Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude
When my family and I moved from our hometown of Washington, DC to Charlotte, NC, in 2006, we were all a little terrified. We left everything we knew and at the time, my father was quite ill. He passed away a year after we arrived here. We left my husband's father, six brothers and sisters and enough nieces and nephews to fill a small city. We arrived in Charlotte excited and exhausted, just a few weeks before our kids started pre-school. My husband became extremely ill just days after we arrived. We didn't know a single physician here.
Thankfully, we had a few friends who came here before us, most notably my pastor and friend of over 20 years, Dwayne Bond of Wellspring Church. Had it not been for him and his wife, and the extended family we have as a result of knowing them, I shudder to think where we'd be now. When I look back over the past two years, I see lots of trauma and uncertainty. I guess that's no different than what life is always like. But now that the economy has taken a nose dive, I wonder how many people out there are feeling the same kind of trauma and uncertainty I was feeling two years ago. If so, I want to encourage you today.
In spite of the uncertain economic times, I have quite a long list of things to be thankful for in all aspects of my life. I still have many goals and aspirations, but thanks to a fun business, many of them have materialized. I am affected by the economy, but I am not controlled by it. I am thankful for that.
It's always a good thing to pause and take stock of the simple things that bring joy and contentment regardless of outside forces. Perhaps you can relate to them, and you may have similar things to be thankful for, or other ones. If so, please feel free to leave your gratitude note in the comments section below.
- My Faith Is Strong. I know that this is not all there is. That knowledge keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by difficult situations, whatever they may be. I serve a God who loves me and I am persuaded that my job is to do the best I can and then leave the results to Him. My faith is not built on an economy, good or bad, and it keeps me strong and excited about the future.
What more could a woman ask for?
- My Children Are Thriving. My kids are healthy and strong. They are enjoying the learning process and I feel we are off to a good job preparing them for life in this crazy world. After enduring health issues that seemed impossible to overcome, my husband is also well.
What more could a wife and mother ask for?
- My Family Business Is Strong. I am blessed to combine my life's passion with my life's work in a fun family business. It's also a wonderful thing that the business and my family are both debt free. (You know how I feel about debt.) I serve a community of businesses that I personally love and care for. When they succeed, I succeed. They make my life fun!
What more could an Indie Business owner ask for?
- My Neighborhood Is Safe and Convenient. I live in what I consider to be the best neighborhood in my county. My neighbors are friends, there are tons of other children for my kids to play with, the Homeowner's Association looks out for our best interests and we live so close to everything we need that we can easily go for weeks without filling up the gas tank.
What more could a consumer ask for?
Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift! (2 Cor. 9:15)I remember gas lines, Black Friday and the S&L fiasco, but I was quite young during those times and I hardly remember much about them. As a result, this is the first time I've ever really seen an economic meltdown up close. I am content in the knowledge that my life is not totally wrapped up in those things, and that as long as I focus on the things I love and can control, I am at peace.
What do you think?
I know that, despite the economy, each one of you feels a sense of gratitude for life's blessings large and small. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and some of the things you are most grateful for. Business is a challenge and life can be tough sometimes. Let's encourage one another today!