And It's Joy and Gratitude Again...

Does anyone else get paralyzed by the cold?  I often have this circulatory problem-not sure if it is medical or in my head- and I can't do anything but focus on how frigid my extremities feel at the moment.  It doesn't matter that there are dirty dishes piled up on the counter, the floor is in a desperate need of vacuuming, or the bathroom tub has a blossoming relationship with grime.  My usual response to this bone-numbing cold is to sit on the couch, wrapped up in my favourite green blanket with a book, willing my feet to warm up while reading lines of excellent story-telling.

Hasn't anyone ever told you that the best way to warm up is to get moving?

My brain. Every day.  But until I finally kick my butt into gear and plunge my hands into sudsy, near-scalding dishwater, I remain huddled in my igloo of green.

{Lately, Jake has given me the logical (?) explanation that the baby is stealing all my warmth, but from all that I've heard from other pregnant ladies, it should be more than opposite.  And yet, I ask you, is anything logical when it comes to pregnancy?}

I often question my attitude when I feel this cold.  I must admit that I'm a bit of a complainer. It seemed to have gotten worse since Jake and I got married, maybe because I have a full time audience.  I know, it sounds terrible, and I want to change-no, I need to change-fast.  We were talking about it the other day, and he reminded me that a complaining spirit is usually due to a lack of gratitude.  I need to be thankful to the Lord more often during the good times, so that when I am going through something particularly difficult, I'm not caught in a gratitude deficit.

I was watching a video in preparation for a lesson, and the speaker suggested that humans are hardwired to be optimists.  I disagree, at least in my case.  I'm known to dwell on the negative, the fearful, the depressing, to the extent that I can't seem to get released from it.  The enemy thinks he has a very strong foothold in my thought processes, and most of the time he does.  It's a dangerous place to be in for very long, and the only thing to do is to cling to the promises of Jesus in His Word, to be obedient to Him alone, and to CHOOSE JOY.

I'm not suggesting that every time I'm numb with cold it's because I have the wrong heart attitude, but one of the aspects that often accompanies those mornings when I'm wrapped up in the blanket is guilt, and THAT is a problem.  I feel guilty because I'm not accomplishing, I'm not enough, I'm lazy, and those thoughts can quickly turn into blame-shifting complaints. If it weren't for this bloody cold...If Jake hadn't turned the heater off last night...If this pregnancy wasn't making me so tired this morning...bla bla bla.

I want to make joy the theme of my life.  I want to infuse my household with a thankful spirit, to teach my children what it means to laugh and be grateful.  I want to be reminded  by Jake every day that I don't have it so bad, and even when it really is that bad, to know that God has given me extra grace, extra bone-deep joy, to make it through.

So when I'm cold, do I really have it that bad?  Is the sun not shining outside?  Are my legs and hands unusable?  Do I have a chronic disease?

The answer is no.  I just need to get up and praise God for providing the food that created those aforementioned messy dishes in the first place.

Sometimes you do need those snuggled up, lazy, book-reading, coffee-drinking kind of mornings.  If that's the case, you'll know, and you won't be feeling guilty or whiny.  You'll be feeling grateful and indulgent, so let the dishes wait!



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