Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Importance of Being Thankful

For the past 8 months or so there has been a ritual I have been doing to keep myself focused on the positive during a time when so much negative is being reported not only locally but also worldwide. It is similar to people who keep a gratitude journal, which I think is a wonderful idea, but I figured I wouldn't write in it everyday if it were something I had to physically take time to do; therefore, my gratitude journal has been in my head. Everyday I need to think of five things I am grateful for and they can't be repeats from the past week. Most days this is a breeze. I have so much in my life to be grateful for. However, there are a few days scattered around when trying to think of the positive proves to be a more difficult task. It is these days, however, I benefit the most from finding things to be grateful for.

Why do I do this? Sometimes things happen and it is so easy to focus on the negative or how life isn't going exactly as you had planned. Unforeseen events happen in all our lives. Maybe it's the death of a loved one, a job loss, an unfortunate diagnosis, an accident, the list can go on and on. Sometimes these things are caused by our own actions but often they are just unfortunate situations. Nevertheless, finding joy and gratitude among the pain, sorrow, disappointments and all else we may feel, will bring more blessings into our lives. Furthermore, if you can learn from these heart aches, you will be a better person in spite of them.

"Every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don't sing and the bells don't ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result...How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can't--at least not in the moment...But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life." ~Joseph B. Wirthlin. Click here to read the rest of his wonderful message.

So why did I decide to post this today? Thanksgiving is a time when people all around our great nation will take time to reflect on their blessings. We all can find so much to be grateful for, even if our lives are not exactly where we want them to be. I decided to create this post to push everyone further than just being grateful during the holiday season. I want to challenge my readers to start a gratitude journal whether it is on a notepad or just in your head like mine. My life has been blessed from recognizing the blessings around me. I promise as you take the time each day to find 5 things to be grateful for, your life will also be blessed and you will be happier. Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to stop and show gratitude but it shouldn't be the only time we do this. Being thankful, really thankful, should be something we do on a daily basis.

Finding little things to be thankful for should not be too difficult. Maybe it is someone who gives you a little smile of understanding while your kids are screaming and knocking things off the shelves because they want to be done shopping.(That never happens does it :) If everyone took the time to give and recognize small acts of kindness each day, the world could truly turn into a much more positive place.

With that I am going to list my 5 things I am grateful for:

1) I am grateful for the break we have had in gasoline prices. I know this drop is most likely not permanent but it has been a blessing to have a gas bill that is cheaper than my grocery bill again. :D

2) I am grateful for my neighbors. Since we moved into this neighborhood a year ago, we have always had a smile or a distant wave from one of our neighbors. We don't even know them all but they have been so friendly.

3) I am grateful for Sydney's diabetes. Not because I enjoy her having a disease that will never go away, but because it could be so much worse. I am so grateful that she has a disease that is manageable and treatable and not terminal.

4) I am grateful for a husband who helps around the house and recognizes that stay-at-home-moms have rough days every once in a while too. He is my best friend and I love him.

5) I am grateful for our armed forces, especially the ones who are sacrificing Thanksgiving with their families so I have the freedom to enjoy it with mine. We will all be eternally indebted to the men and women who work to bless our lives with freedom. I hope they know they have not been forgotten and many prayers are still said on their behalf every day.

So, there are my five gratitude's for the day. I hope some of you will accept my challenge to find 5 things to be grateful for everyday and, as you do, your life will become richer and you will feel more fulfilled. If you feel so inclined, I would love to read some of the things you are grateful for so feel free to add them to the comments section and, if you would like, you can extend this challenge on your blog as well. Maybe through a little blogging effort, we can help someone become a little happier.


Jill said...

What a wonderful little blogger you have been lately, personally I have slacked big TIME recently!! I am grateful for such a good friend like you!

Dave and Jana said...

That is such a good post! I'm gonna do a gratitiude journal. Thanks for the idea! Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Aubri Lynne said...

I love this post. You are amazing!