In the busyness of daily life, it can be almost impossible to slow down enough to begin to give thanks for even the smallest of life’s treasures. Where does the time go? In between meeting the demands of our job, taking care of family, running errands, personal obligations, an entire day can seem to fly by in moments. Yet just for a moment, think about how you feel receiving a loved one’s embrace, the gratitude you feel spending time with someone who needed your support, seeing the beauty of a rainbow in the sky, or simply having a few moments alone to gather your thoughts. You can’t help but feel grateful if you have experienced any of the above. My grandmother loved singing hymns while preparing meals in the wee hours of the morning. She would often say, “The fact that I woke up this morning is reason enough to be grateful.” At the time she said this, I truly didn’t understand the magnitude of her statement. I now know life is a gift.
For me, I began a gratitude journal by simply writing down five things I was thankful for at the end of each day. It was amazing to see as I journaled how the small things that I had taken for granted in the past, I now began to notice and be grateful for. I got sidetracked some in my gratitude journal entries yet I am challenging myself to restart. Yes, sometimes you have to challenge yourself! Honestly, the gratitude journal blessed me as I looked back and saw just how awesome it is to work towards developing an attitude of gratitude. For instance, if you have ever had the flu, remember how grateful you were when you gained your strength, and began to feel better. If you are like me who has had the flu, when I started feeling better, I became overexcited. I felt like shouting to the world, “The flu has left my house, bring on the barbecue chicken, macaroni salad and chocolate cake!”
Seriously, the need to have an attitude of gratitude hit me like a bolt of lightning while shopping for a blouse in a department store. As I hurriedly took my two blouses to the fitting room in the store, directly in front of the entrance sat a small-framed woman in a wheel chair. As I passed her, I noticed she had little ability to move her arms but had the biggest smile I had seen in a very long time. As I moved closer to her she smiled even more and enthusiastically said, “Hi, how are you?’ She seemed to be so grateful, at peace, and patient. Her smile was contagious, and I immediately answered her question, and told her to have a great day. Little did she know, she stirred something within me and gave me an unforgettable life lesson. At that moment, I chose to become a life time member of the Attitude of Gratitude Team.
Developing an attitude of gratitude is maximizing your thoughts of the things you have to be grateful for. Thinking this way puts your focus more on the positives of your life versus those things you see as negative. Now, I know some of you may say, “What do I have to be grateful for?” I have more month than money, problems at home, a loved one battling an illness, and bottom line one problem after another. Yes, life will have trials, hurdles, and even moments when you may not know where to turn. Yet, if you are reading this blog, I know two things already that we both can be thankful for. Number 1- You are alive & Number 2- You have eyesight which is enabling you to be able to read. I leave you with this challenge. For one week began to jot down five things daily you are grateful for. You will be amazed by the things you may have been overlooking, that are oh so important. It will also cause you to become more observant in actually looking for things you need to be more grateful for. On the journey to developing an attitude of gratitude you may face frustration, and even setbacks but do not give up on your personal journey. So, are you going to join the Attitude of Gratitude Team?
Below is my first journal entry from my gratitude journal I wanted to share with you
1. So thankful for a beautiful day I get the honor of seeing
2. Thankful for a place to rest after a super busy day---Home
3. Laughter with church family members
4. Peaceful moments of prayer time
5. The sheer joy I felt, in helping people find items at my yard sale