Archives for November 2012
Today’s post is from Rachel, a member of odc. Thanks for sharing, Rachel!
The point of Thanksgiving is gratitude for what we already have, all of the things that make America great! Yet, it seems like the whole purpose is getting lost and my favorite holiday is becoming…that day when you eat too much, lay around, and then buy everything in sight.
I’ve heard a lot of commercials lately for Black Friday sales. In fact, I’ve heard more about Black Friday than I have about Thanksgiving. This is sad to me. Thanksgiving is supposed to be the holiday, but it gets run over by sales. I’m amazed by the incentives that stores are offering as reasons why I should shop with them.
This looks an awful lot like gluttony, followed by sloth, and then completed with greed. All of this hoarding of food and merchandise on Black Friday seems to be discontentment that’s been disguised with the excuse that some of these purchases will be given to loved ones.
Everyone complains of the anxiety and the frenzy and the pressure to please, but we fall into it anyway. We NEED this and it’s on SALE. We tell ourselves that if we shop online it’ll be calmer and easier, but the adrenaline rush is still there. Last year’s isn’t good enough. I have to get this for him or he won’t be happy.
What if we gave from our hearts rather than obligation? What if we received with appreciation rather than expectation?
So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s calm down and keep that warm full feeling throughout the Christmas Season. Here are some ideas when you are tempted to complain about your shopping experience and a reminder to be content.
- Commercial says, “We have the latest [styles, technology, fad…]” – Thank God that you have the funds to purchase.
- Commercial says, “We’re not crowded.” – Thank God for that you have people whom you love well enough to be worth your time, energy, and effort as you brave the shoppers.
- Commercial says, “We don’t have long lines.” – Thank God that you are only in long lines for something frivolous – not medical care.
- Commercial says, “You don’t have to park far away.” – Thank God that you have legs that work well enough for you to use them. Thank Him that you’re only going in to buy presents and not trekking for miles to get clean water for your family.
- Commercial says, “Shop online in the safety of your home.” – Thank God that you live in a stable country where the only conflicts in our streets are over the latest pair of shoes.
- Commercial says, “They won’t make any more TWINKIES.” – Well, thank GOD! Need I say more? Well, I will. Thank God that you live in a country with so much nourishing food that you can whine about the loss of empty calories.
- Commercial says, “We have [whatever they’re selling] to make your holiday perfect” – Thank God for the only perfect Christmas that ever was. I’m certain that they didn’t have anything from the local retailers and they turned out just fine.
image source: http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iCy1oXdlpEPo.jpg
Today’s post is from Annie, a member of odc. Thanks for sharing, Annie!
Many days work, is well, work. I despise getting up in the morning, and even more than that I really hate leaving my girl at daycare instead of being able to savor each and every moment. Those moments, when I am leaving and she is clinging to my legs, it is hard to just tear her off, hand her to her teacher and go to work. But it is what I have to do. It isn’t something that I love, I didn’t choose a career over being a mom, it is a necessity for me to help provide for our little family. Perhaps one day it will be different, but that is one day, not today.
Anyway I say all that because ever since our sweet addition to our family, I have seen this career more often than not just a necessary evil. A way to pay the mortgage. And yet today I was reminded of the awesome privilege and responsibility God has given to me to be able to have the knowledge and skill set that I do.
I never ever ever wanted to be a RN. But God directed my steps. Each and every one of them. And I am thankful. Yes, I am going back to school. But I am continuing to pursue a career in healthcare, because in the end I want to make a difference. My career allows me to do that. One of my all time favorite movie quotes is from Pearl Harbor. Ben Affleck is getting ready to enlist to fight for Europe and his commanding officer (Alec Baldwin) asks him basically “Do you want to die?” and Ben’s character replies “No, I just want to matter”.
God knows that about me, that I could never have been happy in any type of career that I didn’t find purpose. So yes, some days I am punching a time clock, but at the end of the day, I can look back and see how I was able to affect the lives of my patients and their families. I am thankful for those God directed steps, I made a lot of plans, but God knew what he was doing! It makes those moments of dropping VG off bearable, not enjoyable, and I would trade one for the other in a moment’s notice, but it does lighten that load.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21
Just a brief thought for the day.
A friend once told me that every negative emotion is rooted in the opposite of love, which is fear. Think about it. When love is lacking, what remains?
Bitterness. It’s a creeping monster that ekes it’s way into your being when you’re not really paying attention. It begins as disappointment, moves to envy then jealousy, is maybe peppered with some anger, then finally moves into bitterness. I see it so much, and I’ve felt it at many times in my life, especially this year. Bitterness is fear. Perhaps the fear that things won’t work out in the end, or even that God has forgotten you. When things don’t turn out the way you want or plan for and you can’t see that there is another way God will accomplish His plan, bitterness quite easily settles in and forms into your shape so that you lose yourself.
You become the bitterness. It oozes out of every pore, in every word, thought, and action.
Has bitterness settled in your spirit? Ask someone else if they see it in your life (that is, if you haven’t alienated all of your friends with your bitterness). And prepare to be embittered by their answer. But know that you will be a better person, a better Christian, and much more fun to be around if you listen and decide to change.