Friends, Hello, Hello, HELLO! Did you miss me last week or what? Public Service Announcement… I’ll post a blog every other week for the final quarter of the year. Why? We’re gearing up to bring you all lots of great, cost effective JL PARISH gift options for the Holiday Season. And, yes, I said “Holiday Season!” It’s right around the corner, you know.
This week, the idea of gratitude has really been on my mind. Growing up, as I’m sure I’ve shared before, gratitude was a central tenet in our home. My Mom was insistent on her children expressing their gratitude by politely saying, “thank you.” But, above all, she wanted my Sister and I to be aware of life’s blessings and, in our hearts, be grateful for them.
Fast forward to my husband (before he had that title) and I dating… After a year or so of on and off dating, we had the talk of “I like you. You like me. Should we try dating each other only?” And, I remember so well, Patrick saying, “Jill, I’m not dating anyone else. So, yes, I hope that we’re only dating each another. But, I have an issue. You thank me for every single thing… picking you up, the Sprite you drank at dinner, the door I held for you at the theatre, the theatre tickets and the ride home. For some reason, constantly being thanked makes me feel like every date is a first date.” I replied, “But, Patrick, that’s how I was raised. You know, to be appreciative.” He then replied, “Well, let’s make a deal. Just give me one blanket “thank you” instead of a thousand little thank you’s.”
So, I began saying “thank you” less and showing him I was grateful more. I would make a more concerted effort to share that I liked or enjoyed something. I would give him thoughtful but simple gifts like fresh baked cookies once in a while. And, I’d do whatever I could to help him or lighten the load from time to time. The formality of saying thank you subsided, but a newfound space of gratitude emerged. Now, trust me, it was a process. I really had to hold back a zillion “thank you’s,” but my feeling of gratitude was full throttle.
Just yesterday, I was running slowly, but, I was running. Instead of fixating on how long I had run or my heart rate or my steps, I just said to myself… Think of this run as an extended moment of gratitude. And, as I ran, instead of focusing on the formality of the run (you know, to burn calories, log miles, etc.), I focused on the gift of being able to run. I had legs to take me where I needed to go, eyes to see God’s wondrous creation, ears to hear the early birds singing their song and the list goes on and on. Now, I won’t lie, I had to thank God for the moment. But, had I not said that I was grateful in a silent prayer to God, he would have known. I was running in gratitude.
I’m challenging myself as well as you, my friends, to live in a space of gratitude. When our minds shifts to what we are grateful in our hearts for, it pretty much oozes out of us. Others see it and are inspired by it. Try living a little in gratitude today!
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