Written by Andrea Robinson, Guest Blogger
It was 3 years ago…at 2:45 am…I was sitting in my near dark kitchen, welled up eyes, a strong black cup of coffee and a journal that was blank. There were questions like “What are you grateful for today?” and “What do you love about yourself?”
I couldn’t find an answer. I had been swimming and trying not to drown. I had said “YES” to everyone for years. Anyone out there a fellow people pleaser too?
I had put so much of my identity into my job as a morning news anchor I didn’t even know what I loved about ‘Andrea’ because everyone’s opinions dictated what I felt about myself.
I lived my life in the race towards perfection. Perfect body. Perfect family. Perfect house. Perfect career. Perfect husband.
I was so tired. Painfully exhausted. You know that tiredness that doesn’t go away even with 12 hours of sleep??
I lived with a mask on. That perfect mask that made everyone think I had this life figured out.
I could never tell anyone I struggled because that meant I was weak and couldn’t handle all of my blessings God gifted me. I couldn’t complain because nobody wants to hear your crap when they have their own too.
I had gotten to my broken moment. I didn’t love anything anymore and couldn’t see the blessings and the good right in front of me. I just couldn’t get my mind to that place of abundance.
It was one of the worst days that eventually pushed me towards a path that would be the best ones yet in my life thus far.
I would have never guessed that 10 minutes every morning along with a weekly visit to the life helper aka therapist would start to transform my heart.
Heart work is the hardest work ever. The results don’t show up on the scale or in a mirror or a bank account. They are felt and for many years you don’t actually feel it or notice it until you are far away from the storm that was threatening your heart and your path.
I remember working through those journal questions most mornings. I had committed to sitting and answering them at 2:45am Monday-Friday as a way to find the good to focus on before the exhaustion of my career dominated the day.
What was I grateful for? Was it my family? Health? Job? Well, YES.
However, I was never focusing on what I had but more so what I didn’t have.
DO you know what happens when you focus on what you don’t have? Scarcity.
I will never have what she has…I don’t have that income…or those opportunities or that ability to do what she is doing.
You know what happens when you train your mind to focus on the good? Abundance.
Guess what? Abundance is limitless, wide open, more than enough to go around.
However, it is like going to the gym…it doesn’t just happen, you have to work towards it…you have to train consistently and get those reps in for you to get towards it.
I started writing the big things and the little things.
The hot cup of coffee at 2:30am…the quiet feel of the morning when all are asleep…the peaceful drive into work….the look on my kids’ faces when I pick them up at the bus.
I didn’t want to dismiss the little things because I knew I was missing out on the BIG part of life by ignoring those simple moments.
I answered the question “what do I love about myself today” each day but in the beginning it was a trick to get myself to believe it. Just like we do with kids, affirm them and train them up with positive and affirming words, I did with myself.
I knew it wasn’t going to be quick but it would take time. I would write what I wanted to believe about myself. “I am a GREAT Mom. I am an awesome, loving friend. I am kind to strangers.”
Guess what happens when we repeatedly do something and write words of affirmation daily? YOU.BEGIN.TO.BELIEVE.IT.
YEP. And when you do something over and over and over again, you develop a habit. It was the greatest habit I have developed in my adult life.
Because it has drawn me closer to God. It has helped me see how He sees me. I can see the beauty in me without a mask of perfection, without the need to please everyone and without the constant exhaustion of trying to fit a standard that isn’t His anyway.
I have found when I look for the good, focus on it, find the littlest blessing in the mess I am in, I can see the beauty of what I am sitting in instead of the achiness of the hardship.
How will you ever find your room in the house of gratitude?
I know what you are thinking…”but she has no idea what I have been through. She has no clue what my heart feels like. I have so much pain that feeling good seems like a miracle that won’t happen.”
I can assure you this…I do not know your exact pain. I don’t know your footsteps you have walked thus far.
I have had trauma, tragedy and pain. I do know that when my heart felt empty, when I felt lost, when I felt not enough, I could NOT POSSIBLY see anything good in that but I do know I am strong and so are you.
We are strong and capable and we can choose abundance and choose gratitude and we can lead that way. The world leads with negativity and scarcity…there isn’t enough so give up now. I don’t want to conform to that, do you?
I want to stay in the house of gratitude for as long as I can. In fact, I know there is no limit on your stay. You are welcome forever. It is your choice.
Picture the safest place you know. Is it your home? A cabin you frequent in the woods? A beach house? Where are you filled with clarity and peace? Where do you go and never want to leave? Where do smile most? Where does your heart skip a beat? Where do you feel God?
THAT is your house of gratitude. THAT feeling is gratitude. THAT feeling comes from seeing all the things and the people and the experiences that come your way EVERY.SECOND.OF.THE.DAY.
It’s easy to be grateful during this season we are embarking on…it’s marketed heavily. However, I want you to look for the little things today and then again on those random Tuesdays in February or the quiet Sundays in July.
That hot cup of coffee steaming in your favorite mug=gratitude That smile on your husband’s face when he sees you after his work trip=gratitude That bright sun and crisp Fall air=gratitude That nap under a cozy blanket at 2pm on a Saturday=gratitude
Your House of Gratitude has a room waiting for you. Chase the joy to find the gratitude and the gratitude will lead you to contentment and abundance.
And that is the life God has always planned for you…even when you think His plan is not working, He never stops working.
Rest well, my dears…that grateful heart will lead you well.
If you’d like to grab your own gratitude journal or the other things she has available, head over to check out Andrea’s collection here!