This morning at church, our pastor gave a sermon about living a life of gratitude. He said gratitude is unselfishly appreciating what you have, instead of focusing on what you want. I think it's easy to say that we are "grateful", but living a life of gratitude is really not that easy. Or maybe it's just not very easy for me.
I know that I am lucky. I thank God each day for the health and safety of my family, the nice life we have, our home, our friends and my amazing job. But here's the problem...I am a goal oriented person. I set goals for everything. I set goals for how much sleep I will get, how many emails I will answer, how many minutes I will exercise for the day, how many loads of laundry I will do in a week, how many things I can add to and check off my to do list each day and how many people I can help. When you are the kind of person (like me) who constantly looks to the future to figure out how to improve myself and how to make the things I am involved in better it is easy to forget to live a true life of gratitude.
I am grateful for...
My children, who are generally kind to others.
My husband, who knows how to have fun everywhere we go.
My parents, who taught me to work hard and to care for others.
Friends, who listen, advise, trust, share and care for our family.
My home, which is simple and safe.
The leaders in my district, who trusted me to have a new position this year.
The teachers I work with who are curious and passionate about making a difference.
Nature, which is usually a peaceful gift and a sometimes a powerful reminder.
God, who reminds me that he is in control
and that I should take time to enjoy the things on my "gratitude" list each day.
This week as we talk about the things we are grateful for in our lives, I realize that I need to work harder to show that I am grateful and make time to reflect and pray about the amazing things around me.
After all, gratitude is an attitude...not just a goal on my list. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and lots of time to reflect about what you are grateful for in this crazy busy life!