Gratitude as an Attitude 

Cubed steak and mashed potatoes. Gravy. Corn. Biscuits, which some might call rolls.  No frozen Stouffer’s lasagna.  

Drew, my oldest son, doesn’t live that far from us. Just under a two hour drive. Yet with his busy schedule with work, two step children involved in numerous activities, a wife in chronic nerve pain from a surgery and just diagnosed with lupus – and our schedules, etc., it seems we have a hard time getting together. I’m excited, because they are coming to our house for the weekend. We haven’t had Christmas with their children, our only grandchildren, yet.   Better late than never!

This winter has been full of illness. I seem to have a chronic cold or sinus something and sore throat. It just hasn’t been cold enough, I don’t think, to kill all the germs! So when I asked my husband for suggestions on what to fix for dinner when everyone is home, he said, “Frozen lasagna! That’s easy.”  

“Good idea,” I responded. I knew I’d have enough energy for that. I checked the Kroger ad and found it was even on sale.  

I sent Drew a text asking if he thought that sounded okay. With teenagers, you never know when they have decided they hate a certain food that they used to love. I asked Drew if that sounded good or if it sounded Yuck!  

His reply was, “Eeh, that’s fine.”  

I got off work – a long day of data entry and gray skies, and I was feeling pretty low. In the middle of trying to perk myself up, while sitting at the red light, the light turned to green – or I thought it did. Actually, it was the green arrow, but I was going straight! Straight into oncoming traffic! Luckily, the old man about to turn into the side of my car slammed on his brakes and shook his arms at me angrily.  

I’m sure my eyes were as big as saucers, and I pleaded with him through over exaggerated lip movement, mouthing, “I’m SO sorry!”, and drove on. Tears rolled involuntarily down my cheeks. I had to admit, the release felt pretty good, but it had me questioning if I am depressed. Do I suffer from S.A.D.?  

Once at the grocery, I parked, dried my tears and headed inside. I decided in that moment that I would make my son’s favorite meal – Cubed steak and all the fixin’s. Yes, it’s much more work than frozen lasagna, but not only did I think he needed to feel special, but I needed to feel a special purpose.  

Walking through the aisles of the grocery, I couldn’t help but notice that people seemed exceptionally friendly. I thanked God for them. I was sure their smiles were heaven sent. I passed an older gentleman, who looked poor and lonely. He averted his eyes, so I could not give him a smile. I pondered about what his life might be like, and although you’re not supposed to compare yourself to others, I decided at that point that I needed to choose. Choose to be happy for all that I’ve been blessed with. Choose to be grateful. Choose to fulfill myself by doing things I enjoyed! 

And the cubed steaks were on sale!! A sign from God? 

Once home with groceries put away, I texted my son, “So okay. Cubed steak and mashed potatoes it is!”  

His response? 

“Saayyyy whaaatttt?”

I’d say the extra work is worth it if it brings about a response like that! Sometimes, it’s in the giving that we receive. The key is the focus. I changed my focus from feeling sorry for myself to feeling lucky to have a family that I love and who love me and love my cooking!!  

This is Drew and the flag quilt I made at his request a couple years ago. 


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