I practice being grateful so much that now gratefulness and gratitude is my natural disposition. I’m more likely to look on the brighter side of whatever situation arises and be thankful before I complain.
However, it hasn’t always been this way. When I was younger and not as spiritually mature, sometimes I thought the grass was greener on the other side. If I could just do this, go there or get that – my life would be better. Blessings were always related to receiving something that could be seen with the natural eye. As I began to grow in my relationship, with the Lord, I began to realize the best blessings were spiritual- not material. God touched my mind, my heart and I began to see things differently. Spiritual growth is a blessing and I am very grateful for it.
Spiritual growth enables me to thank God for what I have. I have heard people say, “Be thankful for what you have because some people have less.” Though that may be true, that is not the framework I operate from. I’m not thankful for what I have because some people have less. I’m thankful what I have because it is enough.
Gratitude is an exercise. The more you practice it, the stronger you will become at and in it. Everyday-- be intentional in recognizing and calling out all the things you have to be thankful about and you will never be able to name them all.
One part of my life that has increased my gratefulness is my job. In my current position as a 911 operator, I have heard some unfortunate things. I remember when I began this job, I was not grateful for it and I was struggling. I had a six month old son and I was really struggling with working nights and overnights. When I would be home with him and he would cry I would get up and tend to him – annoyed sometimes because I was tired. I told myself things would be better if I had another job with normal hours. Shortly thereafter I took a call where a mother requested an ambulance for her 8 month old son that was not breathing. Later that evening we called the medical examiner to that address because her son had passed.
The next time my son cried and I was tired- I jumped up with a different attitude. I consoled him with joy in my heart. That moment and thereafter, his cries represented more than his discomfort – they represented breath in body and for that I was most grateful.
My job has shown me that every day I make it home and my family is there, I am blessed. Every time I get in my car and make it to my destination without incident – I am blessed. COVID has resulted in many people losing their jobs while my work has increased. I am tired but I am blessed. That is my perspective.
I am by no means complacent but I am very much so content for I know that God has a purpose for my life and he can use me for anything, anytime, anywhere. I just have to let him. - EM
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11