I learned this little trick a couple of years ago when I started back to college, begin every paper with a question. “Why” questions are the best to answer. They call for in-depth explanation. You can really produce a lengthy essay taking time to explore and develop as many angles as you need to fill up the pages. “What” questions are the next best because, well in my opinion the answer must be distinct and concise. “What”questions tend to be closed ended so you better know what you are going to say and wrap it up. So this morning, since it is before 5 am on Thanksgiving morning…what am I thankful for? Notice the what? The answer needs to be relatively on point.
There is a hardbound journal on my desk at work. It’s a gratitude/prayer journal. For years I have kept one, but this one has more written in it than those of the past. Maybe it is fuller because I see it sitting there on the desk daily, its colorful cover jogging my memory to write down 5 things I am grateful for everyday. I first heard of a gratitude journal back in the 90’s. I read a book Simple Abundance, and the author kept a gratitude journal. Somedays I feel profound gratitude for all the big things in life. What are those things you say? God’s love, being cancer free for over a year, healing, having a nice home to call mine, my job, finishing a degree, and of course my family and my friends.
Then there are days I am overcome with the small things in life and they make the short list. Have you ever been enjoyed that fist sip of coffee brought to you by your guy while you are still in bed on a cold morning? Oh my goodness, I have, and yes it has made the list. What about witnessing a glorious sunrise? This too has been an entry in the book, and it always prompts a quick note of praise to the Lord for its beauty. I’ve been thankful for my fur babies loving on me and keeping my feet warm while I’m reading, my 15-year-old daughter being in a good mood, my 18-year-old son helping me unprompted in the kitchen, the beauty of a deer walking past my window in the morning, and even my favorite lipstick.
I’ve always heard of having an attitude of gratitude. Cultivating it hasn’t been hard. When I’m having a good day or in a good place it is easy to be grateful. I admit, I struggle during hard times to maintain this attitude. There are moments especially those of huge disappointment I can’t do it. I fail miserably and I can find nothing in my soul to be thankful for. But friends, let me share this with you. I have discovered these “epic fail” periods occur further and further apart, and they don’t last as long. Does this mean, I’ve suddenly had an up turn of fabulous events in my life? No. You know how they say, practice what you preach? Well, I have been focusing on adopting my attitude of gratitude for a while. Cultivating this way of thinking has helped me see goodness during times of strife. Maybe my life hasn’t changed so much as it is my perception of it has. Realizing the need for and expressing gratitude has made all the difference.
It’s time to refill my coffee cup and step out on my front porch. The sun is rising. There is much to be thankful for.
Daisies, coffee, and chocolates,