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  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho

Fill Your Bucket

Imagine an empty bucket with a plastic object sitting on the bottom. And then you take a hose and fill the bucket with water. As the bucket becomes filled with water, the object initially on the bottom rises to the top and eventually spills out of the bucket.

I gave that visual to my husband the other day when he told me that his mind is so full at night that he has difficulty falling asleep. I conveyed that what he ponders will only compound the draining thoughts, making it more difficult to sleep. I gave him my secret to successful sleep. Here it is: the second a worrisome feeling tries to intrude into my mind, I cancel it by going down a list of what I'm grateful for. I start from the smallest to the biggest, and I try not to miss anything in between. Inevitably, I always do because there is always something to appreciate. It sounds like this, "Thank you, Lord, for my 19-year-old washer and dryer that has never had any problems. Thank you for the detergent that makes it fresh and clean. Thank you, Lord, for the simple drying rack that dries the clothes, so they don't shrink. Thank you that I have more than enough clothes to wash. Thank you for the laundry room that keeps everything hidden. Thank you for the extra cabinets to use as storage. Thank you for the times I hid in that room to get a break from my whining toddlers back in the day." You get the idea. It doesn't require much effort, but I eventually fall asleep after acknowledging my archive of appreciation to Abba Father.

I know this sounds very simple, but it honestly works. My gratitude is the water flowing in the bucket-my mind, so the anxiety, represented by the plastic object, has no other option but to flush out of the bucket.

We have a choice every second of the day on what we allow our minds to focus on. We can concentrate only on what's not going the way we want, leading to more complaints and anxiety, or we can choose to fixate on how grateful we are for what is right.

I shared the same visual with my children as they were complaining about their growing assignments and exam schedule. They can continue to fill their bucket with more "plastic objects" and make their minds miserable. Or they can choose to find the benefit and the reason for the assignment, which gives their mind a way to try to appreciate the work. I'm not dismissing their workload or effort, but I'm also reminding them of the other truth. God created the universe; therefore, He is in ALL the subjects, so use your study as a form of worship back to Him.

We can choose to complain and give the devil more ammunition, or we can focus on gratitude and give God glory. It requires more effort in afflicting situations, but that is when we have to be intentional and do it more. Trust me; if you look, you will find buckets of reasons to be grateful.

Go ahead. I dare you to use my secret. The second an adverse thought tries to squeeze into your mind, take it captive. For every unwelcome thought, replace it with ten invited grateful ones.

"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." ~Psalm 9:1 (NIV)

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

~1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

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