"And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:6-7)
One year ago today, I posted a photo on Instagram of a sweet, gummy grinning baby, with a caption that told all about what I was thankful for. It also held a promise. One to practice gratitude every day. To be thankful instead of cynical. To find something to be happy about when I wanted to complain instead. Chelsea and I started gratitude journals that day, and we haven't looked back.
I am going to tell you something. And I take this so seriously.
My life has changed.
I am happy. Truly. That deep down, joy spilling out kind of happy.
Yes, we moved last year and my husband got a new job in an old town that we call home. Yes, I got a job and my kids got bigger. Sure...we live in the same place as our families now.
But... I am happier now, not because of my circumstances, but because I chose to be thankful instead of cynical. To find good things even on the worst of days.
I still have bad days when I forget about being thankful and a bad attitude overwhelms my once joyous one. I am certainly not perfect. I still argue with my husband sometimes and I show my kids how bad my temper can be every now and then. Sometimes I am sad and I cry. But that is ok. The point of practicing gratitude is not to change every emotion I ever had to a happy one. I am human, and emotions are actually really great and they all have a purpose. But I have realized in the last year that I absolutely have control over my joy. And it all starts with a grateful heart and a willing attitude.
In the last year my anxiety has dwindled down to just a fraction of what it was last year at this time, and for years before that, actually. I learned that I can talk to God, tell him about my fears and concerns and worries. I can give those worries to Him, and move on, because if I do my best, rely on the strength that he has so graciously given me, and just focus on the good stuff it will all. be. ok.
And you know what? Sitting down every day to really think about the things I have to be happy about actually creates joy. Even if I just take five minutes and even if it is just being happy that I don't have to wash my hair every day. For a girl that sort of hates washing, drying and fixing her hair, that is most definitely something to be happy about.
I am so glad that Chelsea challenged me to practice gratitude a year ago and that I cracked open that journal and started writing down the good stuff.
Don't wait another day, friend. Start now. I promise you that you will not regret it.
Today I am thankful for:
- vacation starts this weekend!
- a faithful God who is constantly providing for me (and you)
- we made it 11 days of husband working, and with our sanity and joy intact
- watching my boys learn to be brothers and friends
- a photo session with a wonderful friend tomorrow
- early mornings and lots of coffee to go with them
- banana bread
- all things pumpkin coming so soon
- folded laundry
- laughing with my handsome husband
- crying over this
- sunshine after several days of straight rain
Now go ahead...don't be shy! What are you thankful for?