Tuesday was the day for the big reveal for the Chapman family who had been chosen by Extreme Home Makeover. As soon as I had heard about it, I decided I was going to be there when that happened and I was excited about the adventure. I didn't know what the day would bring, but I did know that it was supposed to be fairly cold and windy. I also knew we would be standing outside for about 6 hours before the family actually arrived home at 2:00. I had been told by one of the security guards on Sunday that they filmed all the crowd scenes in the morning so all the cameras could be on the family when they arrived home. He suggested I be there about 8:30 a.m. So, I invited two friends that have positive attitudes and who I love being around that I thought might want to go. Both were totally on board…excited just to be a part of it. I made signs for all of us the night before. We arrived at about 8:15 that morning with a few snacks in hand and scoping out a great place to stand. We found our spot and did not leave that spot until about 3:15. It was so interesting to watch all that goes into filming that show and the many details that they give time and attention to (like washing the streets around the home). Though I am not oblivious to the criticisms of the show, I still have no problem standing behind an endeavor such as this, whose entire goal is to bless someone else. In this case, it was not just one family that was blessed, it was an entire community.
To make a long story short, it was an exciting and memorable day. We were frozen solid by the time that we left, but it was worth it. Getting there early gave us a great vantage point for all the activities of the day. On the way home, however, all three of us commented on the lady that was standing behind us for at least 4 of those hours. She never stopped talking, and most of her comments and all of her tone was very negative. I referred to her as "Little Miss Glass Half-Empty." She spoke with great authority as if she had all the inside information but none of it could be verified and we found some of it to be false as the day wore on. I was a little disappointed that she's who we had to listen to all day but also was mindful that we could control our own attitudes. We kept them positive. In her case, her glasses were definitely tinted and they were not rose colored! It was interesting to me that in the midst of such good work and positive attitudes she still could not rejoice with others.
Another lady came to mind that I heard speak earlier in the month. She and her husband had fallen for a scam, invested $75,000 and moved to Las Vegas to make their millions. Unfortunately, they lost all that money. What she says, however, is that she paid $75,000 and gained a million dollars. Her eyes were on what had happened to her internally, spiritually and eternally. What attractive glasses she had on! They made her more beautiful, inside and out.
My husband works for the school district. About a week and a half ago, he was at the Board Office for a meeting and was talking to a couple of friends afterwards. They asked him what we were doing for Thanksgiving. He told them (my paraphrase) that 'my wife puts out all these tags and each day we all write down something that we're thankful for. Then on Thanksgiving, after the meal, we put all of those pieces of paper in a basket and pass it around and read them all.' My guess is that those guys stood there dumbfounded. I'm sure they were asking if and where we were traveling for the holiday, who we were sharing the day with, etc. My husband never thought of that. Instead he told of the little game we play throughout November. The fact that the first thing that came to his mind was our little tradition, surprised me. He definitely had his gratitude glasses on that day and it was so refreshing!
So what kind of glasses are you looking through? Do they give you tunnel vision, turn everything darker, or help you to read between the lines? Do they magnify situations or do you hide behind them? The glasses we wear directly effect how we perceive the circumstances in our lives. I want to see clearly but I also want to be able to rejoice with those that rejoice, weep with those that weep, and be encouraging and hopeful, regardless of what is going on in my own life. It is, in fact, a characteristic of families that I have seen chosen for the Extreme Home Makeover. They are appreciative, they are givers, and they help others. Most do not wait until they get more to help someone else; they give instead from their hearts, their lives and their time.
I encourage you this week to look through glasses of gratitude. I promise you'll love what you see and people will love being around you!
Abundant Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!