Monday, December 13, 2010

Mental Health Monday - 12/13


As some of you may have noticed, I have not put up a Menu for the past two weeks. This is pretty rare since I've become a slave to my menu in recent years. The reason? I've been doing a pantry challenge and in conjunction I've only allowed myself to "come up with dinner" the same day it's going to be served. Why? Well, let me back up a little bit.

We lived in Southaven, MS before moving to the Northwest corner of Arkansas and I had Kroger, CVS, Rite Aid and Schnucks stores at my fingertips! I deal shopped and stockpiled to my hearts content...until we moved. Now, I have an Aldi and Walgreens. That's it. If I want to deal shop at Kroger I have to drive an hour north or 2 hours south. I've gotten used to it and am pretty ok with my circumstances...most of the time. But these past few weeks? Not so much. I miss my Kroger. I miss Mega Sale shopping several times during the 2 week period and I miss my cabinets being filled with highly discounted groceries! I'm human, just like each of you and I was having an extended pity party for myself. I don't like pity parties. I know they aren't good for my mental health or spiritual walk so I sat down and prayed for what God wanted me to do about it. You guessed it - a pantry challenge. We have a big missions giving opportunity coming up in church on Sunday the 19th so I felt led to take my entire grocery budget and give it to those in need. Now, don't start clapping for me any time soon - my "sacrifice" has been ridiculously comfortable. We haven't gone hungry, not even close and even though we didn't have the variety we normally do, we have eaten just fine. My challenge ends this Thursday and I'm thankful that I did it. I've become more aware of the blessings I have, whether they are in the form I want them to be or not, I am so blessed! I may not have a huge budget but at least I have a budget. I may not have a Kroger to shop at but I have stores filled with food at my disposal any time I need them. And most importantly, I am provided for - there are so many people right now that can not say that and I'm ashamed at myself for ever complaining about all that I have. And truthfully? I need to get over myself. I don't deserve anything and everything I have has been given to me. The very least I can do is be thankful.
Now, this is not to tell you to eat from your cabinets and give all of your money to missions. Not even close. I also recognize that some of you are eating out of your cabinets, not out of choice, but out of neccessity. I've been there. My husband was out of a job for 9 months at the same time our first child was born and it's a hard place to be.

What I do want to do is to encourage those of you that are struggling with an attitude of gratitude, as I continue to struggle, to try and gain perspective on your situation. Try and see the positive no matter what is going on.

Children driving you up the wall? Spend some time on an infertility message board.

Is your job getting to you? Go sit in an unemployment office for about 30 minutes.

Wishing your house was bigger? These people don't even have a home.

Give something without caring what you get in return. Money, food, time - I dont care what you come up with. We each have something we can give to others that will be a blessing to them. No matter what comes to mind, big or small, anything you can do or give to others is a blessing and may impact them in a way you'll never know.

Yes, your feelings are real. Yes, they are probably even valid - but if we live our lives wanting more, wanting different, wanting, wishing, wanting we will never, ever realize all of the blessings that surround us each day! Be thankful. Be gracious. Do unto others. Live a life of purpose and meaning. Give to others and care less what you get in return. Jesus definitely did that for us.

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