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Transforming Hearts and Homes

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guest post by: Marlene DeForrest www.myhopeforautism.com

Boy-oh-boy, do I know what it’s like to be busy, especially when my kids were…well…still kids. In the early days of Hannah’s autism, she lost all her language skills, became self-abusive and had autistic melt-downs that lasted for hours. My husband was a truck-driver and was gone for three weeks at a time. “Home” was entirely in my hands, yet it never felt so out of control. Occupational, physical, speech and behavior therapists were in and out of our home, as well as an early interventionist, child psychologist and family counselor. It was incredibly intense, but I learned more from that season than any other time in my life.

We all have days when we feel overwhelmed by the demands of life. We stress and snap at the people who mean the most to us. Then we feel guilty and shame sneers at us.

Is there a practical way to break this vicious downward spiral?

Yes! Thank God!

I’ve learned it’s all about perspective. There is so much we take for granted. We can get hyper-focused on the demands and struggles and stop seeing the many wonderful blessings God has given us.

You may be thinking, “My laundry is overflowing, the sink and dishwasher are jam-packed, there are floors to vacuum and mop, errands to run, kids to bathe, food to cook, and the list goes on and on.”

Believe me, I’ve been there. We need something to change, right?  What did Jesus do when He needed something to change?

Jesus thanked the Father for a few loaves of bread and fish and they were transformed into enough to feed thousands (Mark 6:41-44 AmpC). Let’s find out how our hearts and homes will be transformed by choosing to give thanks.

When the laundry is overflowing, let’s remember Who provided so abundantly and choose to say, “Lord, thank You for giving my family such a variety of clothes.”

When the sink and dishwasher are full, let’s pray, “God, thank You for these dishes and the food You provided to feed my family.”

If we find ourselves thinking, “I’m going to scream if I hear the word, ‘mom’, one more time,” let’s stop what we’re doing, go to our children, snatch them up in a big hug and tell them how thankful we are to God that they’re in our lives. Let’s tell each of them what we appreciate about them.

Let’s remember that “Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above…” (John 1:17). God has given us so many wonderful blessings. When we take the time to thoroughly see them and thank Him for them, we’ll find the environment of our homes and our hearts transformed into habitats of joy.

By: Marlene DeForrest

marlene-deforrest

My name is Marlene DeForrest. I am wife to Daniel, a truly noble man; mom to three adult children: Mandy, whose heart is purer than anyone I know – she is married to Jesse, who is an amazing husband and father and they have four incredibly sweet children; Derek, who has the gift of cerebral palsy, the heart of a warrior and a high calling; and Hannah, who has the gift of autism and whose heart and life are filled with God’s love and grace. I am so blessed! Find Marlene at:  www.myhopeforautism.com

 

11 comments

  1. Jill

    Wonderful reminders from Marlene to be thankful in each moment! Thanks Marlene and Sharon for sharing this!

    Reply
  2. Marlene

    Thank you so much, Aundrea and Kelly! I appreciate your feedback and encouragement!

    Reply
  3. Kelly R Smith

    You have a gentle way of encouraging us moms! Thank you for these words, Marlene!

    Reply
  4. Daniel DeForrest

    This is awesome. I thank God for giving you the talent to write

    Reply
    1. Marlene

      Awwwwww! That really blesses me!

      Reply
  5. Aundrea

    I need to hear this. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for our blessing rather then stressing over “to-do’s”

    www,warmnfuzzzie.com

    Reply
  6. Marlene

    Thank you all! It’s easy to get so caught up in the busy-ness that we forget to see our blessings. I’ve realized that I need His help even in this. He gives me gentle reminders even when I haven’t paid attention and blow it. He really is on our side!

    Reply
  7. Danielle Ferrie

    Very true! While I’m not in the same situation, we can really take this advice in any stage of life we are at. No matter where we are, life can become messy and busy. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
  8. Daniel

    This is so amazing. Thank God for giving you the talent to write,

    Reply
  9. Debbie Berry

    Wow Marlene. You are so right. Giving thanks is the pivotal key. This is a FANTASTIC post! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  10. Dana

    This is so true. I still struggle to not get caught up in the chaos. An intentional effort has to be made everyday. Thank you Marlene for the reminder!
    And thank you Sharon for having Marlene stop by!

    Reply

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