I know it’s almost unimaginable (ha), but I was a particularly whiny child. So often I would look with tunnel vision and at the end of the tunnel the glass was only half-full. I have vivid memories of spending the early evenings badgering my dear mother, begging her to finish cooking dinner. I would fling my shirt over my face and show her my empty stomach, my little rib cage hanging out as evidence of my starvation. I sure had issues with turning molehills into mountains. Chad the little drama king.
My mom was a champ. She patiently taught me over and over…and over…to focus on the good over the bad. She embedded this message through singing the old hymn “Count Your Blessings” over the little boy with his shirt tail flung over his face. Her patient exhortation was good for my soul. Though I imagined that I was on the brink of starvation, my blessings were actually way outnumbering my problems. She urged me to think on those good things. I still play her version of that song in my head with regularity.
It’s a good thing I married Julie. She sort of has taken the torch of encouragement from my mom. When we started this home assignment and my vision was clouded by frozen waterpipes and suspended PhD work, she had the great idea to create a thanksgiving board. So before we did almost anything else, we bought a corkboard and tacks, cut up some notecards in thirds. Every week or so, we write on the little cards something worthy of thanksgiving: the car from Isringhausen Imports, our free apartment, new support, etc. When I have felt some of those childish pessimistic thoughts welling up, the board has been helpful. Count your many blessings see what God has done!