Gratitude: A Mystic Exchange
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:
- God’s lovingkindness to me
- The deep peace and joy He’s given me
- Seven years of marriage to my best friend Seth
- Seth’s patience, wisdom, and strength
- The new life of our son, William, who’s asleep on my chest as I type this
- William’s health and the sweet spirit we’re already sensing in him
- Seth’s stellar daddy skills and partnership in raising our son
- The loving relationships we enjoy with our parents and siblings
- That our parents and siblings are all alive and healthy
- Old and new friends who share our joys and lighten our struggles
- Living in the warmth, shelter, and spirit of this old farmhouse
- The luxury of a 3-month modified maternity leave to focus on my baby
- The people, projects, variety and flexibility my career allows me
- My health and no longer being immensely pregnant
- The half glass of chilled Pinot Grigio my father-in-law just brought to me
- My mother-in-law cooking dinner in my kitchen right now
- Not having to worry whether I’ll eat or where I’ll sleep each night
- The beauty of nature that surrounds me
- English breakfast tea
- Good books
What are you grateful for today? I’d love to hear about it and celebrate that with you!
Happy Thanksgiving to you!