It was a simple trip to the post office. Honestly? Probably 90% of my communications and transactions take place electronically nowadays.
But I had a couple of pieces of mail that needed to be delivered by the United States Postal Service and I found myself grateful for my local postal workers.
It’s an old institution – Benjamin Franklin was appointed our first Postmaster General in 1775. And it’s often taken for granted… or even thought of as obsolete.
There are a couple of ministries I support that have experienced the lack of reliable postal service in other parts of the world firsthand, even in 2021.
In reality, so many modern-day conveniences are easily disregarded or undervalued.
I’m not saying that gratitude is something that should be forced or an obligation. That can quickly turn into self-criticism and negative self-talk which is no good for our emotional wellbeing at all. “Get your act together, you have so much to be grateful for!”
It’s simply a shift in perspective. Being more aware of all there is to be grateful for in our daily lives.
Several years ago, I read Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.”
In her book, Ann invites you to discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace.
A way of living that is fully alive – and a way of becoming present with God that brings you deep and lasting joy.
It’s only in the expression of gratitude for the life we already have, we can discover the life we’ve always wanted…
a life we can take, give thanks for… then offer in service for others.
We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones – that we are fiercely and passionately loved by our Creator.
I found an old post from when I was reading “One Thousand Gifts.” I said:
“With each chapter flows tears of gratitude that water seeds of joy!”
It was, for me, the beginning of intentionally practicing gratitude.
Seems like I’ve always tried to have an attitude of gratitude… or feeling grateful.
But a practice of daily gratitude was new to me. This means something tangible, or a process that is part of our day. For some people, it may be writing in a gratitude journal. For others, they may set an alarm or have a specific time of day when they say out loud those things they are grateful for in their lives.
For me, it is the daily gratitude practice of saying a blessing before each meal. You may have heard me talk about this on my Joy Tip of The Week.
Do you see the difference? There is a meaningful distinction between having an attitude of gratitude and implementing a routine that is set in stone for practicing daily gratitude.
If you haven’t read “One Thousand Gifts,” I encourage you to add it to your books to read list! If you have read it, maybe now is a good time to read it again.
In fact, it’s time I read it again, too.
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