An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Being Grateful

October 19, 2007 I graduated for the police academy. On that day my sister gave me a journal with an inscription on the front that said, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Inside she wrote a note to me that I should take a couple of minutes every day to write down what I’m grateful for. 
My first journal entry was on October 23, 2007.  It read, “My goals are simple, I will always be painfully honest, works as hard as I can, learn as much as I can and hopefully make a difference in people’s lives.  (This is the creed of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)  Last night was Bob’s funeral. It was very sad to see such a great man, gone to early in life.  Today I am grateful for Bob being in our life and the opportunity to have known him and call him a friend.”
Bob built Mike and I’s first two homes.  He was our builder, but through the process became our friend.  Unfortunately while building our second home he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away shortly after.  It’s funny that after all these years I still walk through our home and Bob’s touch in different places and smile.  We have an archway from the reading room to the living room that was his idea.  Our laundry room is upstairs, which I was convinced it would leak and make a huge mess, but he talked us into it. Boy was that a great decision. No more carrying clothes up and down to flights of stairs.  He worked our kitchen out perfectly so I could have my double oven.  He suggested pocket doors in several places to save space. And his writings are still on some of the concrete outside.  I see the writings when I’m planting flowers and just smile.

We miss Bob and sometimes talk about him as if he is still living down the road and may pop in and see us. I loved seeing that grey truck pull up in the driveway and his smiling face at the door.  He always had an idea or was trying to solve a problem we threw his way.
My original intent for this post was to talk about being grateful during times of trouble. Being grateful when there is something you could be complaining about. Being positive about a situation when most people would look at the negative. 

My intent for this post was to write about how I received word from my dentist today that I had an abscess tooth.  I was bummed about the news, but then immediately saw the good.  I was in Rhode Island and Connecticut on work travel last week.  The first night of my travels I woke up with a terrible pain in my tooth.  I took two ibuprofens and tried to go to sleep. When that didn’t help I took another and then got a warm, wet washcloth, laid it on the tooth that was hurting and applied pressure. Somehow I fell asleep and for the remainder of the trip my tooth never hurt.  I have talked to several people that have had an abscess tooth and they needed immediate attention from their dentist.  I’m grateful the pain went away, I was able to have a productive trip and I’ll be able to get this issue taken care of by my home doctor. 
Anyways, I went to write this down in my gratitude journal and realized my first entry was six years ago yesterday and I wanted to share with you about my friend Bob.  In all the time I knew Bob, even through all his cancer treatments, I don’t think I ever heard him complain once.  There is always two ways we can look at a situation, I’m really trying to focus on the positive. It’s funny when we focus on the positive, the thing that could have gotten us down doesn’t seem all that bad in the grand scheme of things and is nothing compared to what others are going through. 

Be positive, find good in everything and always be grateful.

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