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Most of us think of gratitude in November, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, afterwards we tuck it away like a worn sweater whose use has long since passed.
I am coming to learn gratitude is a daily practice, as it helps us see the world anew, perhaps connecting with beauty in hard places, or appreciating the miraculous wonders within the mundaneness of life.
The other day, suddenly, I felt weary, the sadness of some challenges facing my family took root, and a kind of emotional paralysis emerged. Only Nai and I were home, as she watched a little morning cartoons, while I read about healing.
I decided to call a church for prayer. The Pastor’s warm voice immediately placed me at ease; he asked what led me to reach out. I simply cried. In between sobs, I heard him ask me something no one ever had on a prayer line: What are you thankful for?
I quickly rambled off my family, and he firmly nudged me to “keep going.” “We’re celebrating God’s faithfulness right now.” As I continued declaring the blessings (a home, doing what I love, a fulfilling marriage, etc.) my despair slowly eviscerated.
Again, later that week, God revealed the importance of gratitude through a new blogging friend, Afrotastic Lady on Instagram. She posted her gratitude list for the month of January, and I thought why not join in and share mine with you all.
These six blessings are guideposts on this renewed commitment to thankfulness in all areas of my life.
1. God’s Grace – We are all undeserving of His grace and yet it is freely given – whether we are loosing our patience with the kiddos or hubby (yeah that’s me on lots of days, y’all), crying out of sheer exhaustion, or panicking over something trivial, God’s grace remains. Our besties, parents, husbands, kids, no one can do this for you and I – only God.
2. The light of Nai’s Smile – Her smile illuminates the darkest of moments; all the world disintegrates when my eyes meet hers. Our daughter is a gift from God, and I thank Him for her each day.
3. Enduring Love – My husband, family, and friends teach me love endures, transcends time and space, past and present. It’s boundless, if we are faithful and committed to cultivating it within our own hearts.
4. Friendship – Casual friendships do not exist for me. We are either in this until the wheels fall off, or mannerly acquaintances.
God blessed me with amazing friends, women who are my sisters. Our conversations and laugher are a continuum of joy; we support each others dreams and comfort one another through sorrow and disillusionment. Chel, Shan, Qiana, Amelia, Shelly and Dionne, I am grateful to call you sisters.
5. Solitude – I barely pee alone most days (toddler Mom life), so getting a few minutes to myself is rare. Those two hours Nai naps most days renew me in ways I never imagined. There is beauty in stillness.
6. Organic Fruit Smoothies – Okay, this sounds silly, right? But seriously, y’all, I get my whole entire life on organic smoothies I make every morning. Forget coffee and tea, this is the way I jumpstart the day!
Love to hear what you are thankful for this month in the comments. Come on, don’t be shy!