This past year has been a whirlwind. So much hurt, so much suffering, and so much disaster. Sometimes it’s hard to stay humble with a thankful heart when the quintessential life isn’t going the way you hoped it would.
Around this time of year people all over our country start to think about what they are thankful for. They either make lists or share it at the dinner table during Thanksgiving meal. After all, its the ‘season’ for it. But now I ponder on these questions, “Why aren’t we thankful all the time?” “Why are we thankful only during the holidays?” “How come we aren’t grateful during all our days?” These types of questions sound petty, but they are so true. I catch myself being more and more grateful during the holidays than any other time during the year and it’s about time we change that.
I heard someone say the other day, “I am now realizing that all the things I take for granted, I am most thankful for now.” It’s amazing to me how real that sounds right now. There are so many little things that happen in my life, some are bad and some are good but either way, I am MOST thankful for both.
As all of you know, our city went through a major chaos about two months ago. The city is almost inconceivably getting back on its feet from the disaster of Hurricane Harvey; surprising the pundits from the media all across our country and the world! What really threw me was how the people of Houston reacted when Harvey hit. It didn’t matter what race anyone was or where they came from, or what they looked like, everyone helped everyone. People were going out on boats they owned rescuing those who couldn’t get out, it was the most humbling thing to watch. People from different states have been wondering why Houston is recovering so well from this catastrophe, a newscaster replied, “It’s because people in Texas have trucks!” For more information read our post, Hurricane Harvey – Live Updates from Houston. I began to think that what mattered most during the disaster was saving each other and that’s what should always happen no matter if a disaster is going on or not. The kind hearts and kind actions, where we are compassionate and loving towards one another, should be the norm and the exception! It’s something our world doesn’t do very well most of the time.
The hardest time to be grateful is during a certain season in your life. A time when things may be tough and take extra work and strength to get through can be very trying. I have found that I struggle with being grateful when things are challenging for me. But, then I take a look at what is actually happening and why it is happening. I try to open up my eyes to the realness that is life and just allow the challenges to shape me rather than bring me down. Yeah, don’t get me wrong its one of the hardest things. Our minds sometimes have a hard time focusing on the good that could come out of our circumstances.
I want my heart to love any journey I am enduring–to soak in all it has to offer! To build and build upon what is vigorous and turn it into “what makes me stronger.” Today and every day I am grateful for all the things I’ve gone through this year. For the pain, the hurt, the struggle, the tragedy; the setbacks and moments where I almost want to give up. For the uncertainties that scare me because I want to be in control of my future. Because of these hardships, I can say that I am stronger today; that I have learned to push myself past what I “thought” I could NOT do.
Living in gratitude every day brings so much peace and freedom. There are so many people in my life that do incredible, selfless things for me and most times I forget to appreciate them. It is so important to me that I begin to live a life of gratitude. To not only be thankful during the holidays, but to be grateful 365 days a year, with love, gentleness, respect, and fortitude.
I hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that as you focus on your loved ones around you, you show them love and appreciation and ultimately gratitude.