I’ve never been one for details. My guys are each observant in their own ways: they see things on which I might otherwise impale myself. While in Costa Rica I had to constantly remind myself to notice where my own body parts had landed: were my hands on a railing or my feet on the path of some harmful bugs? Sometimes…
So today I had to laugh. November began, well, six days ago. Some people take time to say “Thank you!” on Thanksgiving. Others post on social media one gratitude each day of November. I had seen on Ann Voskamp’s Facebook page that she is engaging once again in a 1,000 Gifts November gratitude challenge. So I commenced, thinking I was following her lead, counting three gifts each day.
Only six days in, driving to work and considering what my gifts had been so far this week and what today’s gifts might include, did the details begin to dawn on me. Huh. 30 days in November. x3 gifts each day. Does not equal 1,000 gifts.
Egads. I went back to Ann’s post and found my mistake: 33 gifts each day! Oh well, there’s the difference, just a mere 30 gifts; I’d simply dropped a “3.” As Guy remarks, “Trivial details.”
Yet I have noticed that the small discipline of looking for a measly three things each day for which I can say “Thank you!” has altered my perspective on days that might otherwise have had a grey tinge.
The discipline of gratitude has caused me to open my eyes and my heart to notice good and acknowledge the Giver.
And in this season of giving myself grace, of being gentle with myself and not pushing too hard when life has enough hardship of its own, three seems like just enough. Thank you, Lord, for three.
This morning, amid appointments and sick kids, I had the privilege of listening to a dear woman share about satisfaction and despair – oh, let’s just say, life’s extremes all jumbled together.
She had a lot of beautiful things to say. I arrived late, sat in the back of the room, didn’t have an agenda before me nor a pen with which to take notes.
So I listened with my less-than-perfectly-attuned ears and heard with my heart only three words: Gratitude, Acceptance, Surrender. The speaker declared, “And that’s really all I have for you, gals.”
I giggled, belly-laughed embarrassingly out loud: GAS! If that’s not a Mom of Two Boys for you, I don’t know WHO I might be!
I elaborate on those three words. GAS makes us laugh. And GAS makes us go. In order to keep moving with any sense of humor, we need GAS: gratitude, acceptance, surrender. Say “Thank you!” for something – in any and every situation. Accept the situation, your own or others’ limitations, whatever needs accepting (quite a lot falls in that category, don’t you agree?). And then surrender – yourself, other players, the situation, the whole kit-and-caboodle – to God. Because God holds it all in His hands anyway, and surrender is always if not finally the best way to go.
And then move on.
So whether it’s 1 or 3 or 1,000, join me in making gratitude a priority this month and see if it becomes a perspective-changing habit?
My list so far:
1 (1-3): My 3 guys!
2 (4-6): Fall Back extra sleep; holding hands with Tween on our Sunday morning walk; a quiet afternoon
3 (7-9): Chiropractor; lunch with friends; walking with a neighbor
4 (10-12): Meaningful words before I knew how much I would need those words; Tween’s beautiful painting for a friend; a visit from a sweet friend who has moved away
5 (13-15): Early morning work in the dark; trees changing neon colors; school book fair
6 (16-18): Three words: GAS – Gratitude, Acceptance, Surrender