A grateful heart is good medicine

Did you know that it is impossible to be grateful and angry simultaneously? I mean, that is what I read on the internet. I think it’s fair to say that I have not actually done the scientific research to back this claim however, I think it is worth believing in. Have you ever tried it? Have you ever tried to refocus your energy into that of gratitude rather than (insert negative emotion here…. anger, anxiety, fear, stress, sadness.)?

I have.

In fact, it is something that I am really focusing on these days. Being grateful for all I have in my life. Do you want to know the amazing thing that is happening?! The more I focus on being grateful, the more I have to be grateful for!!!

I haven’t always been a silver-lining-kind-of-girl. I used to gripe and grumble with the best of them! I used to do it so well that I didn’t even have to think about it, it just flowed freely. I was one big ball of complaining sadness. All. The. Time. Yuck!! Until one day I realized that I didn’t feel good about myself on the inside. I was making myself miserable. When I focused on all that was going wrong or stressing over what could go wrong, that was all that I saw. All of that negativity made my heart so heavy. It was a physical ache. I don’t know about you but this is not what I would consider to be living my best life. And isn’t that the goal? Don’t we all want to feel like we are living our lives to the absolute fullest? Yes!!!!

So what could you do today, right now, to move you closer to inner peace? Start practicing gratitude in all aspects of your life. Be thankful for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. It really can be as simple as taking a moment in the shower to acknowledge how lucky you are to have clean, running, hot water whenever you need it. If you are actively looking for things you are grateful for, you’ll find them all day long.

So let me get the ball rolling. I’ll share a list of ten things I have to be grateful for right now (in no particular order of importance or ranking):

  1. Health- My health and the health of my girls and husband. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you woke up tomorrow and only had what you thanked God for today, what would you have?” Whenever this pops into my mind I immediately say a small prayer to the effect of, “Thank you, God, for our health. Please continue to protect us and keep us healthy and strong.” I am beyond grateful to have healthy, able-bodied children that are thriving and I always strive to remember just how blessed we are.
  2. My Husband- God has blessed me with a life partner that is constantly challenging himself and growing everyday. He works hard for his family to make sure that we are taken care of and that we have what we need and then some. Is he perfect. No. Do we have a perfect marriage? Heck no! But we have an amazing marriage and I am so grateful that we have stuck by each others sides through the thick and thin of it all. (side note: We have both, at some point, wanted out. But, by the grace of God, we’ve never wanted out at the same time and one of us has always been willing to fight for our family.)
  3. Food- As basic as this is, I think it is so important to remember that approximately 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active lifestyle. That’s about one in nine people in the World. These people don’t even know where or when their next meal will come and yet, we joke about never knowing what we want to eat. I am grateful to have the means to provide my family with an abundance of healthy food options and that is a privilege I don’t ever take for granted.
  4. My job- Ok so this one is a little harder to be grateful for. I mean, no one loves spending 2 hours a day in commute and 8 hours a day chained to a desk only to be on-call 24/7 while away from work…. but, dude…. I have a job! I GET to go to work every single day and bless others through my service and in return, I get paid cash-money! It’s not always fun but you know what is even less fun? Looking for a job. Not having money. Etc, Etc. Ideally, I would just be independently wealthy and go to Target and Disneyland all day, everyday in my Range Rover. However, that’s not my life… yet! In the meantime, I will continue to praise God that I have a steady, well paying job where I am viewed as an asset to the company.
  5. My kids- I take being a parent pretty seriously. For whatever reason, God looked down and saw me fit enough to bring 3 beautiful babies into this World. They look to me every single day, whether they realize it or not, to make sure that they are taken care of and loved. Humans are such complex beings. Emotionally, physically, mentally. There are so many things that you could screw up when you are raising one to be a functioning adult. It is the toughest thing I will ever do in life and an honor that I will never take lightly. Every day that I get to be their mom is a gift and I treat it as such.
  6. My physical abilities- This one, I know, is something that most people (myself included) take for granted. The statistics of how many Americans are inactive are jaw dropping. The majority of adults do not see physical exercise as a necessity. It is something that they put on the back burner and completely forget about. Well, I’m here to tell you as your friend, that partaking in regular physical activity isn’t just for those that want to look good in a bikini. Exercise is so vital for your health and if you are not making the time to get your butt in gear and sweat on a regular basis, you are doing yourself a huge injustice. Not only are you potentially shortening your life, you are taking away from the quality of your life as well. So if you are one of millions that admit to hating exercise, then I strongly encourage you to change your mindset. I work out 3-4 times per week at my crossfit gym and 1-2 times per week just running. Sometimes, I’m tired and I’ll be really honest, I don’t want to do it. But then I tell myself, “you GET to go workout!” This changes things. I’m not obligated to go but I have the privilege of a body that is strong and healthy and I get to move it doing amazing things that make feel incredible! So as long as I am able to, I will because I never know if that may change.
  7. Coffee- DUH!
  8. My Mom-  Because she is sewn into the fabric of my being. Everything that is good in me is there because I have a mother that loves me unconditionally and never stops praying for me. She is one of my biggest fans and encourages me everyday to go after my dreams. She is my compass and always knows exactly what to say to get me back on track. I know that I can count on her always and am grateful for every sacrifice she has ever made for the sake of my happiness.
  9. Jesus- For making all things new. In Him, my sins are washed away and I get to experience God’s grace everyday.
  10. Friendship- Over my short time on Earth, I have been blessed with incredible friendships. Some friends have come into my life at a time when I needed them most, stayed for that season, then we naturally drifted apart. Some friends taught me lessons in trust and betrayal. Some friends are like family and will never leave. But every person that has come into my life has been a blessing one way or another.

So there you have it, 10 things I am grateful for right now. If you are having a bad day, try it out. Write down 1, 5, 10, or as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for. I promise you, your day will improve tremendously! Leave a comment and let me know what you’re grateful for!

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