Gratitude. I’m really feeling it these days. Not that everything is going perfectly in my life ~ I am not expecting that it ever will be completely perfect! But when I take a moment and consider all that I have to be grateful for, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed.
A few years ago, during a particularly tough season for our family, the kids and I were making the long drive home from Los Angeles to South Orange County. Sadness hung in the air of the car like L.A. smog on the foothills. My chest felt so tight because I just didn’t know what to say to lift their spirits. I finally had to break the silence.
“Hey, why don’t we each say something we are grateful for, just one thing. I will start. I am grateful for toilet paper.” I got a little chuckle out of them anyway. But, seriously, who isn’t grateful for toilet paper? It’s just not something we talk about!
The kids each said something they were grateful for and then I started the process over again. We continued like this the whole way home. Along the way we found that we were grateful for blind people because they don’t judge others by how they look, we were grateful for butterflies, cars, food, each other and God and so many other things that have long been forgotten.
What wasn’t forgotten was how much we had to be grateful for on that day, in spite of unmet expectations. We never did turn on the radio, talk about our problems or pain, nor did we complain or blame; we just simply spoke words of gratitude for over an hour. By the time we pulled in our driveway we were each feeling a whole lot better. It was the best driving game we have ever played ~ better than “I Spy” and counting VWs.
Gratitude is a wonderful balm for the wounds that we will inevitably experience in our lives, from the annoying little scratches to the ones that cut to the bone. Are you experiencing some pain or unmet expectations in your life right now? Why not start a game of gratitude and begin the healing process!