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At Thanksgiving time, one of my greatest joys is planning and preparing a feast for our family. Inevitably as I unload my overflowing cart while checking out at the grocery store, the cashier looks at me with a semi-scowl, and says, “Ohhhh, you have to cook the meal?” The first time it happened, many years ago, I was stunned. I tipped my head and said with a smile, “No, I don’t have to, I get to! It’s an honor and a joy for my husband and I to be surrounded by our family, filled with gratefulness and good food!” This cashier tipped her head back at me, confused, then lifted her eyebrows, and said, “I like that.”

Different versions of this same scenario manifest throughout the days, weeks and years. Statements like, “You HAVE to go to the office?” Heck no! I GET to go to the office, where I can love and serve people with the purpose and passion that God instilled in me.

This one is popular, “Yuck, you have to go to the dentist?” No way! I love my teeth and I GET to go to the dentist where she makes sure they are healthy and strong!

Ever heard this one?? “I HAVE to do laundry.“ No, you don’t, but if you want clean clothes for yourself and your family, you GET to! Or you can hire yourself an “Alice” and never HAVE to do it again! :)

Here’s another: “Ewwww, you have to pay bills?” Nope, I’m grateful for the resources needed to GET to pay them! If you don’t like paying bills now, train yourself to be blessed every time a check goes in the mail and be thankful that you have the money to pay it. Resentfulness will breed bitterness. And bitterness will cause negativity to fester and permeate your life. As the child of a generous and abundant God, I have no room for that nonsense!

So if you find yourself with a list of “have-to’s”, there are a couple of choices:

1. Either change the way you think about what you GET to do, or

2. Change what you’re doing!

It’s really that simple. Each moment of your life is a gift that you GET to live. Your perspective creates the difference between obligation and privilege!

You GET to choose, but just remember, the JOY is in the get-to!

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