Saturday, March 2, 2013

serious saturday: gratitude

Over a year and a half ago, I was walking around in Joplin, MO, taking in the devastating aftermath of an EF5 tornado that had leveled everything as far as I could see. A group of us had come to work as a relief team along side other volunteers--some of whom had lived in Joplin and lost everything they had. What we did made a tiny bit of difference to those we helped, but probably impacted us more than them. 

 I saw the magnitude of suffering--real suffering--and my problems seemed so insignificant. I was so profoundly grateful for what I had, even the basics that I normally took for granted. For weeks, everything looked like a luxury, and I almost felt guilty with my iPhone and laptop....and my intact home. I held my family and friends just a little bit closer, and I prayed and thanked God every day for their safety.  I wasn't the same after I left. 

At least not for awhile. 

But then life carried on for me. I started repaying student loans. I had car trouble. My farther died. I started dating this guy. Then I started planning a wedding. I moved across the state. I got a new job. I had more car trouble. My grandpa died. I had an existential crisis. 

I have bills, deadlines, stress, and obligations. I go to work, cook dinner, clean our apartment, and spend time with my husband. There's good, there's bad, there's a lot of in-between. 

And I forget gratitude. It slips by somehow and gets lost in the ebb and flow of daily life. 

My husband had a minor car accident last week; it was snowing heavily on his way to work, and he slid off the road and into a guardrail. He busted his headlight & dented a fender, but he wasn't hurt at all. I remember how my heart jumped into my throat when he told me about the accident, and then the overwhelming rush of gratitude when he told me he was okay. I'm not exaggerating when I say that all day long, I just kept thanking God that he wasn't hurt. Here's the thing though--I don't want the threat of something terrible to be necessary to prod me into a spirit of gratitude. I want that to be a part of my everyday, and a part of who I am. Even when things are bad, I want to be able to find things that are worth being grateful for...because life really is so very good. Today I am grateful that Tyler and I get by, even when money is tight. I'm thankful that we have a place to call our own, and that it's filled with the love that we share. I'm grateful for a husband that adores and affirms me, wonderful friends that span the country, and a family that is unrivaled in its support for us. I'm grateful that I have a job, even if it's not ideal, and I'm grateful that I am safe, warm, and mostly healthy. I'm grateful for big things like those, and small things like warm socks, Bon Iver albums, and SVU marathons. Above all, I'm thankful for a God of unlimited love and patience, and the opportunity to learn to live a life of gratitude. 

What are you feeling especially grateful for?

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! Be sure to check the notification box to see any replies. :)

Blog Design by Get Polished