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Finding Gratitude When It Isn’t Easy

Finding Gratitude When It Isn’t Easy

Gratitude....

That magical word that is so easy to grasp during times of joy and plenty.

Sitting out here on my porch I capture the first hint of fall.
Soft breeze and wind chimes playing a beautifully mesmerizing melody.
I am at peace.
The world seems perfect right at this very moment.

But what about times when life isn’t perfect?

How is one to practice gratitude when making it through another day seems like a huge accomplishment all on it’s own?

My recent broken ankle has been a wake up call to me.
How a simple broken bone can totally change my view on life.
Frustration sets in with my current limitations.
Unable to perform my most basic daily functions.

But I am a true believer in everything happening for a reason.
There is a lesson to be learned.
Maybe my broken ankle is to teach me to slow down.
Would I be sitting here on my patio enjoying this beautiful day if it wasn’t for needing to elevate and rest my foot?

Yes, I am indeed grateful for my broken ankle.....

It reminds me that I often take my functioning body for granted.
I have this amazing, healthy body that works for me everyday.
A body that I often critique and treat poorly.
Assuming that it will always work as it should.
Neglecting to realize that my body is a gift and I need to treat it as such.

When I look back I realize that some of my more difficult times are in fact moments I am most grateful for.

Many years were spent with the heartbreaking journey of infertility treatment.
I couldn’t find gratitude when it seemed so many around me were enjoying the one thing I couldn’t.
More than anything in the world, I wanted a child to love.
A true rollercoaster of getting hopes up only to be slammed back down.
Month after month, year after year.

It is only now that I can look back with gratitude.
My two beautiful children that were worth every single second of pain.
Grateful for knowing just how valuable their life is to me.....how I fought so hard for them.
I would definitely still love them if their entry into my world wasn’t such a journey.
But knowing everything we went through, I know that I have a better appreciation for how precious life is.
For that I am grateful.

The recent hurricane we experienced here in Florida was a challenge and we are just now seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
Living on a lake we experienced significant flooding.
Very grateful that it did not impact our home but we have lost a lot of our yard to the water and it is just this past week that we are finally able to drive the road through to our home.
In the aftermath of Maria our main water line coming into the home broke.
Grateful for amazing neighbors that helped us form a temporary fix until the flooding recedes and a permanent solution can be done.
Many inconveniences which if I let them can get me discouraged.

But then I remember the lesson....the gratitude surfaces.

It was beautiful to watch our community come together and help each other out.
Neighbors that I often take for granted.
But what this hurricane has taught me most is compassion.
When I feel sorry for myself I remember that there are so many that have it worse that I.

Those that are still struggling from the hurricanes and other acts of nature.
My friend that has had one unfortunate incident after another and is just trying to make a better life for herself, always with a smile on her face.
I am grateful for my home. The fresh water I am able to drink. The safety of my family.
This hurricane reminded me not to take these simple treasures for granted. Be grateful!

Yes, I am grateful for my broken ankle as it has made me appreciate my beautiful, working body.
I am grateful for my journey to have children because it makes me appreciate the miracle of life.
I am grateful for the hurricane for it has blessed me with compassion and appreciation of my ordinary life which I often take for granted.

Gratitude is easy to find during the happy moments.
Look for it when you are at your lowest.
It is during these times that we can truly grow.

Start slow....
Be grateful for being able to get out of your bed today.
The bird that sang outside your window.
The child that smiled at you.

When we can find gratitude in the little things we will start finding gratitude in the harder things.




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