Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dirt Road Lesson: Freedom

I will officially become Mrs. CajunGuy this Saturday!
Can you believe it?!?
As the day gets closer, I find myself tackling huge projects in order to move.
The biggest project being packing my stuff.

I find it to be the thing I dread most. My reason? I have stuff. Lots of stuff.
Some of it I didn't even know I had until I started cleaning and packing.
It got me to thinking: If I've lived this long without it, would it really hurt to throw it away?

In the past, I have pushed that thought to the back of my head, fearful that somehow throwing this stuff away meant that that part of my life was over.
And it is over, I know that. But admitting it was hard because it means I have to leave the comfortable, the familiar, the secure in order to start my married life.

So I sat with my pile of old photos and momentos from my younger life and started going through them. Each one I saw reminded me of the times I had back then. I could remember each photo like it was yesterday. I was suddenly able to recall everything about it -- sights, smells, even sounds. Every little scrap of paper or item held a story.

Then a lightbulb went off in my head. It wasn't the photos or the stuff that held the memories for me. Sure, they helped to jog my memory, but all of those memories are stored in me forever, not in the stuff.

I looked again at my pile of stuff. And with a finally unburdened heart, I threw it out. I kept the photos, because they hold a special place in my heart. But the stuff? The paper and the trinkets and the rest of it? I threw it. 

I had to start somewhere. It lifted an incredible amount of weight off of my shoulders and I smiled with the realization that my memories, my security, go with me wherever I do. I can access it whenever I need it and I am no longer weighed down with the baggage that comes with too much stuff.

Like Dr. King said in his infamous speech, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank the Lord, I'm free at last!"

Yes, thank you Lord for setting me free!

John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

What freedoms will you claim today? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dirt Road Lesson: Attitude Is Everything

Can I admit something here, y'all? 
My attitude stinks sometimes. I mean bottom-of-the-trashcan kinda stink. Not pretty.

At times I have the inclination to believe that my sometimes rough circumstances cause my bad attitude. I have been known to sulk, pout and withdraw during these times. 
It doesn't make anything better. In fact, it just makes them worse. 

CajunGuy's job takes him away from home for days (sometimes weeks) at a time. It has been a difficult adjustment to say the least. There are so many times that he misses appointments, holidays and important dates in order to go to work. 

I'll be honest: I hate it.

I will also extend my honesty to tell you that it often is not as bad as I make it out to be.
It could be worse. He could be out of work again. He could be permanently injured. He could have to work in a dangerous foreign country for weeks at a time like so many people we know.

The thing that makes it hard is something I have control over: my attitude.
It makes or breaks my whole outlook.
It is not my circumstances that dictate my attitude, but rather my attitude that determines my circumstances.

I can choose to pout and get angry when CajunGuy has to leave and that does nothing except hurt me and hurt the guy who is already heartbroken that he has to miss so much just to provide for us. Or I can choose to be thankful for a guy who loves me enough to work so hard to support me. 

Either attitude will get you somewhere, but is it somewhere you want to be?

Today I choose gratitude.

What about you? What attitude will you choose today?