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Live a Life of Gratitude

Are you living a story of gratitude or entitlement?

I attended a visitation a few years ago. It was for an amazing lady, well respected and loved in the community. She fought a courageous battle with ALS and I was told died with grace and dignity, ready to be with her Lord.

a life of gratitude

At the funeral home, the family had outdone themselves with posters full of photos, notes, and other memorabilia revealing the life of their mother and grandmother.

As I stood in the reception line, the thought that lingered in my mind was there’s a lot of life and living depicted in these photographs.

This woman obviously loved her life and enjoyed it to the fullest.

A Story of Gratitude

Even after she became ill, she didn’t sit around waiting to die. The pictures told the story: she pursued life with passion—even then. She lived a life of gratitude—even then.

What a beautiful way to exist!

It made me think about the story I am weaving for people to see.

What theme will play out in the pictures at my memorial service? Is it one of regret, waiting for the next great thing, the next “happy” event? Or is it one of embracing all that comes my way, living life, all of it, with passion and joy?

Despite the hurt and setbacks in my life (and perhaps because of them), I have so much to be grateful for. We all do. Does it show? 

Despite the pain and setbacks in our lives (or because of them), we all have much to be grateful for. Does it show? Click To Tweet

I Am Grateful

Here are some of mine:

I am grateful for being born into a loving family.

I am grateful for a carefree childhood traveling the woods and fields of the family farm.

I am grateful for Sunday church (every Sunday).

I am grateful for community softball, the Andy Griffith show, and M*A*S*H.

I am grateful for being raised with farm cats, dogs, and snakes (honest, they nested in our old basement).

Oh, yes, I am grateful for the large, drafty, lived-in house that was home.

I am grateful for streams and rocky bluffs and John Denver songs sung at the top of my lungs (and a friend who would sing with me).

I am grateful for corn fields and hay fields.

I am grateful for the sunrise and sunset, the stars, the moon, and all the heavens.

I am grateful for skinned knees, broken eyeglasses, and bruised egos.

I am grateful for the time when my brother decided to run away (he didn’t make it very far).

I am grateful for parents that supported me in pursuing my life (even when it didn’t make sense).

I am grateful for in-laws that loved and accepted me.

I am grateful for a husband who is ever-faithful (willing to put up with all my quirks) and is willing to walk with me on this journey called life.

I am grateful for “perfect” children—made in the image of the Lord.

I am grateful for loss, heartaches, and disappointments: Where would my soul be without them.

I am grateful for all the little blessings that make me smile.

I am grateful for family and friends who lift me up when I am down and celebrate life’s peaks with me.

I am grateful for hidden miracles and blessings in disguise.

I am grateful for a steadfast Lord, vastly merciful, endlessly loving, and forever gracious, Who will remain by my side through it all, no matter what I do or say.

I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, Who was willing to drink His cup, so I can be free.

I am grateful for my earthly life, every minute of it (at least I am trying), and the life I will have eternally!

I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the story God is weaving through me and tweak my attitude to one of gratitude—even then.

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:16–17, NLT).

Reflections: What are you grateful for? When it is your time to meet the Lord, what story will the pictures tell of the race you ran?

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This post is a continuation of my One Thousand (or more) Gifts and is also linked up to the Faith Barista Jam on the theme of Gratitude. Won’t you join me?

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

6 comments on “Live a Life of Gratitude
  1. Linda Thomas says:

    Your attitude of gratitude is a song of praise to God. Lovely.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Linda

  2. Deanne Moore says:

    I am really grateful I read this post. A beautiful list that honors the Giver of all things—even snakes in the basement. I related well with so many of the things you listed—except for the snakes.

    Death makes us remember to be thankful for life. Sounds like a truly loved lady who lived it her days to their fullest even in her pain. You honor her with your words.

  3. Hi Julie! This parenthetical comment didn’t slipped by me.. but really spoke beautiful encouragement —
    “Despite the hurt and setbacks in my life (and perhaps because of them), I have so much to be grateful for. ”

    Isn’t God amazing – he can take what we wouldn’t have thought possible and made it beautiful something in us. Loved how you linked that to your wonderful list of gratitudes. Made me smile imagining you typing them each in! 🙂 THnx for adding this to the faith jam!

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