From Erin: I have alluded to some big trials in my marriage in the past, and I am so thankful for women like Darlene who have made it their mission and ministry to see Christian marriages strengthened. I look forward to reading Darlene’s newest book, Messy Beautiful Love! You see–true love is never easy, but it can be very, very beautiful!
Guest post by Darlene Schacht of Time-Warp Wife
I’m about to tell you a little secret about myself. And after I do, I hope that we’ll still be good friends.
Here it is. I’m not so good at putting laundry away. Clothes have feelings too and sometimes they just want to hang out with the rest of the family for a while before going back into the drawer. Know what I mean?
One day my daughter put a basket of clothes at the top of the stairs just outside of my bedroom door. Several days passed before I stopped and said, “Oh, that’s where that purple sweater is!”
It’s one thing to be that way about a basket of laundry; unfortunately we can also be that way when it comes to the people in our lives. Going about our work, day after day we get so used to hurrying by that we forget to stop and breathe in the life around us, and the people that God has given to us.
The world is alive when we open our eyes to it. When we stop long enough to give thanks for the things that we have instead of complaining about the things that we don’t have, we’re able to breathe in the sweet scent of His blessings.
I tend to remember this most when I’m alone at night. After the kids go to bed, I get this sudden urge to sneak into their rooms and kiss their foreheads. And when Michael’s asleep I can’t help but to snuggle up close to his pillow where I can smell him, too. I’ve actually gotten used to his snoring, and most days I kind of like it because it reminds me that I’m not alone in the dark.
It’s surprising to discover all of the little gifts you enjoy when you actually stop to consider them, isn’t it?
It’s natural to appreciate my husband when everything is going my way. It’s easy when things are coming together and he’s going along with the flow. That’s when I usually start counting my blessings and telling myself what an incredible husband I have.
It’s not so easy on the days when my idea of how things should be done conflict with his. When things aren’t coming together the way that I hoped they would. On days like that I’m not counting my blessings too quickly, because I’m too busy counting my wants, my needs and my desires.
Whenever I’m in the zone of self-centered desire and pride, I hear a voice that beckons me without fail to let go of my selfish behavior.
I’m offered a choice. I can either be thankful to God in the moment or I can hang on to my anger and make everyone around me miserable, too. Thankfully I’m learning that the moment I let go of my anger and humble myself before God, I find joy and peace that I would otherwise miss.
Image from Pixabay.com
Are you looking to capture the joy in your life? Here are four good ways to get started:
- Start your day with prayer and scripture.
- Be intentional about smiling and spreading joy to others.
- Put down electronics that are distracting you. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with social media. Draw boundaries that offer a healthy balance–and stick to them. Walk away from the computer and engage in person-to-person face time.
- Start a gratitude journal. Count your blessings and write them down daily. It’s amazing how many we have when we sit down and start counting them.
- Remember this one important rule: You might not be able to change your circumstances, but you can choose your mood. A bad mood won’t make a difficult circumstance any better, so why choose it?
This article is an excerpt in part from Messy Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht. Used with permission from Nelson Books © 2014.
You are loved by an almighty God,
Check out Darlene’s new book,
Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages