If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Monday, February 15, 2016

Til the Shackles Fall Off

The thing of it is a lot of times, I write what I am thinking or respond to something or am otherwise way too serious in some of these blog posts. Something I don't write enough about publicly is praise and gratitude and certainly not to the extent that I should. Last couple posts, may seem like I am not content. I am. I have been very chill the past couple of days. We all lose our cool sometimes, we all have days where we vent and thrash. It's all good as long as you don't live there.

It took me awhile to learn to channel my grumbling into gratitude but I am so very glad that I did. Oh I still have complaints but I very much try to not ride a downward spiral into the abyss of malcontent. Some days it is very easy to list a bazillion and a half reasons I am grateful. I am in the flow, everything is awesome, everything is coming up roses, there is a spring in my step. Easy...like Sunday morning (could not resist). Others I go to my standard I am having the shittiest soul sucking black hole of a day starters and even then it's debatable. My standard starters are: woke up this morning in a bed with food to eat, a roof over my head with clothes on my back and food in my cupboard. From there sometimes, the praises go up with ease. Other times, I really have to dig.

Peace in the storm is not something that Jenny accomplishes on her own. Never has been. I am not as strong as everyone gives me credit for in all honesty. Attaining the peace of God that passes understanding is a lot like the game Othello...a minute to learn, a lifetime to master. Yep, kids, it's that old Sunday School answer...Jesus. When he isn't busy building hot rods and turning water into wine, he is walking with me and talking with me and telling me that I am not alone. I have been thinking a lot about that tonight about how profoundly different that this journey would have been for me without my faith.

Deep in thought, this song came on the station that I am listening to tonight. I had never heard it before tonight. I have heard plenty of other songs with the same sentiment. But this, this was so appropriate to some of my trains of thought the past couple of days. Trains of thought that can best be summed up in words stolen from my 7 year old: sometimes you have to kick the devil in the crouch.

I have been hanging out in this prison, partially of my own design. I have been letting fear rule me in a lot of areas. I am so not about all that right now. I had a multitude of good girlfriend conversations this weekend. I think I shared that already. Thank God for all of them and their insights and wisdom. These shackles they chafe at times, who wants that?

As a point of reference, the song is referring to Acts 16:25-26:
25But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.…

I am going to wear my crown and my big girl shoes and keep singing praises and doing my own little touchdown dances. I am going to keep rephrasing my tribulations in the form of a thankfulness. I am going to keep on keeping on. These prison walls will break off and these shackles will fall!

I challenge you to take a deep breath and rephrase your tribulations in the form of thankfulness. Write out your gratitudes. Find joy in the little things. Praise BOGO sales and the dollar menu and open wifi! Break free from prison with me!

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