There are so many things I’m trying to teach you as you grow up, but there’s one life-changing lesson that stands out above the rest. If you can learn this valuable principle, it will make your life richer and more fulfilling.
Choose gratitude every day.
You might roll your eyes and nod with an “Okay, mom. Got it.”
And in response, I want to cup your face and look into your eyes and say, “No. You don’t get it now, but you will.”
As you get older, you’ll get it more and more. You’ll get that the more you can identify all the things in your life to be thankful for, the more you will realize the power of gratitude and how it affects your perspective, your well-being, and your ability to endure difficult circumstances.
Gratitude will give you strength when you so desperately need it, and it will bring you clarity when life gets messy, blurry, and dark. It’s one of the greatest gifts we have to use in our lives and I want you to use it well, use it often, and use it especially when you fall on hard times.
The more you practice being thankful, the more it will buoy you above tumultuous waters and anchor you down in high winds. It’s the key to joy. It’s the path to peace. And it will always be the most effective way to enrich and enlighten your life. I promise.
It’s easy to be thankful for all the big things, but you need to recognize the small wonders that happen every day and pause to acknowledge them as gifts. Look at the ordinary, mundane, daily rituals with a new lens- do you notice each one? Don’t let all these tiny blessings pass you by without claiming them as such.
The more you identify the details of your life and appreciate them, the happier and more grounded you will be. It’s easy to be grateful for the big opportunities that come your way, but the true art of being grateful holds its greatest power in magnifying the small hidden gems of your life that can be overlooked.
Please don’t miss all the little things. They add up to comprise much of your life and each one deserves to be in the spotlight of appreciation.
Be grateful for all that you have and everyone you love. Be grateful for your home and your provisions, your friends and your family, yes. But it’s the small things you look for that will enhance your joy and create meaning in the day to day, sometimes monotonous motions that slide through our busy hands.
We forget how extravagant, how extraordinary they really are. You are always rich with abundant blessings. You just need to look for them right in front of you.
Each day you wake up to find the sun rising and your heart beating, you have a fresh feast of fulfillment to discover for your soul’s nourishment.
Please don’t take one minute of your life for granted.
Before you drift off to sleep every night, scan through your day’s events- both big and small- and then whisper a simple, yet profound prayer:
“Thank you for this day and all the gifts that came with it.”
This takes intention. This takes practice. And as you cultivate this way of thinking, as you begin to feel the joy emerge and let the peace settle in, as you realize the strengthening power of being thankful, you will understand the profound effects it has on your heart, soul, and mind.
And maybe someday, when you truly understand the power of gratitude…
You’ll be thankful I taught you this lesson well.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
The original post was first published at Moms of Tweens and Teens.
Christy Prokop says
Perfect timing! I was riding into work feeling kinda down and focusing on things that I am struggling with and I thought to myself “I need to have an attitude of gratitude”. God’s perfect timing huh! Thank you for your wonderful words and reminding me how important it is to focus on the little things and be grateful. I am going to print this off and put it up on my bathroom mirror!
Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom says
Aw, Chris I love this and it’s such a reminder to our kids. I’ll go home and cup their faces tonight and remind them of this truth.
I know this is addressed to teens, however this truth so resonated with me today! Thank you Chris!
lisa thomson says
Beautiful message, Chris!! For your kids, all kids and for us grown up kids. Love you.
Alison M. Hector says
Love it, Chris! Gratitude is a healer of our hearts and emotions, and it does the body good too! It’s great to instill in our kids that eye for the small things that call out for gratitude. It’s a lesson that will serve them well in the future.
Kristi Campbell says
I love this and am going to read it to my son. He (and all of us) needs this reminder, I think, especially as we approach Christmas and the whole “what should I ask for?” conversation. Gratitude. xoxo
I was thinking today about how un-anxious I’ve been lately. Or I have had anxiety but not the kind that breaks my step. I was wondering if it’s as simple as a more gracious and grateful attitude. It really changes everything.