Dictionary.com defines gratitude as: “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful”.
Synonyms include appreciativeness, grace, honor, praise and recognition.
For me gratitude is found in my students, my parents, my family and my friends.
I am grateful when:
…my 5:00 am wake up call each morning is graced by a splash of color on the horizon while driving to work
…one student in my class starts giggling over something silly and as hard as I try, I soon break into a smile and giggles cascade forth
…my parents love me even as I continue to make mistakes because my imperfect self gets in the way of trying to be perfect
…my sons and I are together and laughter erupts over pure silliness and it just feels right being together
…my family – brothers and sisters-in-laws celebrate life together and the legacy that ties us together through our parents
…my friends send an encouraging text or email just when my heart needs to be filled again with love to carry me through the day
Being thankful seems to come easily this time of the year-Thanksgiving is in a few days and the holidays tend to make us feel generous of spirit and quick to offer thanks. The challenge is sustaining this spirit of thankfulness all year round. Ann Voskamp has captured the gift of grace through a thankful heart perfectly in her book One Thousand Gifts. As a follow up to her best selling book, Ann Voskamp created the Joy Dare as a challenge to create your own list of 1000 gifts each year. She says,” Joy is a function of gratitude — and gratitude is a function of perspective. So take these prompts to help you see and change perspective — give thanks — and live all His joy!” The Joy Dare is one way to sustain a heart of thankfulness all year round. I challenge each of us to take the time every day to look specifically for the gifts of grace that accompany our days. In doing so we are honoring God and putting Him at the center of our lives. I’ll leave you with one more quote from Ann Voskamp:
“The one thing we must pray to be great at is thanksgiving — because it’s the one thing that makes God great in our lives.” Check out her daily blog at A Holy Experience for encouragement and honest, emotion-filled posts about life.
I am thankful for each and everyone of you! Your encouraging words allow me to continue on this journey of writing and sharing my heart. I would love to hear what you are thankful for and how you are able to sustain a heart of thankfulness each day!
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Hi, Mary. I am also a big fan of Ann Voscamp’s writing and have been listing the gifts I have found for over 2 years now! Wow….time has just sped by! By keeping a list, and posting it in my blog every week, my life has been drastically changed! Joy comes so much more easily! Just reading your list made me smile and find gratitude for how He has gifted you with these things listed.Stop on over and see what I have listed this week! Also, I started a series on the Holiday season and why many do not find joy during this time of year.
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!
I too have been keeping a list of my gifts for the last year but have kept this list in my own personal journal. There is something even more freeing about putting the list on your blog or on Twitter because it validates to others the importance you find in taking the time to note what God has blessed you with each day. Thank you for stopping by. Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours!
Mary my good friends are the confetti sprinkles on the cupcake of my life! And you are one of those good friends in this girls life, and I am so very thankful for you – this week – and always! Keep writing! It’s good stuff you’re sharing!
Your encouragement means the world to me. Your friendship is a sweet gift that God has orchestrated for us to share, grow and learn all we can! Thanksgiving blessings to you my friend!
Sometimes we try to focus on big things to be thankful for, but not every day is filled with big events. It is often in small consistent things that God shows is loving-kindness. We do have to pray and train our hearts to be thankful and see the things, big and small, God is doing.
I so agree! Thank you for the reminder! Thanksgiving blessings to you!
I am thankful for your friendship & willingness to share your writing with us. Happy Thanksgiving!
Friendship is a gift blessed by God to model on Earth His unfailing love for us. Thank you for being that model for me. Love and blessings, my friend!