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Monday, November 28, 2016

7-Day Exercise Program

When our kids were growing up we had a tradition at dinner time that became especially meaningful during the Thanksgiving holiday season. We would ask each person at the table to relate their “good thing” and their “bad thing” that happened to them that day or that week. It was a great way to get the communication going with the kids and it helped us to teach them that life will always have some bad moments, but there will be plenty of good ones to be thankful for too. And more importantly, as hard as it might be, we can even be thankful for the bad things if we allow ourselves to learn from them.

Since I am writing over the Thanksgiving weekend, it seems only appropriate that I continue the tradition. So, if you don’t mind, I would like to tell you my “good thing” and my “bad thing”.

My bad thing first. My 82-year-old Mom wanted to go up to Fresno to visit her sister for Thanksgiving, but she was going to have to take a bus from Riverside to Bakersfield and then a train from Bakersfield to Fresno. At 82 I didn’t want her to have to ride a bus so I volunteered to drive her to the Bakersfield Amtrak Station on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We had a great time together so I was happy I was able to help, but on the way back I hit the worst traffic I’ve ever seen in my life. Altogether I changed freeways 11 times in 5 hours trying to make find my way back home but the weird thing is I never really got upset about it. I think the fact that I did something good to help someone I love.. kind of took away my frustration and turned it into a good day after all.

Now my good thing. I’ve had a serious back pain issue for 6 months and although I’ve seen multiple doctors and had two painful needle procedures done, the pain was still pretty bad. So my doctor advised me to get spine surgery. That didn’t sound like fun, so I continued to pray for healing, which I have been doing for months. But this time I changed up my prayers to include a thank you to God for all the good things going on in my life, despite my stupid back pain. And I guess it worked because two weeks ago, the pain completely disappeared and it hasn’t come back!

Being thankful doesn’t necessarily come easy for most of us, but it should. Here’s an idea. Tomorrow morning when you climb out of bed, think of one specific thing you can be thankful for. Do it every day for a solid week, thinking of different things to be thankful for each day. How you feel in the morning affects how you feel throughout the day so this simple 7-day exercise program will probably heighten your focus on the good things. It might even help you realize that “not focusing on a bad thing” is a “good thing”!
One of my many good things... the girls in my life!
It is not what we say about our blessings, 
but how we use them, that is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
~ W. T. Purkiser

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