Dear Abigail

Help for those feeling like failures.


Dear Abigail,

I am not sure what is going on with me. Lately I’ve been complaining and feeling frustrated . . . a lot!

I didn’t really think much about it until my husband and mother brought it to my attention.

All I seem to do is pick up toys, wash dirty dishes, and cook. It is like I am not thankful anymore. To top it off, I am yelling at my kids on a regular basis for basically no reason. I am struggling to turn things around.

Feeling Like a Failure


Dear Feeling Like a Failure,

I well remember my own “grumbling” days. One particular time I shared my feelings with a very godly woman. I explained to her that I could not stand doing the dishes, and there were many other things that caused me frustration. I was waking up without joy each day.

She took me to her sink and asked me to help her wash her dishes while we talked. I wasn’t really interested in doing that, but I obliged her anyway.

I am glad I did. I walked away with a renewed heart and outlook that day.

She told me that each time I wash a glass, fork, plate, or other item, I should thank God for giving me hands to do the chore. She said, “Say a thank-you for your healthy child who drinks out of the cup or your husband who eats off of the plate.” And she added, “Thank God for giving you food to put on those dishes and a house where you can serve the food.”

I honestly had never thought of those things before! Of course, we can apply this advice to laundry, toys, and the other tasks we tackle each day.

Here are some more suggestions to help you live a life of gratitude:

  1. Journal: Research has shown that writing down what you’re thankful for can lead to a multitude of benefits. Keeping a gratitude journal can reinforce positive thoughts.
  2. Spend time with loved ones: Thankful people know they didn’t get to where they are by themselves— and they make it a habit to spend time with those people who matter most.
  3. 3. Mindfully use social media: It seems impossible in our culture to avoid social media completely. But remember, positive thoughts shared on social media spread faster than negative ones! Avoid the negative media threads.
  4. Volunteer: Everyone needs a little help sometimes—and grateful people know there’s no other way to acknowledge this than by paying it forward. Volunteering can result in lower feelings of depression and increased overall well-being.
  5. Get moving: Believe it or not, gratitude and fitness can go hand in hand. Exercising will clear your mind and reduce stress. Thankful people who move their feet experience an overall healthier mind and body, therefore making gratitude one of the best medicines!

In the challenging moments we all experience, we can “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalms 107:1, ESV).