There’s a lot to whine about during divorce. And these are’t just little inconveniences … they are things like having to sell your house, maybe uproot your kids, go back to work when you thought you were going to be able to take life a little easier; and then there’s the fact that your ex-husband is taking his girlfiend on a trip that he had promised you. Okay. All of that sucks. We can be mad and sad and sorry about our life for awhile … we can complain and whine and moan and groan to our hearts content …. until we finally figure out that none of that stuff helps. In fact, it keeps us stuck. It makes it impossible for us to move fowrard and take control of our own destiny.
Divorce is hard. Recovering from divorce takes work and tears and time. But here’s something to think about: “The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” That quote is from H.U. Westermayer. I have no idea who he is, but his statement makes me take a look at my own propensity to complain and whine. Sometimes I’m embarrassed that most Americans (divorcing or not), who have so much, are sometimes such whiners. Someone sent me an email not long ago with 12 pictures from the Sudan of people who have absolutely nothing except the rags on their backs. It makes me embarrassed that we aren’t more thankful.
It’s like we think everything should be perfect, and even then, we don’t say a humble “Thank you.” Instead we worry that the napkins don’t match exactly , or there wasn’t enough brown sugar in the sweet potatoes. Or our kids are at our ex-husband’s house for this holiday. They could be in a refugee camp or in a field searching for a bite of food to eat. Let’s be thankful for the sweet potatoes and thankful for napkins of any kind. Let’s be thankful for the food period because there are millions of people on this earth who do not have enough food to eat or a comfortable place to sleep.
Thankfulness and gatitude are habits we develop. So are whining and complaining and being dissatisfied all the time. I believe God will be very harsh on those of us who have so much, but who really appreciate so little. Let’s change that. They say if you do something every day for 21 days, it becomes a habit. From now ’til Christmas, let’s keep a “gratitude journal.” Every day everyone in the family should right down one thing they are thankful for. Then on Christmas or New Year’s Day, let’s all read the list. Let’s keep doing that every day until we realize how blessed we really are. Yes, even during divorce. Maybe especially during divorce when we understand a little more about pain and heartache and sadness. Let’s use those lessons to be grateful for the amazing blessings we can enjoy every single solitary day.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks is all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18