This is the first post in our Grateful Heart challenge. After reading this post from Megan Hjelmstad, feel free to share your own post at the bottom, or share your thoughts and gratitude on Instagram.
The wailing of the alarm jerks me from a blissful sleep. I pry open my eyes to behold the blank slate of a new day, but a gloomy darkness meets me. I groan and promptly clamp them shut again. It’s not my alarm. It’s my husband’s. Thank God, I have thirty more minutes.
But within seconds, crying and arguing reaches my ears; I reluctantly open my eyes once more to find a small, round face with big, blinking eyes a mere two inches from my own. “Is it morning yet?” “Yes,” I grumble, “it’s morning, alright.” Sigh. He scampers off gleefully. I did have thirty more minutes. Now I’m officially on referee duty for three kids who woke up too early.
A text sounds on my phone and I sigh again. Probably more work demands.
I force myself out from under the warm covers and into the chill of the autumn air. Time to grab some clothes and make sure the kids aren’t late for our school carpool.
My phone again, reminding me that emails are piling up. It’s probably a reminder about my appointment today. Distractedly, I grab my phone with barely a second glance, but suddenly freeze as a subject line catches my eye: “Start your day in prayer, Sister.”
I come to a halt, taking a second to reset, reframe. Deep breath.
Thank you, God, for giving me another day to live. I offer everything in it to you.
But God wants one more second of my time. He gently nudges in to view those souls I’ve encountered today in my few short waking moments. I am so easily annoyed by how their actions inconvenience me. But what about the flip side? Do I spend even half as much time cultivating gratitude for how their everyday actions also sustain me?
My husband, always waking long before me, does so to support our family with long hours of work. Thank you, God, for my loyal, hardworking husband.
My children, so eager to encounter life, meet me with love and help me see the world with fresh eyes as I work to meet their needs. Thank you, Lord, for these little ones so in love with life.
That text I groaned at? It’s from a friend, telling me I’m in her prayers. And our carpool? Set up by my beloved neighbor who has selflessly helped us more times than I can count. Thank you, God, for faithful friends.
The email reminder for my doctor’s appointment also reminds me of how blessed I am, unlike many women in the world, to have easy access to such caring and knowledgeable medical professionals. That other email that caught my eye, inviting me to prayer—it speaks of the vibrant community of incredible, faith-filled women surrounding me every day.
And the work and scheduling demands that are, as always, still there – involving conversations with individuals who aren’t always my favorite – they are teaching me, when I open my heart enough, about a new dimension of the human person, challenging me to practice a greater, more authentic charity. Thank you, Wise Father, for those you place in my life to help sanctify me.
Who is God nudging into your view today, sister?
Maybe it’s a co-worker, family member, classmate, professor. Maybe it’s that person who knows exactly how to get under your skin, an acquaintance in need, or a saint on earth who shows up day after day for you. Maybe it’s someone who’s hurt you and compelled you to learn the necessity of healthy boundaries and forgiveness. It could be any number of the 7 billion people sharing this earth with us – and this week, we’re called to remember that every one of those 7 billion souls is made in the image and likeness of God, created to love and serve each other.
Whoever it is and whatever shape it takes, we want to hear how you are cultivating gratitude!
Join the Blessed is She Community this week in practicing more abundant gratitude for the people in your life. Share in a blog post, on Facebook or Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter using the hashtag #BISgrateful.
Let’s encourage each other in our journey toward bountiful gratitude, sisters!
How to cultivate gratitude this week: Buy flowers for someone or write a heartfelt note to express your gratitude.