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Be thankful in all circumstances….

1 Thessalonians 5:18 has transformed my life. Pause.  Before we get too serious here I have to say I really wanted to write 1 Thessabaloneyians 5:18 and see if anyone caught it.  When my kiddos were little one of them called it that and now that’s how it’s stuck in my noggin.

Being thankful in ALL circumstance does not come naturally to humans.  Whether we want to be honest with ourselves or not, I believe people generally are all “cup is half empty”  types.  The “cup is half full” types, which I believe I fall into, have to work at it.  Optimism is learned.  Maybe you learned it at a very young age….well then you think you come by it naturally, but I bet your parents had something to do with it.  I, on the other hand learned my optimism.  Most days now I don’t even think about being optimistic I just am! (smiley face)  But there are about 5-8 days out of the month that I have to really work at it.


Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Being thankful in all circumstances truly means just that.  Be thankful in ALL THINGS no matter what.  The good the bad and the ugly….be thankful for it all.  Easier said than done.  I’ve got a little story to illistrate my success in over coming “the cup is half empty” mentality.  Bare with me this is kinda weird.

So, I was at the YMCA with my girlfriend Tina, we meet 3 times a week to work out together.  This particular day we were on the tread mill, working our jaws out more than anything, and my bladder of steal decided that it could  not wait another minute.  So I told Tina,  keep goin I gotta pee…be right back!  I dashed off…little did she know I would not be right back…..on she treaded…and treaded, and treaded, and move to the elipticle, and then finally, I returned.

“Oh my gosh what happened to you!” she gasped upon seeing me. (Wish I had a picture for you.)

This is what happened: I thought I had to pee, but then when I sat on the potty, (I know I’m a forty-something year old, but I still say potty…live with it.) and sat down I thought uh-Oh I think I gotta do “more” than tinkle, so I sat there a minute.  False alarm.  So I stood up and the toilet paper that I had put on the seat (because I always layer the toilet seat in a whole roll of t.p. before I cop a squat.) fell to the ground, so I leaned over to pick it up, and the automatic flusher went off precisely at that moment! Luckily my mouth was shut…which is a miracle in and of itself, because a tidal wave of toilet water hit me in the face!!!! I screeched, “ARG-SMACKALACK-blach-pooey pooey!” I came running out of the stall to the sinks, where three under wear clad 80 year old ladies sagged, and stared at me in disbelief as I grabbed the soap and proceeded to scrub my face like a mad woman, all the while spitting and gagging, and nearly vomiting in the sink.  I scrubbed my face raw, and after rinsing it, I looked in the mirror my hair was wet, my bangs were pasted back to my head, with remnants of soap stuck in them.  But the worst was that I had mascara on, so now I looked like a racoon.  I had huge black circles around my eyes, and no make-up remover!  I attempted to use the soap and take it off, it helped some but mostly made my eyes look black and now red from the soap stinging my eyes.  The saggy ladies has scooted away….I think I skeered um.

So after I told the above story to my flabbergasted friend, I said, “Thank the good Lord I didn’t poop! That would have been aweful!”

Tina chuckled and kept up the work out with me…I wondered how mortified she was to be carrying on a conversation with me while I looked like a raving lunatic.  Tina’s too nice….I’ll never know.

Yes it would have been awful to get hit in the face with my own feces, but like getting hit with your own urine mixed with YMCA toilet germs in the face isn’t bad enough!  Shheeesh.

I laughed it off, as I do half of my stumbled through life, but when I got home, first I took a shower, then I went to my daily devotional , and should I be surprised to find that the verse was 1Thessalonians 5:18.  Maybe you are asking yourself,  what in this situations could I be thankful for besides the fact that I didn’t do my business and get smack in the face with it.  That’s just the point.  That’s really all I was thankful for in this circumstance, but I was thankful.  Oh and the fact that I didn’t contract some weird staff infection post urine shower.

                 Being thankful in all circumstances is a choice.

A choice I have to remind myself, and my family of everyday.  “Let’s try to see the good in this sitchee-ay-tion.”

What are you thankful for right now, in your present circumstance?

With that said…I want to say, I am very thankful for this place, Eat 2 Gather.  I am very thankful for all of you!
You encourage me and bless me in so many ways everyday!

Much love and hugs,


I shared this post at Women Living Well Wednesdays:


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  1. That was hilarious! I love how you were able to laugh and find the positive. And very impressed that you went on to finish your workout! I probably would have bee-lined it outta there, haha!

  2. Oh Sheila! God bless you. I can only imagine what that must have been like. When I was reading your story all I could think was how I would be freaking out without some mouthwash to sanitize my mouth. I think I would have chewed on a hand sanitizer cloth! LOL!!!

    I am blessed to have two very optimistic parents whom my husband describes as not just the glass have full types but the glass overflowing types. I definitely got their genes. And I am so happy that I passed them on to my son. My husband is in the camp of learned optimism – which he very generously says he learned from me. After years of working at it, optimism does seem to come quite naturally to him most days.

    It terms of what I am thankful for…I have a habit of always trying to look for a silver lining. So even when something goes wrong or hard times fall upon us, I try to see what can be salvaged and take that as a starting point for developing the silver lining … and a plan as to where to go from here.

    As of right now, in my present circumstances, I am grateful to be alive. It’s such a cliche but I am happy every morning when I get up and put two feet on the ground and stagger (LOL!) into the kitchen for my first cup of coffee to enjoy with my sweet husband. I am very thankful that he is 10 years younger than me with more energy to get up first, prepare the coffee pot, turn it on, and then serve me my first cup! LOL!!!

    I am also grateful that my sweet teenage son – after almost 8 years of reading therapy for very severe dyslexia – recently completed his reading program with flying colors. He still uses books on tape (actually MP3 downloads) for his school text books and novels he wants to read, but he can read well enough to get by in life. His positive nature and tenacity have served him well. And God gave him a wonderful sense of humor (and good looks too!) He recently asked me to get him a digital dress watch and followed up the request with a cute smile saying that if a girl asked him what time it was, he wouldn’t want her to walk away while he was trying to figure it out. 😉

    Have a great week.


    1. Mary, You are a ray of sunshine, I will have to agree! Your husband sounds like one of the sweetest guys alive…well next to my Kenny that is
      ;D. We are very blessed aren’t we! We have been working through many learning disabilities with our youngest, nothing that would be classified as severe, but even so some days I feel like we are never going to dig ourselves out. Thankful that you are able to see the fruits of all your sons hard work. He is such a cutey patootey! Many blessings to you! Sheila

  3. I am just barely outside of being a germaphobe and this would have nearly killed me if it was my face full of YMCA toilet water!

    My friend Caroline sent me over here for a recipe and after reading through your about page I can tell I’ll be hanging out here more often.

    1. Hi Tracey!
      Thank your friend Caroline for me ; ) I’m glad you didn’t turn and run after reading about my toidy incident.
      Much Luv,

  4. Yuck! But glad you could actually praise God after all the mess!
    That verse if my favorite in the Bible. I spoke at a women’s tea at my church a couple years ago and the whole talk was based on that verse. When I thank Him for what He is doing, even in the stuff that looks bad at the moment, I start to see things more from His perspective. Eyes taken off myself. I begin to praise Him! Whatever the situation is, it begins to look differently in the light of His love and the knowledge that He IS at work, even in this!

  5. Sheila, THANK YOU for a very timely post! Working full time and taking care of a semi-invalid mother full time… Even after a week off from my paid job and I’m still tired. I was feeling very stressed and read your post. I saw the last part of that verse in a new light. Still stressed, but thankful for God’s will!

    1. Lynda,
      Like Kathy said, it’s hard sometimes to get past the moment, to look past ourselves. I have never been in your situation, but my heart goes out to you….know that God is on your side! He loves you like you were his only child…enough to give up his only child.

  6. OK…now that was FUN!!! You are too funny. I am THANKFUL for you right now and I am THANKFUL for the reminder of God’s call in our life to Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

  7. LOL! Great post, Sheila. In all seriousness, it is a very important verse. When my FIL was hospitalized, we really tried to focus on the positives (growing closer together, etc), and we prayed our guts out…and told everyone else to do the same. We certainly felt the power of prayer while we spent all those long days in the hospital. We serve an amazing God!

  8. S, I laughed so hard reading your recent post, thank you for some laughter tears! I am reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp right now about how powerful having a heart filled w/ gratitude can really be life changing…..Here blog is fabulous! (miss you friend), M

  9. Oh, my, you had me spitting while I read this…laughing and trying to spit out that nasty water! You are hysterical!! When I saw your FB post, I thought you were talking about the perfume type of toilet water…you know, Eau de toilette. Never could figure out why they call it that! I’m thankful for your perspective. And it says to be thankful IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances. I wonder if those 80 year old ladies have a blog….

    1. Nancy, I know right…it must be a French thang…Eau de toilettey. Sometimes all you can do is laugh right…or laugh so hard you cry. I’ve been known to do that a few times.
      No kidding about the ol’ gals. I would have loved to hear what they had to say…wonder if they thought I’d gone spelunking in the YMCA toidies.
      Know that I am thankful for you!