For Those Days When Gratefulness is Hard

For those days when gratefulness is hard...

Don’t we all know those days? The ones that are filled to the brim with hardness or sadness or sickness or all of these? The ones where we know in our hearts that we should be thankful, but our minds say, “no, no, NO”? The ones that make us want to hide in the floors of our closets and never come out? Oh, those days. During some seasons they come so infrequently that we almost forget that they come at all. In others, there may be day after day after day of those days. It is during these times, during these seasons of hard days, that it can be toughest to feel that gratefulness deep down inside. Maybe these are the times that need the extra effort to look for the good. Maybe these are the times that build us up, even though it feels like the opposite. Just maybe these are the days that make us into something more. So today, I’m getting up off of the closet floor. I’m looking for the good in what I have and in what I do. Today, as I cook breakfast and feed these three little children, I’ll remember to be thankful that I have this kitchen. I’ll be grateful for the sink and the clean water and the ability to drink without fear. I’ll notice the appliances; the fridge that keeps our food cold and safe to eat, the stove that cooks everything just the way we like it, and the coffee maker. Oh, I do love the coffee maker. It’s easy to be thankful for that. When the baby spills his food for the millionth time just this morning, I’ll remember to be so thankful that I have him. He’s happy and healthy and sweet as can be and I shouldn’t forget how lucky that makes me. When I can’t take the mess in the kids’ bathroom and I yell at them to clean it, I’ll be thankful that we have bathrooms indoors. We have bathtubs and showers and more sinks and toilets and it’s a privilege many don’t know. I’ll look at my two older kids and be grateful for them. Grateful that they have healthy bodies and strong minds and that they are really good kids. I shouldn’t forget that. When it starts raining and we’re stuck inside again, all I need to do is look around and be thankful for my warm house with the roof and the walls that protect us and when I open the power bill, I’ll be grateful for the electricity and the lights and the heat that keep our home warm and bright. When it’s late in the afternoon and I’m just DONE with the day and the kids are all bored and fussing and I just want to take a hot bath, I’ll try to remember that I’m home with them because my husband is out working even though he’d rather be home than away. I’ll be thankful for him and his work ethic that is rubbing off on the kids and I’ll be so, so glad to be married to him. When I’m schlepping one of the kids to some activity today, I will be grateful that they have things they like to do. I’ll be thankful for my safe car and the money to buy enough gas to power it on our trips around town and back, again and again. Tonight when I’m rocking and nursing the baby to sleep, I’ll be thankful that he’s still a baby because it goes fast. I’ll be grateful for the comfortable rocking chair and the soft night light and his sweet little crib and I’ll lay him down with a smile and maybe a few tears because it’s easy to forget what I have. When the older kids go to bed, I’ll be so, so grateful that they still want to be tucked in and that they’re safe in their warm beds and I don’t have to wonder where they are and if they’re ok. And when I finally lay down tonight, I will be thankful for my nightly devotions and prayer time because I’m free to read what I want and pray when I want and not too many people are really that fortunate. I’ll snuggle up to my husband and be thankful for the quiet house because all of my people are sleeping and sleep is good for the soul. And even though today was still one of those days, I remembered to be thankful and grateful for all of my blessings. All I really need to do is look around to see them. They’re in plain sight, even on the hardest days.

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Jennifer Fox

11 Comments

  1. It is hard, some days, to be grateful. But, usually it just takes a moment of stopping, and looking for it, like you’ve mentioned. It hits me sometimes when I’m not even looking for something good, that I have running water, that I take the ease of accessibility to water for granted. My family is healthy. I have a job I often enjoy. I can go to Chipotle for lunch today if I want, frivolous and non-frugal as it is. These are all privileges that I have to remind myself to see, often. (I was having a particularly difficult morning, so thank you for this reminder.)

    • Yes, I totally understand! I forget what a blessing it is that we have all of the little things that we do, especially on the rough days. In this season of “thankful posts,” I was feeling bad about my lack of gratitude, but it’s nice to know someone can relate. Thank you for your comment!

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