Gratitude: A Mystic Exchange

by Jenni

There is power in gratitude. In fact, I believe that when we give thanks, we receive much more than we give.

The human heart is wired in such a way that our spirits can be lifted up–or cast down–depending on what we focus our attention. Even if I do not feel grateful, I can choose to cultivate a spirit of gratitude. In my own life, I have found that when I struggle with frustration, anger or sadness, the act of giving thanks transforms my perspective. It’s a mystical exchange!

Whenever I sing or write or speak or even just think of the specific blessings in my life, the color of my world brightens. In place of longing for what I do not have, I receive contentment. Instead of feeling rushed and restless, I realize I am exactly where I need to be at this moment. In exchange for selfish apathy and a dull heart, I receive a spirit of generosity and compassion for others.

What better time than Thanksgiving week to practice gratitude?

I encourage you to find a few minutes to jot down 20 things you’re grateful for. (You know  I love list-making!) Here’s my Gratitude List:

  1. God’s lovingkindness to me
  2. The deep peace and joy He’s given me
  3. Seven years of marriage to my best friend Seth
  4. Seth’s patience, wisdom, and strength
  5. The new life of our son, William, who’s asleep on my chest as I type this
  6. William’s health and the sweet spirit we’re already sensing in him
  7. Seth’s stellar daddy skills and partnership in raising our son
  8. The loving relationships we enjoy with our parents and siblings
  9. That our parents and siblings are all alive and healthy
  10. Old and new friends who share our joys and lighten our struggles
  11. Living in the warmth, shelter, and spirit of this old farmhouse
  12. The luxury of a 3-month modified maternity leave to focus on my baby
  13. The people, projects, variety and flexibility my career allows me
  14. My health and no longer being immensely pregnant
  15. The half glass of chilled Pinot Grigio my father-in-law just brought to me
  16. My mother-in-law cooking dinner in my kitchen right now
  17. Not having to worry whether I’ll eat or where I’ll sleep each night
  18. The beauty of nature that surrounds me
  19. English breakfast tea
  20. Good books

What are you grateful for today? I’d love to hear about it and celebrate that with you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!