How often do our days feel like fast-paced, stress-filled messes? Whether it’s from a hard day at work, caring for a sick child or suffering from the worst headache or cold imaginable.
How often does the mere ability to get out of bed takes the greatest effort?
And when we have a day like this, it’s hard to have gratitude for anything.
Imagine after a long, hard day, pulling into your driveway. You turn your car off, pause, and take a deep breath. It’s as if the day has stolen your breath from you.
And after taking this deep breath, instead of feeling bitter and resentful, you thank God. Simply because He has given you another day.
And in the midst of the stress and suffering, you realize that tomorrow is a new day, and with God’s help, you can try again. Because tomorrow is another day to be as virtuous as you can be. Another day to right wrongs. Another day to take mistakes and mishaps and learn from them. Another day to grow closer to God.
You have so much to be grateful for.
This really is the only response that life truly deserves: one of gratitude.
This day, as you’re reading this, whether it be at the start of your day, or at the end of it, take a moment to think about all that you have to be grateful for – regardless of how hard the prior day, week or even the year has been.
I bet if you think hard enough, you’ll find it. Your Gratitude.
But don’t stop there.
It’s time to move forward and to give back to God. Do something – anything, to show your gratitude for the graces you’ve been given.
And, if you’ve been stressed, or perhaps not as virtuous as you would like to be, then simply ask God for forgiveness and the strength to be better on this new day, or this new hour, or this new minute.
Let it go. Because the very next moment is new. Begin again!
When you stop to really think about it, a new day is something within itself to be amazed and grateful for. Every day is new. Every day is an opportunity to start over.
Gratitude keeps our hearts humble, it helps us to see everything as a gift from God and helps us to focus our lives on others – versus always thinking of ourselves.
By letting gratitude extend to all things, even when things are less than pleasant, or heck, very difficult – it is certainly not easy, but so very important.
And the odd thing is, being happy shouldn’t be our cause for gratitude.
Ding, ding, ding!
Instead, simply being grateful for all that we have (or don’t have) will help us to be happy. If we only just try.
Today you can make an extra effort to be kind to someone. To create something others will derive benefit from. To be a source of strength or light for others. A source of hope for others.
Life was never meant to be superficially perfect or filled with daily excitement. Work is often challenging … hence the name. People and circumstances will often let you down.
But if we learn to just stop occasionally, if only just briefly during our day to ponder the true wonder of life, the true wonder of God’s gifts to each and every one one of us – it’s at that moment that we can fully realize what a wonder and a gift life truly is!
We just have to take the time to recognize it.
To see it. To appreciate it. To be grateful for it.
And most importantly, to thank God for it.
One of the things that continually astounds me is just how much I have to be grateful for. Another thing that continually astounds me is how often I forget just how much I have to be grateful for.
If we began to count the blessings that we truly owe to God, we would never finish counting, because each added moment of life is another gift.
Throughout your day, learn to thank…truly thank God for everything.
Every. Single. Thing.
Shout your words of gratitude with your every breath.
And let gratitude never leave your mind and your heart. Gratitude changes lives. Let it change yours.