Cultivating a Life of Gratitude

I am committing myself, during 2010, to attempt to cultivate a greater awareness of how much I have to be thankful and grateful for by sharing my daily findings and musings with you. It is my hope that by blogging about gratitude, I will be more aware of what is going on around me in my life, my family, my friends' lives and our world.

January 15, 2010

First time for everything

(BEGIN SIDE NOTE) So, awhile back, a friend recommended using blogspot.  Many friends use blogspot.  It is SO much easier for me to figure out than Xanga, so here I am.  (END SIDE NOTE)

Yesterday as I was beginning my drive to work, I was struck by just how incredibly thankful I should be for everything in my life.  I'm not sure why it hit me as I was sitting at the light, waiting to turn left, but it did.  I think it partly had to do with being SO thankful the roads were clear and dry for my long drive.  Almost within the same second I thought to myself - I really should start a blog where I document each day something that I am thankful for ... wouldn't that be something to reflect back on after a year?  Well - I decided to try it.  These thoughts may not be profound.  They actually may be rather simple.  I guess that's part of what I'm trying to grow in myself though - having an attitude or lense through which I view the world with gratefulness rather than (you fill in the blank).

Some of these thoughts were inspired by a sermon series I recently listened to about how generosity is THE way of life. I think it reminded me that I often take for granted such simple things like having a roof over my head, food to eat, having love in my life, clean water to drink, etc. I think it also reminded that we have such an incredibly generous God with an amazingly generous message and I was challenged to think about whether or not people in my every day life are aware of just how generous God has been to me when they hear me talk or reflect on my life and it has also challenged me in the area of how I give of my time, talents, treasure and touch (listen to the sermons ;)).

In an effort to attempt to daily remind myself of all that I have been given and that which I often overlook or take for granted, here is my second attempt at entering the blog-o-sphere.  I am pretty passionate about this topic and hopefully it will be a good challenge for me to daily share my moments or reflections on generosity and being thankful.  We'll see how it goes!

Today, 1/15/2010,  I am thankful for the way people around me are living, breathing examples of generosity.

Here are two examples:

1.  We have some friends who decided to donate their car to a single woman in their church.  I respect them a lot for choosing to do this with their car.  They could have traded it in or done other things with this car but they are people who God has been cultivating generosity in for several years.  It's been fun to watch them on their journey and to be inspired by them to give in practical ways.  I also believe there are people in their lives who have been great examples of generosity to them - so it's neat to see it being passed on from grandparents to grandchildren to people outside of their family. 

2.  My parents are another great example who continually bless us with diapers for Ethan and just about anything else Ethan needs or would like :) ... and they are always quick to feed us or help us in so many ways.  My mom treats me and Ethan to lunch at least once a month and it's a special mom, daughter, grandson bonding time that I do not want to take for granted.  We did that today after a trip to Costco and I'm just thankful for that time and the yummy Panera food that my hands did have to prepare or pay for ... :) and while we sit there and talk about life, the events in Haiti, parenting, etc.  I'm thankful - so VERY thankful - for the conversation we get to have face to face while we both live in the same state.  It's such a blessing to be friends with my mom and to enjoy time together and to have her help tackling Ethan when he turns into a wild monkey ;). 

Those are my reflections for today in the quiet of nap time ... we'll see what tomorrow holds!  Until then ... may we be reminded to "give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for [us] in Christ Jesus". 

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