By Samantha McKenzie
Many of us understand the basic tenets of being grateful. I am always thankful when people lend me a helpful hand, or offer up some exceptional advice. I am very grateful that God answers my prayers. I appreciate every act of kindness I receive from others.
I must confess, however, that my gratitude wanes from time to time. I get a little sloppy. It’s never intentional. I sorta get stuck in the fast-paced routine of my every day, ordinary life and before you know it, I simply forget to be thankful.
When my daughter visited a elementary school in Nairobi, Kenya, last spring, she said the students were so grateful for the pencils they brought for them. It reminded me yet again how thankful I should truly be.
I’ve had to add a regimen of thankfulness to my daily life. In addition to my morning routine, I pick something every day to remind me to be thankful. It doesn’t have to be something grand. Most of the time, it’s the little thing that brings a smile to a face. Every time I hear myself whine or complain about something trite, I make myself stop.
Whatever it takes to get me back into the seat of gratitude, I force myself to do so. Immediately.
This quiets my eager soul. It keeps me humble. I think about the people who went to sleep last night and never awoke. I think of the people who got up this morning and received the bad news. I remind myself of the newborn babies whose parents were casualties of war. The children suffering from terminal illnesses. The victims. Their families. The soldiers. The casualties.
I am tremendously grateful for my life. And I will keep plugging away at remaining this way. I will say it aloud. I will write a longer list and refrain from getting too comfortable or from taking tomorrow for granted.
Today, I am thankful for the space to write my thoughts and share them with others. I’m grateful to have something to smile about. I’m grateful for everything…