I love the early mornings…when I sit in my living room, smell the fresh brewed coffee that calls out to me, listening only to the sound of the hum of the refrigerator and the ticking of the clock. I think about the day…what is ahead…what needs to be done… Some days, it all seems too much and I just want to go back to bed. I don’t want to go to that meeting or take care of that task…I don’t want to talk to anyone today…I just want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head and call it good. My mom always said that if you are in bed when the sun comes up, you are missing out on your day…wasting precious time. I thought that was a bunch of bologna when I was growing up. I was fairly sure she was just saying that so I would get started on the chores she wanted done. Now her words actually ring true. There are things to do…people to see…tasks to accomplish while the sun is up. We are given this day as a gift. Many days don’t feel much like gifts…they feel more like gag gifts…joke is on me. But I think that is because I don’t really appreciate what I have been given. I am reminded that those are the days I approach with a sort of smugness…like I deserve better…like I am not getting what I think I should…and it ends up being a wasted day that could have been appreciated. But then I think…can’t I just go back to bed and appreciate that?!
Over the past couple of months, a constant theme has been running through my life…I hear it in conversations…I see it in the pages of the books I read…I feel it in my life when I really sit and listen and pay attention…It is in the sound of the rain and in brightness of the sun…in the smell of coffee and in the stress of everyday life…it is in the sounds of my children’s voices…and in the quiet of the morning run…it keeps following me and reminding me and bringing me back… it is GRATEFULNESS.
I’m fairly hard headed…stubborn…determined… whatever you want to call it. So it takes hearing things over and over before it begins to sink in. This idea of gratefulness is powerful, though. I find that when I am grateful, I see things around me completely different. When I am grateful, I may still want to pull the covers over my head – but I realize that in being grateful for the gift of this day…I have to move forward and see what joys and challenges are ahead. I realize that even though there will be stressful moments and encounters I would rather not have, gratefulness reminds me that God is shaping me, strengthening me, and guiding me to something better. Gratefulness reminds me that even when life is really tough and I just don’t feel like it…the gifts that I have been given are held in this day…and I don’t get this day again. If I eat in gratefulness, I really appreciate the access to food that I have…if I exercise in gratefulness, I am not suffering – but growing and getting stronger through it all…if I do my job in gratefulness, I begin to understand that this is a gift that allows me to use my talents and give back from what I have been given…if I am grateful in this moment, I treasure the good and the bad – for I am becoming a little bit closer to that for which I was created. As Mother’s Day is approaching…I realize how grateful I am for my mom and all of the wonderful women who have been such a powerful, influential part of my life…helping to shape and mold me. What are you grateful for today?