There is a story in the Bible about a group of people, the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt. God miraculously freed them and brought them out of Egypt. He was bringing them to the Promised Land. Land that God said was good and that He had promised these people from generations before. It was flowing with milk and honey. A beautiful place. But before they could get there they had to wonder through the desert. God took care of His people. He fed them manna from the sky. (No one really knows what manna was). He gave them water to drink. He led them by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. The whole time they were in the desert they never needed new shoes or clothes. Nothing wore out. They were taken care of. However, as the story goes, the Israelites were not happy. The grumbled about the manna. The complained about not getting new shoes. They were so tired of the ones they had. The grumbled about having to walk through the desert. 'Couldn't God just beam us there?' Whatever there was to complain about, they did. They forgot the big thing: God just freed them from slavery! He was taking them on a journey to a good place. He was taking care of them in the meantime. However, they never really seemed to remember and God get fed up. He made them stay in the desert an extra 40 years, until the first generation of complainers had all died off.
This story was brought to my attention (again) by a facebook friend who commented, 'Last year there was a drought and everyone was complaining. This year it is raining and raining to make up for the drought that everyone complained about last year and now everyone is complaining about the rain. The ONE thing that kept the Israelites out of the promised land was complaining!!'
Whether you believe this story is true or not does not remove it's impact. Complaining, grumbling, discontent are the things that will keep you where you are. Gratitude is what is going to bring you into the 'promised land'. It seems that when you recognize what you DO have instead of the three bedrooms you do not have (guilty!) that your heart is much more free to enjoy your life. There are good things all around we just need to be looking for them.
So. In an effort to remember the good things in my life to be truly grateful for them, Sunday's are going to be the day in which I recount to you the things I am grateful for this week.
This week I am grateful for our backyard. Very grateful. It really is perfect. It is big, it has a huge tree, we have a covered patio, it is secluded (but not isolated), we have great neighbors who share our backyard. Now that spring has finally come to Wyoming we have been spending a lot of time out there.
Its the type of place that we can spend the whole morning, have a picnic for lunch, let at least one of the kids nap outside and then play some more in the afternoon. We have a family of about 6 deer that visits us several times a day. There are rocks laying around to entertain the geologist and youngest member of the family. All of this, and no one will ever see us. And we dont have to see anyone else (except our neighbors of course but they work during the day). But we can come around front and remember that the world really does exist and take a short walk down to the library, or down the block to our friends, or to the neighborhood park.
And its big enough that when people come to visit they can just camp out in our backyard! Much more economical than staying in a hotel, and much better for everyone's emotional stability (vs. being crammed into our 800 sq. ft!)
I'm grateful for having such a great space!
What are you grateful for this week?