6 Ways to be Grateful when our blessings feel more like burdens

I’m so tired. My baby doesn’t sleep through the night.

Why do I have to work 40 hours a week? I hate my job!

The lawn needs mowing again? I just did it!

My husband is blaring the football game on the TV, my kids are running around screaming. Will I ever get a night of peace and quiet?

Band practice, dance classes, soccer….I’m tired of being so busy all of the time.

My house is a mess. I can’t seem to catch up!

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Life can be so overwhelming! Everything comes at you all at once – sick kids, in-laws coming to visit, deadlines at work. And on top of it all you still have to maintain a home, put meals on the table for your family, and keep up with your work responsibilities. It call all add up to you feeling extremely BURDENED.

I confess. I feel the same way. After my sweet son was born and I had returned to work – I was NOT enjoying my life. After sleeping for just a few hours (thanks to my 3 month old waking up to nurse), I had to get up, get everybody ready, and rush out the door. After working a full day, I had to rush home, make something for my family to eat, and then find time for baths, cleaning, and spending time with husband and son. Everything seemed like a burden.

Something needed to change – but I also knew that this was my lot in life, at that moment. We simply could not afford for me not to work (SIDE NOTE: Staying home isn’t easy either!). We all still needed to eat (including my sweet son in the middle of the night!). I still needed to do some cleaning. How was I going to make this all work?

After a long day at work, I was feeling extra emotional. An innocent comment my husband made put me over the edge. I stormed out of the living room and slammed the room to our bedroom. I hid my face in my pillow and cried. After a while, my hubby came in and tried to talk….I just wasn’t ready to be better yet! I needed time to think! I needed to get my MIND to align with my HEART.

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Later that night, my husband gave me some alone time. I locked myself in the bathroom with music, a notepad, and a bubble bath. I wrote down all of my thoughts. Mentally, I was overwhelmed, depressed, feeling angry and ungrateful. Annoyed by my husband. Frustrated with my 3 month old for needing to wake up to eat. In my heart, I knew that this was one beautiful, hard stage of life. I had SO MUCH to be thankful for. I thought about all of the wonderful attributes of my husband – kind, patient, helpful. I thought about my sweet son – how much I love him, how fast time is going, how much I will MISS this when he no longer needs me.

I needed to take action. What steps could I take to take to turn my burdens into blessings?

  1. Turn It Around – As I mentioned above, the first thing I did was make a list of the things that were burdening me. Then, rather than using my logical senses – my mind – I let my heart speak to me. My burdens began to make me smile.
  • What a BLESSING my husband is – he mows the lawn and takes out the recycling. He makes our child laugh!
  • What a BLESSING my son is – I have dreamed of him for so long. He makes every day special for me. I cannot imagine my life without him.
  • What a BLESSING my job is – without it, we would be struggling financially. My co-workers and boss make me laugh every day.
  • What a BLESSING this mess is – I have a roof over my head. I have a place to get out of the cold and rain!
  • What a BLESSING dinnertime is – We have plenty of food to eat. We surely are not in need.
  1. Live in the Moment – Once I had made the list of my burdens and turned them into blessings, I knew I was going to need to conscious about my list to make it stick in my head and heart! I chose to live in the moment as often as I could – when my son was up at 2AM to nurse, I admired his chubby little hands and the time we had snuggling. It helped me to forget how tired I was and has really made me enjoy our late night nursing sessions.
  1. Remember What You Have – A full pantry, transportation in order to get to my job, someone who loves my son and takes care of him while I am away, a wonderful husband and family, friends…. These are all big, important parts of my life. How can I continue to be ungrateful when my heart is so full? I can’t! I must remember all that I have.
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  1. Look Back…But only for a moment – Remember back as newlyweds, when you dreamed of owning your own home? How you couldn’t wait to plant flowers outside and paint every room a different color? I do! Owning a home is a dream for so many of us! So, why are we acting like this beautiful blessing is a burden? Yes, there is always a project to do. Yes, it’s stressful when the water heater goes out and we have to scrape up the money to buy new. Yes, it’s more to clean. But, would I go back to living elsewhere. Never.
  1. Resist the Urge to Compare – MUST. RESIST.THE. URGE. TO. COMPARE. This was so hard for me! Why does everybody else seem to have it all together? Why does she get to stay home with her children and I can’t? Her husband helps around the house more than my husband does! …. It’s just not helpful to compare ourselves to other people. Truthfully, what appears to be on the outside, isn’t always the reality, looking in.  Remember that.
  2. Take notice of the Little Things – Finally, we all know that not every day will be as easy to be grateful as others. Honestly, some days are just bad. Working to change my mindset to take notice of the little things has been a game changer for me on those really bad days. The house is a huge mess and company is coming soon…but you know what? I can’t want to snuggle up in that messy unmade bed tonight. Yes, I burned the supper and everybody complained…but you know what? Dairy Queen is open till 10pm! Yes, I’ve been stuck in my office all day…but you know what? The sun is shining and I’m going to enjoy the rest of the day outside!

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To encourage you to view your “burdens” as blessings more easily, the goal of this blog will be to provide you with blog posts and series, printables, recipes, time and home management tips, cleaning and organizing tips, and so much more to assist you in creating a life that is filled with blessings…managed.

-Kendra

 

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