Somewhere along the way I lost my thick skin. The stubborn, independent girl of long ago has become more aware of her shortcomings, limitations, and inability to juggle it all.

I’m not sure when it happened. I know it wasn’t overnight. I’m sure it was a process. But last night through my tears, I realized it’s become a full-blown condition. I had been swallowed up in the “can’ts” and “not able to’s.” Whether it was because of limited finances, resources, time, or simply a decision based on conviction, it didn’t seem to matter. The response I seemed to give most often was some version of “no” or “can’t.” And instead of choosing joy and gratitude for the million spoken and unspoken “cans,” I began to wear down. Emotionally. And spiritually.

That was until I heard myself speaking words to my daughter that I needed to hear myself. Comparison never turns out good. Never. I know it was what my daughter’s ears needed to hear. What I didn’t except was the words to travel from my mouth to my own heart.

I can honestly say this new awareness of my condition did not change my heart right away. It’s a slow process of reversal. I guess the same kind of slow that got me here. I’m asking God to make me aware of the mental poison I’ve been swallowing. I’m spitting it out and replacing it with gratitude. And I’m applying 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to my life: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

When I find myself complaining or being swallowed up in my limitations, I stop right there. I choose at least one thing I am thankful for and say it aloud if possible. It doesn’t take away the reality of the situation, but it does take my mind and attitude to a grateful place. Choose to be thankful today. Instead of staying stuck in your limitations and shortcomings, give thanks for something. Keep a list in your journal, on your bathroom mirror, or even on your phone. And be sure to thank the Lord for all these blessings.

by Tamara Collins


“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

God, I thank you. I don’t understand everything, but I am still grateful. Amen.

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