw beyond the immediate injustice and agony to the day  you and I have an option to believe and be set free permanently. Because of Jesus, we can enjoy close relationship with God. 

I do not like pain, anxiety, difficulty, and the like. I do pray for God to take it away. However my faith is in the One who knows the rest of the story. 

May my life and yours point to Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all who do not know hope.

Today’s Helpful Word

  **********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.

Palm branches from rgbstock.com; Jesus on donkey from http://www.LumoProject.com

Everyone is Two-Faced… For That We Can Be Grateful

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

The sun shines three out of thirty times on Thanksgiving Day in Cleveland, Ohio.  At least it rains at some point during those other twenty-seven holidays, so the sun must stay fairly hidden behind gray clouds.

We treasure sunny days here because they are rare. On average, we see about 65 bright days per year.  When Jesus asked his disciples,  “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed?”* he may have heard Northeastern Ohioans shouting from the future – No!  We relish light.

Have you noticed that when two people first meet, everything in the relationship seems like sunshine and ponies? That is because we generally show our most acceptable side in the beginning.  A forgiving atmosphere seems prevalent as well.  It is as if both parties are willing to give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. 

Sure, we see and enjoy the best of each other’s personalities. Here’s the rub. Every person has two faces. It is okay, we can be grateful for that.

Some examples at your Thanksgiving table

Your excitable sister-in-law will bring lively chatter and enthusiastic responses to anyone’s good news.  That same excitable personality may express excessive worry when you mention a small problem. 

Your aunt is a dream when it comes to planning and executing family gatherings. You appreciate her attention to detail.  Perhaps her inflexibility when your uncle suggests a spontaneous trip, will bug you. 

A strong, silent cousin is everyone’s hero. There is no doubt who will be there to save the day in a crisis.  As the day goes on, you may be annoyed at his lack of communication. 

Everyone has two faces. They are not actually opposite, but extensions of the same core personality. So you see, if people at your Thanksgiving table are driving you batty, you can be grateful for their strengths.

Have fun with Gratitude! 

Today’s Helpful Word

Holiday How-To: Appreciate Today

CompassionateLove Blog: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle With Mental Illness  (c)2016 Nancy Virden

The following is an excerpt from Always the Fight: A Living Testimony of What Only God Can Do    2nd edition(2015)

All of Jonathan’s fifth year he dreamed about being six. He envisioned that age a magical time of equality with grownups, independence, and better toys. Repeatedly I heard comments like, “When I’m six…” and “I can’t wait to be six!” The morning finally arrived, and I entered his room to wake him.

“Happy Birthday, Jonathan,” I said.

Immediately came the sleepy reply, “Next year I’ll be seven!”

Truth is, we may not appreciate much in this life until it is gone. Some grownups want to live in the past and bemoan the loss of youth. Parents complain when summer comes around and then long for those children when they leave for college. An employee may miss his crotchety ex-boss after a new one makes life even more miserable. It takes a special effort, a commitment to appreciation to enjoy what one has been given in the present.

One example is my annual sabbatical to the Christmas tree. Each Christmas season, one night after nfbj5akanyone else in the household is fast asleep, I gather a blanket and pillow and set up camp by our Christmas tree. My favorite instrumental music plays in the background as I begin talking to God. I tell him about my year and praise him for being with me through it all, then listen.

He whispers of his love for me; I feel centered and safe. As I thank him silently, the miracle happens. Gazing at the tree endowed with twinkling lights, through my tears I see prisms. Each tiny lamp becomes a shooting star. Hundreds of rainbow-colored luminescent spires rocket to the ceiling and I remember this is the God who formed light out of nothing. He is the grand Creator of this entire splendor and yet holds me in his hands. He is to be trusted. I have everything for which to be thankful.

This commitment to appreciation at Christmastime renews my soul. Can I stop and smell the roses? Sure, in the summer! Suspending the busyness of the holidays only requires fixing my eyes on The Light as I view Christmas trees through grateful tears.

npikhiqToday’s Helpful Word

2 Corinthians 4:6


“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”

***************

COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*Pictures from rgbstock.com

**Always The Fight is available for purchase – click here

 

TALK TALK listen TALK TALK TALK

CompassionateLove Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

photo-24800475-businesswoman-covering-her-earsDoes today’s title sound like what is happening in society now? Many people are talking; who is listening?

Recently, someone made a generalized statement about a race of people to which the speaker does not belong. A second person agreed. I said something to the effect of ‘we have to know people before assuming anything’, and was promptly accused of bringing politics into the discussion. Really?

You see, the speaker was so entrenched in a specific point of view, that anything contrary – even to question it – was unacceptable. It did not matter that the speaker is the one who brought it up.

TALK TALK listen TALK TALK TALK

One husband apologized to his wife for an unsavory attitude he had displayed earlier. She asked if he understood why it had hurt her. His reply was more rancor as he spun the blame for the scene to her.

His apology was an attempt at control. “I apologized now you drop it.” His heart was not willing to learn how to avoid bringing pain to his wife.

TALK TALK listen TALK TALK TALK

A young woman in a meeting I attended said many, many words. She said them loudly and softly, but always fast. She spoke over other people, and rushed to offer answers before problems were fully explained.  In the middle of all this, she said, “I know I talk too much, but that’s just me. If people don’t want to listen to me then I don’t need them.”

She had no interest in hearing anything outside of her own voice. Defending her right to speak as much as she wanted, she missed the fact that no one wanted her to remain in the room.

TALK TALK listen TALK TALK TALK

We have opportunities to be invested listeners. In this political climate, in dealing with our neighbors, when confronted by misguided anger, by hearing a person out and asking sincere questions for clarity, we can be part of the solution to a human race problem – judgement.

Listening produces trust. In church this morning we were challenged to make a difference in our world by not picking and choosing who we will serve in Jesus’ name. Openness and hospitality to all is love-in-action. Listening is a universal love language.

Listening produces growth. By gaining knowledge we are set free from the burden of assuming. By hearing another’s point of view, especially one opposite to our own, our brains and hearts stretch toward empathy and kindness.

Mental health is affected by whether we are heard or not. How painful it is to be open and vulnerable only to be shut down. How agonizing it is to be alone with no one interested in anything you have to say.

In the U.S., as we approach our holiday of gratitude, maybe spend some time contemplating how and when to listen without judgement. Let your goal be:

LISTEN LISTEN talk LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN.

Today’s Helpful Word

James 1:19 

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”  -James, brother of Jesus

*********

COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

Goodbye Dad. Hello

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2015 Nancy Virden

(This is my dad’s eulogy as I shared it at his funeral December 24, 2015)

Goodbye, Dad.photo

Dads are big. Dads speak into our lives and help to shape our beliefs. How we view ourselves and the world, as well as the life choices we make can be powerfully influenced by our dads. They show us by example how to be. Hopefully they are protectors and wise.

My dad was a mixed bag as are we all. He lived a long life sometimes getting it right, and sometimes getting it wrong. His relationships thrived and languished, his faith was strong and weak, and he succeeded and failed.

Who did you experience my dad to be? How will you reflect on this friend, brother, uncle, father, and grandfather? Today we celebrate my dad’s wins. He was rich with gifts he offered to us and to this town. Following our heavenly Father’s example, we place anything else under grace.

Goodbye Dad. Hello.

Hello to sweet memories. My first datable memory of dad was the day of JFK’s death, when at age 2 1/2, I wanted to cross the street to the Alliance hospital to help the hurt man feel better. It was Dad who prevented me from running into traffic. Years later, he carried me across that street when my foot got mangled in his bicycle wheel.

One of the biggest surprises of my life happened on Christmas 1968. We went shopping at the old Carousel store in Canton. I saw rows and rows of teddy bears, and especially liked a particular brown one. We were in the car ready to go home when dad said he left something in the store. Christmas morning, “Chocolate” as I named her was under the tree. This bear has been with me since, ever the reminder that I was important to my dad.

Six years ago he was relieved to have landed a room in the Community Care Center with a window directly across from that old hospital and our original home. He would point at Burt St. where he taught me to ride a bike, and would reminisce about letting go of the seat to watch me balance and ride without his help. He remembered placing pennies on the train tracks with Steve and me. From that window he sadly watched the old hospital, house, and neighborhood transform into a parking lot.

In 1970, dad moved us to the country. Dad’s love for dogs is why he rescued an abused one and gave him to us as a pet. Seezer, a red-orange long-haired mutt with no sense, had that God-like gift of grace – an amazing capacity to love unconditionally. Most dogs do, and I wonder if that is why my dad was never without one.

He raised his own Caesar in the 80s, a beautiful boxer with a gentle giant temperament. This was my dad’s all-time favorite dog. Dad bragged about the tender way Caesar played with a baby. He saved pictures of Caesar with his regular outdoor playmate, a wild rabbit. He spoiled Caesar with peanut butter, and Caesar spoiled him back with sloppy kisses. He never stopped talking about that dog, and a portrait of Caesar sat framed in my dad’s room in the Care Center.

Dad loved country life. One day when I was a pre-teen, I heard a shout. “Nancy! Come here. Now! Hurry!” I raced outside only to find him staring at something across the yard. About 25 feet away stood a crow just looking at us, completely unconcerned. “Listen,” Dad said.

“Hello,” said the crow. “Hello, hello.”

Dad enjoyed sharing that moment with me, and reminded me to never forget it because talking crows in the wild are rare. We laughed, and he was pleased when I brought it up 40 years later.

Goodbye Dad. Hello.

Hello to gratitude. No doubt the gusto for life that led my dad to hop in a pick-up truck at age 18 and cross the country with a friend, was the spirit he wanted to pass on to us – independent and boundary less. Because of his love for experiences, he provided them. Steve and I each saw Europe. In the US,  our family visited historical and natural sites from the east coast to the Rocky Mountains. We traveled up to Canada and down to Florida. Because of him, I learned bee-keeping, small farming, and construction.

We met astronaut-turned senator John Glenn at the US Capitol. I sat in the chair of the Speaker of the House, and again my dad cautioned me to never forget that one-time opportunity.

Dad enjoyed throwing parties, and was responsible for convincing leadership to allow the first co-ed gathering at Cleveland Bible College in the 1950s. His ability to plan and execute events was also evidenced by his work with the Lions Club. In the country we had space for Dad to build tall outdoor bonfires. Capture the Flag after dark lured groups of teenagers into crisscrossing acres of trees, fields, and water under moonlight, with s’mores and roasted hot dogs as our reward. Because of him, this city girl had a lot of fun, and still has a country heart.

It seemed everywhere we went in town, Dad was greeted by someone he knew. I can almost hear numerous voices saying, “Hello, Carl!”  Those run-ins were always interesting. I’m grateful I learned to meet people and how to be friendly. As a child, I thought he was famous.

Goodbye, Dad. Hello.

Hello to grace. God is bigger than dads. He is our shelter, our longing, and our rescue from the ravages of hate and selfishness. He sent his Son Jesus to die in our place, sparing us the deadly wages we earn through disobedience. His grace is not to be treated with disrespect, however. When we pursue selfish desires instead of him, we pay heavy consequences. Eternity is not to be mocked, and neither is the justice of this overwhelmingly enormous God who holds our fates in his hands. Sometimes we get that, and sometimes we miss it.

Like my dad, we are all mixtures of honesty and deceit, kindness and severity, faith and doubt. We do not have the power to love without fault, and that’s okay because it is not in the “doing” that we experience grace. In a rare quiet moment hours before his death, I held my dad’s hand and told him this truth. “The only thing you ever had to be for me to love you, was my dad. The only thing you ever had to do for God to love you unconditionally, was exist.”

I read Micah 7:18-20 while waiting those final hours. “You (God) will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” That promise is for my dad, me, and anyone who responds to God in repentance. Grace has a name, and it is Jesus.

Goodbye Dad.

And by God’s grace, one day,  Hello.

*******

Comments are always welcome (see tab below).  NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

A Shocking New Revelation About Thanksgiving in Hollywood

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2014 Nancy Virden

Hollywood is abuzz as celebrities and businesses prepare for the holiday. Rumors fly with new allegations of violence, public misbehavior, and scandal. This week though, they seem to care about the special day, the big day.

Our most important holiday is nearly here – the annual twenty-four hours mix of dysfunction and joy!

Black Friday.

What? On Thanksgiving Day we exercise one of thephoto-24716021-pumpkin-and-cornucopia greatest preventive measures to negativity and sadness. Gratitude. On Thursday we will give thanks for obscure things – God, family, friendships, love, compassion, hope, food, shelter, clean water, laughter, health, and life. The small stuff.

But Friday! Yes, Friday we will celebrate money by spending it or complaining we cannot spend it. We will be grateful for the opportunity to feed one of America’s  most infamous gods – materialism. We’ll haul crying babies, tired grade school children, and cranky spouses through a maze of other squalling and impatient shoppers. If we miss a bargain, we’ll whine about it through Christmas or longer.

It’s a festive time of trying to copy the rich and famous and spending more than we can afford. After all, we and our families deserve the best!

No doubt, all the stars will be out on Black Friday. In Hollywood, maybe there will be a sighting or two. How awesome is that?

Gloriously, around the universe enormous lights will burn and explode bringing to us a view of twinkling stars for which to be grateful. We can appreciate it – that is, if we care about the small stuff.

*****

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

 

Where is Joy These Days?

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness      

Excerpt from Always the Fight: A Living Testimony of What Only God Can Do      

Nancy Virden 2013 (Tate Publishing)

All of Jonathan’s fifth year he dreamed about being six. He envisioned that age to be a magical time of equality with grownups, independence, and better toys. Repeatedly I heard comments like, “When I’m six…” and I can’t wait to be six!” The morning finally arrived, and I entered his room to awaken him.

“Happy Birthday, Jonathan,” I sang out.

Immediately came the sleepy reply, “Next year I’ll be seven!”

Truth is, we may not appreciate much in this life until it is gone. Some adults want to live in the past and bemoan their loss of youth. Parents complain when summer comes around because school is out, and then long for those children when they leave for college. An employee may miss his crotchety ex-boss after a new one makes life even more miserable. Whether a spouse, a pet, or an old bicycle, it does not matter. A special effort is required, a commitment to appreciation for someone to enjoy what he or she has been given in the present.

One example used to be my annual sabbatical to the Christmas tree. Each Christmas season, one night after anyone else who may be in the household is fast asleep, I would gather a blanket and pillow to set up camp by our tree. My favorite instrumental music played in the background as I began talking to God. I told him about my year and praised him for being with me through it all, then listened.

He whispered of his love for me; I felt centered and secure. As I thanked him, silently the miracle would happen. Gazing at the tree endowed with twinkling lights, through my tears I saw prisms. Each tiny lamp became a shooting star. Hundreds of rainbow-colored luminescent spires shot to the ceiling and I remembered this is the God who formed light out of nothing. He is the grand Creator of this entire splendor and yet held me in his hands. He was to be trusted. I had everything for which to be thankful.

This commitment to appreciation at Christmas time could stand to be renewed. Can I stop and smell the roses? Sure, in the summer! Suspending the busyness of the holidays just requires fixing my eyes on the Light as I view Christmas trees through grateful tears.

***************

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

Nancy Virden (c)2013

Let’s Not Forget Gratitude

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   Nancy Virden (c)2013

She stretched her legs and groaned. What a long weekend it had been – working overtime, preparing for a relative’s visit, and then the eight-hour drive.

She was a little sad because a significant person in her life was struggling in a nursing facility, far from his younger, more productive self. There was family she would not see these holiday weeks due to distance of both miles and hearts. Sighing, she wondered if anything would ever be happy as it seems for other people.

Then she remembered to count her blessings. It was Thanksgiving, after all. In going over her week’s memories she found numerous positive elements for which to be grateful.

  • She has legs that work and can be stretched without pain.
  • Her weekend had been productive in important ways.
  • She has a job.
  • She has two relatives excited to see her.
  • Her car did not break down, and the weather was cooperative as she drove.
  • The person in the nursing home kissed her hand and thanked her for coming.
  • There was family she could contact via email or phone.
  • She has friends, community, and a nice living space to relax.
  • She was warm, had plenty to eat and drink, and could sleep on a comfortable bed.

By the time she arrived at this point in the list, she knew she could not grumble. Not today. And perhaps it would never be necessary to be dissatisfied if she will just remember all that she has not lost.

God bless you all,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nancy

****************

NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.