Gratitude- that was January’s word. Gratitude- it’s a deep word with layers of implications.
January was a busy month for me, but since I told anyone who read this blog that I was going to think about gratitude, I realized soon enough that I better do it! I also realized how huge gratitude’s meaning is. Maybe I should’ve set gratitude as my word of the year, because it’s an immensely important aspect of our personality. And it’s definitely a character trait I could use some improving on.
Probably the thing that stuck out to me most during this month is how closely gratitude is related to humility. In fact, I believe the two words are practically synonyms. Gratitude is realizing that you are blessed beyond what you will ever deserve. It is appreciating God’s gifts to you. A proud person cannot be thankful, because he feels he deserves all he has… and much more. A humble person recognizes how little (if anything) he has actually earned.
It’s my desire to grow in gratitude and humility. I want to show my appreciation for my many blessings, first and foremost to God and then to the people that bless me daily. As an exercise to build my gratitude, I decided to compose a short list of some of my blessings 🙂
Answers to prayers. I’m a bit of a hard learner prayer-wise, but I’m getting there. This month I’ve been really blessed with several beautiful answers to my prayers. One night I couldn’t sleep because of the chronic pain in my foot. After tossing and turning for a few hours, I thought, “Um, why am I not sleeping?? After all, my Father is the Healer of healers. He can take the pain away just like that!” So I whispered a little prayer for healing… and that’s the last thing I remember thinking before falling asleep! Thank you, God, for answering so many of my prayers this month.
Books. The Bible, of course, and other books. I love the book of Ephesians in the Bible. I also love to read a well-written novel or a brilliant piece of non-fiction once in a while.
Change. I don’t always like change. It means stepping out of comfort zones. However, in retrospect, I see that change has been good for me. And no matter what changes in our lives, God remains the same. I’m super glad he never changes.
Dogs. Mine died this last year, and I miss him a lot! There’s something about the pure love of a dog that touches my heart. Like Roger A. Caras said, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
Gratitude: The art of counting your blessings,
not your troubles.
Ebony. A fancy word for black, one of my favourite colours. And yes, it’s often seen as a ‘bad’ colour. But I tend to think of it as a rich colour. Simple but very elegant.
Friends. You know who you are. You listen to me, you encourage me, you get me, you make me laugh out loud. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 💗
Grandparents. I’m so incredibly blessed with grandparents who leave me a beautiful example to follow. This past fall, my paternal grandpa passed on to heaven following a heart attack. I miss him greatly, but am glad he’s free from pain now. I thank God for the three grandparents I still have here. Thanks for your unconditional love!
Heaven. A perfect city with perfect people. And best of all, Jesus is there waiting for me with wide open arms. Thank you, Father!
Irish cream lattes. The Coffee Shoppe has amazing lattes. Irish cream is one of my favourite flavours. In fact, I could use one of those right now!
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good:
His love endures forever.
Jobs. I have a great job with flexible hours. My boss and coworkers are awesome people to work with. I don’t always appreciate my fine job enough.
Kids. As a Sunday school teacher, I spend half an hour a week with children ages five to six. I love how being with kids gives you a new and simpler perspective of life. I can see why Jesus tells us to be like children. 🙂
Lemons and Limes. Like just about everything tastes just better with lemon. Soups, salsas, and fish fillet. Not to mention lemonade, lemon pie (!!!!), Lemon Streusel Cake, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Bars, Rosemary & Lemon Chicken (If you haven’t tasted my mom’s Rosemary and Lemon Chicken… you’re missing out!), Lemon Cheesecake… I think you get the picture 🙂
Music. There are so many great songs and artists. My playlists of favourite songs are composed of a variety of genres and three languages. I’m thankful for talented musicians that share their gift with the world.
Start each day with an attitude of gratitude.
Nature. God created a world of infinite beauty and of amazing variety. Foaming waves pounding sandy shores… ballerina-like butterflies fluttering from flower to flower… evergreen forests blanketed in pristine white snow… billowing waterfalls crashing down tall cliffs… sand dunes beautifully sculpted by the desert winds… What’s not to like?
Orthodontists. To those of you who know me, this might be a bit of a surprise. But, yes, despite all my horror stories about dentists and orthodontists, I’m quite thankful for them. My life would be pretty miserable without them.
Parents. I’ve been blessed with awesome parents. They listen to me and support me. They love me and pray for me! I don’t deserve you, Mom and Dad! Love you!
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
Questions. Without asking questions, it’s hard to learn. As a kid, I asked a jabazillion questions a day. I’m thankful my parents took the time to answer a few of them at least! 😛 And now, when I hear little children (or adults with a childlike inquisitive nature) ask questions, I smile, because I know they’ll learn.
Road Trips. I love to travel. I can’t remember a trip I didn’t enjoy. I love airports and flying, but road trips remain my preference. From California to Missouri and from Manitoba to Guanajuato, they’re always a blast.
Sisters. Seriously, if you think you have the best sisters in the world, I’m sorry but you are soooo wrong. Lucy and Tanya, I’m glad you’re not only my sisters but also some of my best friends! Love you 💜
Teachers. I wasn’t always a model student, but my teachers didn’t give up. I have fond memories of each one of you. Thanks for helping me learn!
Unique people. People with unexpected personality quirks are my faves. I enjoy being with people that refuse to fit into my little labeled boxes. And in the end, that’s everyone. We are all unique, just like everyone else 🙂
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
Victory. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
Wikipedia. Because it knows everything and everyone. From interesting facts about Pitcairn Islands to practical information about tamarinds, and from Jacob Trouba’s height to characteristics of Merlot, Wikipedia knows.
eXamples. Since I’m not especially fond of neither xylophones nor Xiaomi, I’ll go an x-sounding word. I’m blessed with a lot of beautiful examples to follow. My role models include Biblical heroes, present-day Christian leaders and authors, and personal friends and acquaintances.
Youth. My youth group is awesome. A mixture of dozens of personalities, a huge variety of talents, and a wide spectrum of creative ideas compose this group I’ve grown to appreciate deeply.
Zeal. There is nothing more attractive than seeing someone doing what they do with passion and purpose. Even if it’s something I’m not particularly passionate about, I still admire people that are zealous about their work.
And that’s the end for now. Not because I ran out of things I’m thankful for, but because I ran out of alphabet :).
February’s word is…
Btw, I’d be interested in hearing suggestions for future words of the month! Drop a comment below if you have an idea 🙂