And without really listening I started jotting things down. The teacher in me should know better. Wait for instructions, Katie.
So that's when he told us that he wanted us to really hone in and focus on TODAY only. So, to start from the time you woke up, and really try to dwell on the little things (or big things) you were thankful for specifically in that day only.
Naturally, I had to scratch out my first I-didn't-listen list and start over on the back.
My list looked something like this.
-Waking up to Emeline smiles
-Cuddling in bed with her
-That my momma snuggles could comfort her when she fell
-Safety while traveling in the car
-My friend Kristen & being able to open up with her
-Chick-Fil-A playdates (and the food) :)
-Productivity during naptime (getting work done)
-Encouragement I got via email from readers
-My health & the fact I can run a 5K on the treadmill
-My husband getting home early
-A hot shower
-A warm dinner/food in the cabinets
-In-laws babysitting & caring for Eme
-My helpful husband
-This small group
We kind of went around the room and people shared if anything on their list surprised them. You know, when you actually took a few seconds to THINK about your day, and the little things you're grateful for...did anything on your list surprise you? Something you may forget about daily, or take for granted...etc.
So I spoke up and mentioned that a few months ago, I would have never, ever written anything about running. But that when I really think about it, I'm grateful that my body can even run, when there are a lot of people who physically cannot run at all. So, instead of looking at it as a "I have to run"...this list kind of switched my focus to "I get to run". I am able to run.
My friend spoke up about how on her list? She wrote how she walked to her closet that morning, and CHOSE what she wanted to wear. She had options. She has clothing. And some people don't have that luxury. A small thing that I know that I often take for granted.
My other friend talked about how her foster baby (who is leaving today) let her, for the first time, hold him and he fell peacefully asleep in her arms. He normally pushes away and doesn't allow her to cuddle him much. But that sweet act of a sleeping baby on her chest just blessed her. And reminded me of how even that, in and of itself, is a gift.
He encouraged us to consider taking a few minutes each evening to keep a list, a daily gratitude journal, where you do what we just did. Walk through your day and think about the simple things, the big things, the normally mediocre things, that we're thankful for.
That staying in a state of thankfulness and gratitude actually keeps us closer to God, and connected.
So I'm going to start doing this. Or trying to, anyway.
You might be amazed at some of the things on your list like we were.
Anyone up for the challenge?