Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gratitude...It's Not Just for Thanksgiving Anymore

(As of yesterday I'm participating in a "7 posts, 7 days" challenge through Jennifer Fulweiller's "Conversion Diary."  Should get interesting with the four days of gigs I have starting tomorrow!  So don't be surprised if one of the posts reads: "Love your neighbor as yourself!  Bam!"  I may get short on time but want to stay faithful to the challenge!  For today's purposes, however, I wanted to expand on yesterday's theme of "Focus on what they are instead of what they're not."  We're talkin' gratitude people!  Here are some thoughts...)

I glanced over at the ""gratitude board" I lovingly made for the 2013 Thanksgiving season.
Shoved in a corner.
Messy.
Converted to an events reminder board at the close of Thanksgiving.
I guess I figured only month of the year warranted a written reminder of all I have to cherish.
Shame on me!

You see, it all started in an effort to send my eldest away to college next fall with some good habits in place.  Those years between 18-23 can be so riddled with angst, challenges and worries...same as the teen years but without the cushion of a parent to bounce frustrations off of.  (Do you like the way I made "bounce frustrations off of" sound like a pleasant thing?)  Starting the morning with a written account of each thing for which you are grateful...no matter how small...is an amazing shift in perspective.  It's the difference between thinking, "I didn't sleep a wink last night...this day is gonna stink!" and "I'm so grateful that I have a light day of homework today."  Subtle but powerful.  So I bought the board, cut some paper, made it pretty and away we went.  

Little did I know that I was actually changing my own life and habits in the process.  It's amazing what happens when you need to model behaviors for someone else.  It shouldn't have been a shocker when each and every one of my days was made infinitely better by a scrap of paper, a few words, and discerning prayer (plus alot of "thank You, Jesus's") over what to write.

Poor, forgotten gratitude board...


Today's gifts to cherish...

I really liked this Thanksgiving graphic, but I wanted to start over totally fresh...
So this is what I chose...a message totally worth waking up to!!

So I'm resurrecting the board and re-instituting the challenge to myself and my family.  And in keeping with my post yesterday, until such time as the philosophy, "Focus on what they are instead of what they're not," becomes ingrained, at least one, if not all, of my written words of thanks will be directed toward my husband.  They may be simple.  They may be deep.  But they will be heartfelt and loving regardless.

Today's started with a feeling of gratitude toward Drew who opened the newly scrubbed refrigerator (it took me two hours to clean yesterday) and exclaimed, "Wow...Xanadu!!"  The best!!

If you, too, are like me and have trouble consistently focusing on the good...the blessings in your life...you're welcome to join me.  I'd especially encourage you to share the things for which you are grateful in the comments below.  It would be wonderful to feel our community come together with a mutual purpose.  Because gratitude, folks...well, it's not just for Thanksgiving anymore!


{Thanks for reading...
and sharing your gifts below!} 

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