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Finding Peace in Gratitude

 photo John2_zps8549ded2.jpg The last year has been a whirlwind for me, and I can scarcely believe that my precious baby Grace has recently turned one.  Perhaps this year has been such a whirlwind due to my state of emotions through the duration.  I have fought within myself over the last year to find peace.  Having another child brought about a lot of anger for me, a lot of anger that spilled over into my mothering, and my overall well being.  I spent a large quantity of time in a state of self loathing and deep guilt.  In that place where I hit rock bottom, I found a greater faith, a greater strength, and a great freedom.  I found freedom in forgiveness.  I found peace.  I found an all encompassing gratitude for my past, present, and for what the future brings.

One of the reasons this blog has seen so little of me and my family, is that I truly could not bring myself to write anything.  I didn’t want to be public during a time of struggle.  With the birth of our fourth child, I became resentful.  I didn’t get to have a childhood.  There was no awesome Dad to come tuck me in, build me a bike ramp, read to me, and just be awesome.  My mom was always busy working to make what money she could so that we could have the basic necessities.  My childhood required me to be a little adult.  Something my own children have no idea about.  John and I are very protective of our children, and their freedom to have that chance to be kids. 
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I felt hurt and anger over so much more, and then I would be so anxiety ridden that I would be unkind.  This led to guilt, self loathing, and more anger.  It is not a very nice place to be.  Thus my reasons for not delving in to deep, it isn’t necessary, for I have forgiven.  I began to realize that the past does not control the present, unless I give it the power to.  What I lost as a child is nothing compared to what some people all over the world deal with for their entire lives.  Oh how the enemy wants us to dwell though doesn’t he?  He knows how powerful the vicious cycle can be, if we but let ourselves dwell on those things which are most unpleasant. 

 photo Tannerbob4_zps2084fa03.jpg How do you break the cycle of dwelling, guilt, anger, depression?  Look around.  Count your blessings.  We all have something to be thankful for.
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  God didn’t have to rescue me, He didn’t have to bring such a wonderful man into my life, and He didn’t have to give me such beautiful children to be around.  He didn’t have to give me this home, this place of rest, but He did.  I just didn’t know how to embrace it.  If you have read my blog over the years, you know that I’ve been all over the place.  When I was younger we lived just waiting for catastrophe, for a bad mood to set off a bad string of events.  Then as a young woman, I ended up making my own catastrophe and being “victim” to things I created.  But then I had Andy, and although I was done being the victim, I was still on the prow for “excitement.”  So we ended up in the Ukraine.  Thank you Lord. 

We struggled for a long time parenting which caused it’s own “excitement”, and then we bought this house when we weren’t really looking for a house.  All of a sudden things slowed down.  Here we were in a place of existence.  We weren’t waiting for anything big to happen, we weren’t struggling, life was calm.  So one would think it would be time to relax right? Wrong.  I didn’t know how. 
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When you spend your life waiting for the shoe to drop, surviving on the adrenaline of stressful events, you become dependant on that for your source of normalcy.  When that is depleted, you are left feeling the loss.  Then you have to learn a new way to live. 

I had to learn to slow down.  To realize that it is okay to relax, to just worship God, and know that He is in charge.  He has given me so much to be thankful for, and it is time for me to dwell on those things, to give praise for those things.  It is not a time to dwell on what could or did go wrong, but a time to rejoice in what is going so right.  There is peace in a heart of gratitude.  When we are focused on what we have to be thankful for, we leave very little room in our hearts for anything that has gone wrong.

2 thoughts on “Finding Peace in Gratitude

  1. So wonderful to see the pictures and read your words–There is alot that you said that I can identify with and things that I too struggle with……..Welcome back…

    Like

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