I used to be extremely pessimistic. Even now I have to be very careful about how I think. My inclination is to look at most things as potentially bad for me and, if they are undoubtedly good, to figure out how they can become bad for me. You know the attitude, “Expect and prepare for the worst.” I’m sure some of you might be thinking , ‘But that’s the safest thing to do to keep you from being surprised or disappointed’. Maybe it is wise, maybe it’s the safest attitude to have, but I'm convinced that the way I did it was neither wise nor safe nor faithful.
Since embarking on this journey, I’ve had to train my brain to search for the good and not the bad - to focus on hope and not despair - to prepare for the best and not the worst. Look at the previous sentence again. I placed all the positive words ahead of the negative. That wasn’t a subconscious action, because my brain has been trained to expect the negative but distantly hope for the positive.
Do you ever find yourself getting trapped by the “what ifs” of a good turn in life (or the potential for a good turn in life)? Do you find yourself comforting yourself with the worst possible outcome to an endeavour or opportunity? This “Musing on Goodness” journey has been helping me to expect the positives. Yes, bad things happen, but God isn’t defined by them and neither am I.
“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” - Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
So let’s get on to the good moments!
I’m going to be a writer for Christian Today starting in 2022.
How’d this come about? A good friend of mine who’s a brilliant writer there, reached out to the editors on my behalf and they reached out to me with the opportunity to join their team of writers. So I’ll let you know whenever I have a published article with them.
My nieces and nephews (and obviously my sister and I) got to pet-sit a beautiful budgerigar parakeet named Budgie.
I got a few more cool points with the children because I turned out to be a favourite of the blue, grey and black bird. Whenever we let him out of his cage, he hung around me (whether on my head, foot or laptop). And yes, on his second outing, he definitely left a gross present in my hair (blech!)
Thanksgiving dinner was amazing!
On Thursday morning, I dragged myself from my warm bed to tell everyone happy Thanksgiving and to finish sprucing up the house for dinner. My eldest niece and nephew (without prompting) told me that they were thankful for Aunty Gabby (that’s me!) After a compliment like that you can bet that I happily sailed through the clean up and final food prep. And then the meal! Scrumptious! (The bathroom scale a day later showed how much I’d enjoyed the food).
Finally, I’m off to California.
My sister is having her third baby and I get to go help her and her husband adjust to being outnumbered by the little people. I started this journey by visiting them when they were having their second baby (a baby who unfortunately hasn’t been able to physically meet any of her other relatives because of the pandemic). And now I get to meet their third baby, thirteen months later! It’s been such a blessing to be able to support both my sisters and brothers-in-law with their growing families.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” - Philippians 4:8 NLT
So what good things happened to you this week?