Alfred D. Souza said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business...then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."
Instead of being surprised by hardships, I've come to expect them. When I have a great day, I rejoice!
I've recently learned three things:
1) To accept and bless my present circumstances - there is no better time to be happy than right now! I have finally accepted the silliest things that bothered me in the past. I have blessed my small house. I went through each room and found something to be thankful about. When I fold laundry, I thank God that I have laundry to fold - it means that I have people in my house whom I love and who love me.
2) To give thanks, instead of complaints, to God. I remember an article by Bill Yount that said prayer without thanksgiving is like mailing a package without postage. (I don't know who Mr. Yount is, but I googled "thanksgiving is postage" and his article came up. http://www.tidenstecken.se/enreturn.htm).
This mental image of our prayers having postage has never left me. Phil. 4:6,7 states, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." My gratitude helps me to focus on what is right in front of me and be content, and not just launch into my worries and requests.
3. To get going! There are some things that I have prepared for and prepared for but never did. There are half-finished projects that don't matter, and are being booted out the door. There were organizations whose purpose I no longer could see the benefit of and I got out. I pray for the courage to live the life God wants me to live, to give up activities that are not beneficial in the long run of my life, and to feel grateful for the life God has given me, obstacles and all.
So get going - call that friend, read that book, declutter, try a new recipe, change your mind, budget, do the thing you've been dreading, make that difficult phone call, begin to pay off that credit card, mentor a neighbor's child if you don't have your own, act as if you are grateful to be alive, accept your circumstances, scatter joy. Accept whatever is in your life that needs accepting. Say it out loud. Whatever you complain about, reverse it. Find a reason to accept it.
If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Ecclesiastes 11:4 (Today's English Version)