Now, it's been many moons since I've watched the movie, so bear with me if I don't have the details quite right, but the story goes something like this: Pollyanna was a poor child and wished for a doll, but when she received the missionary barrel, it contained not a doll but a pair of crutches. Instead of being upset that she didn't get the one thing she wanted, she played the "glad game" and was thankful that she didn't need the crutches.
I felt very Pollyanna-ish yesterday. It had all the criteria for a bad day. Canceled plans, stuck at home, stranded hubby... We were snowed in, my dinner plans with a dear friend had to be canceled, and the play date I had been looking forward to was cut short because of the snow. And to top it all off, hubby's flight home from a business trip was canceled. Twice. I could have groaned and complained about the situation -- trust me, I'm quite good at that! But instead, I found myself focusing on the positives.
My "Glad Game"
- Hubby was stuck an extra night away from home, but I'm glad he was safe in a hotel in another state rather than trying to drive home in the snowy mess.
I'm also glad I have friends and family who checked in on me to make sure everything was ok.
- It started snowing 2 hours earlier than expected, but I'm glad my friend braved the weather so that our boys could have a play date, even if it had to be cut short.
- My dinner plans with a dear friend had to be cancelled, but I had a back-up meal in the freezer, so kiddo and I had Spaghetti & Meatballs for dinner, a meal that I haven't served in a few years because Hubby doesn't really like it.
- My road was not plowed until seven hours after it began snowing (3:00 pm), but I didn't have to go anywhere, and even if I did have to leave for an emergency, my car has All Wheel Drive.
- I had to feed and water the chickens, haul the firewood into the house, wake up early to start the wood stove, and shovel the driveway, but I'm glad for all that Hubby does for us daily. It was a good reminder that there is no "wood fairy" or "fire fairy," and the chickens don't take care of themselves!
- I'm glad hubby normally does the bulk of the shoveling.
- I'm glad it had finished snowing when I went out at 8:15 last night to shovel, and therefore I didn't have to shovel again when I got up this morning.
- I'm glad kiddo and I went out around 11:30 and shoveled the driveway so I didn't have to shovel 6+ inches all at once after he went to bed.
- I'm glad it wasn't windy out, since it was already so cold (10 degrees F).
- I'm glad my neighbors' garage floodlight was on to help me see.
- I'm glad that it was a cold, light, fluffy snow and not a warm, wet, heavy snow - or worse, ice!
- I'm glad I have a healthy back. It was starting to ache a bit toward the end, but I know it's nothing compared to my friends who have dealt with debilitating back pain.
- I'm glad I was able to get my Tuesday workout in simply by shoveling.
- I'm glad I have a nice warm house with a wood stove so I can stay nice and toasty when it's so bitter cold outside.
This "glad game" also reminded me of the book, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She tells the heart-wrenching story of the hardships she encountered in her childhood, and how everything changed when she began counting the little things in her life -- the gifts -- for which she could be thankful. It's a great reminder about the life-changing importance of thankfulness.
Gratitude is a choice. Especially when things don't go our way. When I'm thankful for even the little things, it causes my whole perspective to change. Less complaining leads to more joy! And we're able to thank the One who gave us each and every good thing.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17, NIV
So, will you play the "glad game" with me this week? When you find yourself in a frustrating situation, look for a reason to be glad. I would love it if you would share how you played the "glad game" in the comments below. We all need encouragement!
Wishing you a week full of gladness!