My husband is a good man, I mean really good. He’s editing this so I know he’s smiling as he reads my compliment. He likes it when I brag on him and show my gratitude.
Although there are many reasons I describe him as a good man, my favorite is… he is a patient man.
And it’s a good thing for me; if he wasn’t, well, I won’t even go there. I know I have pushed his patience to the limit so many times. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve left a prop I needed for children’s church at home and my “Oh no!” really meant “We gotta go back. Turn around.” He knew and he did. He’d turn around and retrieve it.
Or, sometimes it was a sweater I wanted to return or something else that I just “had” to have. I’ve even left one of my kids before…once, only once, and yes, he turned around and got her too! (That’s another story. Actually, it’s a blog post too! All of life is a blog post.)
He almost never grumbled. He just turned around and went back home, sometimes even after we got where we were going he would have to go back home. And to top it off, I haven’t learned from my mistakes. He still offers, “Do you want me to go back?”
I’ve made lists. But then I’d lose the list. Put it by the door…I did that too! I’d have everything together and the baby would take something off to play with it! So, all I can say is thank you, Wayne, for going back to get stuff!
Which brings me to my friend. She made me realize that I had left something really important behind. It wasn’t a rebuke. Actually, it was only after I saw what she had taken that I realized I had left mine behind. Let me explain.
My friend sent me a note after my unique and almost cynical, but very inspirational post from New Year’s day, which by the way was my first podcast. Yeah! If you haven’t read or listened to the post, it was a first for me in many ways. Without repeating the story here, I talk about the struggle of leaving the pain of the past in the past.
She wrote to tell me how much she liked my post. (Awe! Thank you!) But then she continued with four words that were riveting, absolutely riveting.
I have happy bags too!
She explained, that she had precious memories. Memories of laughter we had shared and times we had prayed together. We had been pregnant at the same time -twice. So we went through the years of dirty diapers and terrible twos together.
We shared recipes and secrets.
We shared successes and failures.
We shared heartaches and we celebrated, really celebrated, each others victories.
She was saying, “I have memories that make me feel happy!” Wow!
Thank you dear friend!
You reminded me that in my struggle to leave the pain of the past, which I absolutely WILL not take into the future, that I must take my HAPPY BAGS with me.
Happy Bags stuffed and overflowing with the joy of experiencing the toothless grins of grand babies,
the sweet memory of my babies, and now all grown up memories of them too.
My Happy Bag packed with the memories of weddings and births. Of graduations.
Bulging with life shared and realizing that life shared simply means “life multiplied”.
My Happy Bag was slam packed with:
amazing places I’ve been, filled with flowers and hiking trails and vistas that took my breathe away.
great food I’ve eaten; Mexican food, hot and spicy; Thai food, again hot and spicy. I think I see a trend there; And chocolate. I feel a shout coming on!
things I’ve learned. The joy of experiencing that moment when the light came on; that moment when understanding entered the room! I love it!
victories that God brought just in the nick of time. Triumphs in the middle of impossible situations. Of suddenlies that didn’t feel so sudden. Miracles. Healings. Hope when there was no hope. Now, I AM shouting, but not too loud, Wayne’s “not up and at it” yet. Gotta be considerate of a man that precious.
Happy bags, unlike the unbelievably heavy bags of pain, are light.
But I forgot mine. So, like Wayne has done so many times, I turned around and went back!
I almost forgot that on my list of necessary things to take into my New Year, into my clean slate, my new beginning—OK, I’ll stop, I know you get my drift;
I’ve got to have my Happy Bag filled with wonderful memories.
Wonderful memories that are mine to open and enjoy.
Precious memories are a springboard for gratitude.
And that’s a key…gratitude is an integral key to a great year and a great life.
Gratitude is an attitude changer.
We are facing so many challenges and in order to be the triumphant believer God intended, we must have an attitude of gratitude.
Please don’t glaze over those words because they are so common.
Your attitude will energize you or drain you.
Your attitude really will determine your altitude, your success and your faith.
Gratitude when expressed to the real source of every good and perfect gift -GOD; opens your eyes to see one more facet of His beauty. And that’s BIG.
Celebrating, really celebrating, looks somewhat like a child opening a very special present on Christmas morning.
A child celebrates with absolute glee, jumping up and down and screaming and hollering; you’ve seen it. If not at your house, on YouTube! We must celebrate, maybe without the jumping up and down, but we can certainly do better than we do! We must celebrate those precious memories from our Happy Bag with thanksgiving.
It’s the natural thing to do.
But we’ve grown up and nothing much excites us or drives us to real thankfulness anymore.
Sorry. But I don’t want to be that way anymore.
I don’t want to forget the blessings I’ve enjoyed as if they were scraps left over from a good meal. I don’t want to trash them. I want to savor them like a decant chocolate.
But I can’t savor them…if I leave my Happy Bag in the past.
I could go on and on and on listing the benefits of opening the Happy Bag and celebrating them through gratitude to God as you unwrap each precious memory. But I’ll only stop with sharing one more benefit.
We see it in High Defination on the screen of scripture in the story of David. He does it more than once, but my favorite is his decision to fight a man that was terrorizing a nation.
Saul was absolutely incredulous when the young David offered to fight the giant. But David justified his boldness with, “I’ve killed the lion and I’ve killed the bear and I can defeat this giant too.” He rehearsed his victory.
David Had a Happy Bag too!
Did you know when David faced the giant he had two bags, one with rocks in it and the other with victories in it!
He opened both!
One bag contained amunition for his sling shot.
The second bag, ammuntiion for his faith.
His victories were not the source of his faith, but they certainly ignited it. His faith was in God. But the ignition was the revelation of Truth, God’s Word, in a way that was practical.
David facing the Giant 1 Samuel 17:45 David shouted in reply, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty — the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
Thank you dear friend for the memories and the reminder to take my Happy Bag into my new year, to celebrate them with gratitude to God who is the giver of every good gift.
If you didn’t read my New Year’s post I hope you will.
And if you need a good laugh, check out Saturday’s as well!
Or wanna read about the day I left my adorable daughter at a garage sell.
Or leave a comment. I’d really like to hear from you.
What are you doing to make 2014 a great year? I’d love to hear from you!!!
And don’t forget…if you enjoyed this post please share it. Partner with me by encouraging someone that needs it!
David facing King Saul 1 Samuel 17:33-37
“Don’t worry about a thing,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight this Philistine!” 33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There is no way you can go against this Philistine. You are only a boy, and he has been in the army since he was a boy!” 34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and take the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37The LORD who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!”Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the LORD be with you!”