Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.James 1:17 ESV
Sunday afternoon my husband and I loaded two of our grandchildren into the car to go to Wendy’s for a late lunch. We picked up our garage sale signs along the way. At the intersection of our neighborhood and the highway, I turned right onto the busy road. I switched lanes and BAM! An 18-wheeler surged around the left side of my car and swerved right around the front of my car. What was left of the car rested in the turning lane. There were pieces of it scattered over the road.
I had been clipped by an fully loaded truck headed to Colorado. Ken looked at me strangely and asked if I was hurt. We checked the children. They were not hurt, but they were scared. We watched the truck veer back and forth as he came to a stop about 800 ft. down the road. Ken exited the car to go check on him and his well being. The kids and I remained in the car for safety reasons because the road was unusually busy, and I feared we might get hit walking to the side.
Four hours later, I sat at home decompressing. From the moment of impact, I simply felt gratitude. My grandchildren survived without injury. My husband reclined next to me unharmed. Amazed, I could only feel grateful. The wrecker had towed my car to our driveway. It rested on the broken wheel of the driver’s side, and the front end lay in pieces in the back of our pickup. I loved that car, but I felt no grief for it’s condition, only gratitude that it had been strong enough to protect my family and me.
The Father of lights gave us good gifts that Sunday! I believe it, and His main gift was His light. Feeling gratitude was a blessing that I did not always possess. The ability to stay positive during stressful times had evaded me. I had to grow my capacity for positive emotions much like a seed. The light James talked about is given by a loving God, and it feeds and nutures the seed.
The seed of positivity has been growing within me for thirty years. I wanted a better life, so I did what I could to help myself become someone better. With no idea what I needed to do, or how to do it, I did something! Remarkably, it my efforts worked. The following list are practices that helped me become a happier person. Try some of them. Maybe they will work for you.
- Everyday, self talk to a mirror. Say, “Self, you are beautiful.” “Self, you are smart.” etc.
- Read books that teach you positive thinking skills.
- Listen more than you plan to talk.
- Take notes. If someone is happy, how do other react.
- Be gracious. Tell others thank you for their efforts, even if they only did something small.
- Treat your family as if they are guests everyday. They could be gone tomorrow.
- List 10 things a day you feel grateful for.
- Pet an animal, save an animal.
- Exercise. This helps a lot!
- Remind yourself who you are each day; a child of the Father of light.
- Find that light in something each day. Did you notice the dandelion seeds picture above?
- Even a noxious weed is beautiful in the light!