Gratitude Journal

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” 

It’s always important to be thankful for God’s blessings, but never more so than when we’re struggling through tough times.  Gratitude makes us realize how full our lives are, rather than how empty.  Following are just a few things for which I’m grateful: 

A mom who does so much for me — a husband who listens — beautiful fur babies (2 Persians, 2 Chihuahuas) currently in good health and a vet who keeps them that way — a great job — friends who never cease to surprise me with the amount of their love for me — accountability partners with whom I can share anything and pray about everything — having my immediate needs met so I can pursue the loftier goals in life.

Speaking of loftier matters, we take for granted things like clean water, food in abundance, lack of civil war, lack of epidemic-proportion disease.  Really, when we think about it, at this very second, wherever we are, we can probably reach out and touch 50 things for which we should be grateful.  I’m at my desk right now and I see a cell phone, a fan, chewing gum, Advil, water, car keys, a granola bar, kleenex.  The homeless have none of these things.  The average annual wage in India in 2004 was $400.  Annual wage.  Annual.  And India is in far better shape than many countries.  There are kids in Africa who are so dehydrated from the lack of clean water that they are physically incapable of producing tears — and they have so much cause to cry.

“Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted–a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. ”  Rabbi Harold Kushner

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