Instead of: Lord, please get this snow out of my world before I have some sort of S.A.D.-related breakdown that may or may not require heavy doses of valium.
I'm working on: Lord, I am thankful we have heat, and food, and warm clothes, and running water that is hot when we need it to be. Which leads me to—
Instead of: Lord, why why WHY did the #@*?!& water heater have to break now? Now?!
I'll try to say: Lord, thank you that we have the cash to buy a new water heater. And thank you that it broke in between snowfalls, and that there was a place for Mr. Waterheater to park. Thanks, too, that our last few service calls for fridge and dryer have both resulted in very affordable fixes rather than replacements. We've dodged a few bullets; I guess we were due. 13 years seems like a fair life for a water heater.
Instead of: Lord, why did you let my car get stuck on the hill to my house the other night?! Why did I have to go through that horrible, sliding moment where I temporarily blocked the entire road because my vehicle was sideways? And me in a skirt and dress boots?
I'm sincerely saying: Lord, thank you so much that you sent the salt truck up the road past me at just that moment when I'd given up and was climbing out of my car. Thank you for the encouragement from the driver, who gave me extra helpings of salt in front and behind my little buggy and told me to try again, that I'd make it this time. Thank you that even though I wanted to slap him at that moment, he was right. I did.
Instead of: Lord, why did this boy at work wait until the last minute to start working on such a huge research paper? Why does the teacher think this level of detail is necessary? Why couldn't he start on time? Why does he have to be here on my day to leave early?
I can remember to say: Lord, thank you for helping this poor kid get out of the hospital in time to finish the last 9-week period; thanks that his teachers were understanding and let him out of some of the smaller busywork. Thank you that he's feeling better, that the cold weather isn't making his joints ache as much as usual, that the intestinal issue seems to be getting better since that surgery. Thank you that he feels well enough to go eat dinner when he leaves here—because, as you know, many days he isn't even hungry. Thank you, Lord, that I have good health; please help me not take it for granted.
Instead of: wahh-wahh-why me?
Say this: Thanks. Truly. Thank you, Lord. You didn't forget about me. And Lord, please help all those less fortunate than I am. There are so, so many.