January 2014 is over. And many of us are thanking God. With the combination of snow, sleet, ice, polar vortex, arctic blast, flurries – many of us experienced 31 days that seemed endlessly white and cold.
As challenging as this harsh winter weather has been (38+ inches of snow for us so far!), it’s still important to maintain a grateful heart. As I’m intentionally learning that “Living with Gratitude” changes everything, changes the way I think. Changes the way I see things. Changes me. It’s not that I’ve never been grateful before. But I seemed to focus my thanks when it was easy. Now I’m learning to give thanks, to live EVERY day with a sense of gratitude. Even when my heart has those hard white cold days.
Ancient and modern philosophers know the value of becoming infected with gratitude. The Roman philosopher Cicero, said gratitude is “not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, wrote, “The root of joy is gratefulness … It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” And the Bible tells us to be grateful “in all circumstances.”
So, let’s be grateful for snow plows, snow shovels, warm coats, wool mittens, and all manner of scarves, earmuffs and hats. Let’s be grateful for heat and fireplaces and vehicles that start and Advil and two-hour delays and patience and caution and grace. Let’s be grateful there are 43 days to Spring!
Most viewed posts on my Happy Day Moment Facebook Page:
- May we see the hearts of the people around us and know how to serve them in a way they feel loved.
- We can always change. We can take another step. We can push a little harder. We can choose to be strong. So don’t give up.
- The day in and day out of choosing to love someone, faults and all, is to accept that we are all human.
- We may not know the outcome, but we can believe that God’s love and grace will cascade over us.
- Don’t take life too seriously. Learn to laugh at those interruptions or awkward moments.
And then there were these posts:
- Without forgiveness, the potential for true happiness in our life is limited.
- You don’t need things as much as you need people.
- The world needs your dream and the world needs you.
- In every breath. In every moment. God is there. And there is hope.
- Mentally strong people are able to emerge from trying circumstances with gratitude for lessons learned.
- Be generous. Giving time and money and service is really fun!
- Just be you. Don’t let anyone steal your dreams.
- True friends love in all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
- Just because people can be difficult is no excuse not to love them.
- Treat others like you want to be treated. It’s as simple as that.
- When we love give pray hold fast, it is never for nothing.
- Positive changes happen when we care for others, believe in them, and motivate them.
- Spend less time scrutinizing one another’s words and lives, and more time just loving.
- When we refrain from dictating conditions in our relationships and extend open hands to give and receive, we make room for grace.
- You cannot create memories out of absence. Make an effort to be present with the ones you love.
- You can find blessings hidden in any struggle you face, but you have to open your heart to see them.
- Be joyful. Be grateful. Always.
- When the outlook appears discouraging, there are still miracles.
- Whatever you do is always more effective when you add kindness.
- An intentional gratitude will shift something inside of you and alter your perception of the world and your worries.
- Under His grace. Always under His grace.
- Learn a new habit. Try saying, “God I trust You,” in response to whatever happens to you.
- Embrace the day with all your might! Today is filled with possibilities!
- Resolved: Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to relax.
Be grateful. Always.