If you follow me on social media, you know that the past few months haven't been easy for my family. We've had health issues, car issues, school issues, and recently my husband lost his job. I've been in a zombie-like status for weeks. Moving along on autopilot doing just enough to get by, but not doing anything very well.
Not to mention I've been feeling quite sorry for our misfortune, and looking back on my SM accounts, I've whined…. a lot.
On Wednesday, November 11th, that all changed with a quick text from my older brother… I knew immediately something bad had happened. And said many silent prayers in my head that my parents were okay. I'd never been so happy to receive a text in my life. I called my mom's cell and when she didn't pick up my heart skipped a beat. She called me back shortly after to let me know they were okay. Only then did my heart rate return to semi-normal.
A Grateful Heart
They were extremely lucky. It was all over in less than 30 seconds but the destruction was unreal.
Just as my mom's cell phone announced the tornado warning, the kitchen window exploded from the wind and my dad threw my mom down on the living room floor and covered her while glass and other storm debris flew around them. Interior doors were ripped off hinges, the house was knocked off it's foundation, their garage was completely destroyed, as well as other outbuildings on their property. Their RV was knocked over, my mom's car was picked up and turned 180 degrees in the driveway, most of all the windows were shattered.
Thankfully they weren't hurt and all of their pets survived.
They have found a home nearby to rent and are in the process of packing up the belonging they can salvage and moving on with their lives… because that is what you do. This reminded me of a quote I heard at the welcome presentation from my oldest daughter's first college visit a few weeks ago:
My parents haven't yet decided if they will rebuild the house they lived in for over 25 years; right now they are just taking it one day at a time. Being thankful for what they have; not letting their circumstances dictate their attitude. I strive to find this perspective in my life.
I haven't been very grateful lately. Yes, our income has dropped 80%, no, things haven't been easy, but we have a warm and cozy place to live, food in our bellies, fresh water to drink, and love in our hearts.
Every morning we wake up and take another breath. There are plenty of people who took their final breath the night before. We have two cars that are paid off; yes they are old, old cars, but they run and allow us to go places together as a family. There are millions of people who have no access to transportation. We live far away from our families, but I know that they will always be there for us when we need them. Many people have no family to lean on.
When was the last time you felt thankful for the “little” things in your life?
I was recently reminded of a old Cherokee fable…
Tale of Two Wolves
One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves' inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
“Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one that you feed.”
I have been feeding the wrong wolf for quite a while. It's time for a change. I need to find my grateful heart.