Gratitude… goes beyond the “mine” and “thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
{Henri J. M. Nouwen}

This year I am finding so much to be thankful for.  I am also able to quickly list things I wish were on my thankful list — small things, big things, but things that so easily have me slipping down grass is greener elsewhere slope.

This year I want to begin the practice of gratitude as a discipline — not waiting for the natural start of the new year, but beginning now.  I am not sure what it will look like–I tend to overthink things and want everything to pretty and unique–but I want to keep it simple.  I don’t want to make this discipline something that I talk myself out of or put off because I don’t have it all figured out.

So today I’m celebrating with joy the things that are easy to be joyful about, and I’m also choosing to celebrate the things that aren’t.  I’m praying that I am different because of them, more like Him through them, and able to see His hand when I look back on them.

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Find reasons to smile today.  Find small things to be thankful for.  Look for tiny blessings — allow yourself to be overwhelmed with gratitude and joy today.  Be selfless.  Be loving.  Be grateful.  



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