#172 Feeling True Gratitude In My Heart
I’m guessing at the number, but, over ten years ago, my beloved friend, Kelly Ogle, and I started a virtual gratitude list. Kelly would email her list over to me, and, then, I would email my list back to her. There’s never been any rhyme or reason as to why or when we would send the list, and we never established any rules of what actually qualified as “gratitude list worthy.” But, I can say this without question, it has been and continues to be a great blessing and perfect pause of settling into the moment and reflecting on what makes life so sweet for us.
I think gratitude is a discipline and “Thanksgiving” is a state of mind. It’s easy to sing life’s praises when it’s going our way, but, it’s a horse of a different color when it serves up a giant helping of adversity. Knowing this, we should discipline ourselves to BE in gratitude. This way, we are living gratitude moment to moment, and, it becomes evident to others that we are grateful in our hearts by how we live- in gratitude. When I got married, oh, the joy. People were more thrilled for me than I was for myself. It generated an even deeper appreciation in my soul for those people I call family and friends. Then, when my Dad had his stroke, the doctor said, “There’s nothing else we can do for him medically, we’ll have to wait and see what God does.” It was a desperate moment filled with hope through faith, and, you know what, I am so grateful today that my Dad is alive and well with a remarkable quality of life. Always, I mean, always there is something to be grateful for. Sometimes we have to look deep, but it’s there.
And, “Thanksgiving,” well, as much as I love the ever popular pumpkin flavored drinks and family gatherings and football and turkey and every casserole known to man, this day, rather, state of mind should be about reflection on those things in life that we’re grateful for. My beloved friend from church, Karla comes to mind. Although she has lived through some very tough life circumstances, she’s always in a Thanksgiving state of mind. Whatever her situation might be, when you ask her how she’s doing, she says with conviction, “I am BLESSED.” Knowing her and her spirit of gratitude is such an incredible reminder of that silver lining in every cloud. The catch is, she isn’t looking for it, she’s living it.
So, as we live in gratitude, let’s not forget all the things that make life worth living. They are small things like #158 on Kelly’s list, “road signs like Becky’s Canine Clip & Dip,” and large things like #119 on my list, “GRACE of God.” But, in matters of gratitude in our hearts, size simply doesn’t matter. Whatever you are grateful for today, I hope it fills your precious hearts with joy like no other. May we all “be in gratitude” and live our lives with a “Thanksgiving state of mind.”
For your amusement only, I wanted to share a handful of musings from mine and Kelly’s gratitude list. And, hey, find yourself a friend, and start your own virtual gratitude list today. You’ll be blessed because of it, I promise!
#61 Enthusiasm (Kelly)
#121 Country Roads (Jill)
#94 Knowing Right from Wrong (Kelly)
#86 This Breath (Jill)
#55 Walking Tucker (Kelly)
#78 Warm Hugs (Jill)
#85 Mimi (Kelly)
#171 Armani Foundation (Jill)
#132 My ever expanding belly (Kelly)
#130 Mamaw’s Purple Hull Peas (Jill)
By the way, from JL PARISH to you and yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!!
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