Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Art of Being Grateful...Plus Action by Christine Bush

There’s been so much pain in the news  from all over the world lately.  Droughts and fires, violence and poverty so great that it drives tens of thousands across borders to seek  safety and sanctuary.  The pain of our world’s people crosses oceans and continents, large countries and small. Today it feels overwhelming.

When I compare my life and the lives of those I love with some of the challenges and tragedies I’m hearing about, it makes me suck in a giant breath.  We’re certainly not free from problems, I’m not quite Pollyanna enough to state that.  Illness and financial pressure, time constraints and normal life issues abound.

But still…

When I turn on the tap, there is fresh water.

When my children or grandchildren are hungry, I give them a meal.

There’s a roof over my head, and a country with an intact government (even if half of the population seems to be running for president, the truth is, we have the right and ability to do that.)

I can turn on the computer to work, communicate, and find entertainment.

I have been blessed with an education, good health care, and transportation to get me where I want to go .  The list goes on.

I am extremely aware today of all the things we have to be grateful for.  I am extremely aware today that the little things that can often send me into a snit are NOTHING compared to those greater fears and pains.  I’m very, very grateful for my life as it is today.  But today, that doesn’t seem like enough.

I know that we cannot “fix” the whole world.   But maybe we can each do SOMETHING to lighten the load for those in life threatening need. Some people make the world a better place through their church, or service organizations, or donations of time or money or lots of prayer.  Some find ways to help globally, and some in their own neighborhood and back yard.

 I’m feeling that my gratitude for what I DO have is leading me to think more about those who DON’T have.   I don’t quite know what that means for me yet, but I’m thinking.

I write sweet romances that end with “happily ever afters” because I believe in hope and the power of love.  My new novella “Christmas Laurel” features a female army veteran who is suffering from post traumatic stress.  It’s fiction, but it’s symbolic of a syndrome that is affecting so many.  This is a story of healing, and it’s my heartfelt hope for all of our soldiers who have suffered in this way can find their own “real” happy recoveries.

Does anyone have a way that they are reaching out to make the world a better place?  I would love to hear your stories and suggestions!

Christine Bush is the award winning author of many books and novellas of sweet romance and light mystery. She also writes Middle Grade Fiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working with clients as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or teaching Psychology at a local college.  She lives with her family and two crazy cats in northeastern Pennsylvania, and loves to hear from readers and aspiring writers

Her newest novella “Christmas Laurel” is included in  “Sweet Christmas Kisses 2”, an exciting anthology of  19 sweet Christmas novellas by award winning authors.  SCK2 will be released on September 29th, and is available for preorder right now! 

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  1. What a lovely post, Christine and so heartfelt. It is difficult to watch the news and see how many struggle with things that we take for granted- food, water, shelter, being able to keep our families together. I don't do as much as I should besides donating items and money. I'm inspired in reading your post to seek out more ways to help! And of course writing great stories that help others, such as your PTSD veteran's novella, is one way authors can make a difference :)

  2. Making the world a better place can be as simple as telling the grocery checker she has a nice smile or picking up trash during your morning walk. I'm so very thankful for my life and often wish I could do more.

  3. Wonderful post, Christine. Thank you for reminding us we can all make a difference. Like Melinda said, it can be something simple - even offering a stranger a smile might brighten their day in a way we could never fathom.

  4. I agree that affirmations for what we have is a good thing. Since I first got on the Internet (you know, back when you had to listen to that awful noise while connecting, and if someone made a phone call you got disconnected) I tried to only speak out on positive things. I mainly do that on Facebook now, sharing the feel-good stuff. I see others have mentioned a smile, and that's key to making life better.

  5. Beautiful post, Christine. Thank you! You do a wonderful service by sharing your uplifting stories. Those HEA endings are a sure way to brighten anyone's day. :)

  6. Thanks, Christine, for a thought-provoking post. We recently returned from a trip to Europe, and we saw some of the refugees who came into the Munich train station, not this latest wave, but definitely a long line of people who were being processed by the police there. I can't imagine what it would be like to be without a home or country. We live in an area where they bring refugees. Several ladies in our church have undertaken having baby showers for some of the refugee women. In fact, we are having one this coming Saturday. These women come here with nothing but the clothes on their backs. My husband and I also sponsor two children overseas. We send a little money each month. It seems so little, but it is a lot to them and their families.

  7. Yes, Christina, we have so much to be thankful for.

  8. So great to hear everyone's comments and great ideas! Thanks!