I cannot let November get away without doing something to reflect and remember why I should be grateful each and every day for my life. It is easy to let the negative in life over shadow the positive. I want to be grateful about my blessings each and every day of my life.
I was reading today that the power of gratitude has been scientifically proven. According to the article, you can have more health, wealth, and increase happiness with being more grateful.
Why wouldn’t we all want that?
That little question has helped me realize even on my hardest days I can always think of things that made the day okay and make me grateful.
As I write this from my computer, I notice that my furnace is making my home warm. My television is on in the background, music blares from my headphones and my wife is making dinner from a kitchen stocked with modern appliances and clean, running water.
I don’t live in a big house. It’s not located in a neighborhood filled with SUVs and white picket fences. But I’ve got more space than I need and I’ve got more things than I need.
Our bills are paid and sometimes, there’s even a little left over.
All things to be grateful for.
But I am discovering that what keeps most people from being grateful is the false picture they have in their mind as to how it is supposed to be. So many people I know live this life with false expectations. They feel entitled and deserving of things not worked for or earned. It isn’t about “stuff”. It’s not money or status…and it certainly won’t be found in the pursuit of those things.
The secret to gratefulness is hidden away in the ordinary moments we experience in search of the extraordinary ones.
That being said, there needs to be a distinction between what being thankful is as to being grateful. The dictionary defines gratitude as a state of being grateful; Gratitude is a noun. Thankfulness is defined as aware and appreciative of a benefit; Thankfulness is an adjective.’
It seems gratitude is the state of being and thankfulness expresses that gratitude.
I choose being in a state of gratefulness.
Life should teach us that if we have food in the fridge, a roof over your head and spare change in your pocket we should be thankful – but they will never make you grateful. You can’t assess your true level of gratefulness by looking at your checking account or your 401k. Because we struggle to feel satisfied. We fight urges to compare and complain. We wrestle with feelings of jealousy and failure.
Why is that? It’s simple really.
From my personal experience, I have discovered that you have to dig a little deeper to find that really makes you grateful.
Now time and space do not permit me to write about everything that I am grateful for but here are few things that being grateful is all about….
- The old memories of a time you laughed so hard with childhood friends that it hurt, but you couldn’t stop and didn’t want to. These memories cross my mind often.
- It’s growing up having a few great friends, and the one you tell your secrets without fear of judgement or betrayal.
- It’s the remembered “innocence” of believing in the wonder of a Christmas morning.
- It’s the love you have for your mother, the center of your universe growing up and the pride of your family.
- It’s the memories of a brother and grandparents that have passed on before me.
- It’s remembering the moment you accepted Jesus Christ and your life would never be the same.
- It’s the memories of swimming and playing ball on long hot summer days.
- It’s the memories of the first time you fell in love.
- It’s receiving that diploma after working so hard for it.
- It’s holding your child in your hands for the first time.
- It’s the cherished memories of bedtime stories, ballgames, school plays and graduations.
- It’s finding your one true love when you thought love had passed you by.
- It’s picking yourself up and having an opportunity to start over… another second chance.
- It’s still having to catch your breath when your wife walks in the room.
- It’s having a true understanding how lucky you are to have her in your life.
- It’s the smile on your wife’s face when you come home at night.
- It’s the way she instinctively reaches for your hand when you walk by her side.
- It’s about the home she has made for you.
- It’s date nights with my forever love, the long talks, and getting through the hard days together.
- It’s fighting back the tears of joy when your grandson says, “Hey Grandpa”.
- It’s when a young man takes you to dinner to ask for your blessing… and it’s when your daughter calls you to tell you she said “Yes!!”.
- It’s when your children take time to talk to you.
- It’s a heart that’s still beating strong.
- It’s the phone call from your doctor saying the tests are clear.
- It’s the clear memories of three close friends that are now in heaven.
- It’s still having a friend that is as close to a brother as it can get.
- It’s the reminder of spiritual scars and the Grace of God that keep me focused on Jesus Christ.
- It’s the picture frozen in your mind of the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen.
- It’s looking back at the footprints that you left behind that are good and honorable and the ability to forgive yourself for the footprints that weren’t.
- And simply put…It’s family.
Don’t miss being truly grateful this Thanksgiving.
Remember… the secret to true gratefulness is hidden away in the ordinary moments we experience in search of the extraordinary ones.