An Attitude of Joy and Thankfulness

People tell me all the time how they don’t know how I do what I do with taking care of a severely special needs child and still keep a positive attitude.  With the lack of sleep, many doctor and therapy appointments, out of the blue hospitalizations because of her lower immune system and of course the non stop care that she needs, yes it can get very overwhelming and sometimes I just want to throw in the towel.  However, I know I can’t do that and neither do I really want to.

The key is to put things into perspective and to think positive no matter what. When you get weary and start to think negative… JUST DON’T GO THERE! You have to take control of your thoughts. Yes you can do that, no it’s not always easy. But the more you train yourself to think positive the easier it gets.

I’m so thankful to have been raised to try to think positive. I remember one time when I was in 5th or 6th grade on the way to school with my dad (who was a teacher at the school) he realized he forgot his school keys. We were almost to the school and he had to turn around and go back across town to get them from our house. As a normal reaction he wasn’t to happy about it and started to complain. I very casually said something like “I guess God may have been saving us from a bad accident that could have happened and that’s why you forgot your keys.” My dad couldn’t be upset anymore because he realized this was true. We may never know why certain things happen. But God definitely has a plan and uses the bad or even annoying things in life for a good purpose.

When Lily was just a few days old and in the NICU Daniel and I had a talk and realized neither of us had asked God “Why us?” It’s a normal question to ask God in a crisis and totally ok to ask. God want’s us to be honest with Him. But Daniel and I knew from the beginning that God had a purpose in Lily’s life and no matter what happened we wanted God to use her story to bring others to know Him. We trusted God, so it never occurred to us to ask Him “Why us?”. Believe me I have definitely asked God “Why?” many times. That time was just not one of them.

We have to fill our heart and mind with good things. As I said in my last blog: A Letter to My Sleep Deprived Emotional Self. “What ever you surround yourself with your emotions will reflect it.” Listen to positive and uplifting praise and worship music. Watch a light hearted comedy. Put scriptures up around your house and work on memorizing them. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. If your having a bad day definitely don’t sit down and watch a sad movie. That will only make your mood more depressed.

Unfortunately catching up on the news can also turn your attitude into a negative one quickly. You definitely need to follow whats going on in the world but make sure you follow it up with something good right after you pray about the situations that break your heart.

Members of law enforcement being gunned down for no reason, ISIS, Syrian refugees, starving children, etc. These are things that no matter your political view are totally horrific.

You think your having a bad day just because your dishwasher broke… Be thankful you have one to fix, many people around the world don’t even have running water.

Your car needs a major repair done to it…. Be thankful you have a car, many people even in America have to walk everywhere they go because they can’t afford the upkeep of a car.

Your teenage daughter is always disrespecting you…. Be thankful you still have her, somewhere someones daughter was just abducted to be a sex slave.

Your child is sick with another allergy related cold and you have to take off work… Be thankful it’s just allergies, some have to take months off work because their child is being treated for cancer.

You have to go and take care of your elderly father, again, because he just fell at home and refuses to live in a nursing home… be thankful he is still here, somewhere someone is grieving the loss of their father.

Don’t get me wrong it is totally okay to feel sad or upset with our current circumstances. They are legit feelings and emotions are a good thing even the bad ones. It’s hard to go through those times but we have to remember to dwell on the positives in our lives too. Turn your thoughts around.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

You see we really have a lot to be thankful for. Yes there will be bad things happen but we have to rely on God to get us through it. Yes it can seem like bad things always happen, but no matter how bad it gets God is still there. Rely on His love for you. Remember God sent His ONLY son to die on the cross for our sins so we can be with Him eternally! Jesus was not forced to do it. He did it willingly and could have backed out anytime He wanted. NOW THAT IS LOVE!

God doesn’t like for the bad things to happen. But unfortunately He has to allow it since He gave us free will and we live in a fallen world. Even though the well meaning sentiment “God won’t give you anymore than you can handle.” is a nice thought, it is totally FALSE and NOT at all scriptural. What you can do is believe that God will be right by your side to help you through it, He will bless you in the long run. Remember the book of Job in the bible? He practically went through Hell. All his children died, his lively hood and even his health was taken away. Many said he should curse God. But he didn’t. Because he held on to the Joy of the Lord, he got everything he lost back… plus more.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. – Psalm 28:7

The joy of the Lord is my strength! Say that out loud. “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”

That right there is my secret. You have to believe it and think on joyous things rather than negative things.

This song has become my new favorite. Read these lyrics, listen to this song, and be encouraged.

“Joy Of The Lord” By: Rend Collective


Though the tears may fall my song will rise
My song will rise to You
Though my heart may fail my song will rise
My song will rise to You
While there’s breath in my lungs
I will praise you Lord

In the dead of night I’ll lift my eyes

I’ll lift my eyes to You

Though the waters rise I’ll lift my eyes

I’ll lift my eyes to You

While there’s hope in this heart

I will praise You Lord

The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness I’ll dance
In the shadows I’ll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength

When I cannot see You with my eyes
Let faith arise to You
When I cannot feel Your hand in mine
Let faith arise to You
God of mercy and love
I will praise You Lord

How You shine with glory Lord of light

I feel alive with You

In Your presence now I come alive

I am alive with You

There is strength when I say

I will praise You Lord



When sorrow comes my way

You are the shield around me

Always You remain

My courage in the fight

I hear You call my name

Jesus I am coming

Walking on the waves

Reaching for Your light



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