I know it’s not Christmas yet, but I got to thinking about George Bailey tonight. You know George. The small-town banker in the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey lost site of the wonderful things in his life. He looked at the negative instead of the positive. He focused on the wrongs instead of the rights. He counted his curses instead of his blessings.
All too often we ourselves are George Bailey. We complain about our jobs instead of being thankful that we have them (especially in this economy). We constantly yearn for the materialistic things this world has to offer instead of being content with what we have. Sometimes, we are George Bailey and we need a Clarence to come down and show us that we truly have a wonderful life.
Today, I will be your Clarence! I have put together 10 amazing quotes to help you see that although it may not look like it on the surface, you truly have a wonderful life!
1. Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he? - Clarence, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Of course, I had to start with this one. Whose life have you recently touched? Whose life have you made better just because you are here on this earth? The other day, I was driving through McDonald’s for my daily diet coke fix and the lady in front of me paid for my soda. I didn’t know her, but she touched my life that day and showed me that there are still kind people in this world.
You have touched someone’s life. You may never hear about it. You may never get a movie made about it. You may never have a book deal with your name in the title. But someone in this world is better because of you and that gives you a wonderful life.
2. “If you want to feel rich, just count all the gifts you have that money can’t buy.” - Author Unknown
My son. My talents. My gifts. My personality. My family. My friends. Look at your surroundings. Look at all of those wonderful people in your life that have blessed you with riches - things money cannot buy. Look at yourself! No one can buy your personality, your gifts or your talents.
Bee-Utiful friend, you are wealthier than a queen because of the wonderful gifts you have that money will never be able to touch!
3. “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” - Annette Funicello.
This is a big one for me. I am a perfectionist since birth. Everything has to be just right for me to be content. I’m learning, growing, and seeing that this life doesn’t have to be “just right” for it to be wonderful. Guess what? Life will never be perfect. It will never be “just right”. I am learning that day by day.
I can look back at my life and say there have been moments of accidents, fear, stretching, pain, sorrow, and sadness. I can also look back at those moments and find wonderful lessons that each brought to me life.
Don’t keep wishing, like Dorothy, for somewhere over the rainbow . . . life can be wonderful right now.
4. “Maybe it’s not about the happy ending. Maybe it’s about the story.”
Too often we live for the happy endings. “When I get a new job, I’ll be happy”. “When I get married, I’ll finally be happy.” “When I have a baby, THEN I will be just so happy”. “[Fill in the blanks] . . . I will be so happy”.
If we keep living our life in the future, we will never see the gift of the present. Stop wishing for the happy ending and just enjoy the story you are writing.
Imagine the fairy tale if it were written . . . “Once upon a time, there was a princess. And she married a prince. The end.” How horrible is that? We miss the wicked stepsisters, the pumpkin that forms into the coach, the seven dwarfs, the golden hair, and the dragons the prince fights.
No, my friend, it isn’t the happy ending that will make you happy, it’s being content on the journey of writing your story.
5. But still, like air, I’ll rise. - Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s Still, I Rise has got to be one of the most inspirational pieces of art. STILL, I RISE. No matter what you say about me - Still, I rise. No matter what you do to hurt me - Still, I rise. No matter what I’ve been through in the past - I rise. No matter what the future will throw at me - I rise.
Bee-Utiful Ones, you rise! You rise above every bad situation. You rise above a bad day. You rise above a bad year. You rise above hate and jealousy. YOU RISE. Think back on your life and a situation you never thought you’d get through; a situation that was sent to break you. Guess what, beautiful you reading this today, that season didn’t break you. You got up and got through.
Look at your wonderful life and every day you get out of bed and proclaim “Still, like air, I RISE”.
6. “God doesn't waste anything. You are not defined by your past. You are prepared by your past. “ - Joel Osteen.
Lately, my dad has been telling me, ‘Erika, stop looking in the past. There is no future in the past. You cannot view life through a rearview mirror”. How true are those words?
So often, our past comes creeping in staining our present and hindering our future.
We often wonder how God can use us when our past is always lurking. My friend, God has used your past to prepare you for your future. The lessons your past taught you are preparing you for your present. God can even use your mistakes to prosper you. (Psalm 1:3) Everything you have put your hand to, whether a mistake or not, God can use to prepare us.
Don’t be defined by your past, your mistakes, and even your triumphs. Let God use those lessons and experiences written in your history to create a wonderful life.
7. “I’ve seen better days, but I’ve also seen worse. I don’t have everything that I want, but I do have all I need. I woke up with some aches and pains, but I woke up. My life may not be perfect, but I AM BLESSED.” — Unknown
What else can be said about this beautiful quote? When we focus on the pain - all we will have is the pain. When we focus on the good - there will be blessings.
8. "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ― Mahatma Gandhi.
Who is walking through your mind leaving their footprints? What words are walking through your mind that are killing you instead of healing you? Do not. DO NOT, Bee-Utiful one, let anybody walk through your mind leaving dirty footprints.
Do not let anything tell you your life is a lie - Your life is worthless - Your life has come to nothing. Do not even let yourself even think those things. Those are dirty footprints that need to be swept and mopped until they are gone.
Only allow those voices, whether your own or another’s, to lift and edify you and remind you that you have a wonderful life.
9. “It’s amazing how truly wonderful life got for me once I decided that’s how I wanted it to be. It’s all just a choice.” - Unknown.
Choose today, that you have a wonderful life and begin to live in such a way that you begin to believe it. I believe that it is in those moments you will begin to see how truly wonderful your life is.
Yes, the dishes are piling up. You are tired. You have been running after kids, coworkers, your spouse all day. But even with the dirty dishes, the half-done to-do list, McDonald’s for dinner for the fourth time this week, the messy hair, the less-than-Pinterest-perfect life - Your life is wonderful when you choose for it to be!
10. “ You see, George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?” - Clarence. It’s a Wonderful Life.
We end our list the way we began with “It’s a Wonderful Life”. On days you feel like throwing in the towel, quitting your job, just not getting out of bed, ditching a new idea . . . on days when life just gets too hard, look back on these quotes and encouragement. Look back on your life and realize, despite the ups and downs, highs and lows - you truly have had a wonderful life.
I hope this post encouraged and inspired you to see your life as wonderful. There may be bad days, but there are plenty of good ones. There may be some sadness, but there's also been laughter. There may have been changes in direction, but you've gotten to the places you need to be.
May George Bailey always be a reminder to us that we truly have A Wonderful Life. I hope you know that you are cherished, treasured and oh so loved. And I pray that like Clarence, we all get our wings.
Which of these quotes truly inspires you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! 🐝