Today's Health Challenge was gratitude. I very much believe in gratitude. I was raised in a small Southern town where please, thank you, you're welcome, yes ma'am and yes, sir were taught to us from the cradle. I extend those polite responses not only to strangers and friends but to my immediate family and always thank my husband whether he opens the door for me or builds a barn for my horses. Today, not only is my husband home and working on my hay fields so I will certainly be thanking him but I have an appointment for a hair cut. I will make one of my rare ventures off of the farm; I'm becoming an old hermit, haha. I always thank Paula, my friend since we were teenagers and my hairdresser for the last 36 years, for doing such a great job cutting my hair....she is amazingly talented. I'll thank the checker and the person who bags my groceries when I make a stop at the store. Gratitude is an essential part of my life and I always try to start my day with a prayer thanking God for all of the blessings I have. I believe this is so good for us. It makes me realize that some of the things I see as hardships or problems might just be blessings in disguise. In this case, it's the sheep in the wolve's clothing because underneath the fierce and frightening outside is often something that's sweet, precious and very beneficial. So, even though, by now, everyone is aware that my house is in dire need of repair and remodeling, I'm grateful that I have a roof over my head to protect me from the elements, four walls around me to allow me to sleep peacefully with no fear of harm, and a home filled with love. As for my home's needs, everyone needs a challenge in their lives to keep us energized and moving forward. When the house is finally finished and once again, guest ready, I'm sure that I'll feel a lot of satisfaction and pride in a job well done and completed but I bet there will be some disappointment, too, once that challenge is gone.
I truly believe that even on days when we might feel a bit cursed, we are always richly blessed. Sometimes it just takes a bit of digging to find the blessing. Today, I woke with a bad headache, later than usual and feeling very overwhelmed because I was interrupted yesterday and didn't complete any of the many tasks I had planned. That means that today, which was already going to be a busy day, I know I'll feel like a failure by day's end because I don't have the time to accomplish all of the things that need to be done. Sitting around worrying about what I have to do just makes it worse and gets me farther behind and as I was contemplating that fact, I hear coming from across the hall in our bedroom the voices of Celtic Thunder singing about the Galway Girl. Not only is that one of my favorite Irish bands (I love Irish music so I have several favorites:) but Galway Girl is a favorite tune. It was a treat to watch and hear them perform this song live on the Today show and that song is all about being grateful for what you've received not what you've lost or what you expected and didn't get. The last lines of the song are, "I awoke next day and I was all alone, with a broken heart and a ticket home but I ask you friend, what's a fellow to do because I never met no one like that Galway girl." If that isn't about gratitude for what you've received and it out weighing what you lost, I don't know what is. ;-) Happy St Patricks Day, my friends and count your blessings whether they're Irish or not.
This version is by my favorite Irish band, The Kilkenny's. Galway Girl is actually written by an American but we won't hold that against it.
And I want to share this Irish blessing that a friend sent to me on Facebook with all of you.