Chip or chipper?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My mother used to say that I sometimes had a "chip on my shoulder," "the old "woe is me attitude". Funny how I look back and realize that my mom was usually right, of course at the time I thought I knew it all.

Attitude is defined as a personal view of something, an opinion or general feeling. Gratitude is the state of being grateful, thankfulness. I know you have heard, "Let gratitude be your attitude." I sometimes use the phrase "feeling chipper," to describe a positive mindset, "all is well," if you will.

I sometimes have to keep a check on my state of gratitude. Blessed beyond anything I have ever deserved by the One who gives us life, I keep a log of all that I am thankful for. James 1: 17,18 tells us that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. "Blessings, stability and security, abundant and everlasting, await our hearts if we will open the door.

Watching the Olympics, seeing the gifts that God has given these athletes is so very motivating. Do you think their attitude over years of training was one of gratitude, fortitude and determination? And here they are at the peak of their climb. They have reached the summit. My spirit soars when these Olympians give the glory to the One that made their dreams a reality! He gave them the tools, the talent and the opportunity and they seized the moment!

We may not be Olympians at a sport but we are Olympians at heart. As the athletes train, so we train our spirits our minds and our bodies to go after the prize. We must train with a spirit of gratitude for the wonderful blessings that our Savior pours out to us every second of every day.

Take a moment and do a blessing count. If you are reading this, you have the gift of sight. Praise the Lord! You can see His awesome creations all around you. He hung the stars and moon in the Heavens for you. Have you noticed the full moon this week? Take the time to gaze into the vastness and beauty of the Heavens! The artist of the universe paints the sunsets for you. Drink them in!

Enjoy the amazing uniqueness and varieties of countless animals! Immerse in the gorgeous bouquets of flowers, countless varieties, aromatic and pleasing to the senses! His gifts are unending, ever present, the brilliant colors, the seascapes, the landscapes, the mountains, the canyons. Gaze upon the wonders of our world! Make sure to protect your vision from what the darkness would put in your mind's eye.

If you walked to pick up this paper, you have the gift of mobility. If you can hear the music of bird song, you have the gift of hearing. Stop and listen to the serenades of the birds of the air. Hear the words of those you cherish. Take time to listen to what will empower, grow and strengthen you. Choose what will enter your mind through your gift of hearing. Refuse the negative.

Cherish every moment spent with the blessing of your family. Enjoy your comrades, of which our Lord would have us to choose wisely. Be grateful for your job and your opportunities, and oh what opportunities lay at your feet. Have you thought about your opportunities lately? Life happens and opportunities pass, so lasso the ones that you don't want to get away.

Your list will include the shelter of your home that protects you from the elements. And the ultimate shelter from life's storms built around us by our Heavenly Father, there we find our refuge. Enjoy the rain that sustains our Earth, the rivers, lakes and oceans filled with fish, our valleys producing the food that sustains our bodies.

Make your "gratitude" list, think on your blessings, Praise God for His plentiful provisions!

Thank Him, Thank Him and Thank Him some more!

Don't allow the world to "chip" at you! Wear your "chipper attitude!"

Not only will you feel better mentally and spiritually, your health will benefit as well. It is proven that a thankful, positive attitude carries over into better health. Blood pressure, heart health and the digestive track can be positively affected by less worry and pessimism.

Get your cardiovascular exercise! 30 minutes 5 days a week, or 3- 10 minutes segments 5 days a week.

Take advantage of the fresh veggies! Eat colorful!

Live Happy! Live Strong! Live out Loud!

-- Jennifer Jarrell is a resident of Bedford County, a realtor, and a life coach and personal trainer. She inspires others through motivational speaking, nutritional, physical, and spiritual coaching, camps and group classes. You can reach her at (931)703-0667 or