Tomorrow, will be gratitude 20. That means I'm half-way through my 40 days of "Practice Gratitude" posts. If you'll remember the reason that I started them was because I will be turning 40 Dec. 15th. My life looks nothing at all like I thought it would look like. And sometimes I can get down and resentful about that. 40 just seems like a big marker because of not being married and not having kids and all of that.
It is getting a little harder to come up with things each day. I'm beginning to run out of the obvious and have to dig a bit deeper. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Honestly, today stunk. I had a lunch meeting that did not go anything like I had planned. I'm praying, at the moment, for God to show me something from that meeting to be grateful for. Everything about it felt like rejection and a door getting slammed in my face with my head half-way through what I thought was an open door.
And then I read Rachel Olsen's post at the Proverbs 31 daily devotions. (Click here to read it.) It was on "Thank You Power." I'm putting some of it in here. The words in blue are Rachel's. But in the midst of a hard day and in the midst of my 40 days of gratitude, it seemed to affirm what I am doing:
The researchers found that grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, more satisfaction with life, and more vitality and optimism . . . . They also found grateful people show lower levels of depression and stress.I did not know all that when I started this "Practice Gratitude" idea. I think I'll hop over to Rachel's and tell her what an encouragement knowing all of that is! I might say a big "THANKS" while I'm there.
What’s more, they found that people who keep journals about gratitude on a weekly basis are healthier. They exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, and feel better in general than people who journal about neutral or negative life events.
Finally, the research showed that people who daily count their blessings report higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and energy. . . .
Christian poet John Milton once wrote about every grey cloud having a silver lining. Purposing to give thanks, no matter the weather, will train us to look for it. Continuing in this manner day after day ensures that gratefulness will become our normal mode of operation.