By Samantha McKenzie
I am always thankful when people lend me a helpful hand or offer up some exceptional advice. I am grateful that God answers my prayers. I am that person who appreciates every act of kindness I receive.
But I must confess that expressing my gratitude wanes from time to time. I sorta get stuck in the fast-paced routine of my every day, ordinary life and before you know it, I simply forget to say thank you.
When my daughter visited a elementary school in Nairobi, Kenya, a year ago, she said the students were so grateful for the pencils they brought for them. The young children thanked them out loud for any little item that they had provided. She said it was the first time she realized how lucky she was to have an abundance of things. Sometimes, she admitted, we forget to be grateful for the little things we have. Her story reminded me to be more thankful.
I began by creating a daily regimen of thankfulness to my 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…