Gratitude is more than a Thanksgiving obligation. It is more than the hackneyed blog topic that shows up during this particular season.
Gratitude is a catalyst, a way to lift our spirits when we are mired in frustrations or even self-pity.
My Gratitude Reminder
I am repeatedly surprised by the mirror these days, and find myself trying to peer around this much older woman who is blocking my view. When did I become that mature woman who I used to admire but kind of hoped I wouldn’t become?
Walking across a parking lot a few days ago, I pondered my age, my gray hair, and my wrinkled hands. I thought about all of the goals I had not accomplished. “Have I had any impact?” I asked, silently. “And should I invest in some expensive face cream?”
Then I spotted a young woman with three children. She pushed an old stroller with one wheel slightly askew. Two toddlers were in the stroller, with an infant strapped to her body. I saw the exhaustion on her face as she pondered getting all three of them into her car.
I felt her pain. I remembered those kid days with agonizing clarity. Waking up with an entire day to fill. . . feeling exhausted and collapsing on the couch ready to end the day, only to look at my watch and realize it was only 11:00 a.m. Driving the kids around so they would fall asleep, only to walk them gingerly into the house and have them wake up as soon as their sweaty little heads hit their pillows.
I realized that every age offers its sunrises and sunsets. And without breaking into song. I realized that while I’m a little older and maybe inching my way towards life’s finish line, I also have hours that I can spend however I want to. I finally have time to write. I have good friends who are willing to laugh at my humor. I have a family who loves me. I have an awesome Boxer dog at home who is delighted each time he sees me, even if I just returned from taking out the trash.
I have a husband who adores me, and kids who have grown into wonderful adults. Simply by repeating these things to myself, I suddenly feel lighter.
My Song of Gratitude
Gratitude lifts our spirits out of an often self-imposed gray world. Recently, during another day of self-pity, God decided to talk to me through my cell phone. He figured he had to go through that or Facebook.
A song began to play, from beginning to end, that I had never heard before. My daughter held her iPhone up to my phone while it played and determined the band was Dikta, and the song was “Thank you.”
Here is a stanza:
Yep, I think that was a pretty specific message. And I must say that I’m pretty impressed with God’s use of modern technology.
Gratitude is more than an annual blog topic, more than something we practice. Gratitude is something to which we can hold during challenging times. It is something that keeps us from being overwhelmed. Gratitude makes problems seems smaller, and love seem larger. Feeling sad today? Try some gratitude. It works.
Question: For what in your life are you most grateful?