Often easier said than done. In the hustle and bustle of life, it takes a genuine focus and shift in our mindset to be thankful in all seasons.
I started off 2011 participating in the #OneWord challenge for the first time. I chose gratitude. I wanted to be more consistent and conscientious about be thankful for the little things. The things we often take for granted and overlook.
I wrote these words in late December:
Sometimes we get so bogged down in what we don’t have and what problems we do have, that we forget to focus on what we do have and what we have come through. I try my hardest to keep a positive and upbeat spirit, but I want to focus more on showing God how grateful I am to Him for all that He has provided for me and my family. I want to let Him know that I am standing on His Word and know that the promises that He has made to me will come to fruition, but in the meantime, I am just thankful and blessed for the place He has me at now.
January 1st was awesome. Spent some time with 2 of my girlfriends kicking off the new year and sharing our goals and intentions for the new year.
January 2nd I started the morning with an awesome worship experience and ended the day at my uncle’s house in North Carolina trying to comprehend how at 42 he was gone after suffering a heart attack in his sleep the night before.
Devastation does not begin to explain how his death shook our family. As I look through my journals, social media posts and even blog articles during that time period, my resolve to focus on gratitude shines through. Even in the darkest moments, I forced myself to reflect on at least 3 things I was thankful for each day.
A week after burying my uncle, I went in for my annual exam and found out I was pregnant. WOWSERS! Totally unexpected and surprising. The following week, I miscarried.
Now some reading this may think, “hold up! I might want to leave this gratitude thing alone” and I get it. I felt the same way at times.
When the walls felt like they were closing in. When I wanted to throw my hands up and say “Really Lord?” there was a still quiet voice that said …
Some days that gratitude was no more than “I’m thankful for air I breathe and much-needed hugs from my sweet baby boys”. When you make a decision to choose gratitude – that may mean being thankful for the not-so-good experiences that shape who you are and how you grow. Because out of those experiences are unexpected blessings and life lessons.
PS – I spent the last 3 months of 2011 on maternity leave. Tomorrow I will share how this reinforced my faith and reminded me of God’s promise that He is a restorer of all things.