Grateful is a State of Mind

When I think about this season of life, there is so much that can overwhelm me if I’m not careful. I can harp on my my husband’s small business, wondering about it’s path for the future and what that will mean for our family. I can overthink schooling for my soon-to-be five year old, poring over our options and wondering what will be the best fit for not just him but our family. I can drown in research and worry concerning my middle child’s chronic illness, wondering how his day-to-day life will work when he’s school age and analyzing the best treatment options for him. I can work myself up about my daughter’s upcoming surgery, one we’ve known was coming for nearly two years, though it doesn’t make it any easier. I can mull over our 1-year and 5-year plans, wondering when it will be the right time to buy another house and put down roots.

Life is full of dark horses and curveballs and upheavals and transitions. And I’ve found that often I don’t count my blessings until after the worst has passed and life has steadied again. In reflection I am grateful, but in the midst of change or hardship I am often too stuck in the muck to exhibit a thankful heart.

No, gratefulness doesn’t always come naturally–because I’m human–but I believe it can be practiced. During not only the hard times but the good times, I need to remind myself to be grateful for life’s seemingly simple gifts. This gratefulness adds context to all those transitions dotting life’s timeline and also anchors my soul, offering contentedness and hope.

James JM porch steps

I’m grateful for a husband whose career path and work hours have changed in the past year to make way for ample family time.

I’m grateful for the ability to stay home with my kids while they are young, though some days are tough and some are crazy busy and some are filled with caring for sick kids.

I’m grateful for a roof over our heads and warm beds to tuck my kids into each night, even if it is only temporary.

I’m grateful to have my village closeby, who is there to help my little family at a moment’s notice.

jm school thanksgiving lunch

This week, I’m pausing to soak up the simple gifts surrounding me and practice gratefulness. I wish you a wonderful holiday week with family or friends.

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