The sleet pings against the window. The ground is white again. The wind howls. It is the last day of March. The calendar tricked us all into thinking it was spring more than ten days ago. There are some things you just can’t change. So why complain? Yet, I sit here on my hands trying to stay warm and control myself. This yucky weather is getting to me.
A few years ago when I began reading, Ann Voskamp’s A Thousand Gifts: Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, I had no idea how it would begin to shape me. In short, Ann was going through a difficult passage in her life. At the time, she was a young mother, wife and the daughter of a minister. She felt unhappy and unfulfilled. Ann began the practice of documenting images, sounds and events in her life that filled her with gratitude. Her goal was to accumulate 1,000 life-bites of gratitude.
Three years ago, I began the same practice. When my heart stirs with discontent or sadness, I reach for my Gratitude Journal. I may simply begin to connect with gratitude by reading my posts. I slow down, heighten my senses and begin to write. Here are a few excerpts from my journal:
#1: The pungent flavor, texture and smell of freshly ground pepper scattered across the surface of my omelet.
#4: The perfect roll of cuff on my favorite wool sweater.
#183: A forest path mottled with light.
#449: Scraping the windshield produces ribbons of frost.
#731: Hugs from former students who are now taller than me.
#759: Warm floorboards.
#831: Husband’s whistling as he comes through the door.
Consciously for me, there are no guidelines or rules associated with this journal. I don’t write in it everyday. As a matter of fact, I have misplaced the journal for days, weeks and months. When I find it-I begin the practice again.
This has allowed me to focus on the good in my life. Gratitude opens my heart to love and the possibilities available to me.