I Choose Thankfulness

Smiley Face Person Holding Thank You SignLife does not always go as planned. My life could be the mantra of that sentence for so many reasons, but I sure am thankful for the one I have!

This is a really hard article for me to write because I don’t like talking about myself, but in order for you to learn more about Jim and I and our passion for LIVE LIFE Revolution, I think it’s a necessary piece of the puzzle as we move forward.

We all have our issues and things we are dealing with at any given moment. In my lifetime, I’ve dealt with everything from a marriage with a rough start to disease to well intentioned but bad advice.

You can never really know what the person in line in front of you at the grocery store, your co-worker, your neighbor, or even a family member is handling at any point in time.

Of course, we all have those people in our lives who lay it all on the line in social media or on that daily phone call (you know, the one you dread), but for the most part, you really don’t know.

I’ve recently been re-diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. It laid dormant for around eight years, but came back with a vengeance in the past few weeks. It is a disease of the immune system and involves joint swelling and stiffness. Right now, it’s mostly affecting my hands, back/neck, feet, and knees. Some days are hard to walk. Some are hard to turn a doorknob or even get dressed. To be honest, it kind of sucks, but when I look around, I have so much to be thankful for!

I have a husband who adores me and doesn’t care that I don’t have the strength to get up and make the effort of looking pretty for him, and he even gets up at 6:30 AM on the days I can’t to get our daughter ready for school, so I count the blessings far more than the hindrances.

My biggest prayer right now is for my thankful heart to continue being thankful because I know there is a reason this is happening in my life. A musician by the name of Mandisa sings a song that says, “If He started this work in your life, He will be faithful to complete it, if only you believe it.”

One of the cornerstones of LIVE LIFE Revolution is Faith, and I have a lot of it — I always have. Sometimes my ability to take care of others also causes me to rely too much on myself and this time, I have basically had to fall in the arms of Jesus and ask him for some help. There are times when I feel overtaken by the pain that hits me, but I will make it through, and I will become stronger because of it. I truly believe that and am striving to be a testament to it.

This past weekend, we were watching pre game Super Bowl interviews and saw one by OJ Brigance who is in charge of the Baltimore Ravens Player Development and was a linebacker and key contributor to the Ravens SuperBowl XXXV win.

OJ went from having a thriving, healthy body just about five years ago to being in a wheelchair, and he can only communicate through a computer screen which hangs in front of him that he operates with his eyes — talk about someone going through a lot.

His life expectancy is short, but he is making a difference every day in these players lives. He says his belief in Jesus Christ has given him strength to face every day with purpose and passion. O.J. has not let negativity play a role in his life as he has continued to LIVE his life.

So who am I to think what I’m going through is any worse than what others are dealing with.

A colleague and friend of mine, Sylvie Fortin, is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. She’s been through it once many years ago and now is on another round of chemo. Do you hear her talk about how horrible it is? No. She’s just excited to be given the chance at another opportunity to beat the heck out of cancer. And – she’s doing it with an amazing attitude. She was thrilled this weekend to be able to get out and go grocery shopping with her husband.  It’s amazing how the little things turn out to be the big things in our lives.

My aunt Theresa has stared death in the face more times than I can count. And yet, most days, when I talk to her, I can hear hope in her voice that today will be a good day.

Do Sylvie, Theresa or OJ have bad days? Of course — I do, too. But you can’t let it beat you.  I believe with all my heart that I have a lot to give to the Live Life Revolution efforts and all that we have planned for its future so this fight is just beginning, and I’m in it for the long hall.

No matter what your circumstances, a lot of negative things can go away in your life when you are thankful. It is a mindful and willful act of your choosing to be thankful and happy so I challenge you today that no matter what you are facing, go out and take one day at a time and win that day and LIVE LIFE!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

—   1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) 

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